September 18: Van Horn on WSC Q. 102

STUDIES IN THE WESTMINSTER SHORTER CATECHISM.
by Rev. Leonard T. Van Horn

Q. 102. What do we pray for in the second petition?

A. In the second petition, which, “Thy kingdom come,” we pray, that Satan’s kingdom may be destroyed, and that the kingdom of grace may be advanced, ourselves and others brought into it, and kept in it, and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened.

Scripture References: Ps. 68:1; II Thess. 3:1; Ps. 51:18; Ps. 67:1-3; Rom. 10:1.

Questions:

1. What is meant by “Thy kingdom” in this question?

The word “kingdom” in this question has a twofold meaning:
(1) The kingdom of grace in which He exercises His work in the hearts of His people.
(2) The kingdom of God’s glory in the other world. The first is the beginning of the second.

2. What does our petition involve when we pray “Thy kingdom come” to our Lord?

First, we are praying that God’s kingdom of grace might have free course in this world and that God might be glorified. Further, we are praying that Satan’s kingdom on this earth might be destroyed. Further, we are praying that His kingdom of grace might make those of us who are believers as those who are strengthened and established here on this earth. Second, we are praying that the second coming and appearance of our Lord may be hastened. We should be earnestly praying that this will come in His time and that we will be ready for it.

3. What is the “kingdom of Satan” referred to in the above answer?

The “kingdom of Satan” is everything in the whole universe that is contrary to the will of God. Satan has as the seat of his kingdom the heart of every man and woman by nature.

4. How can Satan’s kingdom be destroyed?

It can be destroyed only by the work of Christ, the Son of God, who came to destroy it (I John 3:8). It is destroyed partially when the Holy Spirit works in the hearts of sinners, through the Word of God, and conversion takes place. It will finally be destroyed when Jesus Christ comes again.

5. What would be one good test that our prayer, “Thy kingdom come” is sincere?

When we delight to do the will of God (Ps. 40:8).

“EVEN SO, COME, LORD JESUS”

One of the Puritans used to say that these words are “pinned as a badge to the sleeve of every true believer.” Indeed, such should be our badge and should be our daily prayer to Him. Every time we pray this portion of the Lord’s Prayer (“Thy kingdom come”) we should be thinking, in part, of that wonderful Day. The poet states it:

“What am I waiting for?—Jesus my Lord.
He’s coming to take me, so says the Word.
To be with Himself in the mansions above,
Enjoying forever His infinite love.”

How can we be certain that our lives are consistent with this wonderful prayer that is a badge on our sleevesd, by His grace? How can we prepare ourselves for the return of Jesus Christ?

First, we can have an expectancy of His coming that will enable us, motivate us, to flee from sin in our lives and hate it. Speaking of the return of Christ, Paul tells us, “. . .but let us watch and be sober.” We should be watchful regarding where we go, what we do and how we act in every situation. As we enter every situation, every conversation, our approach should be one that is in keeping with the sincere prayer, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

Second, we can be making each moment count for Him. We should be “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Eph. 5:16). We should (as the word “redeem” means here) be “buying up the time.” We should be convinced by Him that each moment is important in our testifying for Jesus Christ in our lives. As we are busy about our Master’s work indeed we will be praying with our lives, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

Third, we can be proving our relationship with Him by our concern for others. Herein lies one of the greatest faults of the average believer. He is a man that is certainly concerned with his own salvation but not too concerned for those about him. Matthew 25: 34-36 are words we need to take to heart and as we actively live them we are indeed crying out with words that show up in deeds, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

There are ever so many other methods we could mention. The question comes to us: Do we really want Him to come? Another question is asked with it: Is our desire for Him to come so firmly implanted as a badge on our sleeves that we are always ready for Him? May it be so, all to His glory.

Published by The Shield and Sword, Inc.
Dedicated to instruction in the Westminster Standards for use as a bulletin insert or other methods of distribution in Presbyterian churches.

Vol. 7, No. 7 (July 1968)
Rev. Leonard T. Van Horn, Editor.

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