17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
~ Matthew 4:17
It may seem strange for me to say this… but this is one message that is not as often preached today as it used to be.
And yet … this was the very first message Jesus proclaimed when He started preaching.
It must have been very important for John the Baptist to be yelling it out to the people. And now when Jesus began to preach, He began with this message… “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”.
It is important for us to remember that while there is a kingdom on earth, there is, more importantly, a kingdom in heaven.
And what is ours is certainly not of this world.
But there is a need for reminders. For warnings… and admonition.
When John the Baptist told the people to repent, these included not just ordinary people but also religious leaders. When Jesus was preaching, the sinful commoners accepted the message but the Scribes and Pharisees had great difficulty in grasping the concept of repentance.
Even though we may have been Christians for some time and think we are doing alright, we must humbly accept that God’s ways are way higher, way brighter, and way better that whatever we have to offer.
In repentance, there is a need for change thinking and behaviour.
If we have any actions or thoughts in our lives that is against the lifestyle of heaven, it means we have sin and need to change.
Where do we stand today?
When we hear sermons exposing our sin or weakness, do we turn a deaf ear and say that we are not so bad.
Or are our hearts pricked and we come forward and ask for mercy.
The Sermon on the Mount shows us many areas in our life that requires a rethink.
Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.