“Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven.”
Once you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior – then a part of God’s Kingdom actually resides within you! The Bible explains, “…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.” (Luke 17:20-21) Judas was probably standing close by or may have been in the Lord’s thoughts when the assembled disciples heard the following words, “…some who are standing here will not taste of death before they see the son of man coming in his Kingdom.” (Mathew 16:28) The kingdom that the Lord was describing was spiritual in nature, and to our knowledge so it never entered Judas’ heart before he died!
Like other times when the Lord spoke using veiled symbolic language, (see John 6:63) He now painted a spiritual picture about His Kingdom. He did this knowing that the Holy Spirit would later enable us to understand what He was saying (see John 14:26). Just as Jesus once explained that John the Baptist and the Prophet Elijah were truly the same in spirit, He now spoke of two events in Matthew 24 that would be separate but spiritually similar. The second event mentioned in verse 28 (see the paragraph above) would take place first. Pause to slowly reread this important verse.
The Messiah, whom they already knew as the “Son of Man” would soon be returning to them through the power of the Holy Spirit. He would do this by establishing His spiritual kingdom in their hearts (see Galatians 2:20)!
Pentecost initiated God’s momentous new indwelling spiritual Kingdom. This is what the Lord was speaking to Pilate about when He explained, “My Kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36) His indwelling spiritual reign would be unseen, everlasting, and life changing (see John 14:17). For Pilate, Rome’s world was still harsh, fully physical, and spiritually empty.
Remember how the Lord petitioned the Father, when teaching His disciples? He prayed, “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:10) That prayer has now been in the process of being answered for over 20 centuries! Its answer takes place every time our Father’s spiritual Kingdom enters a new believer’s heart! His eternal dominion has been growing one person at a time. Next, at precisely the right moment, the joyous event, which the Bible describes will also occur. Jesus said, “For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” (Matthew 16:27) This will be the climax of history!
Glory! – On that day, the majesty of God’s glory and heaven’s angelic host will accompany the Lord Jesus. They will be celebrating His triumphant return! After this occurs, His rewards will be given to His faithful disciples just as He promised.
Understanding Pentecost and the Lord’s promised second coming requires comprehending the nature and purpose for the time between these two kingdom events. The Bible explains that with God, “…a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day.” (2 Peter 3:8)
Throughout our current period of history, before the Lord’s return – the “Good News” about His kingdom must be proclaimed in every nation. Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:14) This is why our personal witness is so vital to our Father’s plan for fulfilling His redemptive purpose (see Matthew 28:19).
Notice that the Lord used the word gospel, or “Good News,” in reference to His kingdom. In context, the post Pentecost indwelling spiritual kingdom relates to Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. This is clearly the content of the wonderful kingdom message to be proclaimed world-wide! Paul later preached in Rome about God’s kingdom, in compliance with the Lord’s prophesy which is still being completed (see Acts 28:17). Today, you and I are highly privileged to be able to witness to the exact same timeless truth – in this new millennium!
By Billie Hanks Jr.