Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Prayer That Turned The World Upside Down - Session 4 - Your Kingdom Come

The Church of Divine Guidance Sunday Morning Adult Bible Study Group studying the book Prayer That Turned The World Upside Down: The Lord's Prayer as a Manifesto for Revolution by R. Albert Mohler, The President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The Lord’s Prayer is the most powerful prayer in the Bible, taught by Jesus to those closest to him. We desperately need to relearn its power and practice.

The opening words of the Lord’s Prayer have become so familiar that we often speak them without a thought, sometimes without any awareness that we are speaking at all. But to the disciples who first heard these words from Jesus, the prayer was a thunderbolt, a radical new way to pray that changed them and the course of history.

Far from a safe series of comforting words, the Lord’s Prayer makes extraordinary claims, topples every earthly power, and announces God’s reign over all things in heaven and on earth. Study along with us by getting a copy of the book by clicking this LINK or the image of the book in the study notes. 

Whose Agenda Is It Anyway?

Matthew 6:10 NIV - your kingdom come,  your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Last week we learned that the very first petition that Jesus taught his disciples that they should make in prayer is that God’s name be hallowed.  Jesus is not merely saying that God’s name is hallowed; rather, he is asking God to make his name hallowed. The verb hallow, however, simply means to “make holy” or “consider as holy.  Just as we speak of “having a good name” as a way to refer to a good reputation, the Old Testament uses the same idiom to refer to God’s reputation. A name is something personal. It always feels more or less unpleasant when others misspell or garble our name: it stands for our honor, our worth, our person, and individuality. . . . There is an intimate link between God and his name.

How then does God “hallow his name” in the world? First, “hallowed be your name” is a request that the church be sanctified. The church is the steward of God’s name.  We must petition God to “hallow his name” in our discipleship, in our prayer, in our preaching, in our witnessing, in our work, and in eternity. Our ultimate concern is not that our lives be comfortable, but that God be glorified, and that our lives, even our prayers, put God’s glory on display.  Faithfulness in the Christian life makes the glory of God go public.

The second petition, “your kingdom come,” builds on the first by showing us how God’s name is hallowed in the world. God reveals his character and reputation as his kingdom spread to every corner of the earth and as citizens of that kingdom do God’s will on earth as it is in heaven.

The Lord’s Prayer is for revolutionaries, for men and women who want to see the kingdoms of this world give way to the kingdom of our Lord.

But what is God’s kingdom, and what does it mean to pray for its arrival?  

We’re going to talk about that today.

Pastor likes to say that the kingdom of heaven is inside us.  

Luke 17:20‭-‬21 NKJV Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation;  nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

The context of Jesus’ statement is a question put to Him by His Pharisee detractors who had asked when the kingdom of God would come (verse 20).

Jesus’ answer was that the kingdom of God was not coming in the manner the Pharisees were expecting. The kingdom would not be inaugurated with spectacle or splendor; there would be no great and magnificent leader who staked out a geographical claim and routed the Romans; rather, the kingdom would come silently and unseen,

Matthew 13:24‭, ‬26‭-‬33‭, ‬38‭-‬50 NKJV Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;  But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’  He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ” Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field,  which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”

The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.  The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.  The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,  who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just,  and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

In fact, Jesus says, the kingdom had already begun, right under the Pharisees’ noses.

Various translations render the Greek of Luke 17:21 various ways. The phrase translated “within you” in the KJV and NKJV is translated as “in your midst” in the NIV, NASB, and NET; “among you” in the NLT and HCSB; and “in the midst of you” in the ESV. Earlier versions of the NIV had “within you” with a marginal note suggesting “among you.” There is obviously a difference between saying “the kingdom of God is within you” and “the kingdom of God is among you.”

“Within you” comes off as an unfavorable translation, seeing that Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees at the time. Jesus was surely not saying that the kingdom of God resided within the Pharisees’ hearts. The Pharisees opposed Jesus and had no relationship with God. Jesus in other places denounced them as “whitewashed tombs” and “hypocrites” (Matthew 23:27).

The better translation would be “in your midst” or “among you.” Jesus was telling the Pharisees that He brought the kingdom of God to earth. Jesus’ presence in their midst gave them a taste of the kingdom life, as attested by the miracles that Jesus performed. Elsewhere, Jesus mentions His miracles as definitive proof of the kingdom: “If I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Luke 11:20).

There are three popular interpretations of Jesus’ words in Luke 17:21 that the kingdom of God is within you (or among you): 1) the kingdom of God is essentially inward, within man’s heart; 2) the kingdom is within your reach if you make the right choices; and 3) the kingdom of God is in your midst in the person and presence of Jesus. The best of these interpretations, it seems, is the third: Jesus was inaugurating the kingdom as He changed the hearts of men, one at a time.

For the time being, Christ’s kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). One day, however, the kingdom of God will be manifest on the earth (Isaiah 35:1), and Jesus Christ will rule a physical kingdom from David’s throne (Isaiah 9:7) with Jerusalem as His capital (Zechariah 8:3).

The kingdom of God is not something that is part of the political systems of this world. No government on earth truly represents God’s kingdom. Instead, Christians are citizens of a kingdom that will one day arrive in consummate glory. Our hope is not that the governments of this world will transform into the kingdom of God, but that the kingdom of God will come from heaven to earth in power and glory.

In Scripture the kingdom of God must be understood as something that is already here on earth but not yet fully present. In other words, the kingdom of God has been inaugurated but not yet consummated.

This kingdom arrived with the coming of Christ, who urged his hearers to repent because the “kingdom of God is at hand.” Christians are now part of that kingdom. As Paulstated, “[God] has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Col. 1:13). Thus, even though we await the full expression of God’s kingdom that will come in glory and power at the return of Christ, we are at this time living under the reign of God as his people—we are citizens of that kingdom.

The kingdom of heaven is what the writer of Hebrews said the faith heros were looking forward to.

Hebrews 11:13‭-‬15 NKJV. They all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.

Biblical Theology of the Kingdom

the Bible speaks about God’s kingdom in terms of creation, the fall, redemption, and consummation.  “God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule and


Each of these features is present in the earliest manifestation of God’s kingdom in the garden of Eden. God’s people, Adam and Eve, live in God’s place, the garden of Eden, under God’s rule and blessing.

The Fall

Adam and Eve are exiled from the garden, no longer able to enjoy God’s blessing because they rebelled against God’s rule.


In the work of redemption, God continued the work of building a kingdom on earth. Thus, God called Abraham and his children (God’s people) to be a light to the nations (Isa. 42:6; 49:6). He promised them the land of Canaan (God’s place) where he would dwell with them in the tabernacle and then in the temple. Finally, God gave the Israelites his law and the sacrificial system so that they might draw near to him (God’s rule and blessing).  Yet, as we all know, Israel failed to do and to be what God desired of them. Like Adam, they rebelled against God.

The prophets spoke of a day when God would fully and finally bring his kingdom from heaven to earth. Jeremiah, for instance, spoke of a day when God would inaugurate a new covenant, when the law would no longer be written on tablets of stone but would instead be written on the tablets of people’s hearts. In other words, the law would no longer only be something outside of us (demanding obedience and condemning our failure) but instead would be something God etched on our hearts giving us the power to obey his commands.

Jeremiah 31:33 NKJV But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord : I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Jesus came preaching the inauguration of the kingdom. His disciples were allowed a glimpse of his kingdom in glory during the transfiguration (Matt. 17:2;  Mark 9:2).

After his resurrection Jesus declared that he had been given “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18). The Great Commission is rooted in Christ's declaration that he is the king on the throne of all creation. In our current stage in redemptive history, therefore, God’s kingdom is made up of those who believe in Christ (God's People) gathered in local churches across the world (God’s place) under the law of Christ and partaking of the new covenant (God’s rule and blessing).
Now we have a few key insights helpful in interpreting this petition—“your kingdom come”—in the Lord’s Prayer. God’s kingdom is essentially his reign over his people for their good and his glory. God’s reign is not just his absolute sovereignty; is also a redemptive reign that transforms hearts and creates obedience.

Now we have a few key insights helpful in interpreting this petition—“your kingdom come”—in the Lord’s Prayer. God’s kingdom is essentially his reign over his people for their good and his glory. God’s reign is not just his absolute sovereignty; is also a redemptive reign that transforms hearts and creates obedience.


According to Scripture, how does the kingdom of God come from heaven to earth?

It does not come through moral reform and social justice, which is a good thing but can lead to a very liberal view of lifestyle and sin. It does not come through political processes either which can also be good but taken to legalistic extermes.

The Bible teaches that God’s kingdom only comes as God’s people preach God’s Word, which, coupled with God’s Spirit, produces life and obedience. To use the language of Paul, God’s Word and Spirit change the hearts of sinners such that they are rescued out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of his dear Son

Colossians 1:13‭-‬14 NKJV  He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.


The “will of God” can be used in two different ways. First, Scripture can speak of God’s will of decree, or what we could call God’s sovereign will. When Scripture speaks of God’s will in this sense, it refers to his absolute, sovereign rule over all things.

Psalms 115:3 NKJV But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.

Second, Scripture uses the phrase “will of God” to refer to God’s commandments. Theologians also refer to this use of the “will of God” as God’s revealed will. The revealed will of God speaks to what God expects of his human creatures. The Ten Commandments, for instance, are an excellent example of God’s revealed will.  The call to repent and believe the gospel would be yet another example of God’s revealed will.

Acts 17:30‭-‬31 NKJV Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
Jesus is not talking about God’s sovereign will because that is already set both in heaven and already on Earth. Jesus is clearly referring to God’s revealed will. He is asking the Father to reshape the hearts of every single person such that God is obeyed and glorified by men.  When the kingdom of God arrives anew and afresh in the hearts and lives of the lost, they begin to obey God from the heart, just as the angels in heaven. In this age, the age of the inaugurated kingdom, we know that reality only in part. In the comingage, the age of the consummated kingdom, we will experience that reality completely.

It is no longer “my will” that is preeminent, but his.  “Here more clearly than anywhere the purpose of prayer becomes plain: not to make God do my will (which is practicing magic), but to bring my will intoline with his (which is what it means to practice true religion).”


For the kingdom of God to come means that all other kingdoms (including our own!) must fade into oblivion.  By praying “your kingdom come,” Jesus Teaches us that we are ultimately meant to value God’s agenda, not our own.
We mentioned before that God's kingdom is not something that we can make happen. We can't do it  through humanitarian efforts and good works. We can't do it pushing a particular political party or a particular government with the kingdom. Christians too often fall prey to the temptation that we can bring about the kingdom of God by political force or some other sociological means. But God's kingdom is not of this world. As Jesus teaches us in this prayer, we are dependent on God and God alone to bring the kingdom to every heart and every corner of the earth.  We cannot manufacture God’s kingdom by our own efforts. Instead, we are called to be faithful in the Great Commission, trusting that God by his sovereign, supernatural grace will spread his redemptive reign to every tribe, tongue, and nation.
So what are we asking when we say “your kingdom come”? We are asking for something wonderful and something dangerous all at the same time.
        •We are praying that history would be brought to a close.
        •We are praying to see all the nations rejoice in the glory of God.
        •We are praying to see Christ honored as king in every human heart.
        •We are praying to see Satan bound, evil vanquished, death no more.
        •We are praying to see the mercy of God demonstrated in the full justification and acquittal of sinners through the shed blood of the crucified and resurrected Christ.
        •We are praying to see the wrath of God poured out upon sin.
        •We are praying to see every knee bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
        •We are praying to see a New Jerusalem, a new heaven, and a new earth, a new creation.

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