“I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent.”Luke 4:43 NLT
We’ve lived through some stuff these last several months, haven’t we? It’s been a roller coaster. And not the fancy, fun, smooth type.
I’m talking like the old wooden design that shakes so bad it knocks the wind out of you.
God is shaking everything right now. So how can we stand?
Well, we must know the truth and live accordingly: We’ve been rescued from this present evil age. Seriously. See Galatians 1:4.
We have access to live in the Kingdom of Heaven … right here, right now. How often do you think about that?
Jesus came to proclaim really, really good news.
From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”Matthew 4:17 NLT
God’s Kingdom is the greatest movement in human history.
It’s what you were created for — intimate fellowship with your heavenly Father. Abundant life. Supernatural provision.
Until you surrender to this simple truth, you’ll live searching (and striving) for something the world promises to provide but can never deliver.
If you’re not serving Jesus, you’re serving satan, whether or not you realize it (see 1 John 5:19). The devil’s primary tactic is deception. That’s why repentance is crucial.
Repent means to change your mind (for the better), to think about the way you’re thinking (and, by extension, the way you’re living).
When you change your mind, you change your life. For better or worse.
Whatever your current course, you can change and turn toward God. He’s already gone to great lengths to get to you.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.John 1:14 NIV
Here’s a summary of the Son of God’s earthly ministry (see Matthew 4:23-25):
- Teaching in synagogues
- Proclaiming the good news of the kingdom
- Healing every disease and sickness among the people
Jesus came to show us a better way. Actually, the only way.
Needless to say, news traveled like lightening and large crowds flocked to him. He possessed real power and authority and displayed unfathomable love — the kingdom in action.
The ministry of Jesus demonstrated the good news that heaven is accessible and available. Heaven is where God’s will is done. It’s where Jesus is King.
According to Blue Letter Bible, kingdom (in Greek: basileia) means royal power, kingship, dominion, rule.
More specifically, the meaning of the Kingdom of God/Heaven is two-fold:
- “the royal power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah”
- “the royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Messiah’s kingdom”
The Kingdom of God/Heaven refers to God’s government, his realm (spiritually speaking), where his dominion is displayed.
Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth (see Matthew 28:18), and he has commissioned us to make disciples of all nations. Not in our own human strength but by his Spirit, through his power, in his authority.
So how do you join this movement?
Repentance is step one. A life-defining decision. It’s your ticket into the kingdom. You confess your sins and need of a Savior. You embrace his all-sufficient work on the cross and rejoice in his resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God.
Jesus died in your place, paying the penalty for your sins, so you can be reconciled to a holy God.
He’s alive today and forevermore, entrusting you to continue his kingdom work on earth with great expectation for his triumphant return.
Repentance is also a lifestyle. A daily decision. We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) — feasting on God’s Word, obeying his commands, belonging to a local church, engaging in spiritual warfare, loving and serving each other, forgiving, standing for righteousness in a broken world.
Jesus did not die to start another religion. God’s Kingdom is not about a bunch of rigid rules. Instead, it’s an unstoppable movement, a family, a way of life, a relationship with a real Jesus through his indwelling Spirit, that brings healing and hope, deliverance and freedom, adventure and provision, peace and joy.
Have you encountered the real Jesus?
Start with repentance — a willingness to admit that you might have the wrong idea about who he is. A decision to break free from the patterns of this world. A desire to know the truth and make the necessary adjustments in your thinking and living. A daily denial of selfish motives so you can follow Jesus and learn to live in the fullness of God’s Kingdom.
When you choose this way, it will cost you. Others will notice. And there will be no shortage of stories that showcase God’s glory and goodness.
Friend, there is more. Hope is alive. Healing is available. The door is open. The way is narrow. The kingdom is here and it’s coming soon.
So let’s go and spread the good news!