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Summary: Repentance and Belief

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Repentance and Belief

Introduction:

You don’t have to look very far to see that we are in a mess. Just look at the headlines for November 22, 2011:

“Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned in disgrace as Boston's archbishop in 2002 after the priest sex abuse scandal exploded in the United States, has left his subsequent job as head of a major Roman basilica.” (Fox11)

“New York City Police Arrest Alleged Terror Suspect” (Fox112)

“Police Search for Missing Orlando Mother Who Disappeared After Appearance on Court TV Show” (Fox111)

What in the world is going on? It seems that we are being torn apart at the seams. Does any of this make any sense? Why are we going down a path that seems to lead to utter destruction and chaos? It is obvious that we are completely lost and are wandering around this world with no idea of what in the worlds we are suppose to be accomplishing. Why are we here?

There also seems to be many differing “answers” that are given by different so-called religious leaders. One website lists the different world religions and their membership:

• Christianity: 2.1 billion

• Islam: 1.5 billion

• Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion

• Hinduism: 900 million

• Chinese traditional religion: 394 million

• Buddhism: 376 million

• primal-indigenous: 300 million

• African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million

• Sikhism: 23 million

• Juche: 19 million

• Spiritism: 15 million

• Judaism: 14 million

• Baha'i: 7 million

• Jainism: 4.2 million

• Shinto: 4 million

• Cao Dai: 4 million

• Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million

• Tenrikyo: 2 million

• Neo-Paganism: 1 million

• Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand (Adh11)

With all of the infinite possibilities I believe that there is only one true Way that we can extricate ourselves from the mess that we are in. There is only one True God and He has a plan for our life.

The text that I would like for us to look at today is…

Mark 1:14-15

14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (1982)

Context:

The author of the Gospel of Mark is John Mark and the gospel was written in the late to mid- 50s AD. Although Mark did not actually witness the events that are in his gospel, most scholars believe that he gathered his writings from sermons of the Apostle Peter.

Mark starts his writing out in the form of a statement, “The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ.” He then goes on to speak about Jesus’ adult life after quoting from the Old Testament. As we read the Gospel of Mark we find that it is more a collection of sermons than a biography or historical document. (Wessel,1984p.611)The use of the word immediate of the writing is significant.

Mark presents Jesus as the authoritative Son of God in Mark 1:1, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (1982)and this theme runs throughout the book. Mark focuses more on the deeds of Jesus than on His teachings and tells his readers about the humanity of Jesus more than any other Gospel. Mark presents Jesus as the suffering Servant which is portrayed in Mark 10:45.

The Gospel of Mark starts out with the ministry of John the Baptist who came to prepare the way for the Messiah. John preached for the repentance of sins so that their sins could be forgiven. Our text is wedged between Jesus being tempted in the wilderness and the calling of the first disciples.

In verse 14 we see that John had been put into prison. This is significant because it signified the end of one public ministry and the beginning of another public ministry. John had served his prophetic calling well which was that he was to herald the coming of the Messiah. The meaning of the words “put in prison” in the original language is actually the word Mark used (paradidomi) means to hand over and is used to refer to the betrayal and arrest of Jesus in 9:31; 10:33; 14:21, 41. Its use with reference to John suggests that his death foreshadowed that of Jesus. The use of the passive voice implies that what was done was in accordance with God’s purpose. (Brooks,2001)

As Jesus came to Galilee it was obvious from His message that something exciting was about to happen. John had preached repentance and baptism for the remission of sin, but Jesus was saying that “the time had been fulfilled” and the “the kingdom of God is at hand.”

Jesus took the same line as John and proclaimed both repentance and the arrival of the kingdom of God. It is a significant fact that John looks backward to the promise of the coming of the Messiah and signalizes the fulfillment as near at hand (perfect passive indicative). (Robertson,1997)

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