Summary: Salvation message
Are You Ready for the King?
Woodlawn Baptist Church
September 30, 2007
In Mark 1:14-15, the Bible says,
“Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
For four weeks now I have been preaching to you about things that matter. I said that preaching, church, giving and missions matters. During the next three weeks I intend to demonstrate that ministry, theology and Sunday School matter. But today – on this special 5th Sunday that we set aside every quarter to observe the Lord’s Supper – the pictorial ordinance we partake of to remind us of the sacrificial, atoning, redemptive death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary for you and me…today I want to urge you to put your faith in Christ. Nothing I’m preaching in this two month span matters any if you die and go to hell.
I want you to be saved…to be born again; but more importantly God wants you to be saved. The Bible says that He is not willing that any should perish, but that all come to repentance. It’s an amazing thing to me to consider the God of glory, sitting on His throne in heaven: the God of the universe who cannot be contained, who never had a beginning or end, who is holy and righteous and perfect in every way imaginable, wanting a relationship with the likes of you and me. What’s even more is that this God broke into time, broke into the depravity of our existence to live like us, yet above sin to die for our sins so you and I might have that relationship. It’s a great deal, the greatest deal on earth!
Every year when it’s time to sign up for girl’s softball I’m amazed that a city of 24,000 can’t field more than four or five girl’s softball teams. Assuming that half of the kids in town are girls, each division has about 600 girls to draw from. It can be expensive to play. Our first year in Denison we forked out over a $100 for one of our girls to play. The next year we found out that Denison offers a great deal. If your family is on reduced school lunches you don’t pay a dime. But they don’t tell anyone! They don’t advertise it – it’s as though they don’t want too many people taking them up on it!
That’s not how God presents the greatest news known to man. Mark 1:14 doesn’t say Jesus came writing it, blogging it, posting Myspace bulletins about it. He didn’t whisper it or just teach it. The Bible very pointedly says He came preaching, declaring, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom – He was shouting it out! And what exactly did we read that He was shouting out?
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
Notice the key words and phrases Mark used.
The Time Is Fulfilled
There are at least two Greek words for time in the New Testament. One of them has to do with time as in an age. For instance, we live in a time of prosperity, or the times we live in are troubling. But that’s not the way time is used here. This Greek word for time means a fixed time, a point in time, a definite time, or the right time.
Fulfilled means to fill to the top, to make complete in every way, to accomplish or carry out. In other words, Jesus was preaching that the time was ripe – that specific, pointed, determined time at that point in history was ripe for something. Then He tells us what it was.
The Kingdom of God Is At Hand
I’ve said before that the kingdom of God means the rule and reign of God over all things. He is Lord of all Creation! God alone sits on the throne in heaven. God alone is Master and Ruler of the universe. His kingdom encompasses all of heaven and hell and earth and everyone in them.
The psalmist said in Psalm 145:13,
“Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.”
Psalm 103:19 says,
“The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, his kingdom rules over all.”
God is already King! He is the King of kings today! So what does He mean that the kingdom of God is at hand? He is saying that this will be an amazing time when He, Jesus Christ, will break in to the affairs of humanity powerfully and personally to defeat sin, his enemies, both hell and the grave. The kingdom of God is near means that Jesus Christ is making and unprecedented intrusion into, a breaking in if you will to the lives of men to make things right.