What the Kingdom Means for Our Earth
1, 2. How does the coming of the Kingdom show that God cares for earth and its people?
JESUS’ model prayer continues with these words: “Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matthew 6:10) God is deeply concerned with our earth, and with all who live and who have lived here. That is why the Kingdom comes, to “bring to ruin those ruining the earth,” to provide for the resurrection of the dead, to remove the enemy death and to make our globe a happy, peaceful home for mankind’s habitation.—Revelation 11:15, 18; 21:1, 3, 4.
2 How eagerly, then, we should pray those words, “Let your kingdom come”! This is God’s kingdom in the hands of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. By means of it the will of Jehovah, who is himself the “King of eternity,” shall indeed be carried out on this earth. Consider what that will mean for the people of all nations:
THE “PRINCE OF PEACE” RULES
3, 4. (a) Despite taking what prophetic words to itself has the U.N. failed, and why? (b) What agency alone can provide lasting peace, and by what means?
3 Looking forward to Christ’s Kingdom rule, God’s prophet describes him as the “Prince of Peace,” and adds, “To the abundance of the princely rule and to peace there will be no end.” The same prophet assures us: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Though these last words are inscribed on the plaza wall across the street from the United Nations, it is not that strife-torn international body that fulfills the prophecy. For the U.N. has failed dismally as an organ for establishing peace and security among nations.—Isaiah 2:4, AV; Isa 9:6, 7, NW.
4 True and lasting peace requires that there be justice for everyone, a real practice of righteousness. Only the kingdom of the “Prince of Peace” can guarantee this; it will be ‘firmly established and sustained by means of righteousness.’ Yes, that kingdom is God’s agency for providing “upon earth peace among men of goodwill.”—Isaiah 9:7; 32:17; Luke 2:14.
5. In establishing real peace, what astonishing things does the Kingdom accomplish?
5 How will the Kingdom do this? It will be, outstandingly, through the ‘coming’ of God’s kingdom by his “Prince of Peace” against the warring nations of the world. Psalm 46:8, 9 invites us: “Behold the activities of Jehovah, how he has set astonishing events on the earth. He is making wars to cease to the extremity of the earth. The bow he breaks apart and does cut the spear in pieces; the [war] wagons he burns in the fire.” The Kingdom will outlaw all weapons of violence. Moreover, it will not permit wicked thugs and rapists to stalk the streets, for under God’s kingdom “the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.”—Psalm 37:9-11.
A PROPHETIC ILLUSTRATION
6. What glorious fulfillment did Bible prophecy have in the sixth century B.C.E.?
6 Many prophecies of the Bible have reference to the captivity of Israel of old. After serving Babylon for 70 years, a faithful remnant of Israelites returned to their own land in 537 B.C.E. All those years, the land had lain in desolation, a wilderness. But now, with Jehovah’s blessing on his people, there was a remarkable transformation. Prophecy written hundreds of years in advance came to glorious fulfillment:
“The wilderness and the waterless region will exult, and the desert plain will be joyful and blossom as the saffron. Without fail it will blossom, and it will really be joyful with joyousness and with glad crying out. The glory of Lebanon itself must be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and of Sharon. There will be those who will see the glory of Jehovah, the splendor of our God.”—Isaiah 35:1, 2; see also Isaiah 65:18-25; Micah 4:4.
7. What, then, can we expect for our earth when God’s kingdom ‘comes’?
7 As history testifies, these prophecies had a marvelous fulfillment toward God’s restored people during the century following their release from Babylon. And when God’s kingdom ‘comes’ for the blessing of all of God’s children here on earth, will it do any less in restoring paradisaic conditions to our globe? The answer is a resounding No! The Kingdom will indeed see that God’s original mandate to mankind to ‘subdue the earth,’ making all of it into an Edenic paradise, will be carried out to completion.—Genesis 1:28; 2:8-14; Isaiah 45:18.
A GLOBAL PARADISE
8. Under the Kingdom, what will happen to food and fuel supplies, and because of the application of what law?
8 When God’s kingdom ‘comes,’ food shortages and inflation will disappear, for “there will come to be plenty of grain on the earth; on the top of the mountains there will be an overflow.” Our loving Father will again “cause food to go forth from the earth, and wine that makes the heart of mortal man rejoice, to make the face shine with oil, and bread that sustains the very heart of mortal man.” (Psalm 72:16; 104:14, 15) There will be no problems of food distribution among nations, no rationing, no lining up for fuel supplies. Greedy profiteers will be gone. All mankind will obey the kingly law, “You must love your neighbor as yourself,” sharing with one another according to the need.—James 2:8.
9. What assurance do we have that nothing will then harm mankind?
9 Moreover, we can expect that the Kingdom will control natural upheavals, such as earthquakes and hurricanes. Jesus indicated how this could be done when he stilled “a great violent windstorm.” Thus, his disciples took note that “even the wind and the sea obey him.” (Mark 4:37-41) In all the earthly realm of God’s kingdom, there will be nothing that hurts, harms or brings to ruin.—Compare Isaiah 11:6-9.
10. What did Jesus’ many miracles indicate with regard to the Kingdom?
10 No longer will large hospitals be needed to house the physically and mentally sick. Heart disease, cancer and other crippling illnesses will be eradicated, for the Master Physician, Jesus Christ, will apply the value of his ransom sacrifice “for the curing of the nations.” Jesus’ many miracles of healing and raising the dead, performed while he was on earth, are only a small indication of what he will accomplish by his powerful Kingdom rule. Even mankind’s inherited dying condition will be removed, for we are assured that “death will be no more.”—Revelation 21:4; 22:1, 2; Matthew 11:2-5; Mark 10:45; Romans 5:18, 19.
11. During Jesus’ Kingdom rule, what joy will cap it all?
11 And joy of joys!—cemeteries will no longer mar the landscape, for even these will have been emptied. A “firstfruits” of the resurrection, 144,000 loyal disciples of Jesus, are to be united with him in the heavens as his associates in his kingdom. There will also be fulfilled Jesus’ marvelous promise that the rest of the dead “in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out . . . to a resurrection.” These will have the delightful opportunity to be brought to human perfection as subjects of the Kingdom here on earth.—John 5:28, 29; Revelation 14:1-5; 20:4-6, 11, 12.
12. (a) Why should you want to live eternally in paradise? (b) According to John 17:3, what must we do in order to be there?
12 Do you wish to be one of those who will live to see this earth cleansed of all wickedness and transformed into a paradise of pleasure? Do you wish to be here to welcome back the resurrected dead? Would you like to live forever on an earth made glorious—where no one grows weak with age or ever tires of the delights that come with each day of life? You may, if you follow God’s requirements for gaining life. Jesus put it simply, when he said in prayer to his Father: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) What a privilege it will be to live eternally in paradise, when “the earth will be filled with the knowing of the glory of Jehovah as the waters themselves cover over the sea”!—Habakkuk 2:14.
“OUR BREAD FOR THIS DAY”
13. Why may we confidently pray for “our bread for this day”?
13 However, we today are deeply concerned with present needs. For many of us, making a living and providing for our families have become a real challenge. So we need not only to pray for the Father to sanctify his great name and cause his will to be done on earth through the coming of his kingdom; we need also to pray to God for our daily necessities, for “our bread for this day.” This we can do with full confidence that, if we endeavor to live according to God’s righteous principles and keep the interests of his kingdom first in our lives, God will do his part as the Great Provider. It is just as Jesus goes on to tell us: “Never be anxious and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or, ‘What are we to drink?’ or, ‘What are we to put on?’ For all these are the things the nations are eagerly pursuing. For your heavenly Father knows you need all these things. Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.”—Matthew 6:11, 31-33.
“FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS”
14, 15. (a) In praying the words of Matthew 6:12, how should we be ready to act? (b) In this, what marvelous examples may we imitate?
14 In building an intimate relationship with our Father, we need humbly to recognize our indebtedness to him, and to acknowledge our trespasses against God and our fellowmen. Appropriate it is, then, to pray to God: “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”—Matthew 6:12.
15 As a marvelous kindness, completely undeserved on our part, God sent his Son, Jesus, into the world, so that he might “give his soul a ransom in exchange for many” of us humans. This provides a basis for forgiving our sins. (Matthew 20:28) How great is God’s mercy thus displayed to sinful mankind! What compelling reason we have, then, for overlooking the weaknesses of our fellowmen! We should be ready to go even farther than that: to forgive even serious sins against us. In this way we can display toward others that quality of intense love that Jesus said would be an identifying mark of true Christians.—John 13:35; Colossians 3:13; 1 Peter 1:22.
“DELIVER US FROM THE WICKED ONE”
16, 17. (a) How are we to understand the words, “Do not bring us into temptation”? (b) How may we act in harmony with the prayer ‘to be delivered from the wicked one’?
16 Finally, Jesus instructs us to pray to God: “Do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the wicked one.” (Matthew 6:13) Let us not think that God places temptations in our path, causing us to fall. Rather, it is that wicked rebel against God, Satan, who wants to turn us away from God.
17 However, the Father equips us to “stand firm against the machinations of the Devil,” yes, to wrestle successfully with him and the wicked spirit forces that he controls. So that we may not be ‘brought into temptation,’ God provides us a complete suit of spiritual armor, which we may put on. The apostle Paul describes it at Ephesians 6:10-18. As we stand firm in using this God-given equipment, carrying on prayer, the Father will see to it that we are ‘not brought into temptation,’ but are ‘delivered from the wicked one.’—1 Peter 5:6-9.
18. In summary, what is the content of the Model Prayer?
18 May Jehovah’s illustrious name be sanctified soon through the ‘coming of his kingdom.’ May his will be done on earth by the clearing out of all badness and by making this a global paradise to his praise. As long as the present evil system lasts, may our loving heavenly Father provide us the necessities of life, help us to maintain fine relations with others and deliver us from Satan’s clutches. These are the things for which Jesus taught us to pray. His model prayer contains it all.
[Box on page 25]
WHAT GOD’S KINGDOM WILL DO
● Uphold Jehovah’s sovereignty, end Satan’s rule.
● Rid earth of false religion and oppressive rulers.
● Bring in Christ’s reign as “Prince of Peace.”
● Cause all earth to blossom as a glorious paradise.
● Remove all shortages of housing, food and fuel.
● Establish society on basis of neighbor love.
● Control earth’s natural forces, prevent disasters.
● Eliminate stresses, worries, aches, pains, old age.
● Destroy the enemy death, sickness and all sorrow.
● Raise the dead billions, to live forever on earth.