Repent, and believe the gospel
Mark 1:15 (KJV)
And saying, The time¹ is fulfilled²,
and the kingdom of God is at hand:
repent³ ye, and believe⁴ the gospel⁵.
¹) Meaning the period of time that was appointed by God, and foretold by the prophets was fulfilled (Galatians 4:4).
³) Have a change of mind which issues in regret for past sins, and in change of conduct for the better.
⁴) Trust in, rely on, and adhere to
⁵) the Good News
The words in this verse summarize the preaching of Jesus.
The Gospel is “the good message.” The message that the Kingdom of God has drawn near. That is, from then on, God’s rule is established over the hearts and lives of people.
Israel’s hope is about to come true: The Lord will intervene in behalf of His people and establish His kingdom.
Many Old Testament texts represent God as the king (Psalms 5:3; 21:29; 24:7-10; Isaiah 41:21; 43:15; Daniel 4:34). Some scriptures also mention waiting for his kingdom (Daniel 2:44; Micah 4:7).
This is why this followed by the call to “repent and believe the Gospel”.
Ever since the preaching of John the Baptist, people are called to repent.
Other translations also render: “change your attitude,” or “change your way of life.”
“The Kingdom of God” is more than just the ruling of God’s Holy Spirit in the hearts of those who follow the Savior. Ultimately it will restore all of creation (see Revelation 21:1).
In the beginning of His preaching Jesus has not yet revealed that the Kingdom is coming in stages. But in the following chapters the place of Jesus in this Kingdom will become clear. Initially, Jesus here only announces the coming of the government of God.
The time determined by God has been fulfilled, and with it a new time has come.
With the coming of Jesus, a defining moment arrives for the history of Israel and for the whole world.
What is the main thing we should focus on in our lives?
People could give us many different answers to this question. Yet only one answer is correct.
Everyone’s life should be focused on Jesus by repentance and faith. Both John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus have made this clear in their preaching. In that regard, the Savior’s preaching has been no different from that of His predecessor, John the Baptist.
- Isn’t it strange that we today hear this message so seldom?
- Isn’t it strange that when the preacher in church preaches this message, he will be reprimanded by the church board?
- Isn’t it strange that when the preacher continues to emphasize the need to surrender completely to God, he eventually may even be cast out of that “church”?
- Isn’t it strange that when the preacher brings this message on social media, he may find that nobody wants to listen, and that he will experience all kinds of resistance, from deletion of his account, deletion of his contacts, deletion of his messages, to just making sure that people cannot see his messages.
NO..! This is not strange..!
- We don’t hear this message often in churches because the church board is afraid to lose members. And many pastors rather listen to the church board than to what God, and the Bible is saying. To let the church grow you can better tell them what they like to hear, they say.
- When you write these messages on social media you will indeed meet a lot of resistance. Some will leave you, and the social media itself will make it almost impossible to spread the message.
- Because Satan hates it when the truth is told
- Because Satan hates it when people hear the true Gospel
- Because Satan hates it when people repent and turn to the Christ
Now some say, that a person cannot repent, and that he cannot believe in God on his own, but however this may be partially true, we should not say this too quickly. (See what I wrote before about repentance)
Whoever has really tried it, will find out that the call to repentance and faith is a lawful order, a lawful demand, but he will also find out that he cannot do it in his own strength.
He comes to the conclusion,
▪︎ That although he has decided to follow the Lord,
▪︎ And that although he has decided to turn his back on sin,
he stumbles again and again.
Do you know what such a person is going to cry?
He is going to shout:
▪︎ Lord, help me,
▪︎ I believe, but meet me in my unbelief. Give me a firmer, stronger faith, Lord.
▪︎ Lord, I don’t want to sin anymore, but will you have mercy on me if I stumble again. Will you make me stronger and stronger Lord
And that person will find that whoever calls on Him in need, finds His infinite favor.
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