Your Kingdom Come

Matthew 6:10

Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

We have been learning to pray from Jesus as He taught His disciples in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6. We have seen that prayer begins with a relationship with God our heavenly Father. Everything in the Lord’s prayer flows from that relationship. Because God is OUR Father, we pray unselfishly. Because He is FATHER, we pray knowing that He loves us. Because He is IN HEAVEN He has all authority and power to answer our prayers.

Last time, we looked at the first of the six petitions in this prayer, “Hallowed be Your name” (Matt. 6:9). When we pray this we are asking God to raise up here on earth, people who know Him, love Him, and treasure Him as the Holy God He is—that God would be honored and glorified on earth as He is in heaven.

When we studied the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 we saw that there is order and progress in the kingdom blessings God calls us to pursue. We can also see a beautiful, logical order and progress in the Lord’s Prayer. These are not just six random requests. Each petition in the Lord’s Prayer leads to the next. We pray, “Hallowed be your name.” How, then, will God’s name be honored? His name will be honored as His kingdom comes. How will His kingdom come? It will come in the lives of those who do God’s will: “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”[1]

Then, having God’s holy name, God’s kingdom, and God’s will in mind, we ask that God will provide what we need, that He will forgive our sins, and that He will deliver us from evil. It all ties together. Let me show you how this works. Let’s say you want to pray for a sick family member. Theoretically, this prayer falls under God’s provision for our needs. It would be included in the petition, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11). But as we are praying about their health we are also praying that God’s name would be honored in how He answers that request. We are praying that the answer would advance His kingdom and that God’s will would be done in this situation. We pray that God would forgive their sin and keep them from becoming overcome by temptation in the midst of their suffering—all for the glory of God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ. Do you see how Jesus teaches us to pray?

Today, we come to the second petition of the Lord’s Prayer: “Your kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10). Kingdom is βασιλεία (basileia), which means royal rule, reign, kingship, kingdom. From the very beginning of his Gospel, Matthew has been presenting Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah-King. In Matthew 1, he emphasized that Jesus is the son of David the king (Matt. 1:1, 6). His right to the throne came through the line of the kings of Judah. In Matthew 2, the magi worshiped Him as the king, and Herod tried to murder Him because He was born the king. In Matthew 3 His forerunner, John the Baptist, came preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matt. 3:2). He was anointed King as the Holy Spirit descended on Him at His baptism (Matt. 3:16).

In Matthew 4, Jesus triumphed over the devil’s temptations, refusing the kingdoms of men and their glory in order to worship and serve God alone. Jesus then went out preaching the kingdom of heaven and demonstrating His authority and power in His teaching and miracles. Then, in Matthew 5, Jesus began His Sermon on the Mount by teaching the principles of the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven is central to Jesus’ message because He is the promised king.

Now, in Matthew 6:10, Jesus teaches us to pray, “Your kingdom come.” The verb here is the active imperative (ἐλθέτω, elthetō) from ἔρχομαι (erchomai) which means “to come” or metaphorically “to be established, to become known.” There is a note of urgency about those words, as we pray, “Come now! Your kingdom!”

Whose kingdom is this?

Who is “Your”? Obviously, it is God. The prayer begins, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name; Your kingdom come” (Matt. 6:9, 10). This is God’s kingdom. We are asking that God’s kingdom, His rule and reign, be established and acknowledged on earth.

What is the kingdom of God?

The kingdom of God is His royal rule.[2] Over who or what does God reign? The Bible speaks about God’s kingship, His reign, in two ways. First, the Bible declares that God is the universal King—the great and glorious King over everything—heaven and earth. We heard this in Psalm 145 this morning. Other Psalms affirm this same truth:

The LORD has established His throne in heaven,
And His kingdom rules over all.
(Psalm 103:19)

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
(Psalm 45:6)

2 For the LORD Most High is awesome;
He is a great King over all the earth
. … 7
For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises with understanding.
(Psalm 47:2, 7)

For the kingdom is the LORD’s,
And He rules over the nations
. (Psalm 22:28)

For the LORD is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
(Psalm 95:3)

God is the universal King. He is sovereign over creation and providence. He governs the days, the rising and the setting of the sun, and the turning of the seasons; all the days ordained for us are written in His book before one of them has come to be. He knows the end from the beginning. He is the Lord of the nations. Princes rise and fall; empires grow and decline; kings and presidents and prime ministers come and go. But God is sovereign over them all.[3] He removes kings and raises up kings. There is no corner of the earth that is not under God’s sovereign rule. There are other powers, other kings, and other gods who do not recognize the Lord’s rule, but God is sovereign even over them. No one is beyond His rule. We do not need to pray for this aspect of God’s reign to come because in this sense God already rules over all.

Secondly, the Bible declares that God is King over His redeemed people. God’s kingdom may refer to that realm where His will is followed spontaneously and joyfully.[4] God universally rules over all the earth, but clearly, many in this world do not recognize His Kingship or joyfully do His will. The Lord’s name is not hallowed on earth as it is in heaven. His authority is not submitted to “On earth as it is in heaven.” His will is not done on earth as it is in heaven. This world is in rebellion against the King of heaven and earth.

The Bible declares that because of sin, men are under the power of darkness (Col. 1:13), submitted to the devil, “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). Jesus calls Satan “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 16:11) and John wrote, “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). Men are slaves to sin and it reigns in their mortal bodies (Rom. 6:12; 5:21).

Therefore, when we pray “Your kingdom come,” what we are asking for is that God’s great and glorious reign will be realized over all this fallen world, even in the lives of rebellious people. We are praying that God would eradicate sin, eliminate rebellion, and expel the evil one. We are praying for God’s heavenly reign to come on earth in all its fullness. This is the kingdom of God for which we pray.

We are praying for the kingdom of God’s Messiah to reign on earth. Daniel prophesied about it:

And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Daniel 2:44).

13 “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed. ‘ (Daniel 7:13-14).

Isaiah prophesied also about the reign of the Messiah-King,

6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace, There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
(Isaiah 9:7)

In Psalm 2 God the Father speaks to His Son:

6 “Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.

7 I will declare the decree:
The LORD has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.

8 Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.

9 You shall break them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ “
(Psalm 2:6-9).

This is God’s promised kingdom where His Son Jesus Christ rules and reigns. We are praying for that day when Christ will reign. I believe in the millennial kingdom that the book of Revelation talks about, where Christ will reign from His throne in Jerusalem for a thousand years. And I believe that kingdom will then ultimately consummate in the eternal state where the earthly kingdom and the universal kingdom meet and we will be with Christ forever in that perfect kingdom of God.

The Bible teaches that Christ’s kingdom is already established, but also not yet consummated. There is a sense in which God’s kingdom is already in force. Hebrews 2:8–9 says, “At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death” (ESV). In this passage, we have a “now” (we see Jesus crowned with glory), and we have a “not yet” (not everything has been subjected to Christ). Jesus is the King, but His kingdom is not yet of this world (see John 18:36).

Also, in 1 John 3:2, we read, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” Again, we have a “now” (we are the children of God), and we have a “not yet” (our future state). We are children of the King, but we must wait to see Him as He is and to be who He redeemed us to be.

What does it mean to pray, “Your Kingdom come?”

We pray, recognizing this “now” but “not yet” nature of Christ’s kingdom.

So first, we are praying for the Kingdom of God to be a Present Reality: The Kingdom of God is Among Us.

The kingdom comes first in the hearts of men and women as they surrender themselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. That’s where it all begins. Remember, Jesus taught, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:3). Those who recognize their spiritual poverty, repent of and mourn over their sin (Matt. 5:4), and by faith receive the righteousness of God in Christ (Matt. 5:6), are blessed with the kingdom of heaven. We must come to Jesus, trusting Him like a little child. Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (Luke 18:17).

One night, a very religious teacher named Nicodemus came to Jesus (John 3:1). He was intrigued by Jesus’ miraculous signs and recognized that Jesus came from God (John 3:2). However, Jesus said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).

This man surely knew God’s promise to establish His kingdom and, like the rest of the Pharisees, believed he would be in it because of his relation to Abraham and his strict observance of God’s law. But Jesus says, unless you are born again, you won’t even see the kingdom of God, let alone be in it!

“Born again” means to be born from above, to be “born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). It is a work of God. We cannot cause ourselves to be born again, we must be born of God (1 John 5:1). John wrote, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13).

Only the Creator can make you a new creation. Only the Savior can save you. Only the one who died and rose again can give you new life. You must come to Jesus; believe that He died for your sins and that He was raised for your justification. Paul writes about giving thanks to the Father because “13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col. 1:13-14). This is what it means to be saved.

If you are going to see the kingdom of God, you must be born again. You must be delivered from the kingdom of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of God’s Son. By His love, His word, and His Spirit, God breaks the power of our resistance to Himself that reigned in us and brings us into the freedom and forgiveness of His kingdom. J I Packer wrote, “God’s kingdom is not a place, but rather a relationship. It exists wherever men enthrone Jesus as master of their lives.”[5] When you come to Jesus and enthrone Him as your Lord and King, you will belong to the kingdom, and God’s kingdom will be in you.

This is the present reality of the kingdom of God. Jesus said to the Pharisees who asked Him when the kingdom of God would come, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” (or in the midst of you). Where Jesus the King is ruling, there is the present reality of the kingdom of God.

At Jesus’ trial, Pontius Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” (John 18:33). Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” (John 18:36). Jesus said it twice, His kingdom is “not of this world,” and it is not “from” this world. His kingdom is in the world but not of it or from it. Again in John 18:37, Jesus says to Pilate, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom based on the truth of God, not a worldly kingdom based on political power.

That is why most of the Jews and their leaders completely missed the coming of the kingdom. The scribes didn’t see it, the Pharisees didn’t see it, the rabbis didn’t see it, the priests didn’t see it, and the Sadducees didn’t see it. The kingdom was right in their midst, and they didn’t see it. They were looking for a political kingdom, a social kingdom, a military kingdom, an economic kingdom. Instead, Jesus brought a spiritual kingdom of righteousness. Those in the kingdom would not be the rich but the poor in spirit (Matt. 5:3); not those who laugh but those who mourn (Matt. 5:4); not the proud but the meek (Matt. 5:5); not the satisfied but those hungry and thirsty for righteousness (Matt. 5:6). It would be those who are merciful (Matt. 5:7), pure in heart (Matt. 5:8), peacemakers (Matt. 5:9), and persecuted (Matt. 5:10-12).

So, when we pray, “Your kingdom come,” we are asking that people would be saved, born again into the kingdom of God by faith in Jesus Christ.

God’s kingdom advances not only when people get saved, but also when believers are progressively sanctified. Paul wrote (Rom. 14:17), “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” The kingdom comes in my life when, in submission to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit produces the fruit of righteousness in me. So, we are praying, “God, You are the King. You live as Lord in my heart. I want Your kingdom principles and kingdom purposes to be lived out in me, as You reign over me. May my life be a visible manifestation of Your kingdom as You walk with me through my day.”

So, when we pray, “Your kingdom come,” we are asking that our lives will be more fully submitted to Christ the King. We are asking the Father to cast down the idols in our hearts and bring us more fully and more clearly under Christ’s rule. “Your kingdom come!”

The second aspect of the coming kingdom that we are praying for is its,

Future Fulfillment : The Kingdom of God is Before Us.

When we pray “Your Kingdom come” we recognize that God’s kingdom is not completely fulfilled. While there is a present reality of the kingdom, the ultimate fulfillment of the kingdom is future. It’s obvious from looking at the world today that someone besides God is having a great deal of control over the world. So, the kingdom of God is before us, it is not yet fully realized.

When will the kingdom come to its fullness? When the Lord Jesus Christ comes again. This is what Jesus tells us to pray for: Not just that the kingdom will begin in us; not only that it will grow throughout the world; but that the King would come and reign supremely.

When we pray, “Thy kingdom come,” we are asking Jesus to come again to this earth. We are asking for Jesus to come and consummate His kingdom. We are looking forward to the climax of history when “…the kingdoms (plural) of this world have become the kingdom (singular) of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign of ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).  (See Daniel 7:14).

What will happen when the king comes?

Pastor Colin Smith[6] shares three things that Christ’s coming will accomplish:

  1. The King will defeat His enemies and death

24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. (1 Cor. 15:24-26)

Revelation 21 says,

4And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” … (Rev. 21:4-5)

So King Jesus will defeat all His enemies, including death. Also,

  1. The King will judge the world

John writes in Revelation 11,

15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying: “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned. 18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.” (Rev. 11:15-18)

Do you see what we are asking God to do when we pray, “Your kingdom come?” We are praying “Father in heaven, come, send your Son Jesus Christ, defeat the enemies who are arrayed against You! Come, judge the world in righteousness!”

When the Kingdom comes, not only will the King defeat all His enemies, including death itself, He will also judge the world in righteousness. Then there is one more wonderful thing:

  1. The King will be with His people

Jesus spoke of His kingdom being like a great banquet to which all are invited saying, “They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 13:29).

3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.”7 “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” (Rev 21:3, 7).

Why would you not want to be part of this kingdom!? The center point of the Bible story is that God, our great and glorious King, came into the world in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. While He was in the flesh on this earth, Jesus gave us a sample of what life under His rule will be like. He calmed the storm. He fed the hungry. He healed the sick. He gave sight to the blind. He raised the dead. He forgave sinners. He proclaimed the good news. When His kingdom comes there will be no more evil, disasters, hunger, sickness, sin, and death.

How did the world respond to the coming of such a king? The world’s attitude was like those in Jesus’ parable of the minas: “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14). They rejected their King and crucified Him. But on the third day, Christ rose from the dead and He has ascended into heaven where, today, He reigns at the right hand of the Father and waits until He comes again to rule the earth.

Where do you stand in relation to the kingdom of God? Are you praying for His kingdom to come? Are you doing all you can to see that the message of the King, the Gospel, is proclaimed to the lost? Are you submitted to His Lordship in every area of your life? Are you sure you will dwell forever with King Jesus?



[1] Colin Smith, God’s Kingdom,             

[2] John R. W. Stott and John R. W. Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7): Christian Counter-Culture, The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1985), 147.

[3] David Strain, Your Kingdom Come,

[4] Ligonier Devotionals, Nov. 5, 2010, The Everlasting King,

[5] J.I. Packer, I Want To Be A Christian, 149. Quoted by Smith.

[6] Colin Smith, ibid.

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