Jesus began His ministry with the cry, ¨Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven Has drawn near¨. (See Matthew 4:17)
Have you ever stopped to examine this short message that needed One to come from the Land of the Gods to proclaim it to us?
We can consider two important concepts wrapped in this powerful message, the first one being our need to repent. It seems that our Savior is making this attitude of repentance to be a requisite for receiving the second, which is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Now if we take an honest look around at the flock which call themselves Christians today, how much of this attitude do we see? Most modern-day religions seem to be very satisfied with their attained knowledge and superior interpretations of the scriptures. We could liken it to the days of Christ.
When Jesus walked amongst us, the people of God, His chosen race, had all their doctrine and religion clearly defined. Everyone knew what they should do and how to do it. Worshiping God was a way of life and culture. They had all been born into a complete society and nation which followed what they knew to be right to the letter.
Then Jesus came with the message, ¨Repent¨.
Think of what would happen today if some loose cannot took up that cry today. What would our reaction be? How many lunatics would follow someone who was shouting out that we are wrong? We would probably feel some sort of pity towards that poor fellow then go back to our churches and comfortable Christian lifestyles.
But perhaps if it was important enough that Christ had to come in that day, it might be of some benefit to us today. There may still be left among us a few people who hear that word to repent, and go to their knees to seek the heart and intention of their Savior.
These precious ones have found that attitude of which Jesus called for. We do not need to bolster ourselves up in pride over the decisions we have made, or the body of believers we have chosen to be a part of. What we all still need to do is to have this kind of heart, if we truly desire to share in the promised Kingdom.
This brings us to the Kingdom of Heaven. What is this that Jesus preaches? Is Christ selling us the precious commodity of eternal life? It is obvious that there is something there if we consider who is proclaiming it, but what value does it hold for you and me?
Now all through the long biblical history of the human race, people have been separated from this ¨other¨ Kingdom. From one sad but wrong decision our walk through life here has been outside of that perfect will of our Creator. The world and everything in it has suffered this separation from the Almighty.
Jesus, in His short little message paints a beautiful picture of our need and intended purpose to be reconciled to that ¨other¨ Kingdom. Heaven exists whether we see it or not. It is there just beyond our powers to apprehend it. There is a whole system where all things work in perfect harmony as they flow from that wonderful source and King. What makes it perfect is the purity of the one creating, sustaining and receiving of all.
God is King in His realm. His realm is greater than our own even if we have never seen it. It may take faith to believe it is there, but the One who testifies to this ¨other system¨, is worthy to be trusted. We do not always have to see something to know that it is true; only know the character of the one who is describing it to us.
Therefore when Jesus takes up His cry to repent, He also gives us the reason. This Kingdom or reign of God is somehow near and available to us. Try to make it what you want, but the blessing comes to us all when we begin to share in that kind of realm. You and I, who are born into a race that has fallen from our intended place with God, can begin again to find ourselves allowed back into that Kingdom.
When God created us, He had the intention for us to share in that Kingdom of His where everything is bowed perfectly to Him and united with Him and bringing Him the glory which He deserves. Jesus saw this and testified to the fact that He had finally come and it was actually happening. There was finally a door open for us to return to our intended purpose and our intended King.
Let us open our ears today. Do not harden your heart on account of your correct religion. Let Jesus´ words sink deep into your soul. Hear Him as He offers us a different realm to form a part of. Let us long to be a part of that Kingdom where the King is worthy and we do honor Him. May we listen carefully as to what we need to share in that kingdom, and may we purchase that attitude which will make it all possible.
Jesus is calling; I pray that we do not limit His instruction to those Palestinians living so long ago.