Title: Thy Will be Done
Genre: Christian living
Author: Ronald W. Kirk
Publisher: Nordskog Publishing
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The Premise Jesus taught us to pray, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10, kjv). This petition by the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords was certainly no idle religious mumble. Moreover, in Jesus’ last earthly call to men—the Great Commission—He declared that all power and authority in heaven and Earth are His. He delegates power to His church. He commands the church to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). He empowers us to do so. We must seek men and teach them all of Christ’s ways, to educate and train them. This is not merely to see them saved, but to help them to become living, breathing children of the living God, priests, and ambassadors to His Kingdom upon the whole counsel of the Word of God.
Jesus rules and reigns at the right hand of the Father (Acts 7:55), and will continue so until His makes His enemies His footstool in completed reality. He governs in the middle of His enemies, through His volunteers—the church (Psalm 110:1-3). He will so rule until the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord (Habakkuk 2:14), and the mountain made without hands, Christ’s rulership, displaces the Kingdoms of the world and fills the whole earth (Daniel 2:35). In quoting Psalm 110 (Matthew 22:44), as done often throughout the New Testament, Christ clearly emphasizes its importance. Jesus remains in heaven to rule, including through His church, until the fulfillment of all things. He intends that we must be about the business of advancing the Kingdom of Christ everywhere, in all manners of life.
Long ago, a movement in the church known as Pietism encouraged Christians to withdraw from society in favor of a merely personal religion based in private worship and a few limited expressions such as church worship, missions, evangelism, or, for some, ecstatic personal experiences. This movement grew out of a decline in the power and purity of the Puritan movement. Zealous Pietism rapidly grew in reaction to an increasing and disappointing abandonment by the Puritans of their former quickened, Scripture-commanded life. The Unitarian church and the primary contemporary liberal Congregational denominations are the legates of debased Puritanism. Unfortunately, little positive good has come from the Evangelical church’s relative abandonment of society for the past two hundred years. Rather, Christians today have increasingly withdrawn from society. We have allowed the soil of our neighbors’ hearts to grow hardened, sterile, shallow, and choked with weeds (Matthew 13:3-9). This is the opposite of godly love toward them.
Successful evangelism depends on good soil to receive the Good Seed of salvation. The Good Seed must fall into the good soil of a ready heart. In the fallen world, good soil exists only under cultivation. Christians should exercise godliness in such a way that we benignly work the soil of our neighbors’ hearts through godly influence, accomplished according to our spiritual gifts. Thus inspired, we will do all we do, self-consciously, to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31), to fulfill the Great Commission of Matthew 28.
The church today commonly underestimates the Biblical term righteousness, limiting it to what is now often termed Christian values. Appropriately, these values do include pro-life, family, and sexual morality issues. Yet the Bible requires much, much more. We must love our neighbors as ourselves. The prophet Isaiah, for example, devotes great attention to righteousness in the form of civil justice (Isaiah 1:21). Christians should be civil leaders, the judges of society (Isaiah 1:26-27; 33:1). True faith requires active good on behalf of the oppressed and the poor (Isaiah 58:6-7). Of course, none of this obviates Christ, nor do we recommend a social gospel. Rather, righteousness is the fruit of the Spirit, the effective work of Christ in us (Ephesians 5:9). He requires an active faith of His people—vital and involved in every sphere of life.