Repent and Believe

Mark 1:15:

"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel."

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible defines repent as a way to think differently or afterwords; ie: TO RECONSIDER. This seems an appropriate place to start since my last blog was looked upon by some, with much skepticism. The ideas presented here are not mine. I am simply fulfilling the command of the Messiah to preach the gospel. All I do is repeat His words. The problem I believe, is most people are not repenting, or simply put, reconsidering, the things they have been taught. The Messiah was crucified for the message He brought. Apparently the Gospel was not very good news for a lot of people then and it seems the same today.

In my last article I tried to show the true destiny of man. Why we were created, and why we are important to the Creators. The idea that Yahoshua was the son of God, and we are to be His children, does not seem to sit right with most people. It never has! From the moment Man was created until this day, humans have never believed or obeyed God. We were cast out of the garden, destroyed in the flood, and the Israelites were sent into slavery, all because of disobedience. Yet God does not say believe the gospel or else, but simply, to reconsider {repent} the ideas that we believe are true.

First let me quickly recap:

1. The Gospel is about the coming Kingdom. It is an actual Kingdom that will be on this earth and brought to us by the Messiah upon His return.

2. There are two Beings which exist outside of time and space. These two Beings are the Creators; the Creator and the Word. The Word came down, was born, and walked among men.

3. We are to be born into the family of God. We are His children and our destiny is to be like them, Gods.

The next item we must consider is; how do we qualify for this great honor. For not all people will be allowed into the Kingdom. There are things which we must do. This is the theme of this message. So let us see what the Messiah has to say.

Let us start with the opening remarks.

Mark 1:15:

"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel."

The Messiah was talking to the people of His time. They were the Israelites; the people of the Bible. They had been waiting for the coming Messiah all their lives. Most were well versed in the laws and traditions of their religion. So it is interesting that the first message Yahoshua preached was for them to reconsider their ideas and believe in the good news, which He brought. He was telling them, His people, to reconsider their beliefs and to believe His message. So obviously the ideas of His people, He considered to be wrong.

According to the book of Matthew, after Yahoshua was tempted by Satan He went to Galilee to begin His ministry.

Matthew 4:17:

"From that time Yahoshua began to preach and to say, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.' "

He then began to recruit His disciples.

Matthew 4:22:

"....and immediately they left the boat, and their father, and followed Him."

Thereafter he went through out Galilee,

Matthew 4:23:

"Preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people."

He then began to preach what is now known as the beatitudes. This begins in chapter five of Matthew. I will not write them down. They can be looked up. The point I am trying to make is the very first thing He wanted the people to reconsider, was their attitude towards others. Imagine that, He wanted men to reconsider their attitude towards other men. He was telling them the qualities they needed to possess to qualify for the kingdom. As you read them you can see that the people who are to be in charge of this planet are not the ones most might think. The poor, the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers, these are the people He said should be emulated.

Matthew 5:10:

"For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven."

It is a sad testimony of these times that the ones most people choose to be like are the complete opposite of those listed above. We could say that the people most envied are the rich, the arrogant, the tyrants, and the warmongers. Theirs is the kingdom of this earth. It is as true today as it was then. How mankind would benefit if we would reconsider our attitudes to each other. How different this world would be.

After Yahoshua asked people to repent their attitudes, He began to preach about something most considered odd. The first words of the opening scripture are, "The time is fulfilled....". What did He mean by that, and what does it have to do with repentance. 

Let us go to Matthew 5:17:

"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill."

The Law and the Prophets is another name for the Old Testament. It is where the laws were given to man, and the prophets, prophesied the future destiny of Israel. It is important to understand that He did not come to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them. He was the Savior which was prophesied to come, and He showed the people the true meaning of the Law.

Matthew 5:18-19:

"For assuredly, I say to you, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven...."

The complete meaning of this scripture is far too long to go into in one setting, so as always I shall start from the beginning. What was it about the Law that they needed to reconsider? Drop down to verses 21 through 22 in chapter 5 of Matthew; it reads: 

Matthew 5:21-22:

"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and who ever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment."

Matthew 5:27-28:

"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

The Messiah was trying to show people that the law, specifically in this case, the Ten Commandments, for there are more laws than just those ten, is a spiritual law. It is about the attitude a person has towards another, not just a physical act. You do not have to lay with someone to commit adultery, and you do not have to kill someone to commit murder. It is all about the proper attitude. Why?

Matthew 12:35:

"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things."

There are those today who say that the Laws of the "Old Testament" are done away with, yet Yahoshua Himself says that this is not true. He simply was trying to show the importance of attitude. It is something to reconsider.

Please turn to 1 Corinthians 6:9:

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God."

So it seems there are qualifications which are needed in order to be a part of the kingdom. You must be righteous. This is so important; we must know exactly what righteousness is.

Psalm 119:172:

"My tongue shall speak of your word, for all Your commandments are righteousness."

So it seems that His commandments are righteousness, but is that all?

Romans 3:21-22:

"But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God which is faith in Yahoshua."

There is much to be said here, but I will try to be brief. One must be righteous in order to enter the kingdom of God. His laws or commandments are righteous, therefore we can conclude that a righteous person is one who follows the law or commandments of God, but it is also faith in the Messiah which makes a person righteous. We can not, I repeat, we can not enter the Kingdom simply by trying to follow the law.

Romans 3:23:

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"

Romans 3:20:

"Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh shall be justified in His sight..."

Romans 3:28:

"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law."

Romans 3:31:

"Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law."

No one may enter the Kingdom who is not righteous, but all men, yes all men, have fallen short of this requirement. No one may enter by simply following the law, because there is no one, except Yahoshua, who has ever been able to completely follow the law. It is only through the blood of our Savior, and our faith in Him, which qualifies us to be a part of the kingdom, but that does not mean the law is done away with. We must try to live by His commandments for they are righteous. We must reconsider our beliefs. The Law is good. The law is love. 

Turn to Exodus chapter 20. Here you will find the Ten Commandments as given to Israel. If you look closely and study them you will see that they are simply showing us how to "Love". The first four are how to love God; the next six are how we are to love one another. If the Law is no longer applicable than one must say that love is no longer necessary.

Mark 12:30-31:

"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

The first four commandments explain to us how we are to love God. The second six explain how we are to love each other. This may sound redundant, but it is necessary to understand this principal. The Messiah is asking us to reconsider our attitudes toward each other; we do this by following the law which has been given to us. In other words, love God and love each other.

 How are we to love God? Yahoshua says,

John 14:15:

"If you love Me, keep my commandments."

There is so much more to this message than I am able to put down here and I feel this is a good place to stop. I hope you understand that the law is simply love. No more no less. The commandments that were given to us is nothing more than The Creators showing us the relationship they have with each other. This is the destiny of man. This is our reason for being. 

As the Preacher of old said in Ecclesiastes 12:13:

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His Commandments, for this is the whole duty of man."

This doesn't seem like such a bad thing to reconsider. So I ask you dear reader to be as those in Berea who "searched the scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so." I ask you to reconsider your beliefs and believe the gospel which has been given to us. This is the destiny of man.

So until next time I ask you to please take care.