Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is Near!

Matthew 3:1 begins by telling us that John the Baptist is preaching in the Desert of Judea.  We are told John declares over and over again…

“Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Just like a town crier.

“Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Matthew is quick to inform us again that this fulfills the prophet Isaiah’s prophecy.

“A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”

John is preparing the way for Jesus, not only by his proclamation but in his attire and way of life.  Because John wears clothes made of camel-hair and a leather belt around the waist.  And his diet consisted of locusts and honey.  My study bible tells me these were among the “clean” foods they could eat. In my opinion John is keeping his body pure as an offering to God and to be worthy of his job at hand.

My study bible tells me that John lives his life this way to protest the self-indulgence of the day.  When we, Christians, are told we will be known by the way we conduct our lives…nothing could be truer.  Today I guess we would have to protest by… no cell phone,  or computer, living in a tiny house, wearing clothes from good will, riding a bike for transportation, and eating vegetarian food. Then our actions would have to be the exemplification of Jesus’ words about loving our neighbors as He loves us.

Next, we would have to become a town crier like John.

“Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!”

Oh, yeah, people would give us the “kookie” sign to wear.

It is very interesting to say the least. Could you do it? Could you take even part of the list and live that way? Or maybe you can see other areas of your life you could simplify to start putting God and His words first on your agenda. I do.

Back to Matthew. By Matthew 3: 6 and the end of this part of the discussion, we see the people of Jerusalem and Judea taking John’s “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near” serious. Multitudes were traveling to the Jordan river to confess their sins and be baptised by John.

Now, let’s step forward into the present. I have a question for you. Do you remember or have you seen; people standing either in public sporting arenas or public news worthy areas with signs that say “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near,” and/or wearing John 3:16 t-shirts?

I remember them and when I was younger I viewed them as some kind of religious fanatic.  Once I became older and wiser, I reviewed my stand on this thought. Maybe they are trying to carry on for John the Baptist. To remind a fallen world Jesus is returning! Since, we have no time line or guarantee of when Jesus will return, maybe heeding their advice is a good thing.

It also, makes me wonder how many people during John’s time thought he was nuts?  From the numbers at the Jordan river, I would say not too many; except for the usual bureaucrats. Maybe my own thoughts were more in line with the bureaucrats and Pharisees, than with John. I hope not, but probably so.

You know, when I look at our society, I see no pressure or motivation for change.  Each generation after Jesus expected His return. Could it be because the time has been so long without His return, from the human perspective, we have become complacent? Even lazy concerning putting God first and more energetic about putting materialism first.  Just some thoughts.

Obviously, we do need reminders!

So, I have one more thing to say…

“Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!”

 

God Bless You!

God Bless America!

 

 

Author: jonithetentmaker

Published author of the awesome Christian children's book, "The Tent Maker". The Tent Maker blog and The Tent Maker.org website is free for kids. Stories, games, coloring pages, and contests. Fun and fellowship go hand in hand, especially if it is a child's hand! My other blog, Thru The Bifocals of my Life, is my adult blog about how I see life through the bifocals that I must now wear and a little hindsight 20/20! Like everyone, I am very much human, flaws and all.

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