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2 Thy Kingdom Come: The Prayer that Changes the World

by Michael Milton

The Kingdom of God Is Revolutionary

The kingdom of God comes from inside out.

It is no wonder that people are still confused about the kingdom of God today, for so they were when He came.

Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21, NIV).

Did you hear that? Jesus said that “the kingdom of God is within you.” It is not a physical kingdom first. It is not about land or armies or money or earthly power. In fact, the King of this Kingdom won victory on a cross. Some of the greatest subjects of the Kingdom have been killed for their faith in this King, and today many of them look old and weak and small in the eyes of the world. The Kingdom starts within you and grows out from there.

Peggy Noonan has written a new biography of Pope John Paul II.2 One of the most interesting things is her assessment of how transforming it was when the newly elected Polish Pope went to Communist Poland. The Communists did not know what to do with the situation. If they refused to offer an invitation, they would appear fearful of him. If they invited him to come, they might have a revolution on their hands. In the end, as you know, they had no choice but to reluctantly invite him.

When he went, he kissed the ground. Millions — literally millions — came out to hear him preach some of his most moving sermons. On the official Polish television reports of the Pope’s visit, he was barely mentioned. When the average Polish citizen saw that, having experienced the electric messages, having seen the millions who turned out, Noonan says that this average Pole thought to himself, “It’s over.” Communism died when one Pole, then a million, ten million, thirty million thought, “It’s over.” John Paul II never raised a gun or lifted his arm, but a revolution began from the inside out.

And so it is with the kingdom of God. The world was in darkness, and Satan ruled the world. But at the cross Jesus, through His sacrifice, through His resurrection, through the empowering of His people, lit a candle that could never be put out. It was over. How will America be won to Christ? Or India? Or the Middle East? Or China? From the inside out. One person, then a hundred, then a million, all saying in their hearts, “It’s over; our God reigns.”

This is how this prayer changes the world.

The Kingdom of God Is Opposed

There are two kingdoms at work in the world.

Paul wrote, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).

Lucifer is said to be the ruler of this world. We are not saying that Christ is not King of kings and Lord of lords or that His sovereignty is in any way diminished. We are only admitting that there is another kingdom. In The City of God, St. Augustine wrote that there are two cities — the city of God and the city of man — and they are at war with each other. Ever since Lucifer brought his diabolical schemes into humanity, it has been evident that there is a struggle.

In Noah’s day, there were two kingdoms, and God called Noah to build an Ark that would float the kingdom of God through the judgment on the kingdom of Satan. Noah preached righteousness, but the whole race of mankind desired the kingdom of Satan over the kingdom of God and was judged. Sodom and Gomorrah represented the city of man. God called Lot and his family to leave the judged city and run to the sacred city, Zoar, for safety.

There is a struggle in your heart; there is territory unclaimed by Christ even in the lives of His people. Though Satan cannot have your soul, he seeks that one territory to hold. But Jesus is the bondage breaker. The kingdom of God is greater than the kingdom of Satan. Christ calls each of you to see the seducing city of man, the kingdom of Satan, in your own life and to turn from it and run to Him.

This is how this prayer changes the very course of the world.

The Kingdom of God Is Missional

The kingdom of God comes to destroy the kingdom of Satan.

Paul believed the gospel was at work in the world destroying Satan’s kingdom.

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet…” (Rom. 16:20).

The Bible also tells us, “…The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

In Matt. 12:22-29 Jesus was attacked by religious leaders for casting out demons. It was charged that He had a demon. Jesus shows the absurdity of such a claim by saying that a kingdom divided cannot stand. But then Jesus goes on to talk about one who enters a house, binds a strong man (Satan) and plunders the house. In this, clearly, Jesus is the one entering the kingdom of Satan, binding Satan at the cross, and plundering his kingdom.

Jesus is saying this is what He is doing in His healing ministry.

Before Christ, Satan was loose upon the earth and the earth was held in darkness. When Jesus died on the cross and rose again, the church was unleashed into the world with the gospel, and Satan was bound. Today there is no place, no man and no situation that is a lost cause because Satan, the strong man, is bound and Christ is loosed in Satan’s former kingdom, gloriously plundering it by setting men free!

Each time Jesus healed a demoniac, liberated a soul enslaved to Satan, or encouraged a saint to go on and share the gospel in this world, He was plundering Satan’s house. Today, every time a woman is shown God’s grace and she receives forgiveness of sins, the kingdom comes. Every time a child, nourished in the gospel in his own home, comes to see that this gospel is not just Mom and Dad’s salvation but his salvation, the kingdom comes.

But you say the Bible says that Satan goes about like a roaring lion! And you are right. We all know it in our personal lives. But we also read, “…the ruler of this world is judged” (John 16:11).

Philip Ryken, in his book on the Lord’s Prayer, described the situation by comparing it to how the Allies defeated Nazi Germany in the 1940s:

For all intents and purposes, World War II was over on D-Day when British and American troops established a beachhead in France. There were still battles to be fought, of course, and lives would be lost. But from that point on, the Nazis were fighting a losing battle. All that remains was for the Allies to liberate Europe.3

At the cross the devil was defeated. Battles still rage across the earth and in the hearts of men and women and boys and girls, but Christ is the victor. The war is won. The enemy is exposed and is losing ground, and Christ is gaining. The enemy will at last be vanquished.

The whole book of Revelation could be summed up in three words: Jesus always wins. He won at Eden when victory was declared by God but had yet to be worked out. He won at Calvary when Satan’s domain was given its fatal blow. Jesus won in the early church when Rome, the tool of Satan, became the instrument God used to advance His kingdom throughout the world. He won the day you surrendered to the grace and love of Jesus Christ and welcomed King Jesus to sit on the throne of your life.

One by one the kingdom of God tears down the wall erected by the devil and his demons. Your prayer is being answered.

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