A New Year’s prayer
January 24, 2014
The most important line of The Lord's prayer found in St. Matthew 6:9-13, is, "Thy kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven." We are all conscious of the fact that there is a mountain of serious issues in the world that make the future uncertain, worrisome and difficult. What a New Year holds for each of us only God knows. What we do know is that it takes hope and courage to face the uncertainties of our future with cheerful anticipation instead of gloomy pessimism.
This is where the message of Jesus Christ is such Good News to the world that presently exists under a black cloud of anxiety and fear. God's coming kingdom on earth was the heart of the message Jesus preached. Moreover, the truth of this message was made convincing by the many unbelievable miracles Jesus performed when He was in the world as well as His own resurrection from the dead. Note the words in Mark 1:14-15. "Jesus came — preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."
The Bible teaches that the kingdom of God will in fact, be physically established in the world with a second coming of Jesus. Then He will reign as the Eternal King over all the nations and forever remove from human society the Evil One and his influence as well as corrupt leaders and wicked men who are the root cause of all human misery. This is the great hope for all who long for a better world.
There are more than 300 references in the New Testament to this coming event. One of them is the promise of the Lord to His 12 disciples just before His death. "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again." (John 14:2-3)
The certainty of the coming kingdom is a major theme throughout the Bible even though the perplexing question of when it will become a reality remains for us just as it did for Christians 2,000 years ago. The answer Jesus gave then is the same one that we also must accept today. "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only." Matthew 24:36-37.
What is crystal clear is that Jesus wants us to look forward to the fulfillment of His promise for the kingdom of God to be established on earth and pray each day for its fulfillment. Preparation for this kingdom begins by believing His message that His death on the cross bought pardon from our sins and the promise of immortality in His Eternal Kingdom. For all we know this could be the year of the Lord's return
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Pastor Gene Holman of Living Word Fellowship in Gardnerville is a member of Carson Valley Ministers' Association.