After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:14-15 NIV)
The verse above describes Jesus’ message at the beginning of His ministry period.
Jesus’ simple message of hope has two parts:
1. Repent! You cannot be reconciled with God unless you repent of your sins.
2. Believe: You must believe in the “good news.” You must believe in salvation and the forgiveness of sins:
“without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV)
“Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.” (II Peter 3:3-6)
God is a merciful and loving God. He will forgive those who truly repent no matter how bad they are. However, He will one day punish the entire world and everyone in it who refuses to believe His Word.
“The elder, To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth—and not I only, but also all who know the truth— 2 because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever” (II John 1:1 NIV)
True Christians are commanded to love everyone, even their enemies (Matthew 5:44, I Timothy 2:1). However there is a special bond that exists between True Christians because we have believed in the Son of God and the truth and love of God dwells in us. That is why the Apostle John says that the lady he is writing to is loved not only by him, but by all believers. All believers love all other believers. If you are someone who does not love your brothers and sisters in Christ, you should search your heart to see whether or not you really love God, because:
“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” (I John 4:20)
“We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true. And we are in Him who is true by being in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” (I John 5:20 NIV)
Once again John points out that all truth must come through believing in Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus’ message and His identity cannot be divorced from each other. If you do not accept Jesus as the Son of God, then you do not believe in the hope of the Bible, the only true hope of the human race.
“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” (I John 5:21)
Do not blaspheme the glory of God’s creative power by creating a counterfeit god to take the credit for His glorious works.
“Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” (I John 2:23)
If you worship the true God you must accept Jesus as the Son of God.