Please note the following is an excerpt from the book, “Jesus’ Prayer from A to Z”, of which I’m Editor.
- K - Kingdom Come: A United One, by Knowles, Victor
Jesus prayed for His followers to be one (John 17:21), and He taught His
disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come.” Could there be a vital connection? That
three-word prayer was swiftly answered in the days of the disciples. “I tell you the
truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of
God come with power” (Mark 9:1). By the awesome power of the Holy Spirit, that
kingdom was royally ushered in on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 1:3-8). That simple
prayer is answered again every time our sovereign God brings someone into the
kingdom of His beloved Son. (Colossians 1:13)
The word “kingdom” appears 304 times in the NIV. “Kingdoms” is found
61 times, for a grand total of 365 references. “Kingdom” comes from the Greek
basileia and means “royalty, rule, a realm.” There cannot be a kingdom without a
king. The superscription on the cross read “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews,” but
Jesus is more than king of just one nation. “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF
LORDS” is the magnificent description of Christ found in Revelation 19:16.
“For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever” (Matthew
6:13); not mine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for awhile. Every church
fuss or faction that ever happened was probably because someone substituted “mine”
for “Thine” in spirit and action. That is not divine but asinine. The kingdom is divine.
Some like Diotrephes love to have the preeminence (3 John 9). Only Christ should
have the preeminence. “He is the head of the body, the church” (Colossians 1:18).
Our Lord taught, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot
stand” (Mark 3:24). Perhaps that verse should be emblazoned in scarlet letters above
every baptistry in the land. Those who rise from the waters of Christian baptism
must always remember that “we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body” (1
Corinthians 12:13). From that day forward we are to “make every effort to keep the
unity of the Spirit”, because there is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one
faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all (Ephesians 4:3-6). Churches who
forget this mandate are often blown to “kingdom come” by self-inflicted implosions.
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined” (Matthew 12:25). As George
Santayana observed, “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
There can be only one king in the kingdom of God. There can be only one
head of the church of Christ. The kingdom of Christ is not of this world (John 18:36).
Worldly attitudes and worldly behavior are an insult to the kingdom of Christ. We
enter the kingdom of God through hardship, not through lordship (Acts 14:22). The
kingdom does not consist of rigid rules involving disputable matters, but rather of
“righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). Boasting and
braggadocio have no place in the kingdom “For the kingdom of God is not a matter
of talk but of power” (1 Corinthians 4:20) – and that power, all power – belongs to
God alone. If those who manifest hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish
ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy will not inherit the eternal kingdom of God
(Galatians 5:20-21), why should we think that they have any place in the temporal
church of God?
There are no second-class citizens in the kingdom of God. W. Carl
Ketcherside said, “I have no half-brothers or step-brothers in the Lord. I accept you
where you are and as you are. If you are good enough to be His son or daughter you
are not too bad to be my brother or sister.” If some day we shall come from the East
and the West and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven
(Matthew 8:11), then we should not refuse to sit down with their spiritual children of
faith in the church of Jesus Christ today. Nor should we leave them standing by
themselves in the vestibule while we smugly “worship” within the sanctuary.
Rise up, O men of God! His kingdom tarries long:
Bring in the day of brotherhood and end the night of wrong.
- William P. Merrill
Let us pray: Lord, may your kingdom come, your will be done. May we
act as one, ‘til the world be won!
Knowles, Victor - Joplin, MO - Founder/President, POEM (Peace On Earth Ministries). Editor, One Body quarterly, and The Knowlesletter. Graduate of Midwestern School of Evangelism, plus post-graduate degrees (B.Th.; M.S.L.). Local ministries in IA, NE, MN, OR and MO. Author of numerous articles and books, including Together In Christ. Go to: www.poeministries.org He and wife Evelyn have six children.
Lord, Make Me An Instrument Of Your Peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life!
- Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)
Am I disobediently content to wait ‘til heaven,
for what Jesus said to pray for on earth?
Pray Jesus’ prayer for:
(Thy Kingdom come!)
Pray Jesus’ prayer for:
Believers in Kazakhstan, Kenya,
Korea, North Korea, Kuwait,
Kyrgyzstan, KiribatiThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Tom (Jn.17:21) M.,
Fellowship of John 17:21
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