to kingdom come; till kingdom come

to kingdom come
to complete destruction
—When the fire reached the dynamite factory, the buildings were blown to kingdom come.

till kingdom come
a very long time; forever
—The line is so long, you’ll have to wait till kingdom come to get your tickets for the concert.

Kingdom come is part of the “Lord’s Prayer,” probably the most well known prayer in the Bible. Jesus taught it to his followers during the Sermon on the Mount:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13 KJV)

The teachings of the Bible say that the kingdom comes in people’s hearts when they follow him, and it will come completely when Jesus returns, the earth is destroyed, and he rules over a new heaven and new earth. It is this second meaning that gives us today’s usages, with “kingdom come” referring to the next world, the afterlife, and the end of the world.

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