Do you really yearn for God's Kingdom to be set up on this earth? Jesus Christ commanded His followers to pray for that very event. In light of present world conditions, the Kingdom of God is mankind's only hope. True poverty cannot be described, only experienced. The poverty and inhumane conditions existing in many Third World nations is incomprehensible to those who have only lived in a wealthy country such as America.
India is probably the epitome of this human misery. I read many articles and saw perhaps hundreds of pictures of the poverty-stricken masses so characteristic of that country before my visit there a few years ago. But when I arrived, the reality was so shocking that I know it could never be properly expressed in a photograph or described on paper.
I saw children who sat motionless in cow dung, staring blankly into space. They could neither laugh nor cry. Such displays of emotion seemed alien to them.
Many of the babies were purposely maimed to make them more effective beggars. Everywhere the air was thick with the stench of human waste. And those children will never know anything different. Not in this world, anyway.
Jesus Christ, the Creator of the universe and Savior of all mankind, knew what He was talking about when He said, "Thy kingdom come."
Who else could know better? Christ formed man from dust (Gen. 2:7). He wept for man (John 11:35), and He wept for the world (Luke 19:41). He really meant it when He told His disciples — of all ages — to pray for God's Kingdom to come.
True lasting peace Why? Because the government of God will accomplish what man has tried and failed to achieve for 6,000 years — true lasting peace. When God establishes His rule worldwide, happiness will abound, and man will be free from the insolvable problems that confront him today.
Instead of diligently praying that God would establish His Kingdom on earth, each generation of man has vigorously tried to make its own brand of government work, with no success.
If each person desired God's Kingdom as fervently as he tried to justify his own miserable surroundings, then all could finally have real freedom: freedom from hunger, freedom from poverty, freedom from sickness and freedom from sin and death. That's what God's Kingdom offers.
What is God's Kingdom anyway? The religions of this world softly drool about the "Gospel of Jesus." But what they don't teach — and don't know — is that the Gospel is simply the advance news of the Kingdom of God. Christ preached it (Mark 1:14), the apostles preached it (Acts 20:25), and God's Church preaches it today.
Occasionally, the multitudinous religious denominations of this world do mention the Kingdom of God. But neither Christ nor the apostles would recognize their concepts of what the Kingdom is — and for good reason.
Some say that the Kingdom is permanently located in heaven. Others say that the Kingdom will eventually be set up in the hearts of men once all mankind learns to work together in peace, harmony and good will. How long must we wait for that? Thank God, not long! You won't find any of these "Kingdoms" in the Bible.
All right, we know what the Kingdom of God isn't. Now what is it? In one sentence, the Kingdom of God is the government of Almighty God ruling over the entire earth.
It will indeed be on earth (Rev. 5:10; Prov. 10:30). Jesus Christ will be its King (Rev. 19:15-16). The entire human race — all nations — will be its citizens (Jer. 33:9). All men will finally learn to live peacefully and fully obey God's laws (Mic. 4:1-4). Its beginning will cover a thousand-year period (Rev. 20:3-5), and it shall continue to increase forever (Isa. 9:7).
When Christ returns to earth He will throw down every existing government (Rev. 19:15) and give His kings and priests (Rev. 5:10) — those begotten Christians who kept the faith and endured to the end (II Tim. 4:7-8; Rev. 2:26) — power over the nations to rule them with a rod of iron (Rev. 2:27). This is reality! And you're going to see it come to pass.
Do you want the Kingdom now? You know of the terrible plight of most humanity. And you also know of the Kingdom of God — the glorious solution to all man's problems. But do you really want God's Kingdom to come now?
Are there certain things you'd like to do first? Would you younger people like to live a little more first? Would you rather get married, have your family and enjoy your life to the full — first?
How about some of you older people? Do you longingly yearn to see God's way of life instituted here on earth so that all human heartache can be eradicated? Or do you sometimes wish that you could have more time to prove that you too can be a great success in life?
We like to indulge ourselves and experience life. But be circumspect (Ex. 23:13; Eph. 5:15). Look around. Is what you see good? Obviously not. Then why would anyone want to hang onto it?
True Christians will not love its ways or systems, but will care for its people — just as Jesus Christ did. They will earnestly look forward to the return of Christ and the establishment of a perfect way of life for all mankind.
Thy Kingdom come Jesus Christ, our elder brother in God's Family, admonishes us to pray zealously, "Thy Kingdom come." It should usually be our first request to God the Father, immediately after hallowing His Holy Name (Matt. 6:9-10).
But how do we pray, "Thy Kingdom come"? Do we mumble and repeat those three words over and over in sanctimonious rhythm? That's not what God intended, and it's crucial for your personal salvation that you learn what He did mean.
First of all, comprehend what the words Thy Kingdom come literally mean. Paraphrased into modern English it reads: "I fervently desire, with my whole being, the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the government of God on this earth."
To entirely grasp the significance of these concepts, we must experience true compassion for our brothers on this planet (Ezek. 9:4). Our world is utterly wretched, its people are miserable and doleful, and we must care!
So what if we care? What can we do? Simple. We can — no, we must — beseech God to intervene in world affairs and straighten mankind out. Will the Great God of heaven and earth listen to our feeble requests and speed His return?
The apostle James was inspired to write that "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (Jas. 5:16).
Now read Revelation 8:3-4.
The prayers of the saints fill God's royal throne room. And immediately thereafter, as a direct result of these prayers, God intervenes in world affairs by pouring out His seven trumpet plagues (Rev. 8:6 to 11:15).
These supernatural disasters culminate in the return of our Savior and His subjugation of the kingdoms of this world, transforming them into "the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever" (Rev. 11:15).
Do you realize what that means? Can you see your enormous responsibility? Don't just skim over these words as you pleasantly nod your head. This is reality! You are involved in the salvation of humanity! God is watching your personal reactions — right at this moment. That's not some religious scare-talk. It's a fact.
Prelude to God's Kingdom This article is being read by a select group in human history. Nothing is more important right now. God must give this world His powerful warning message — a witness so plain that it will be permanently imprinted in all human minds — and only then will the end come (Matt. 24:14). God's worldwide witness must be completed before He intercedes to save man from himself.
God's Work must precede God's Kingdom. That's God's plan: the witness, man's near self-destruction, the Kingdom — in that inviolate order.
God's Work is preaching and publishing that critical warning announcement today (Matt. 24:14; Mark 13:10).
That means you. You are part of God's Work. After this mammoth task is accomplished in the world, and God's Church has been made ready to marry Jesus Christ (Matt. 24:44), then and only then will God finally bring His Kingdom to earth. So when you pray "Thy Kingdom come" you must at the same time be wholeheartedly dedicated to God's Work!
How do you prove your sincere devotion to God's Work? How can you help get yourself ready spiritually? Read on.
Recognize that you are involved already. God has called you. Realize that this is the very Work of God! And you're an integral part of it.
But the question is: How will you respond? Even God doesn't know. Will your Creator be able to use you? Or will He be forced to call someone else to take your place?
You have been offered the awesome opportunity to participate in God's Work and to give a vital warning to this world at the close of man's rule. And God has promised you eternal life and the exalted position of a ruling son in His Royal Family, as His free gift.
But there are responsibilities. Here's what you must do! You must be totally engrossed in God's Work! That means enthusiastically devoting yourself to God's Work in prayer.
And many thousands of Good News subscribers, who are co-workers with Christ in this great Work, realize it also means cheerfully paying God's tithes and giving offerings to His Work!
No one who prays about himself all the time or covetously lavishes all his money on himself will ever gain eternal life. Your personal salvation is directly related to how immersed you become in the Work of Almighty God.
The more we all throw ourselves into God's Work as a vibrantly united team, the sooner God will fulfill His warning witness in the world today and bring his government — the Kingdom of God — to all mankind in the world tomorrow.
Look forward to the time when the whole world will thank God in unison, saying, "Thy Kingdom came!"