“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is heaven” were words Jesus included when his disciples asked him to teach them to pray. (Matthew 6:10) Since that time few words have been more fervently offered up in prayer, yet so misunderstood! When we realize that God’s Kingdom has two parts – a heavenly and an earthly, the scriptures on the subject become clear. Jesus came to earth to pay the ransom price that would redeem Adam and the human race from the curse of death. He also came to call those who would become part of his spiritual family, the kingdom of heaven. This elect class is comprised of those who in their present life totally dedicate themselves to be faithful followers of Christ. If faithful, they are promised a heavenly reward. “Fear not little flock, it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) These will be honored with the privilege of “living and reigning with Christ 1000 years.” (Revelation 20:6) The work of Christ and his heavenly bride during the thousand year kingdom will be glorious! Acts 3:20, 21 describes this time as a “period of restoration of all things…that was spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets.” Life will be restored by a resurrection of all from the dead: “Do not be amazed at this; for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and shall come out – those who have done good to a resurrection of life (the heavenly class), and those who have done evil to a resurrection by judgment.” (John 5:28, 29) “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (I Corinthians 15:22) Each individual will then be given the necessary guidance and instruction to learn of God and make progress towards perfection of heart and mind, after which they will be judged worthy or not of eternal life. “For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:9) “When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” (Isaiah 26:9) “No longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, “Know the LORD,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34) “Then I will turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.” (Zephaniah 3:8, 9)
One of the most beautiful descriptions of the physical and moral perfection that will transpire in the earthly kingdom is found in the 35th chapter of Isaiah. “The wilderness and the desert will be glad, and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose…Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb will sing…And a highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway of Holiness. …The redeemed will walk there, and the ransomed of the LORD will return, and come with joyful songs to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” “And He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
Thus we see that the kingdom of God will consist of two phases, one heavenly and one earthly. Faithful Christians will reign with Jesus over the earthly kingdom which will consist of resurrected humanity. At the end of the 1,000 years a final judgment will be rendered for those of earth. Those who will be transformed by the Kingdom work and dedicate their lives to God will then be granted eternal life on a restored, perfect earth.