By Not Known
‘Kingdom’ Is a big Bible theme
from Genesis to Revelation. Put simply, God’s kingdom is God’s rule
over God’s people in God’s place.
The kingdom pattern was
established in Eden. Adam and Eve lived as God directed in the place
that God provided. However, this did not last, for they sinfully
tried to live in God’s place under self-rule. They were expelled from
the garden and the kingdom pattern was broken. The kingdom pattern
was again repeated and foreshadowed under King David. God’s people
lived under the rule of his king in the land that God provided. But
that was again broken as the nation rebelled against God’s kingly
rule and was expelled from God’s place into the Babylonian exile.
Jesus gives the fullest revelation
of God’s kingdom. ‘Kingdom’ was a word often on his lips. Jesus
taught about how to enter his kingdom, how to live in it and he spoke
about its final form when he returns.
The prayer that Your kingdom
come has at least three dimensions.
Firstly, the external extension of
Christ’s kingdom. People come under the saving kingship of Jesus when
they obey the gospel. It means trusting Jesus as our saving king.
This numerically extends God’s kingdom. This aspect is represented
through the various Mission & Evangelism activities of our
Ministry Plan. Congregational Care activities help extend the kingdom
by showing the reality of a community of God’s love.
Secondly, the internal extension
of the kingdom. This happens as people who profess Jesus as their
saviour live with him as their king, or Lord, in every part of life.
This is the theme of the Sermon on the Mount and similar passages,
which spell out Christian lifestyle. Our Christian Education and
Small Group ministries help and encourage people to know and follow
Jesus in the whole of life. Congregational Care activities express
one part of obeying Jesus as king by loving care for those around us.
Thirdly, the final establishment
of Jesus’ kingdom in his second coming. This is out of our hands, for
it is God’s business alone. However, it is right to pray and long for
our king’s return and the final display of his kingdom.
God’s name will be most hallowed
when the fullness of the kingdom appears in Jesus. In the meantime,
let us extend God’s kingdom externally through ministries of outreach
and inwardly through lives of obedience and love.