“After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’” (Mark 1:14-15).
Continued from One Greater than Greece.
“After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’” (Mark 1:14-15). Jesus said these words at the start of His ministry in Galilee. “From that time on,” referring to the parallel account in Matthew (4:17).
Speaking just of the United States, for the moment, millions of people are yielding, kneeling, if you prefer, to what is quickly developing into a state religion. Criticize, laugh, explain away, it matters not to me. As I wrote last night, hearts are being revealed; in fact, their revelation has already begun, and it will be a mournful day indeed, but I believe the time is fast approaching to part ways from a believer who embraces this abomination. “I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people” (Romans 16:17-18). A lot of time and events, good and bad, happened, between King Nebuchadnezzar and the Roman Empire, and I have been persuaded, in my spirit, that we find ourselves standing on the threshold of a similar trajectory. I say again that there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20). I keep finding myself led to John’s vision of a message sent to the church of Laodicea. Revelation 3:20, in particular, is addressed to believers, not unbelievers. We have what I understand C. I. Scofield calls “the place and attitude of Christ at the end of the church age.” Jesus is outside the professing church, politely knocking and inviting individuals to have their sight restored, and their nakedness covered, and to have true fellowship with Him. Much of the ministry God has given me is based upon Revelation 3:20, and that explains a whole lot about my life, my faith, the places God has led me, and places I have not yet been led.
The Kingdom of God was the theme of Jesus’ ministry; in fact, the Kingdom is mentioned over 100 times in the four gospels. The Kingdom was near then, in the sense that the King was present, and the message remains the same all the way into the present day. Jesus stands knocking at the door of our hearts, warning believers against growing lukewarm, among other things, in preparation for His kingdom that is to come (Acts 1:6-7). But let us heed the warning to the church of Laodicea; the Lord is not standing outside begging to be welcomed inside; this is both a warning and an encouragement to repent. “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet” (Matthew 10:14); check out the similarity between Jesus’ directions to His disciples in Matthew 10 and His dealing with the church of Laodicea in Revelation 3. A warning against what proceeds becoming lukewarm: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). We face much the same choice today as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did in their day, because one way or the other, all roads lead to Rome.
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