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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

An Exposition of the Assembly's
Shorter Catechism

by John Flavel

Of Godís Kingdom.

Q. 102. What do we pray for in the second petition?
A. In the second petition, which is, [Thy kingdom come,] we pray that Satanís kingdom may be destroyed, and Mat 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.

Q. 1. What is the first thing signified by the kingdom of God here?
A. The gospel is here intended by the kingdom of God, Matthew 13:47. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind.

Q. 2. What is the thing signified by the coming of this kingdom of God?
A. It signifies the removal of all impediments, that hinder its propagation in the world; 2 Thessalonians 3:1. Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you.

Q. 3. Who, and what hinders the propagation of it?
A. Antichrist, that man of sin, hinders it externally; 2 Thessalonians 2:4. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. The devil and menís lusts internally; 1 Thessalonians 2:18. Wherefore we would have come unto you (even I Paul) once and again; but Satan hindered us. Luke 19:14. But his citizens hated him, and sent a messenger after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

Q. 4. What then is the desire of all good men, with respect to the coming of the gospel-kingdom?
A. That all nations may be brought to Christ by the preaching of it, and so Christís kingdom be greatly exalted and enlarged; Isaiah 2:2. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lordís house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it.

Q. 5. What is the second thing here meant by the kingdom of God?
A. It signifies and intends the work of saving grace wrought in menís souls; Luke 17:21. Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Q. 6. Why is this work of grace called the kingdom of God?
A. Because wherever saving-grace comes, it subdues the soul to Christís sceptre; 2 Corinthians 10:5. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringeth into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Q. 7. Wherein consists the kingdom of grace?
A. It consists not in external rites and observances, but in righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; Romans 14:17. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Q. 8. What do we ask of God in this petition, with respect to this kingdom of grace?
A. Herein we desire not only our own personal progressive sanctification, but the sanctification of others all the world over; Acts 26:29. And Paul said, I would to God that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.

Q. 9. What is the third thing here meant by the kingdom of God?
A. By it is here meant the future state of glory and blessedness; 1 Corinthians 15:50. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, &c.

Q. 10. Why is the heavenly state called the kingdom of God?
A. This is called the kingdom of God, because in that state God reigns over his people gloriously, there being no rebellion in them in the least degree; Luke 20:36. For they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. And they reign with Christ; Revelation 3:21. To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me in my throne, &c.

Q. 11. What do we desire in prayer for the coming of this kingdom?
A. We desire not only our p reservation in our passage to that state of glory; 1 Peter 5:10. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you? But the hastening of it to ourselves and others; Revelation 22:20. Amen, even so come Lord Jesus.

Q. 12. What is the first instruction hence?
A. That the gospel is an invaluable mercy, as it is the instrument of bringing us into Christís gracious and glorious kingdom; Acts 26:18. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Q. 13. What is the second inference from hence?
A. That men may really hate and oppose the very thing they pray for.

Q. 14. What is the last instruction hence?
A. That how firmly soever Satanís and Antichristís kingdom seem to be founded in the world, they must and shall fall before the daily prayers of the saints.

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