“Thy kingdom come,” Jesus Christ instructed His disciples to pray as part of His prayer outline recorded in Matthew 6. Today, most people who offer this prayer do so without understanding what it really means.
“Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,” Christ continued (verse 10). Look at the world around you. In the cities of Ukraine, in the communities of Israel, it is clear that evil exists. It is strong, and the will of a loving God is not being carried out on Earth today. The god of this world is Satan the devil (Ephesians 2:2; Revelation 12:9).
The late Herbert Armstrong wrote that God’s way “will not come for the whole world until the Kingdom of God does appear with the coming of Jesus Christ in supreme power and glory, as the King of kings and Lord of lords, ruling all nations in the Kingdom of God!” Think on that! This is a future event we are anticipating. “The fact that the time is now near—the fact that it is sure!—that is the big good news today. That is the glorious silver lining behind the beclouded wretchedness of today. That is the world’s great hope right now” (co-worker letter, April 28, 1974).
To most people, including traditional Christians, Jesus Christ’s return in power and glory is simply not real! How real is the Second Coming to you?
Adam and Eve rejected God’s government and failed to replace Satan on the Earth’s throne. Yet shortly after this history-changing event, God promised a Savior who would overcome and replace Satan (Genesis 3:15). He would have to sacrifice His life in the process, making him “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).
“Her seed” in Genesis 3:15 refers to Jesus Christ. God would allow Satan to “bruise” Christ’s “heel” in causing Him to be crucified. But Christ would bruise Satan’s head by rising from the dead and ultimately deposing the devil as ruler of the world (see 2 Corinthians 4:4).
Throughout the Old Testament, numerous teachers of God, including Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, prophesied of a future Messiah who would be a literal king over the nations of the Earth. Haggai wrote that God would “shake all nations” in the lead-up to the coming of this King (Haggai 2:6-7).
In the New Testament, Luke 1:32-33 repeated this prophecy specifying that the throne Jesus would reign from forever would be the throne of David. When Pilate asked Jesus if He was born to be King, Christ responded, “Yes,” but added that His Kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36-37). This is why Christ did not take over the government of Rome or any other power during His first coming, but rather died like a lamb.
Mark 13 and Matthew 24 prophesy of bleak events that will engulf the entire globe. These soon-coming cataclysms are abysmally hopeless—unless we believe what Christ said: They are a sign of His Second Coming!
When Jesus was in the flesh, speaking with His disciples, He said: “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven” (Mark 13:26-27). He will come again, He said, out of the clouds, with great power and glory. His angels will come with Him, and they will gather the elect of God.
“If I go,” Christ said in John 14, “I will come again.” That is an unbreakable promise!
Repeatedly throughout the Gospels, Christ spoke about the Kingdom of God. That was the original, true gospel message. He was proclaiming what He would do at His Second Coming!
Mr. Armstrong wrote in Mystery of the Ages, “How amazing—what a tragedy—that in church services and gospel preaching today, one seldom, if ever, hears of Christ as a coming king and world ruler. Spiritual principalities and powers of evil (Ephesians 6:12) are ruling the world today. It is these earthly governments of Satan that will be destroyed and replaced by Christ at His Second Coming. Christ’s Kingdom is of the World Tomorrow!”
In Revelation we find the same message, written decades after Christ had come and gone: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15; also read Revelation 19:6 and 22:7).
Whether in the writings of Moses, the book of Haggai, the Gospels or the book of Revelation, the message about the Kingdom of God on Earth is consistent and repetitious. Jesus Christ was born to rule this world as King of kings and Lord of lords!
That is the astounding, hopeful good news message of the gospel: The Kingdom of God will be restored to Earth by Jesus Christ at His soon-coming return. It is this world’s only sure hope. This is why true Christians begin their prayers with this earnest, heartfelt petition: Thy Kingdom come!