INTRO - Have you ever wanted something to come only to wish it hadn’t after it arrived? In Lessons From Snow, by Alan Smith we read this. Dear Diary:
▸ AUG. 12 - Moved to our new home. It is so beautiful here, the mountains are so majestic. Can hardly wait to see snow covering them.
▸ DEC. 8 - It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our coffee and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a postcard. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!
▸ DEC. 9 - We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world? Moving here was the best idea I've ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so got to shovel again. What a beautiful place; I love it here!
▸ DEC. 14 - Snow, lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn't huff and puff so.
▸ DEC. 15 - 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and two extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska, after all.
▸ DEC. 16 - Ice storm. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. Boy, do I hate it when she's right.
▸ DEC. 20 - Electricity's back on, but had another 14" of the nasty stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Stupid snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying.
▸ DEC. 22 - Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of that white mess fell today, and it's so cold it probably won't melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to use the bathroom. By the time I got undressed, went and dressed again I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he's too busy. I think the jerk is lying.
▸ DEC. 24 - 6 more inches. Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. If I ever catch the guy who drives that snowplow, I'll drag him through the snow by his fingernails. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street and throws snow all over where I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was busy watching for the snowplow.
▸ DEC. 25 - Merry Christmas. 20 more inches of the messy slop tonight. Snowed in! The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. Oh, hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she's an idiot.
▸ DEC. 26 - Still snowed in. Why did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.
▸ DEC. 27 - Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze.
▸ DEC. 29 - 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?
▸ DEC. 30 - Roof caved in. The snow plow driver is suing me for a million dollars. The wife went home to her mother. Another 9" predicted.
While this may be on the humorous side, what Jesus asks us to pray to come is not. When Jesus was teaching us how to pray in Mt 6:10 He taught us to pray “Thy kingdom come.” The question this morning is do we really want the kingdom to come? Are we really ready to pray “Thy kingdom come?”
I. HAS THE KINGDOM COME - Is 9:6-7 - Over the years conflicting interpretations have been given to the meaning of "your kingdom come."
1. Some have argued this is a prayer for the Second Coming of Christ and that is all - it has nothing to do with present life.
2. Others have seen "your kingdom come" as a call to social action and nothing else - a mandate to bring in the kingdom now through good works.
3. And then there are those who have seen "your kingdom come" as spiritually fulfilled in the salvation of souls.
A. Jesus Taught About A Kingdom
1. Mt 4:17
2. Lk 4:43
3. The word "kingdom" in the original language means "rule" or "reign". God’s Kingdom is unique-it is not a human kingdom. Earthly kingdoms rise and fall, but the reign of God will prevail and last forever. God’s program involves the rule of righteousness.
B. The Kingdom Was Compared - Many of Jesus’ parables emphasize the mysterious nature of God’s kingdom. For example, an insignificant mustard seed will grow a tree, as God’s kingdom will grow far beyond its inception (Mt. 13:31-32). The kingdom of God is like seed scattered on the ground. Some seed will fall on good soil, take root, and grow. Other seed, however, will fall on hard, rocky ground and will not grow. Likewise, the kingdom will take root in the hearts of some but will be rejected and unfruitful in others (Mt. 13:3-8). As wheat and tares grow side by side, indistinguishable from each other, so also the sons of the kingdom of God and the sons of the kingdom of darkness grow together in the world until ultimately separated by God (Mt. 13:24-30,36-43). - Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
C. Has The Kingdom Come - In the book of Daniel we read about a dream of the future. Daniel than interprets that dream for us. Dn 2:36-44 - The fourth kingdom came - Did God’s kingdom come too? When Jesus was standing before Pilate, Pilate asked Jesus what kind of king He was; Jesus didn’t fit Pilate’s perception; He didn’t conform to the popular notion of a political ruler. Jesus responded, saying, "My Kingdom is not of this world." - Still Jesus had this to say:
1. Mk 9:1 some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power." - Is it here?
2. Lk 11:20 But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you - Is it here?
3. Lk 17:20-21 Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or, 'There it is!' For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst." - Is it here?
II. IS IT CHRIST’S RETURN WE WANT - Ac 1:11- There is another dimension to the Kingdom of God - a future dimension - beyond what is here now. Paul looks forward to the resurrection of the body and to changes that will sweep the universe. "The end will come, when [Christ] hands over the kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power" (1 Co 15:24). Even death itself will be obliterated. And we will participate in this consummation of time and anguish, when all that is wrong will be made right (1 Co 15). "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God," Paul says (1 Co 15:50). But we will be raised from the dead, changed and fit for an eternal Kingdom. The scriptures, therefore, speak of the Kingdom as coming, at some unexpected future time, because the King Himself is coming again. - Discipleship Journal - I’ve always thought that when we pray “Your Kingdom come,” we are asking for Heaven, we are asking for Christ’s return.
A. What About Heaven? - Lk 10:20 The thoughts we have of heaven are usually wonderful thoughts based on scripture
1. 1 Pt 1:4
2. 2 Co 5:1
3. Mt 6:20
4. Rv 7:16-17
5. Rv 21:2-4
6. If this is what we want, we need something more - like an entrance day
B. Second Coming? - Mt 24:36
1. Repeated Promises Of Coming - Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with promises of the Second Coming of Christ. 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. The four missing books include three which are single-chapter letters written to individual persons on a particular subject, and the fourth is Galatians which does imply Christ's coming again. For every prophecy on the First Coming of Christ, there are 8 on Christ's Second Coming. - Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations
2. Columbus And Prophecy - An all too little-known fact from the life of the discoverer of America is that he predicted the end of the world. In all seriousness he wrote a volume called The Book Of Prophecies, in which he prophesied that the world would end in the year of our Lord 1656. He even states very definitely that "there is no doubt that the world must end in one hundred fifty-five years." - Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations
3. One of the common threads of Cult's theology is their insistence of making "end time predictions." The Canadian Security Intelligence Service, reported that a third of the world's cults predicted the world would come to an end in the year 2000. - Reuters, 12-18-99
4. God’s Word fills the gaps:
a. Jn 14:3
b. Lk 9:26.
III. ARE YOU READY FOR HIS RETURN - Mt 24:42-44 - 'Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house Not a creature was praying, not one in the house; Their Bibles were laid on the shelf without care In hopes that Jesus would not come there. The children were dressing to crawl into bed, Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head; And Mom in her rocker, with the baby on her lap, Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap. When out of the East there arose such a clatter, I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter, Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash! When what to my wondering eyes should appear But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here, With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray, I knew in a moment this must be THE DAY! The light of His face made me cover my head, It was Jesus' returning, just like He had said. And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth, I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself. In the Book of Life which He held on His hand Was written the name of every saved man; He spoke not a word as He searched for my name, When He said, "It is not here," my head hung in shame. The people whose names He had written with love, He gathered to take to His Father above. With those who were ready He rose without sound, While all of the rest were standing around. I fell to my knees, but it was too late; I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate. I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight, "Oh, if only we had been ready tonight." In the words of this poem the meaning is clear, The coming of Jesus is coming near. There is only one life and when comes the last call, We'll find that the Bible was true after all! - Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations
A. What Will Happen - When we think of the of the Lord’s return we need to think of more than just Heaven. We need to remember what is going to happen on that day.
1. Mt 25:31-32
2. 2 Pt 3:10
B. Will We Be Guilty Or Innocent - Or a sheep or a goat? God’s word makes it clear that there are those who will have no part in the coming kingdom.
1. Gl 5:19-21
2. Ep 5:1-5
3. Rv 22:15
C. Being Ready For The Kingdom -
1. Being a Christian, a member of the kingdom, means that we do not just always do what we want but what God wants. To pray "your kingdom come" is to repent. Of our wrong ways
2. This prayer also demands commitment. Jesus was very direct when he said, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God" (Lk 9:62). The kingdom of God is for those who have decided to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and do not keep longingly looking back. To pray "your kingdom come" is to commit ourselves to him.
3. Again, the kingdom is to be pursued above all else. Jesus again gave the authoritative word: "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well" (Mt 6:33). Before all else we are to seek the kingdom in obedience to him. This dispels any idea of easygoing, do-nothing, armchair Christianity. We cannot pray the Lord's prayer with folded hands. To pray "your kingdom come" is to pursue it.
CONCL. - Jesus told us that the time of His return was even a secret to Him. He told us to watch and be ready but are we? When He finally returns there won’t be any more second chances. Are you ready for that day? Are you ready to pray “Thy Kingdom Come?”