Asbury Seedbed: The Kingdom of God is at Hand; Repent and Believe the Gospel
Asbury Seedbed, a site where you can find many resources, recently posted a thought from JD Walt (kind of the Seedbed guru):
“Jesus first sermon, his inaugural address clocked in at appx. 8 seconds. It was every bit of 17 words.
The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the Gospel.
So what is the Gospel? I think I’ve finally seen the obvious, which is to say I’ve had an epiphany. The Gospel is simply this, “the Kingdom of God is at hand.” The call to action is “repent.” So if the in-breaking Kingdom of God is the Gospel, what does repent mean?
I have many thoughts about this. I wonder what yours are.”
I would like to take a moment to share my thoughts on this.
First, I agree that the Gospel message is that the Kingdom of God is here and now! It broke into our time and space with Christ and has been present ever since. The Kingdom of God is also “not yet,” because it has yet to be fully realized. The world is still broken, Christians still fail in their primary goals of making disciples and making sure that the hungry are fed, the naked are clothed, and the thirsty are given water. We are living in the Kingdom of God, but we are not living in the Kingdom of God.
To repent means, in my humble opinion, to turn away from the way we have been living and to truly live in the Kingdom of God. Way too many people view the Kingdom of God as existing in heaven. They view it as reachable only when we die, and therefore feel that the Sermon on the Mount, as well as other of Christ’s teachings, are not applicable yet. This is not an acceptable hermeneutic! The only way to interpret the Sermon on the Mount is to see it as Kingdom Living for TODAY!
Repentance is to turn away from self-focused living, and to turn to Kingdom Living as taught in the Sermon on the Mount (as well as elsewhere in the teachings of Christ).