Have you ever wondered why, in the model prayer Jesus gave in Matthew 6:9-15, the first request He wanted us to focus on, after addressing God the Father in heaven, was, “Your kingdom come”?
What is so important about yearning for God’s Kingdom to arrive? Most people have the idea that heaven is where all the action will eventually be. Yet Christ said seeking His Kingdom coming to earth should be our primary goal.
In the same chapter where Jesus gave His model prayer, He elaborated on this principle: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things [daily needs] shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33, emphasis added throughout). So Jesus said these two related objectives should be our ultimate priorities.
And the Bible is filled with examples of faithful men and women who lived by these priorities. They glimpsed the coming Kingdom of God and saw it as something real—not doubting that it would surely come—and then they spiritually prepared for it.
The book of Hebrews tells us this about them: “These 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 [the present world not being their true home] . . . And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us” (Hebrews 11:13, Hebrews 11:39-40). So all those faithful to God will be made perfect together in the future—not at the moment of death but when Christ returns to reign! And they will then reign with Him—on earth! (Revelation 5:10).
The summary of this hope is then given in the next chapter of Hebrews: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 12:28).
This Kingdom will bring wondrous changes to the earth and all people. But all its benefits are not just future. Great desire for the coming Kingdom will result in changing us now for the better!
What, then, are some of the blessings that come from eagerly looking forward to the establishment of that glorious Kingdom? Just as the facets of a beautiful diamond give off multicolored rays, here are seven wonderful effects we experience through longing for God’s reign on earth. Understanding this, along with what the Kingdom will bring, should lead us to more fervently pray, “Your kingdom come.”
1. It puts first things first
The Kingdom of God is the ultimate goal in life. Jesus made it very clear: No matter how successful you may be in the material aspects of this life, even achieving fame and fortune, if you don’t ultimately enter into God’s Kingdom, your life will have been a failure before God.
As Jesus stated: “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul [his being or personal existence]? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works” (Matthew 16:26-27).
There are, of course, many fine physical goals to strive toward in this life, just as the apostle John mentioned in 3 John 2: “I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul [or overall being, both body and mind] prospers.”
The overriding spiritual purpose in one’s life is to be part of the coming Kingdom. This is why looking forward to its appearance should be a priority in our lives, hopefully being able in daily prayer to glimpse that future Kingdom as a source of encouragement and inspiration.
2. It keeps us focused on our hope
Many don’t realize that the biblical hope is actually based on the arrival of the Kingdom.
About this hope, the apostle Paul explained: “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (Romans 8:24-25).
Paul called this “the blessed hope.” As he told Titus: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14).
Paul likened this hope to a soldier’s helmet that protects him from a fatal wound to the head. Paul mentioned that a Christian soldier attains the objective of salvation in God’s Kingdom through being armed for spiritual battle—“putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:8).
3. It fills us with faith
Having the great hope of one day entering God’s Kingdom should infuse us with living faith! While having this hope brings focus on that final destiny, living faith is the daily walk of trust toward that goal, motivating faithful obedience.
Notice how Paul connects longing for God’s Kingdom to the daily walk of faith: “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise . . . Now the just shall live by faith, but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10:35-38).
Faith allows us to believe in God’s promises as being certain, and to remain faithful to those truths despite life’s trials, sufferings and temptations. Moses is a great example of walking by faith and not by sight in Hebrews 11:27: “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.” In other words, he had “spiritual eyes” that saw God’s presence in his life and then acted on it!
4. It gives meaning to our lives
One of the greatest blessings in life is to know why we’ve been born. So much despair in the world can be traced to people not knowing the purpose of their existence and consequently becoming frustrated, desperate and hopeless. We must seek the reason for our existence in God’s Word. All things exist because of God as Creator, and the answer to why He made us must come from Him.
The answer revealed in the Bible is that God made human beings to ultimately be like Him in His divine family and Kingdom forever. Being like Him starts with God helping us to develop His righteous character now so we can one day share in His glory.
As Hebrews 2:10 tells us, “It was only right that God, who creates and preserves all things, should make Jesus perfect through suffering, in order to bring many children to share His glory. For Jesus is the one who leads them to salvation” (Good News Translation).
Paul adds: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:20).
Of everything in the world we can know, this understanding is the most valuable of all. Once you know why you were placed here on earth, then you can realize why life is like an obstacle course with different tests and trials to go through. These are meant to reveal and improve our character, helping to train us for the coming Kingdom.
As the apostle Peter emphasized, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7).
5. It provides satisfaction in an unjust world
We see daily that there are so many injustices around the world. And when one suffers personally for an injustice, it truly hurts! Evil people seem to get away with so many terrible crimes and then die peacefully in their sleep in old age, not answering for all the damage they did in this life. Moreover, those who have the least influence often end up getting the worst part of the deal. And it’s been this way since time immemorial.
King Solomon bemoaned injustice in his day. Though a king, he was not able to make things right. He lamented: “I looked again and saw people being mistreated everywhere on earth. They were crying, but no one was there to offer comfort, and those who mistreated them were powerful” (Ecclesiastes 4:1, Contemporary English Version).
But things will not stay this way forever. When you have the knowledge of the coming Kingdom of God and of His justice ultimately prevailing, you know that a reckoning is coming. No longer will people get away with atrocious crimes and sins. No longer will the innocent suffer at the hands of the wicked.
As Paul said, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
So Jesus will be the righteous Judge at that time. We are told in the Bible of how He will carry out His justice—in a way far different from what’s done in the world today.
The prophet Isaiah described Christ’s perfect rule: “The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. His delight is in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist” (Isaiah 11:2-5).
We long for that coming day when all that’s crooked will finally be straightened out!
6. It motivates us to wake up positively every morning
Once we realize how much God the Father and Jesus Christ have done for us—and will do for us when They bring Their Kingdom to the earth—we become so thankful to be alive!
Though we will sooner or later go through some harrying times, our knowing what awaits us once Christ reigns here on earth gives us comfort to face our present circumstances. As Jesus said, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and He will give you everything you need. So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom” (Luke 12:31-32, New Living Translation).
Paul, as a great spiritual motivator, added: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect [those God has chosen]? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ [higher than all but the Father] who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Romans 8:31-34).
In following God, we are part of the winning team! No matter what happens to us, we know God is in charge and will somehow use circumstances for our ultimate benefit.
Again, Paul, imprisoned and beaten many times for his faith, was able to stay positive in the midst of tremendous trials, declaring: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God . . . And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:18-19, 28).
7. It instills perseverance in us
Perseverance is the ability to not give up or give in, holding on until the desired goal is accomplished. We are to persevere to have God’s righteous character produced in us. As Paul mentions, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4).
The spiritual life of a Christian is compared to that of a long-distance runner who, through patience and endurance, finishes the race. As Paul emphasized: “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise . . . after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, NLT). Paul knew he could fail if he did not finish the race of faith, so he kept his eyes steadfastly on the goal and continued persevering.
The objective of being part of God’s Kingdom is so great that nothing else can truly be compared to it. Yet there are formidable enemies who don’t want us to enter it. Our greatest adversaries in this life are: (1) ourselves, due to our corrupted human nature; (2) the world, with its lusts and attractions; and (3) Satan the devil.
Peter cautioned: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you” (1 Peter 5:8-10).
Christ warned that “because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). “But,” He then assured, “he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13).
And it is our longing for the Kingdom, our desire to see the great promises of God fulfilled, that will help us to endure. It is through that same desire that Jesus Himself persevered: “who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2, New Revised Standard Version).
Now we can see why it is so important to daily glimpse the coming Kingdom when we pray and to be always encouraged by it. It is a powerful key to persevering and having the right frame of mind to face life’s many challenges—and to one day entering that wonderful Kingdom of God!
The Wonderful World We Wait For
There is so much to look forward to in the Kingdom that God through Jesus Christ will soon establish throughout the earth—so much that we fervently long for. Here are some of the blessings to come in that time ahead.
1. It will be a kingdom of outflowing love
God’s Kingdom will not be ruled as in this age, with people following the law of the jungle in which the strongest survive. Since the primary characteristic of God is love (1 John 4:8), this will be the chief attitude when Christ reigns over the earth. Instead of looking out for self, people will be looking out for the needs of others—serving, sharing, helping and loving their fellow man.
Jesus explained to His disciples that He was bringing a new kind of rulership: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles [the nations] lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28).
Consequently, all nations will work together at that time, instead of against each other. Countries that have been historical enemies will then be loving friends.
As Isaiah describes: “And the Lord will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the Lord, and He will be entreated by them and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, ‘Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance’” (Isaiah 19:22-25).
2. It will be a joy-filled kingdom
Christ’s rule will be filled with joy, happiness and wholesome fun! The idea of a staid, stern and dour God is a total misrepresentation. Jesus was the happiest, most joyful person on earth, yet it pained Him to see people’s hardness of heart and how they suffered the consequences of sin.
He told His disciples, “I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness” (John 10:10, Good News Translation). He later added, “I have told you these things so that you can have the true happiness that I have. I want you to be completely happy” (John 15:11, Easy-to-Read Version).
There will be no more exploitation in the world that’s coming, and every person’s full potential will be reached, because people will help others to succeed. Again, the Bible gives us a peek into that future Kingdom: “‘They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
“They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble; for they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox . . . They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,’ says the Lord” (Isaiah 65:22-25).
3. It will be a reign of peace
We are accustomed to a world filled with crime and violence. No matter where you live, there is no place you can truly feel safe, even with the most sophisticated security systems. Criminals also use the latest technology to outwit these alarm systems.
Yet in the coming Kingdom there will be such peace that there will be no need for policemen or the armed forces. Micah described this wonderful scene: “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills [referring to God’s Kingdom ruling over all earthly kingdoms]; and peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’
“For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken” (Micah 4:1-4).
Yes, there will be plenty of peace in those days—both outer peace, for no one will harm anyone, and inner peace, where nothing will disrupt a person’s state of mind.
Isaiah states of that time: “The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places” (Isaiah 32:17-18).
4. It will be an earth of physical and spiritual abundance
Another amazing feature of the coming Kingdom is that the curse placed on the earth because of man’s sin will be lifted, causing an enormous abundance of crops and the transformation of the fiercest animals into tame and cuddly creatures.
Isaiah depicts the removal of the curse from the land at that time: “For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off” (Isaiah 55:12-13).
Yes, both the flora and the fauna will be restored to their previous Edenic state. The apostle Peter described that period, admonishing: “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21).
Here is a brief description of all the animals becoming docile and a world filled with God’s truth: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
“The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain [the whole world ruled by the Kingdom], for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:6-9).
The fertility of the soil will be so great that there will be multiple harvests during the year. As the prophet Amos declared, “Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it’” (Amos 9:13).
5. It will be a world of righteousness
A good summary word for the coming Kingdom could be righteousness. According to the Merriam-Webster website, the term “righteous” comes from Old English rihtwis, meaning right-way of life. All people will be taught to live in this godly lifestyle based on God’s Word.
Peter used the word “righteousness” to sum up what God’s Kingdom will be like: “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God . . . Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:11-13).
Do you see it in your mind’s eye? Hold tight to the vision of the awesome, wonderful world God has promised!