Repent! Even before Jesus began to call his disciples, three of the Gospels--Matthew, Mark, and Luke--make reference to Jesus' Galilean ministry, with Matthew and Mark recording the words of Christ shown above. Considering that these are the first recorded words spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ after His baptism by John and His temptation by Satan, we should take note of what Jesus said.
17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Matthew 4:17, NKJV
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.”
Mark 1:14-15, NKJV
In Matthew, Jesus said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," while in Mark, Jesus said, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." To what is Jesus referring when He said that the kingdom of God--or heaven--is at hand?
Consider that, for the Jews, everything was continuing as it had for centuries, yet Jesus' words must certainly have caused a stir among the people. His words were meant to wake them from their complacency. "Stop," He was saying, "Consider the Words of Scripture, for a change is about to take place!" He was coming to them from the very throne of God, upsetting their world, and calling them to turn from their sins, and believe the Words of the Gospel.
It has now been almost 2000 years since Jesus spoke those words to the people--everyday, ordinary people, just like you and me! In all of those 2000 years, the kingdom of heaven has come through the ministry of Christ and the Holy Spirit being poured out upon the people as recorded in the book of Acts.
How have we responded? Have we "made our decision for Christ," and then lapsed back into a life-pattern similar to that of those who are unbelievers? That is not what Christ intended by these words! When we come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as our own, personal Savior--when we have turned from our sins and looked to Him--our lives are to be different! Nothing will ever be the same again.
Suddenly, we have a God-given purpose to share our faith with those around us. We are to live for Christ in such a way, that the difference is notable! We are no longer our own, but as servants of the most high God, we have been bought with a price--the blood of the Lord Jesus.
Let us then, obey the words of Christ. Let us turn from our apathy and complacency, and let us resolve, by the help of God to live our lives completely for Him. Let us not waste another day or even hour, but let us resolve to cast all of our lives upon Christ. He is our Master; it is Him we are to serve every single day that He grants to us on this earth.
Let us turn our hearts in prayer to Him, asking Him to lead and guide us in the way we should go. There is no higher calling on this earth than that of service to our King, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Go to Christ; He will save you, and keep you from now and throughout all eternity! That is the message of the Gospel!