Two Kingdoms

“Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This simple phrase is part of one of the most famous prayers in the entire Bible. We call it “The Lord’s Prayer”, but in reality it is a model prayer that the Lord taught his disciples. The reality is that most church people can quote it, but they don’t really understand what it means. Reading and understanding are two very different things.

To understand what Matthew 6:10 really means we must examine the life of Jesus himself. After all, he was the manifestation of everything that God is. To be more precise and to the point, he is the embodiment of the kingdom of God. Everywhere that he went something happened. Miracles were performed, signs were done, demons were cast out, sins were forgiven, and lives were forever changed. The entrance of the kingdom of God changed entire cities.

Now at this point, most people would say that the second kingdom is the devil’s kingdom. If you believe that then that’s fine and it certainly has some validity, but to me the second kingdom is far more practical. It isn’t represented by the devil, but by the human will. You see, the devil’s kingdom would have no power at all if it wasn’t for the human will. It was Adam’s will in the garden that introduced the reign of sin and death, and it is mankind’s choices since that day that have sustained that reign.

History repeats itself, and it shows us time and time again that mankind’s poor choices bring nothing but sorrow, grief, and pain. That’s why the Bible is so widely acknowledged. No other book describes the human condition so accurately, and God’s love so profoundly. It’s this second kingdom that has messed everything up, and yet its this second kingdom that we continue to choose. We would rather choose power and politics over the reign of the kingdom of God.

To prove my point I turn to the word of God. There are several passages that indicate that Jesus was not able to accomplish everything that he wanted to accomplish in certain places at certain times. Why? Not because of the devil. Jesus was casting demons out left and right, and destroying Satan’s kingdom. No, it was because of human religious government, and ultimately human will. After all, it wasn’t the devil who crucified Jesus, it was humans. Certainly, the devil was behind the plot, but he could not have accomplished the crucifixion of Jesus on his own. He needed people to do it.

At this point, it would simplify things greatly to just point our fingers at the world and talk about how terrible all of them are. But that would be a huge oversimplification. The fact is that the human kingdom is not just a problem in the world, but also in the church. Men and women have taken the precious gospel that has been given to them, and have turned it into their own personal empire. They use the name of Jesus, but they don’t glorify the name of Jesus. It is all about them, their goals, their dreams, and ultimately their power.

If you don’t believe me then you are certainly living in denial. Fights have broken out, and are still breaking out, in certain organizations because one pastor feels that another pastor planted a church that is too close to his own. I would love to ask that pastor one question: “Is this about God’s kingdom or your kingdom?” If it is about the kingdom of God then one should certainly rejoice when another church is planted in the area. It means further victory over the kingdom of darkness and despair.

Somehow in Christianity it seems as if we have forgotten about the goal. This isn’t about the expansion of our own personal empire, and it certainly isn’t about us becoming rich off of the tithes of church members. This is about the kingdom of God being introduced to people who desperately need to see it demonstrated. Even more than that, it is about the global expansion of the kingdom of God. When he comes back to reign on the earth he should not find a bunch of pastors arguing with each other about a piece of ground. Instead, he should find us working together to bring the good news of his kingdom to the entire earth.

I leave you with this. I love the picture of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, because it encapsulates him perfectly. There is a battle between the two kingdoms going on inside of him. The Spirit wants him to accomplish what he came to earth to accomplish, but the human will wants him to take the easy way out. Jesus’ response changed the entire course of history. What was his response? “Not my will, but yours, be done.” His submission to the first kingdom, and the will of God remained intact, and we reaped the benefits. Ladies and gentlemen, that seven word phrase is really all you need to know about Jesus.

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