Thy kingdom come – Matthew 6:10a
Every once in awhile we get a glimpse of Bill Peterson's past. On Saturday as he was celebrating his anniversary he told a story from the first winter he and Martha had been married and how it was almost their last, for besides wanting his beloved Martha to be his bride, he wanted something else, something white, something called snow.
Growing up where snow was only seen in the movies, Bill said that when he got married he was going to move to a quaint little cottage in the mountains where he would be able to have all the snow he could dream of. Once he and his new bride were all settled into their home in the mountains, he could hardly wait for the snow to come and finally it arrived.
“As the first snow flakes drifted through the air,” Bill told his listeners, “I felt like life couldn't get any better. Martha and I sat quietly together sipping hot coco for what seemed like hours. It was so romantic, well, at least it was until morning came and I had to shovel the driveway.”
By the end of the first week of snow, Bill said he had shoveled his driveway five times and each time the snowplow came by just after he had finished and filled in the end of the driveway. “And if that wasn't enough,” Bill went on to say, “I forgot that with the snow comes cold. I didn't realize people could still live when the temperatures got down to twenty below zero.”
“I soon traded in my little sports car for a four wheel drive pickup.” Bill said as he continued his story. “And by the end of the second week there was nearly two feet of the whit stuff on the ground. I tried to get a snow blower or higher someone to shovel for me but I couldn't get any takers. Martha thought I should have put in a wood stove also in case the power went out but I laughed at her. I shouldn't have, I almost froze when the power went out.”
“I thought being snowed in with my wife would have been fun.” Bill laughed as he continued his story, “It wasn't! We got on each others nerves, mostly because I was getting tired of shoveling snow and every muscle in my body was in pain. If that wasn't enough our neighbor stopped in to say hi and told me I need to shovel my roof or it would collapse.”
“Shovel my roof? That guy must think I'm an idiot I thought but two days latter we got twenty more inches of snow and it landed in our living room when the roof caved in. If the airports had been open Martha would have left me right then but she hit me with the shovel instead and called me an idiot.”
Bill would have probably talked all night about that first winter but when Martha got wind of what he was talking about she quickly side tracked him with a bunch of big kisses. I guess she didn't want him to tell about how she, well, we'll save that for another time.
When Jesus was teaching us how to pray in Matthew 6:10 He taught us to pray “Thy kingdom come.” Over the years conflicting interpretations have been given to what Jesus may have meant in praying such for in someways the kingdom has come.
Even before Jesus taught this prayer He had been saying “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matthew 4:17) Later he is quoted as saying “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There!' for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” Luke 17:20-21 (ESV) So in some respects, the kingdom of God (heaven) has already come.
I believe however that regardless of what Jesus may have originally meant, many people believe this to be praying for Jesus' second coming, something the Bible has much to say about. I found this interesting tidbit in my Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations - There are 1,845 references to it in the Old Testament, and a total of seventeen Old Testament books give it prominence. Of the 260 chapters in the entire New Testament, there are 318 references to the Second Coming, or one out of 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event. For every prophecy on the First Coming of Jesus, there are 8 on Jesus' Second Coming. - There's no doubt about it, the second coming is important.
When we think about Jesus' second coming and heaven we often think of verses like Revelation 21:3-5 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." (ESV) Heaven is something to be desired, Jesus second coming may not.
When it comes to the second coming we are told....
- That Jesus will return – John 14:3 if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (ESV)
- No one knows when - Matthew 24:36 concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. (ESV)
- It will be a day of sorting - Matthew 25:32 and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. (ESV)
- It will be a day of judgment - Revelation 20:12b And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. (ESV)
That last verse may be one of the scariest. We want Jesus to come yet when He comes we will be judged. We want it but when it comes we're not going to like it because we failed to prepare which means we're not ready to pray “Thy kingdom come.”
Here's Something To Ponder
- Do you look forward to Jesus' second coming?
- Are you ready to stand before the throne to be judged?