Read: I Corinthians 15:12-28
Lord’s Day 48 concludes by pointing our spiritual eyes of faith away from this earth to the glory of God’s kingdom perfected in heaven. “Thy kingdom come . . . till the full perfection of Thy kingdom take place, wherein Thoushalt be all in all.” This conclusion indicates that the second petition does not only have to do with God’s kingdom as it appears in this age, but as it will appear to all eternity in the new heavens and earth. It is another way of praying, “Come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev 22:20b)
The fact that the kingdom must reach its full perfection in the future indicates that it has not reached its full perfection now. This is not a defect of the kingdom, nor is it due to any weakness in God. Rather, the sovereign, almighty God of the kingdom has decreed that His kingdom will only reach its perfection in the way of sin and redemption. In this way, God’s glory, majesty, mercy, and justice are most clearly shown.
When we look around today at external things, it does not appear that the kingdom of God is flourishing. The enemies are assaulting the church from every side. Large portions of historically conservative churches are falling away into false doctrine. The church is despised and small, while the world boasts itself against God. Our mission work does not convert the nations, but produces only a little group here and a small church there.
However, in spite of these appearances, the kingdom is being perfected. The coming of the kingdom is not measured by external criteria. Rather, it is measured by the infinite power of God’s grace to save His elect people and preserve them unto the end. However small and despised that church might be in the eyes of the world, that church is the kingdom of the King of kings and Lord of lords. That kingdom comes, just as surely as Christ promised, “Behold, I come quickly” (Rev 22:7a).
The day is coming when that kingdom shall reach its full perfection in the new heavens and new earth at the return of Jesus Christ. On that day, God will be all in all. All of our thoughts, which so often wander away from God now, will be focused on Him forever. All of our actions, which so often are self-serving now, will be to the service of His glory forever. All of history’s events, which now seem so disconnected and aimless, will then be seen to have served the coming of his kingdom. What a day! What a kingdom! Lord, hasten thy return!
Thy Kingdom Come! Amen.