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Was Jesus Serious About People Experiencing the Kingdom of Heaven Here, Today?

It has taken 40 years since visiting Heaven to solve the mystery offered in the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:10.

Was Jesus Serious About People Experiencing the Kingdom of Heaven Here, Today?

Artwork used on the front page of a Christmas program of the AP Kerk Orania. | Eric Wüstenhagen/Wikimedia Commons

I learned in catechism classes, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven." It sounded like a parable at the time. As a follower of the orthodox episcopal church, I memorized all the required scriptures at a young age—adopting belief while still perplexed.

Now 62 years old, I have changed my thinking on the entire subject. I do not believe Jesus was purposefully making His truth harder to understand. I actually believe He was grooving a flat four seam fastball over the heart of the plate for us to smash into the centerfield seats. My apologies, but pitchers and catchers report in a few days, and I am wistful for the return of the boys of summer. My Colorado Rockies are fun to follow!

My NIV Bible text now says, "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven" (Matthew 6:10). The commentary of my study Bible has notes on chapter six, verse seven, and then skips over to verse 12. To fill in the blanks, I turn to NT Wright for help. In his book, Matthew for Everyone, Wright unpacks Matthew 6:10 to conclude that:

This God is not a man-made idol. He is the living God who dwells in 'Heaven', and longs to see His sovereign and saving rule come to birth on 'earth'. This is, in fact, a prayer for the Kingdom of God to become fully present: not for God's people to be snatched away from earth to Heaven, but for the glory and beauty of Heaven to be turned into earthly reality as well.

Outside of academic research and literary prose, I have also reached my revelations through personal experience. In 1976, I died by a medical mistake. They injected me with what they thought was an antidote to a vaccine, only to discover I was allergic to the antidote as well. Once the needle entered my skin, I left this world and had the wonderful opportunity to experience the Kingdom of Heaven for five weeks. I awoke in intensive care isolation at Great Lakes Naval Hospital to a navy nurse in a starched white uniform leaning over me saying, "Welcome back, we thought we lost you back there." You could clearly tell the United States Navy never thought I would wake up. They ultimately discharged me as a disabled veteran.

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Having a five week visit to that glorious place changed me forever. But it has taken 40 years since visiting Heaven to solve the mystery offered in the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6:10. What changes me even more now, some 42 years later, are the words of Jesus being reinterpreted. I am experiencing the Kingdom of Heaven in the here and now. "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven," is literal truth. From Great Lakes Hospital in 1976 to now in Westminster, Colorado, I continue to experience bubbles of the Kingdom of Heaven regularly. That's right, bubbles.

Let me explain. I experience zones where the Kingdom of Heaven reigns, pushing back the kingdom of this world. Inside these bubbles it feels very much like Heaven. It is not Heaven fully realized, but rather an echo of the original place—Not the full motion picture just the trailer. After all these years, I have experientially redefined the words of Jesus. I know now what He meant in Matthew 6:10. He actually intended for us to experience His Kingdom of Heaven in the here and now. My life has taught me the Kingdom of Heaven is closer than we think and everyone can experience it repeatedly, and should.

This truth is supposed to be transferred relationally and experientially, from one generation to another. But we have been suffering from 100 generations of experiential drift, bringing us to the point where entire sectors of faith no longer anticipate any kind of spiritual encounters at all. This is not what the Father intended, and perhaps it is why our culture has become what it is. Don't you long for better relationships?

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So, I have dedicated the rest of my life to teaching and training people how to experience the Kingdom of Heaven in the here and now. It is a major reason I was not allowed to stay in Heaven back in 1976. It is why I have been asked to write for the "Voices" section of the Christian Post. My hope is that you will have experienced something as you read this, and pondered this idea that the Kingdom of Heaven is just a breath away—Maybe the next one you exhale. "Thy Kingdom come!" Change the parable into a four-seam center-cut fastball and hit a spiritual home run for your life!

For more information about Steven Musick, his book, and his ministry please visit: stevenmusick.com

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