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1758. Thy Kingdom Come

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
April 24, 2024 5:00 pm

1758. Thy Kingdom Come

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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April 24, 2024 5:00 pm

Dr. Brian Hand continues a Seminary Chapel series entitled “The Lord’s Prayer,” from Matthew 6:10.

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The Daily Platform
Bob Jones University

Welcome to The Daily Platform.

Our program features professors in this series. Today we'll be studying Thy Kingdom Come with seminary professor Dr. Brian Hand. We're going to be giving our attention this morning to the third clause in the Lord's Prayer, whether you go to Matthew chapter 6 or Luke 11, your choice.

Same in either case. But I think it's fascinating that the Lord chose, after directing our attention to the need for prayer in the first place, and then direct worship of His name, that the foremost thing that He holds out for His people to call for is for His kingdom. In a sense, He's calling for us to join with Him in looking for the finalization and the bringing about of all of His purposes, the wrapping together of His intent for humanity in space and time as we know it. We've just come through the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States, and some of you watched with amusement, as I did, the combination of absolute elation and absolute histrionics as the presidential election results came in. Some people acted as if we had some grand figure who could solve all of the world's problems and He's here, and other people despaired as if the end of the world had come with this election.

I think it's interesting and frankly indicative of the state of humanity, though, that we actually are looking for a figure like that. That people want someone who can solve their problems, and they want Him to arrive on the scene with power and with the will to solve those problems, not idly standing by. So the drama that we sensed with these millions of Americans, who in some sense were crying out, Thy presidency come, we turn instead to our God, say Thy kingdom come. So the Lord's Prayer is a prayer. What situation could exist in this world in the hearts of God's people that we would cry out to God, Thy kingdom come? Let's read the text and hear its instruction for us today. Again, we point out the, in some senses, mundane, we know this passage, but look at it again with me and draw your heart and your mind's attention to it.

Jesus himself said, After this manner, therefore pray ye, Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. During non-school times, my children get to watch a very select and narrow range of videos that are appropriate to their age group. My wife doesn't always think they're appropriate because I let them watch things like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. But my daughters always vote for, if given the option, you know, the Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Pride and Prejudice type, and Daniel is sitting there expressing his angst. No, we just watched that one two years ago.

And I'm like, okay. And then Daniel votes for, you know, Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and the girls go, no, we just watched that one two weeks ago. Well, recently it was my son's birthday, so he got to choose what we were going to watch. And yet the time was limited over his birthday weekend, so he was only going to get one shot. So knowing that he enjoys that entire saga, can anybody guess which of the six available options he chose? Of course, it had to be Return of the King. Now, if we had had an unlimited amount of time, then he would have gone through all six together, but our weekend was not that long.

So given the choice of only one thing to focus his attention on, it was the Return of the King. And as I reflected on that, I thought, actually, it's not that much different with all the chick flicks either. Because, you know, with all the relational storyline and all the beautiful light and airy fluffy things that are going on there, what is the woman looking for? The man to show up, you know, essentially riding the white charger, at least figuratively, if not literally. And all this, everything comes to this grand and glorious ending. And normally it's as they ride away in the carriage married, and you think, well, what else is going to happen?

No, that is the ending. He's come. The expectation has arrived. And I think this draws, again, our attention to something that the Lord is pointing to us, too. The phrase in the Lord's Prayer is calling for God's people to look beyond short-term solutions and look to the solution.

Your heart yearns for the King. Then pray for him. And so we get this theme from the Scriptures and from the passage today that we are to pray for the full arrival and realization of God's rule.

And that is inclusive. We'll talk about what the passage is probably not including, and that is God's universal rule. You can't pray for God's universal rule to come because it already is operational as much as it will ever be. Universally, God rules. The Most High rules in the kingdom of men. He gives it to whosoever he will. God is reigning over the universe.

He is effecting his perfect will. So in some sense we're praying for something other than just his universal rule, and that is the full arrival and realization of God's rule. And so our passage begins by drawing our attention to a very simple word, and we could preach this almost with every phrase of the Lord's Prayer, but it's the word thy.

Thy kingdom come. And the passage is directing our attention to the fact that when we pray, we must be submitting to God's person. We could treat this word like a throwaway, almost a filler in the sentence to get onto the meat of the passage, but we are focusing our attention from the beginning on God and what he wishes. And the passage draws that contrast in two ways.

And by the way, we'd have to go outside of the text in some textual way to expand upon it in detail. But we're praying to God in contrast to other persons. Anytime you're praying for a kingdom of a specific individual, that's in contrast to all the other available kingdoms. And instead of pinning our hopes and our attention and our love and our aspiration on the solutions that we see around us in this world and from other humans, pray to him, thy kingdom, thy kingdom, distinctly, uniquely.

There are no lack of claimants to the throne of our lives. Our lives are full of people saying that their opinions, that their agendas, that their attitudes ought to be viewed almost as law. And whether they're conducting interviews, whether they're tweeting those opinions, they essentially believe that people ought to follow them and aspire to fall almost at their feet in a virtual worship.

And there are many people in this world who are highly offended if the rest of humanity will not treat them that way. So we do see that they are aspiring to be almost as it were a king, authoritative. Well, we might not be so foolish as to listen to these types of people as if they were the supreme leader of our lives, but we do turn to friends, to popular books, sometimes even to pastors, and act as if their agenda is the prime agenda.

Any good pastor is going to point you to the Lord. His kingdom come. We have our opinions, we have our ideas, but ultimately they're only as good as the master's kingdom. So we cry out thy kingdom come and pray that we want God and not a replacement, not a surrogate, not an alternative, and not a rival. He created us and we want him. So the first aspect of our text is pointing us toward the necessity of thrusting out any other claimant to ultimate authority.

We must not admire or countenance the claims of anybody else. Adam and Eve, from the beginning, heard two competing claims to authority, God's voice and Satan's voice. After Adam sinned, he said, I heard thy voice in the garden. And we all say since then, I wish he'd heard God's voice earlier.

Listen to it. And treated God as king. But the passage also invites another contrast, even in that word thy, and that is pray to him in contrast to your own desires. In fact, it's actually easier to, as it were, carry out or execute the first point, and that is getting rid of other external claimants to the throne than it is getting rid of the internal claimant to the throne. The real problem I have is not sorting between a whole bunch of rivals to God out there, but whether I will follow him or whether I will be independent in my own life. We pray to God in contrast to what we wish. Setting aside our own desires in favor of recognizing God's authority is the harder choice.

It's one thing to set God side by side with idols and the clamoring voices of this world that we recognize are foolish. It's another thing when our own heart and the desires of that heart are pushing in a direction. And we have a rival king. We have a rival cry. We have a rival to our will. And it is our will itself and our own lusts. And I suspect that is precisely why Satan set up the first conflict and temptation, not even ultimately as a Satan versus God thing.

Satan did not come to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and say, God doesn't know at all what he's talking about. Follow me. Follow me.

Follow me. That would have been setting himself as the rival to God. Now, he was doing that to some extent, but he did not bring that to Adam and Eve's attention.

Instead, he drew attention to their desires. He set up the ultimate rivalry between God and man. And man ever since has been duped by that and succumbing to a satanic agenda following after my kingdom come. Alan Redpath once said with reference to this exact prayer, before we can pray Lord thy kingdom come, we must be willing to pray my kingdom go. And part of what we're doing as we approach the Lord and recognize him in thy kingdom come is recognizing him as the king, brooking no rivals. The passage second turns our attention to the fact that when we pray, we're seeking God's rule.

This is turning a little bit away from the person, but it's actualizing the person in activity. And I remember how distressed I was the first time I faced this in Greek under probably Dr. Schneider or Dr. Leedy many, many moons ago. It struck me about four years ago that I had known Greek as long as I had not known it in my entire life. And now I'm adding only years to that. But one of the first times we had to face this expression, the kingdom of God or something like that, we all wanted to say that this was a possession.

God possesses a kingdom. And our teacher just kind of smiles knowing that every generation of students is going to do the exact same thing. And he goes, no, mark it wrong.

Or in Dr. Schneider's case, you know, put a little X instead of a big X. You were close. You were not far from the kingdom. But you were still wrong. I'm like, what? I don't understand. No, look at it.

Look at it. And we went to a whole series of passages in which we saw that that set up, the kingdom of God is expressive of his rule. And the idea of kingdom is not so much a topographical or geographical region as the exercise of the king's authority, wherever that happens to be, whether that's a physical, earthly, material realm that can expand or contract, whether it's the immaterial realm of the individual human heart. So when we're praying for thy kingdom to come, that itself introduces the difficulty of what exact rule of God are we dealing with? Are we dealing with the immaterial? Are we dealing with the material? And frankly, as terse, as short as this passage is, and my kingdom come, Christ doesn't elucidate.

He doesn't explain any further. So we know, again, we can rule out the universal kingdoms. And since that is already here, it is already extensive. The only way we can be praying for God's kingdom to come, for his rule to be actualized, is to be praying for that individually or severally, that is, praying for it to occur in us as individual beings, that Christ's rule can be extended over my life, my heart, your life, your heart, or his physical, earthly kingdom that is to come. So the passage is going to invite us to seek God's rule in your life individually. Luke chapter 17 verses 20 and 21 tells us, When Jesus was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, and they're dealing with that second aspect, the physical, earthly kingdom. He answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation, neither shall they say, Lo, here, or lo, there, for behold, the kingdom of God is within you. And of course, he's not actually contradicting the fact that there's going to be a future earthly kingdom. He's going to address that in other passages. But he is saying that here the Pharisees are caught up exclusively with a physical, earthly kingdom, and he says, You guys really need to be concerned about whether God is reigning in your heart. I find it fascinating that as much as we would say we aspire to Christ's coming kingdom, oh, isn't it going to be great? Christ is going to be here on this earth.

He's going to subjugate all the nations. Righteousness is going to fill the earth. And then we turn around and go our own way and disobey him.

That's pretty inconsistent, isn't it? Where we would, on the one hand, call for the coming earthly kingdom, which we're correct to do, but on the flip side of that equation, essentially deny his right to rule over our individual lives and individual choices today, that he has the right to direct us right now. Do you know that while we're going to pray for the coming earthly kingdom, and again, the solution and resolution to all the promises and all the hopes and all the aspirations and all the needs of humanity to come, we can already be praying for Christ's kingdom to come in our lives. And as we walk around, we say, Lord, I have choices to make today.

May your rule be extended over those choices. I am actually recognizing that you are the king over my life, and I want to do whatever you want me to do. I want to be a good servant, a good slave.

I recognize that authority in this moment. So by obedient faith, we are essentially already not only calling for, but then acting upon the call for Christ's kingdom to come by living like he's king in this very moment. You're asking God to direct, to decide, to determine the extent, the course, and the content of our actions.

But we're inviting much more than that. Many of you have been hoping and even expecting us to go here, and it is right for us to go here. Because when Jesus is pointing to something that is future, something that the disciples would have intuitively and immediately had their minds drawn to as soon as Christ mentioned the kingdom, as good patriotic Jews, but as good religious Jews, they knew that the Old Testament promised a messianic reign of Christ on earth as the ultimate seed of David, establishing a kingdom. And they could look back everywhere from Isaiah and Daniel, even the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant, that the Messiah, the greater seed of Abraham or the seed of Abraham would reign over the whole earth, and through him all the nations of the world would be blessed. All these things would be expected, and we are right to expect God's rule in his coming kingdom corporately. Hope for it. Yearn for it. But ultimately then, in the process of yearning or calling for his coming kingdom, stop acting like there are ultimate solutions now?

We were fascinated in some of the political discussions, as you were, and we tried to remind each other regularly as we got all fired up in the last election cycle. And said, no matter what happens, God is in control. And no matter what happens, there is no ultimate solution. We, depending on where your own take is on the matter, did not necessarily end up with the best of the available options that are out there. We could have had more conservative Republicans running, more Godly people running, wiser people running.

But even if we could articulate the best possible candidate outside of God himself, he could not solve our problems. So pray for his kingdom to come. It is a reflection, by the way, and an aspiration of our heart, that in the process of doing so, when we look to Christ's future coming kingdom, and we're actually setting our sights on the millennial kingdom and then the eternity beyond it, we're putting our attention off of this world, off of the here and now, off of the things that trouble us, that cause our faith to waver, that distract us from our primary mission, and we say, wait a minute, you know what's really important? Thy kingdom. Thy kingdom. It is coming.

I join my voice. That it would hasten, Lord, bring your kingdom to bear on us. So we're seeking God's rule in his coming kingdom on this earth as a body for Christ to reign over us in the future. When Jesus spoke to his disciples just prior to his arrest and crucifixion, he said, for I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God shall come. Well, the universal kingdom is already at work.

It's already come. The spiritual kingdom is already come because those disciples are believing in him as Messiah, as Christ. The only thing that he, I think, can legitimately be referring to is the coming kingdom earthly, a material kingdom in which Christ promises that, again, he will share blessings with us. And he didn't discourage the disciples from thinking about that kingdom. He invited them into hoping that it would come because there is a day that's coming in which Messiah will be present.

He's with us and we live with, obey him perfectly, and rejoice with him. So this fact leads us to pray for an extension of God's rule in a unique fashion on this earth, a fashion of which he's not yet ruling today. The passage, then, is saying that when we pray, we are to seek the actualization of God's promises and commands. Technically, by following the English text, we've rearranged the Greek text order. In the Greek text, the head of the clause is the single word that we translate, come. Our translation could actually seem almost permissive or even passive, a polite request that something would happen. But the word is a command.

Isn't that a little awkward? You to command the kingdom to come? Do you have authority to do that? Well, you have the authority that God has set down in all the prophetic books of the Bible. And really, the only thing you are doing is mirroring God's own voice of command when you say, kingdom, come! Christ has already called for it, and there is a day in which the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our God and of his Christ.

He will reign forever and ever. What we are praying for is the bringing about, the actualization, the instantiation of God's promises and commands. So since we do not and cannot command God to do anything, what we are doing is adding the cry of our voices to his promise and his command, agreeing with him in his intent. So respond to the model that Jesus set and begin to pray earnestly and diligently that God would do something in your life to bring his kingdom to bear on you. That daily, event after event, activity after activity, he would reign in your life. Lord, your kingdom come right here!

But also pray for the full realization of his promises, thy kingdom come in time and space. Recent human history is littered with the wreck and ruin of those who sought hope and prosperity in a new kingdom. Lenin promised the people peace, land, and bread. And instead he gave them war, the confiscation of property, and starvation. Stalin promised free elections, then he slaughtered his political opponents and ruled with an iron fist. Mao actually ran against Chiang Kai-Shek and galvanized the people with the one word, democracy.

And he gave the people exactly the opposite of democracy, stripping away their human rights. Others have promised reset buttons, wars on poverty, and a just society, only to provide more of the same increased poverty, greater chaos, and arbitrariness and justice. In some sense we are incorrigible optimists. We always hope that around the next corner is the solution to our problems.

Around the next corner is the president who will fix everything. The earthly king who will solve all of our woes. God in the Lord's prayer commissioned by Jesus Christ himself not only invites us but commands us to pray, thy kingdom come. Looking for the only kingdom that matters, to use the words of Daniel, the kingdom and dominion and greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the most high. That most high whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and all dominion shall serve and obey him.

God's people are to seek that eternal hope. So since your savior models the perfect prayer, you join your voice in praying for the full arrival and realization of God's rule. Father, we're thankful for the truth of your word.

Recognizing it and admitting it is part of our necessary response to you. Because these are facts, these are statements that you have given, these are commands that we must obey. Oh Lord, give us the will to do your will. May we seek your kingdom reigning, your direct reign, your direct rule over our individual lives. And then we also pray, Lord Christ, that you will hasten the day when all of our faith shall be made sight and that you bring about all of your promises to your people. For your glory, for your power, for your majesty and for your dominion we pray.

Amen. You've been listening to Seminary Professor Dr. Brian Hand, which is part of the series on the Lord's Prayer. The Bob Jones University School for Continuing Online and Professional Education offers convenient and affordable online programs. Whether you're seeking to expand your skills, pursue a passion or develop a ministry on your own time, qualified and engaged instructors will help you reach your goals. For more information, visit or call 888-253-9833. We hope you'll join us next time as we study God's Word together on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-24 18:49:33 / 2024-04-24 18:58:58 / 9

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