Jesus said, "repent ye and believe the gospel." - Mark 1:15
by Pastor Billy Holbrook
The scripture on the front is the message that Jesus Christ preached. Jesus who is Emmanuel meaning, "God with us," preaches unto us, "Repent ye and believe the gospel." Before that He said, "The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand." Today is the day of salvation. Harden not your heart to the Word of God. Jesus Christ is coming back again real soon, and will you be ready? If you were to die today, do you know for sure that you will go to Heaven? Some think you can't know until you die, but the fact is, once you have died, then it's too late. You need to know now and you can know now. There is only one way to be saved and that is to do what Jesus Christ preached, "Repent ye, and believe the gospel."
What does it mean to repent?
To repent means to turn and think differently. To think differently about what? First of all, about your sins, and secondly about Jesus Christ.
Concerning your sins, Ezekiel 14:6 says, "Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols: and turn away your faces from all your abominations." Can you not see my friend, that you have sinned against God? Can you not now even sense that you have fallen short of what a Holy God would require? He requires perfection and you have not fulfilled it. For "sin is the transgression of the law of God" and you have not kept God's law in it's entirety. You have put other things before God. You have served self more than God. You have likely taken the Lord's name in vain. You have not kept the Lord's Day. You may not have always honored your parents. Maybe you haven't killed anybody, but the Word of God warns us that hatred is like murder. Again, maybe you haven't committed adultery, but Jesus says to look upon somebody with lust is to commit adultery in our hearts. Have you ever stolen anything at all? Have you ever told a falsehood? Or have you ever covetted something that wasn't yours? I briefly went through the Ten Commandments to help you see your sin. You need to see yourself as a sinner so that you will see your need of repentance and your need of a Saciour to deliver you from your sins. We are sinners by choice and by our nature, for we sin, because we are sinners. Turn your back on your sins and turn toward Jesus Christ. Godly repentance is a turning from sin and turning towards God. Repentance is not preached much today. We hear a lot about "believe," but very little about why a man must believe. Why must he believe? Because he's a sinner. Repenting and believeing go hand in hand for you cannot have genuine faith without genuine repentance. If someone says that they have believed, but have not repented of their sins, then they have not genuinely believed. The scripture says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." "Ye must be born again."
When God has saved our soul, He gives you a hatred for your sin and gives you a holy desire to be like Christ. This does not mean that you will never sin again, but you will not find sin to be pleasurable as you once did. You will long to separate yourself from sin at the moment you are saved. Repenting is not just turning with faith toward Jesus Christ. Paul says,"Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greek, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." So, Repent of your sins and believe the gospel.
What is the gospel that we are told to believe?
In I Corinthians 15:1, Paul says, "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel." Then, he tells us what the gospel is. He says in verse 3 and 4, "How that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures." That is the message you must believe to be saved! Do you see yourself as the sinner in rebellion against a holy God? Are you made sorry for your sins and do your shoulders feel heavy because of the weight of that sin? Surely, if you have godly sorrow over your sins, then salvation is nigh unto you! Believe! Believe! Trust in Jesus Christ as your only hope! Believe that He bore your sins upon His body and shed His blood for you, died for you, and the 3rd day rose again for you to conquer your sins, death, hell and the grave. "For the wages of sin is death" and Jesus tasted the wrath of the Father upon the cross and death that we might have life.
Paul also says in Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unot salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." You must believe the gospel message if you want to be saved from your sins.
You must repent of your sins and believe the gospel message, for God commands all men everywhere to repent. Jesus says, "Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish." Don't look around and try to convince yourself that you're OK, because you're not as bad as the next guy is, for "Except YE repent, YE shall all likewise perish."
Someday soon "the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." So, repent ye and believe the gospel or experience the wrath of God throughout all eternity.
If you are still lost and have never been saved from the penalty of your sins through repentance and faith, then the best thing for you to do is read the Bible and go to a place tha preaches the word of God. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
If you are saved, then you need to seek out a place that is not ashamed to teach and preach the whole counsel of the truth of God. "The true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
All scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible