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"The Kingdom of God Is at Hand"

Mark 1.14-15
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Jesus now began His public ministry in the province of Galilee. Palestine had three major provinces. Galilee was the northernmost province. Most of Jesus' ministry was conducted in this province. Jesus embarked on what is called His early Galilean ministry.

The beginning of Jesus' ministry is related to the imprisonment of John the Baptist. Mark does not give us the events that took place after the temptation of Jesus and the imprisonment of John. The other Gospel writers fill in those details. Mark concentrated on the work of the servant, so he pointed out that John's work of preparation had ended by his imprisonment, and the ministry of Jesus was now to begin.

Jesus began His ministry of service by proclaiming the good news of God. The good news is both from God and about God. This good news is the gospel that brings forgiveness, restoration, and new life. Men and women have been longing to hear such a message. Now they not only hear it but actually encounter the One who is able to deliver it.

Jesus' message was that the kingdom of God is near. The kingdom of God was central to Jesus' teaching. The kingdom of God was simply the rule of Messiah on earth. This had been promised in the Old Testament (see Exodus 15.18; Psalm 29.10; Isaiah 43.15), and the Jewish people had longed for it. The kingdom "is near" because Jesus, the ruler of that kingdom, has now arrived. Yet the only way into that kingdom is to repent and believe. John had already been preaching for the people to repent, but Jesus added the word believe. Only through "repentance" from their sinfulness and "belief" in the good news (i.e., the gospel of Jesus Christ) would they enter the kingdom. Jesus was presenting an urgency about the nearness of God's kingdom and the need to act decisively.

Have you acted decisively regarding God’s kingdom? Have you received by faith Jesus as your Savior and Lord? This is the starting point in eternal life with God. The kingdom of God is at hand. Will you step out in faith and enter it?

Soli Deo Gloria,
Pastor Jeff
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