The Past, Present and Future Kingdom of God

What is the kingdom of God? There are three tenses in God’s kingdom. The first is the past tense. It is a historical kingdom. John the Baptist preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). The kingdom was at hand because Jesus was about to be introduced to the world. And He would establish the kingdom of God in the hearts of men and women.

The second tense of the kingdom of God is the present tense. God has not changed. He is still building His kingdom on earth in the hearts of people. He loves the world. One of the most profound words in the Bible is the word so. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world” (emphasis added). The word so expresses the intensity of God’s love for a rebellious humanity. We must understand how intensely God loves people. He wants to establish His rule in the hearts of people.

What did Jesus mean when he said, “Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven”? The Bible clearly states the will of God. It says that “the Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). When one prays for the will of God and the kingdom of God, he is in essence praying for the same thing. He is praying for Jesus to rule in the hearts of men and women.

The third tense of the kingdom of God is the future. The kingdom of God will culminate with the second return of the King. Jesus is coming again. We must prepare and pray for His coming. When we pray for His kingdom to come, we are essentially praying for two things. We are praying for the rule of God in the hearts of men and women and for the return of Christ.

The essence of “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven” is intercessory prayer. All prayer is a response to the nature and character of God. Intercession is a response to the compassionate sovereignty of Jesus. It is praying for men and women to come to know the rule of Jesus in their lives.

Lord Jesus, rule in my heart! Make Your kingdom known in and through my life for the sake of others. As I pray for Your coming, I long to see Your life come alive in every person You bring into my path. Sovereign King, I worship You for all that You are and ask for Your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven!

–Adapted from The Prayer Factor by Sammy Tippit. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points

Praise “Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.” Thank him for his willingness to leave his heavenly home to live among sinners. Confess any way in which you have been unwilling to sacrifice in order to come alongside those in need. Commit yourself to having the attitude of Jesus (Phil. 2:5-11). Ask God to give you that selfless love.

Pray that the presence of Jesus through you will effectively draw an unsaved neighbor to him. Ask God to give you the right actions, words, and love in your community.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.

Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2018 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries. Subscribe here.