Thy Kingdom Come
26 In the sixth month, God sent the
angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged
to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The
virgin's name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said,
"Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his
words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the
angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor
with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you
are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be
called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the
throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of
Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
2:1 After Jesus was born in
Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the
east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, "Where is the one who has been
born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to
3 When King Herod heard this he was
disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together
all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked
them where the Christ was to be born. 5 "In Bethlehem in Judea,"
they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:
6 "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land
are by no means least among the
rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my
17 From that time on Jesus began to
preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
2 "Are you the king of the Jews?"
"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus
The Kingdom of God
Throughout Matthew’s gospel the key word is “kingdom.”
Luke tells us that Christ would be given the throne of David. The
gospel writers proclaim Jesus as king of the Jews, as the one who
came to rule on earth as he rules in heaven. If you were to take
Matthew’s gospel and replace the word “kingdom” with the word
“church,” the gospel of Matthew would become very confusing. When we
do find the word church in the New Testament we are forced to go
back and explain the church is the kingdom. Yet, even this approach
is losing its appeal in our modern world. Today most churches teach
the church is waiting upon the coming of Christ in his kingdom at
his second coming.
Often, we are just as confused in our thinking. After the
resurrection of Christ the disciples ask, “Lord, are you at this
time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6b.)
He had spent forty days with them teaching them about the kingdom of
3 After his suffering, he showed
himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was
alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke
about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating
with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but
wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak
about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be
baptized with the Holy Spirit."
Many in the church believe the disciples asked the wrong
question. They should have ask, “Lord, are you at this time
going to establish your church?” Yet, Jesus was preaching the
kingdom of God was at hand (Matthew 4:17). He spent forty days with
them after the resurrection speaking to them about the kingdom of
God. The kingdom came with power on Pentecost. Peter proclaimed that
David’s throne had been given to Christ. They asked the right
question before Pentecost. God didn’t drop all his kingdom plans to
establish a church. Christ did what he was born to do—he took his
seat on David’s throne after his ascension.
24 But God raised him from the dead,
freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for
death to keep its hold on him. 25 David said about him:
"'I saw the Lord always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart is glad and my
my body also will live in hope,
27 because you will not abandon me
to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see
28 You have made known to me the
paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your
29 "Brothers, I can tell you
confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his
tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God
had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants
on his throne. 31 Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the
resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave,
nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life,
and we are all witnesses of the fact. 33 Exalted to the right hand
of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and
has poured out what you now see and hear. 34 For David did not
ascend to heaven, and yet he said,
"'The Lord said to my Lord:
"Sit at my right hand
35 until I make your enemies
a footstool for your feet." '
36 "Therefore let all Israel be
assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both
Lord and Christ."
We are translated into the kingdom of Christ upon obeying the
13 For he has rescued us from the
dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he
loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
To him who loves us and has freed us
from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and
priests to serve his God and Father — to him be glory and power for
ever and ever! Amen.
1 Peter 2:4-6
4 As you come to him, the living
Stone — rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you
also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to
be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to
God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:
"See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame."
Internal Dominion of the Kingdom
The kingdom of God is the theme of the entire Bible.
The Scriptures are written to establish God’s kingdom—i.e., his
rule—in every heart. Theologians have crossed swords over the
question of the Kingdom—what it is, what it isn’t—but is it really
9 "This, then, is how you should
"'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.'
14 For if you forgive men when they
sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But
if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive
Jesus instructed his disciples to pray “. . . your kingdom
come.” This phrase is inseparably connected to
the next part of the verse “. . . your will be done on earth, as
it is in heaven.” This simply restates and explains the first part
of the equation. God’s kingdom is about getting God’s will done
earth as it is done in heaven, as he conquers one heart at a time.
The kingdom has never been anything more or less than God’s rule on
earth as he rules in each heart.
The kingdom Jesus spoke of was not a province to be entered.
To the Jews the kingdom was a national political entity,
which was to conquer all the kingdoms of the earth. They came to
believe God’s kingdom would conquer the world. They overlooked the
fact that this was impossible without God ruling in their hearts.
They thought they could become a force for God. Yet, they failed
because their hearts were far from God. Their concept of the kingdom
was far from the true design of the kingdom of God.
20 Once, having been asked by the
Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The
kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor
will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom
of God is within you."
Israel became obsessed with circumcision. Circumcision simply became
a mark branding them as God’s people. It became God’s brand of
ownership stamped upon them much like branding cattle to claim
ownership. They failed because weren’t circumcised in heart.
28 A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is
circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a man is a Jew if
he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart,
by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not
from men, but from God.
The only way for the Jews to experience the power of God was
for them to be circumcised of heart. Israel’s army often
marched into battle and failed simply because their hearts were not
circumcised. God did not rule in their hearts. Their national goals
overshadowed their need to allow God’s Spirit to rule their lives.
They failed. It shouldn’t surprise us that the New Testament speaks
of the kingdom of God as being within us.
Paul stressed the inward qualities of the rule of God’s
kingdom. It is no accident that Paul writes, “And whatever
you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord
Jesus . . .” (Colossians 3:17) When we allow God to guide us, and
work through us, it is then he will accomplish his work through us.
This allows God to establish his kingdom in our hearts.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your
and grant me a willing spirit, to
David asks God to create in him a pure heart and give him a
willing spirit. It is a personal prayer for God’s kingdom to
come more fully in his heart.
Our prayers must be about God ruling in our hearts. It
is the only way God’s kingdom can come on earth as it is in heaven.
“When Christ came into the world, He said [to the Father:
‘Here I am. . . . I have come to do your will, O God’ ”
(Hebrews 10:5; Hebrews 10:7). He said that, even though it led to
unimaginable pain. His submission culminated in a lonely prayer the
night of His arrest: “My Father,” He said, “if it is not possible
for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be
done” (Matthew 26:42).
Only God has the power to conquer our sinful hearts.
This is important for there must be significant change before we can
begin to see the kingdom of God.
5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the
truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of
water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit
gives birth to spirit.
3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell
you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born
The External Dominion of Christ’s
Today Christ reigns on David’s throne. Yet, the
establishment of his kingdom is an ongoing task as the gospel
spreads to one heart at a time. Christ is in the process of putting
his enemies under his feet. The kingdom will not be fully
established until the last enemy is destroyed—i.e., death.
1 Corinthians 15:24-26
24 Then the end will come, when he
hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all
dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put
all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is
Christ work will not be completed until his second coming.
At his second coming he will have placed all his enemies under his
feet, and then he will destroy his last enemy death. This will
culminate in Christ’s ultimate victory over Satan. Then we will be
ushered into Christ’s eternal heavenly kingdom.
It is comforting to know that the power and the kingdom of our
God are being exerted in our world as well as in our hearts.
Christ is in the process of placing all his enemies under his
feet as I speak. This is the most comforting aspect of being a
Christian, for those who obey Christ—GOD RULES our world.
Those first Christians embraced Christ’s kingdom as they obeyed the
12 But when they believed Philip as
he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of
Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
8 Paul entered the synagogue and
spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the
kingdom of God. 9 But some of them became obstinate; they refused to
believe and publicly maligned the Way.
25 "Now I know that none of you
among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me
23 They arranged to meet Paul on a
certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he
was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to
them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from
the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 Some were convinced by
what he said, but others would not believe.
To accept Christ kingdom you must believe that he rules
supreme. The disciples’ prayers revealed a clear
understanding of the sovereignty of God. Peter and John were taken
into custody after healing a cripple in Acts. They were commanded
not to teach the good news of the kingdom. Afterwards they prayed
for God’s power to come upon them so that they might boldly preach
21 After further threats they let
them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the
people were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man who
was miraculously healed was over forty years old.
23 On their release, Peter and John
went back to their own people and reported all that the chief
priests and elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they
raised their voices together in prayer to God. "Sovereign Lord,"
they said, "you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and
everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the
mouth of your servant, our father David:
"'Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth take their
and the rulers gather together
against the Lord
and against his Anointed One.'
27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate
met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city
to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28
They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should
happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your
servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your
hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the
name of your holy servant Jesus."
31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of
Jesus’ example prayer teaches
us to pray for God to rule on earth as he rules in heaven.
This is precisely what was happening in this incident in the
disciples’ lives. They were praying for God’s power to salvage them
as He gave them boldness. Sadly the Pharisees lives became
self-centered and powerless as they sought what they followed what
they had construed to be God’s will. God’s name must not only be
hallowed, but his rule must be sought in our every word and deed.
When God rules our hearts he will strengthen us in every good
deed and word.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself
and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal
encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen
you in every good deed and word.
The Kingdom is where the King is. And we could say that, in some
sense at least, there are “places” the King refuses to be. Why?
Because the Kingdom of God is reserved for people who are
fundamentally different. “Do you not know that the wicked
will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the
sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes
nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards
nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1
In contrast, he says, “That is what some of you were. But you were
washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the
Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians
6:11). Through God’s grace and our faith we are made worthy subjects
of the King. As Paul states it elsewhere: “He has rescued us from
the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son
he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col.
The gods who rule our world today are Money, Power and Sex. Our
world revolves around these Gods. When they rule they bring
destruction. They destroy lives.
A man who won $314,000,000 lottery lives in misery.
How many times have we seen power destroy those who have it.
How many have signed their lives away through one sexual act.
Jesus Christ desires to give you an abundant life. Christ is more
powerful than this world’s gods. He is sovereign.
If anyone is thirsty, let him come
to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has
said, streams of living water will flow from within him."
Acknowledging God’s authority through Christ is where it
begins as Christians. Acknowledging Christ has all power and
authority is the beginning of a faith that leads me to believe he is
always with me.
16 Then the eleven disciples went to
Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When
they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus
came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has
been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have
commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of
Jesus says, “And surely I am with always, to the very end of
the age.” Do you know how we acknowledge God in everything?
By seeking to obey the things he taught. God is one with us when we
choose to one with him.
Bible Study Questions
1. What would happen if you exchanged the word “kingdom” for the
word “church” throughout the New Testament?
2. What was Jesus’ purpose for coming to earth? (Luke 1:26-33)
3. What are some reasons for the misunderstanding concerning
4. What does it mean to pray for God’s kingdom to come?
5. What qualities of Christ kingdom did Paul emphasize in Colossians
6. Is it possible to experience the power of God in our lives
without a willingness to be born again?