Thy Kingdom Come
Portland is a beautiful West Coast city I have visited several times. Research by Priceonomics reveals that it has the biggest per capita legal commercial sex industry in America. Los Angeles has 1.3 strip clubs for every 100,000 residents; San Francisco has 1.4; Dallas has 2.1; yet within Portland’s city limits, there are 8.9 strip clubs for every 100,000 residents.
Bad enough. But far more disgusting: A Washington Times article titled “Portland’s Dark World of Child Sex Trafficking” reveals that many of these outfits are also “fronts for underage exploitation.” A combination of ugly factors has turned this city into a mecca for perverts who want to use children for sex.
This type of thing makes me sick of this wretched world.
Many young teens—boys and girls alike—are sold by their own parents for a few thousand dollars to become personal sex slaves. The State Department’s 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report says the majority of victims of child sex trafficking in the U.S. are exploited from the foster care system.
The fbi figures 300,000 minors in America are employed as prostitutes each year. Staggering. One for every thousand people. An advocacy group called Shared Hope International estimates their average age is 13.
Thirteen years old. On average.
Try to wrap your mind around this. The Department of Justice says there are pimps in America earning money off girls as young as 5 and 6.
Last year, the U.S., together with Mexico and the Philippines, ranked as one of the world’s worst places for human trafficking. Worldwide, millions of children live in slavery. unicef says as many as 2 million more are trafficked each year, a great many for sex. The UN’s International Labor Organization (ilo) estimates that at any given moment, at least 40.3 million people, including children, are in forced labor, bonded labor, and commercial sex servitude. Four out of five are female. Half are children.
The slave trade, the ilo believes, is a $150 billion business, saturated in unchecked greed, sleaze and abuse. And shamefully, it is the fastest growing industry in the world.
Somewhere in here, the imagination of many of us reaches its limit. Unexposed to such grotesque realities, we can barely conceive of them.
Yet this is only one of literally countless ways that people put other people through indescribable torment. Cruelty. Tyranny. Corruption. Thievery. Poor resource management that results in starvation, poverty and disease. Racism. Religious persecution. Violence of every stripe. Full-blown war.
The human mind can only take in so much. And in this information-saturated age, news of people mistreating their fellow human beings comes in such a torrent that we can easily grow numb to it. And—truth be told—we are helpless to do anything substantive to stop it. These blights are painfully endemic to the human condition, resilient against virtually all efforts to stop them.
There is one, however, who has seen it all, who has never succumbed to apathy—and who absolutely will put a stop to it.
When Jesus Christ walked the Earth, He witnessed untold human suffering, and did what He could to alleviate it. He was moved with compassion, seeing the people as sheep having no shepherd (Matthew 9:36).
He brought the good news of a kingdom that would uproot the corrupt kingdoms of this world—that would fulfill the prophecies of the Scriptures: “He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor” (Psalm 72:4).
He continually directed His disciples to seek that Kingdom, to press toward it, to set their heart on preparing for it. When they asked Him how to pray, He responded, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10).
To this day, Christ’s disciples keep these words on their lips. When we see oppression, suffering, immorality and unmentionable evils seizing our cities, minds and bodies of helpless children being abused with impunity—Thy Kingdom come. We are “[l]ooking for [or earnestly waiting for] and hasting unto the coming of the day of God” (2 Peter 3:12).
Thus, even as Christ says, “Surely I come quickly,” we say, as the Apostle John did to close the words of sacred Scripture, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
In his masterful booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like, Herbert W. Armstrong expounded on the many scriptures with inspiring descriptions of the utopian world God will create. It is utterly refreshing to read, a sweet song amid the din and clamor of this world. You owe it to yourself to read it—just ask and we’ll send you a free copy.
“Feast your eyes for a while on the picture of the World Tomorrow which God’s government will produce—as we shall now do,” he wrote, “and when you take your eyes from this book, and look again on this drab, ugly, sin-sick world of corruption, violence and suffering—it will make you sick at heart.
“But doesn’t it make you want to shout for joy, to realize what a civilization—what a world—is actually coming?
“Doesn’t it make you want to really put your heart into your prayers, praying earnestly, ‘Oh God! Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done on Earth, as it is in heaven!’”
That it does.