Thy Kingdom Come

How else can one respond to this world’s growing sin-sickness?

I have a news clipping I’ve been holding on to since July that sickened me. It’s a Washington Times article called “Portland’s dark world of child sex trafficking.”

It says that Portland—a beautiful West Coast city I have visited several times—has the biggest per capita legal commercial sex industry in America. Dallas has three strip clubs; Seattle has four; yet within Portland’s city limits, “One directory lists 40 erotic dance clubs, 47 all-nude strip clubs, 35 adult businesses and 21 lingerie modeling shops,” the article says.

Bad enough. But this makes it far more disgusting: “Many of these, though legal, 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 article describes a girl who, on her 13th birthday, was sold by her drug-addicted mother to a man for $5,000 to be his personal sex slave. In Portland.

This is the type of thing that makes me sick of this wretched world.

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.

Statistically, how many girls (and boys) age 13 and younger does it take to balance out the number of 14-to-17-year-olds?

I look at my daughters, ages 9 and 7, and boil at the thought of anyone or anything so evil as to violently strip a child of her innocence, dignity, and chance of a decent life in order to indulge perverse and selfish lusts. The Department of Justice says there are pimps in America earning money off girls as young as 5 and 6.

Try for a moment to wrap your mind around this. Worldwide, millions of children live in slavery, and unicef says as many as 1.2 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 12.3 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 $32 billion business, saturated in unchecked greed, sleaze and abuse. And shamefully, it is the fastest growing industry in the world, according to the 2009 State Department “Trafficking in Persons Report.”

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 are putting 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 warfare.

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 numbed 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 come and 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, when we see suffering, when we see immorality spreading, and unmentionable evils seizing our cities, when we see minds and bodies of helpless children being abused with impunity—Thy Kingdom come.

2 Peter 3:12 admonishes us to be “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God.” The Greek word translated “Looking for” means earnestly waiting for. And the more depraved human behavior becomes, the more earnestly we wait.

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 Armstrong expounded on the many scriptures that fill the Bible 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.