Mark 1:14-15 (NIV) After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.
"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"
The time had come. The Kingdom of God was really near.
The King of the Universe had arrived on earth.
He had started to proclaim His mission, to win back the earth from the power of darkness and to restore the rule of heavenly goodness.
This was Good News and it still is today.
- When Jesus died on the cross, He defeated the power of evil and opened the door of Heaven for all to come in, all who would receive Him as the Son of God and the King and Master of their whole life.
- All who are willing to be adopted as Sons and Daughters of the Heavenly Father can come into the Royal Family of Heaven with amazing eternal privileges.
When Jesus died on the cross, He suffered the full penalty due to you and me for our faulty and selfish lives.
- When He rose from the dead, He did not return immediately to heaven but spent 40 days with His disciples, teaching them to lead as pioneers of the New Heavenly Order.
The two qualifications for entry into the Kingdom of God were these:
REPENT and BELIEVE.
- REPENT is a translation of the Greek word METANOEITE, which means to change your mind, let your whole way of thinking be transformed, so that your attitudes and your way of living cannot help but be changed.
- REPENT means to enter into a relationship of FAITH in God which transforms your heart, you mind and your life.
Once more we are at a strategic turning point in history.
Many events around us indicate the time prophesied in the Bible is very near, the time when Jesus will come again.
This time He will not come as a humble servant but as the Lord and King from Heaven.
To be ready for His return, we need to be transformed in our thinking and believe with a deep, God given trust in His love.
We need to go deeper in our faith and be open to change our entire way of thinking because these are increasingly troubled times.
- We are coming into times where old traditional ways of thinking will not work for us, where good Christian living will not be possible without living in very close communication with our heavenly King and His Spirit living in us.
Jesus told a parable referring to exactly the time we are living in.
Matthew 25:1-13 (NIV) "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.
The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
"At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' "Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.' "'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'
"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. "Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!'
"But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.' "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
However, we are living in dangerous times. So many preachers have failed. Not only the world but the church is shaking.
Each one of us needs to have a personal love relationship with Jesus.
- What was wrong with the foolish virgins? They depended on blessing from other Christians, from ministry.