The second petition deals with God’s kingdom: Thy kingdom come. The kingdom of God is one of the most glorious realities in all of creation. God’s kingdom possesses unparalleled glory, because it is the kingdom where God is pleased to dwell. The citizens of the kingdom not only inhabit the kingdom, but they are heirs to the kingdom; they are not mere denizens, but princes and princesses of the King. Above all, the King of the kingdom is stunning in His glory, majesty, honor, and power. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. As Psa 24:7ff declares, He is the King of glory.
However, in spite of all of the kingdom’s striking beauty and glory, it is one of the most misunderstood realities in all of creation. There are many today who teach falsehoods about the kingdom. Therefore, before we look at what the kingdom is positively, we must be warned against these wrong views.
All of the wrong views of the kingdom spring from one root error: the teaching that the kingdom of God is earthly and physical. According to these false teachings, the glories of the kingdom are earthly glories and riches, and the coming of the kingdom is the rise of some earthly institution that will be more or less Christian in character. Thus, for example, the postmillenialists and the premillenialists both look for an age in which the kingdom will flourish materially on this earth.
There are two main errors in this view. First, it is not biblical. In fact, the Bible specifically denies that the kingdom is earthly. Jesus Himself taught that we must not look at earthly appearances to find the kingdom, for “thekingdom of God cometh not with observation” (Luke 17:20b). So also Paul taught in Rom 14:17 that the “kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” The Bible clearly teaches that the kingdom of God is spiritual and not physical or material.
The second main error is, the view that the kingdom is earthly makes people set their hearts upon this earth. Rather than hope for the return of Christ and the new heavens and earth where righteousness dwells, instead God’s people are told that their great hope lies here on earth. We reject this, just as Abraham of old rejected this idea. Abraham could have had a grand earthly kingdom - he was certainly wealthy enough. But he lived as a stranger and pilgrim in the land of promise, for he sought the kingdom which is above.
The kingdom is not physical. But then, what is it? More on this next time.
- Date: 26-November
Rev. Andrew Lanning (Wife: Stephanie)
Ordained: September 2006
Pastorates: Faith, Jenison, MI - 2006; Minister-on-Loan to CERC, Singapore through Grandville PRC - November, 2012Website: thesingaporeseven.yolasite.com/
Address148 Bishan Street 11 #06-113
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