Day 19 Celebrating Immanuel
Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand…(Matthew 3:1)
These are now famous words of John the Baptist, Jesus’ first cousin on his mother’s side and also God’s chosen forerunner to the Messiah, “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”
I think it is somewhat interesting that John the Baptist did not preach, “Believe, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” But, rather chose a very familiar word to the Jewish nation, “Repent.”
Most understand the meaning of “repent” as “turning away from sin,” which is true. But, in the Bible it also clearly means to “change one’s mind” about something. And, when a person’s “mind is changed” regarding a matter it is usually followed by action. True repentance changes a person’s mind, heart, and actions. One can “believe” in something or someone, but not change their OWN perspectives, philosophies, or actions. John the Baptist was preaching that the Jewish nation would have to “change their mind and actions” as the kingdom of Heaven, referring to Jesus Christ, is at hand.
“The Kingdom of Heaven” is still at hand today just as it was over two thousand years ago and for people to receive and be invited into this wonderful, mighty, everlasting, peaceful Kingdom one still has to “repent” in addition to believing. True belief and repentance will manifest itself in a person’s ways, attitude, actions, interactions, and choices. Remember, one can believe without repenting, but to truly repent one must first believe.
I fear that many “believe” but have never repented unto God; meaning to allow Him Lordship over their life. The Bible clearly states in Matthew 7:23 (Jesus Christ himself speaking): “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (or never repented from their sins, ways, actions, or choices). True Salvation is more than just “believing.”
So many today still “choose” their own ways and actions even after they say they “believe” in God. They don’t mind believing in God and in God’s mercy, grace, and love, but they don’t want to believe in His having right of Lordship over their lives. But, John the Baptist preached one of the greatest messages of all time, “Repent for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Amen. Have you believed and repented by asking Jesus Christ into your heart to be LORD over your life?
Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, Author