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THE KINGDOM OF GOD

 

Unless otherwise denoted, all Scripture references are to the

New International Version (NIV; British text)

 

Question: In Matthew 6: 10, Jesus teaches His disciples to pray for Godís Kingdom to come. What is the Kingdom of God?

 

Answer: Matthew 6: 10 forms a part of the Lordís Prayer: "Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

 

In common usage, the word "kingdom" generally refers to a territory, a state, or a people subject to the authority of a monarch. In Biblical usage, it also refers to the royal ruler or the authority by which he reigns.

 

The rulers whom God has designated to act as His regal representatives, and to exercise His authority in the coming reign of the Millennial Age are Jesus and His faithful Church (1 Peter 2: 9).

 

The Bible speaks of Jesus and His Church as the Kingdom from two standpoints:

 

            1. Their earthly lives, during the Gospel Age, when they experienced trials, sufferings, and persecutions. This sense of the term has accurately styled them The Church Militant. In this condition the members of the Church may also be styled the embryonic, or suffering Kingdom.

 

            2. Their heavenly existence, when they will reign over the earth. In this respect we may regard them as The Church Triumphant. In this condition the Church may be called the born, or glorified Kingdom.

 

From which standpoint did Jesus speak in Matthew 6: 10?

 

The Kingdom Begins

Jesus taught His disciples that a change in dispensation was imminent, as we read in Luke 16: 16: "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it."

 

So, Jesus Himself began that Kingdom and the preaching of it during His ministry of three-and-a-half years. Peter and the other Apostles continued to proclaim it on the Day of Pentecost when they received the holy spirit. Some time thereafter the Gentiles were inducted into that Kingdom, too.

 

The Kingdom Progresses

The Kingdom advanced and expanded throughout the entire Gospel (Church) Age, as the members of the Kingdom class ó the Church ó were prepared, trained, and perfected for their promised reign with Christ in the Millennial Age, the royal period which will follow the Gospel Age. However, the Kingdom has not yet begun and the will of God is still not done in earth as in heaven. That aspect of the Lord's prayer is future.

 

Note that the Kingdom class derives its name in anticipation of its promised future reign over the world of mankind. For this mankind yearns, though ignorantly, as Romans 8: 19 tells us: "The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed."

 

In Conclusion

To sum up, the Kingdom of Matthew 6: 10 is the reign of Christ and His Church and it will commence during His Second Advent. The King of Kings and His Church enter into their high office, to rule in truth and righteousness, and to bless all the nations of the earth (Genesis 12: 3).

 

By the close of that thousand-year reign, every member of the human family who has ever lived will have been granted the opportunity to regain the human perfection forfeited by Adam in Eden.

 

Copyright June 2008, UKBibleStudents.co.uk. May be reproduced only with permission.

 

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1 Peter 2: 9: "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."

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Genesis 12: 3: "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

 

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