Posted by: Brad Beaman | April 18, 2010

The Good News

Cicada molts

There is a story from the days of Elisha. It was a time of famine. God caused the enemies of Israel to flee in confusion and fear. They left all their riches and food behind. Four men with leprosy happened on the camp found the riches and ate the food. Suddenly they realized they were doing wrong. It is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves (2 Kings 7:9). They had good news to share. How can they keep it to themselves?  

When Jesus was born the angel declared to the shepherds this exceeding good news of great joy for all people (Luke 2:10). What can be more important than spreading the good news? Because with the Gospel there is an eternal impact.

The good news is proclaiming the message of Jesus. In this passage Jesus himself preaches the good news.  The Gospel is contained simply yet profoundly.

The time has come.

The Kingdom of God is at hand.

Repent and believe the good news.

Mark 1:14-15

 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Jesus message is just as urgent, just as life changing as the day he preached it. We need to look closely at every word he spoke here.

The time has come

 John the Baptist had a ministry of preparation. Get ready for what comes.

Jesus tells his hearers that the time is now. It is not preparation for the good news. In Jesus the good news has come. God is doing what has been anticipated in the prophets. God is breaking through history to establish His Kingdom on earth.  It is the critical moment in world history.

Paul same idea in the fullness of time. Galatians 4:4-5  But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.

Mark simply mentions John is in prison. He does not elaborate until chapter 6. Jesus ministry gains momentum. Herrod feared Jesus was John raised from the dead.

The significant thing is that the work of John is ended and the work of Jesus begins. John said I must decrease and he must increase. Jesus is concerned with preaching.

Jesus is proclaiming the good news of God. The time has come. It is the right time. It is God’s time.  

The Kingdom of God is near.

What did Jesus mean by the phrase the kingdom is near? Simply put the Kingdom of God is God’s rule. The Old Testament makes reference to God as the King of the universe. Only temporarily Satan is the prince of this world. The world’s system is against God. God’s objective is ultimate rule and kingship.

The kingdom of God includes God’s rule in the human heart. God’s kingdom is established personally in the individual when they willing to submit to God, accepting Jesus in their lives as Lord and King.  The Kingdom of God is still more than that. It is culminated when at the second coming of Jesus when every knee shall bow and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord.  

But until Jesus comes back God is establishing His Kingdom through individuals. In Luke 17:21 Jesus said “the kingdom of God is within you.”  

You are not ready for the final event in the kingdom of God, the return of Christ, unless Jesus is your savior and He controls your life now. Because the kingdom of God is established in the individual Jesus mission, his message was to the individual.

Repent and believe the good news

That gospel is for you as an individual. It is as timely and urgent now as the day Jesus preached it. There is a promised place in the kingdom of God for those who repentant and believe. Repenting and beleiving in Jeus brings eternal life and dwelling with Jesus forever in heaven. There is no greater gift to be received.

Jesus preached the Gospel, but his death and resurrection is the gospel

1Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

 3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 2 Corinthians 15:3-5

If an invitation was given for anyone to receive a gold coin worth $400 if they have never received one I am sure it would be a popular offer. Yet the gift of eternal life that Jesus offers is worth infinitely more. Repent and believe the good news. Repentance is the same message that John the Baptist preached to prepare the way.

Repent of your sins. That means more than just feeling sorry for your sins. Repentance is an about face. It means a  change of direction, a change of attitude and a change of action. Repentance is a turning away from sin. It is turning toward God.

Jesus began his preaching where John the Baptist ended, repentance. Jesus carried this further to repent and believe. We must believe in Jesus Christ. To beleive is not just to acknowledge facts. Yes, Jesus lived 2,000 years ago. He lived a sinless life. He died on the cross and was raised again.  The bible even says that the devil knows these facts. Of course that doesn’t make him a Christian. Belief is more than knowing facts. Belief means putting your whole trust in Jesus. It means His kingship and His Lordship becomes a reality in your life. The desires of the flesh and the devil no longer have control in your life. Jesus is first and now your life will be changed forever.

You must accept God’s rule in your heart. Salvation is made available through Jesus. Receive Christ into your life. Ask God to let Jesus death on the cross to count in your place as a penalty for your sins.

Repent and believe. Have you made Jesus king in your heart? Is he Lord of your life? You will be transformed. Good news changed my life.

My friend came to Christ at a tent meeting in an old field. Later he went to visit that field where he came to Christ. They had transformed that old field into a beautiful garden. He wrote a wonderful poem how that is what happened to him through the Gospel. His life was like the old field without Christ. It was transformed into a beautiful garden through the Gospel.

The good news will change your life.

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