Need to preach “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Scripture:
Matthew 4:17 “From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Observation:
The beginning of the Matthean gospel jumps rather quickly from the lineage and birth of Jesus right into the origin of His adult ministry. When we finally learn of Jesus’ public ministry, He starts by gathering disciples from various locales to which He travels. Then the author tells us that He preaches His first message, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Application:
Although it nearly 2,000 years since Jesus departed this earth physically to assume His rightful spot next to His Father’s throne at His right hand, Jesus remains with us today through the Spirit of the Father, as He promised. The kingdom came near while Jesus walked the earth, but the kingdom remains on earth to this day. How is this possible if He has ascended into the heavens?

Paul asks us, “Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?” Don’t you recall from the OT that the Spirit of God dwelled between the cherubim above the mercy seat in the temple of Solomon? If the Spirit of God dwelled there above the ark in the temple, don’t you think that your being a temple of the Spirit makes you a walking Ark of the New Covenant? Wherever you go, the Spirit of God goes with you!! Wherever you go, the kingdom of heaven is there also! IF you are a believer of the Messiah!

Doesn’t it therefore make logical sense that we should be preaching the same message as that of Jesus, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near”? Paul reminds us that the day is far spent and we are closer now than ever before to the second Advent of Messiah when He returns not as a suffering servant but as the Righteous King to assume His rightful spot atop the throne of David in Jerusalem for eternity! Should we not be out telling the world that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and there is a real need to turn from wickedness and be saved? Ezekiel, if alive today, would definitely tell us to heed the Word of God about warning the lost of the coming Judgment from heaven or face an accounting with the LORD for not doing so. We are to fulfill our part in the Great Commission given by Jesus to witness to the world, convert the world , and make them disciples of Jesus.

Prayer:
Father, I must admit that I have not done more to spread the good news of the kingdom to the lost of this dying world. I have been to absorbed in my affairs and selfishness that I have neglected my duties of telling others of Your love and making them disciples of Jesus. I have been behaving as the Jews of Your day did and neglected the weightier matters of doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly before You while loving my neighbor as myself. My demonstration of my love for You has left much to be desired lately. Forgive me for even temporarily abandoning my post and not fulfilling my part of the harvest vis a vie the Great Commission. Help me to do more to tell others, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near” especially since it is in me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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