Question:

As a member of the Lord's church, I have taken the position that today, we should not pray for "Thy kingdom come" as Jesus taught his disciples on how they should pray.  The reason being is because today, the kingdom has already been established (Colossians 1:13).

At the present time, I have an ongoing discussion with our current (hired less than a year ago) preacher, who states that he has no problems with one citing, today, the model pray of Matthew 6:9-13.  I was shocked when I heard him say this in the pulpit a few weeks ago.  I would appreciate it very much if you could give me your insight and knowledge in this matter, and if you can, confirm my stand on this issue.

I have used the information posted on the LaVista Church of Christ page for several years now, and have found the information to be very informative.  We appreciate all the effort and hard work that has gone into the web page.  Thank you for that.

Thank you very much for your anticipated response to this request.

Answer:

My goal, as a preacher, is to teach what is taught in the Bible. I don't aim to confirm someone's position or deny it. I only explain what God has said.

A recitation of the Lord's Prayer ignores what Jesus stated. The prayer was never meant to be uttered word-for-word for all the age. It was a sample of what a prayer should be like. Jesus introduced the prayer by saying, "In this manner, therefore, pray" (Mathew 6:9). One statement in that prayer, while true when first given, no longer applies. "Your kingdom come" refers to the establishment of Christ's church. Jesus pointed out that it was coming soon. "And He said to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power'" (Mark 9:1). And Jesus' words came true. On the day of Pentecost, the Kingdom was established and the church was formed. Thus Paul spoke of it as existing. "He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love" (Colossians 1:13). To utter the Lord's Prayer verbatim today is to deny that God accomplished His will in establishing the kingdom.

I supposed there may be some that see the phrase "Your kingdom come" being repurposed in the coming of the Lord a second time and the revealing of the heavenly kingdom. See The Kingdom: Past, Present, and Future. The closest you can find to that sense is Matthew 25:34 where people are invited to come and inherit the kingdom. But actually speaking of God's kingdom coming in the New Testament always referred to the establishment of the church. In the future, we are going to be with our Lord in the kingdom, but that kingdom will not be coming here.

Response:

Thank you very much for your answer.  Of course, when I asked you to confirm my position if you could, I meant confirming it with God's word by directing me to the Scriptures.  You have done this and I really appreciate it much.

I think highly of your insight into the Scriptures and have used your web page material several times in the past.  Keep up the good work!

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