“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15)
The mission statement at the church I pastor is simple, but powerful: we exist to help people believe in, belong to, and become more like Jesus. Take what Jesus said in Mark 1:15 for example, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Jesus knew something critical that we all need to learn. We need to share the gospel, because the gospel message is urgent.
What stands out to me in this passage is when Jesus says, “the kingdom of God is at hand.” He doesn’t say, “It’s coming soon!” or “next Thursday!” or “May 21, 2011!” No. The kingdom of God has already come. It’s here. It’s at hand. And we need to respond. People need to respond.
The gospel message is not something you can wait on, or put on the back burner. Like I explained last week, this message is earth-shattering and the train is leaving the station. I like to say it like this–Heaven requires a special boarding pass and Jesus is the only ticket agent in town! This train is leaving with or without you, this world is changing with or without you. That’s why the gospel message is so important to grasp and so important to share with other people.
Again in the words of Jesus “the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Practical example. You never know when your time is coming. Not too long ago there was a couple in our church whose adult son suddenly died in a motorcycle accident. They understood that the gospel message is urgent. They continually shared the gospel message with their son. Just before the accident he began coming to church and turning his life around. I believe he’s with Jesus now. You just never know when your time, or someone else’s time will come.
The gospel message is urgent.
God’s desire is to reconcile you to Himself, to reconcile your loved ones, and to reconcile the world. It’s an incredible blessing that He’s entrusted this mission to us, His followers. We’ve been entrusted with the task to share the gospel, teach people about Jesus, baptize them, and make disciples out of them (Matthew 28:19-20).