I’m not selling anything. I am simply the messenger.
The message is simple.
I am a citizen and ambassador of a Kingdom. My allegiance is to the King of the Kingdom.I currently dwell in another kingdom, the kingdom of this world and have a dual citizenship in the country in which I was born, the United States of America. I love my native-born country, but my greater allegiance is to my Risen and Coming King. My King is glorious, powerful, compassionate, holy, completely righteous, full of grace and desires to bless and extend mercy to all those who have rebelled against Him.
My message from the King comes from the Gospel of Mark 1:14-15:
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
I am following in the footsteps of the towncriers of old, who might appear in a village or town crying out,
“Hear ye, hear ye!”
in a loud voice and wait for the crowd to assemble.
Others have gone before me with the same message. For two millenia they have told the story, the news that was first announced in Judea to a small nation of Jews and has continued to be announced by those who bowed their knees to the King and became His willing subjects. Here the opening words of the message again and know that the authority of the creator of the Universe is behind. Pay no attention to the weakness of the ambassador, but disdain the message at your own peril.
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying,
“The time is fulfilled,
and the kingdom of God is at hand;
repent and believe in the gospel.”
The King’s announcement is this:
You are living on borrowed time.
“The time is fulfilled.”
Your familiar kingdom is coming to an end.
“The Kingdom of God is at hand.”
The King has marvelous good news for you.
“Repent and believe the gospel.”
All you who have hated the King, despised the King, belittled the King and His laws, all you who have discounted the King’s power, and ridiculed the weak ones who claim citizenship in His Kingdom,
who have ignored his grace and provisions,
who have faked your fealty to Him who is rightfully your Lord,
who have lived as if the King did not really matter,
who have conspired against His will and disregarded His commandments,
all you who have defamed His holy name, even used His name in blasphemy,
all you who have chosen to live outside of His loving guidance and protection,
all you who have fallen short of living lives that reflect the glory of your King, . . .
The King announces again today, that if you will lay down your rebellion, your treason, and turn to Him who is your rightful Lord, and trust Him with your life,
He promises, on the basis of the sacrifice of His only begotten Son on your behalf, to forgive all your sinful rebellion and recieve you as citizens of His eternal Kingdom. Further, He will adopt you make you sons and daughters in the royal family, and out of the fathomless blessings that are His to give, He will make you joint heirs of all that is His as the creator and sustainer of the Universe. He further promises that on the basis of the Son’s death-conquering resurrection on your behalf, that you will never experince the judgment of his rightous wrath for any of your previous or future rebellions if you bow and pledge Your loyalty to Him.
I am one of His ambassadors.
That is His message.
Will you believe today?
The gospel, men and women is good news!
The kingdom of God has come near.
Jesus said on another occasion, “For what does it profit a man or a woman, if they should gain the whole world, and loss their soul” (Mark 8:36)
If I could paraphrase those words for today and speak to the things that compete for His affections in our lives it might sound something like this:
What does it profit you democrates and republicans, if you should gain the Presidency, or Congress or the Senate, or power and prestige . . .
What does it profit you church-goers and non-church people if you gain a comfortable American dream and every thing that you are so eager to spend your life on, and your money on, and your time on, and your effort on . . .
What does it profit you artists and muscians, if you gain all the acclaim and affections of the world and society, . . .
What does it profit,
what does it matter for any of us, if we gain everything, even the whole world of a kingdom that is passing away if we don’t gain citizenship in a Kingdom that will never pass away and a relationship with the greatest lover in the Universe?
What does it profit if we gain what we will only lose it in the end if we do not gain what we can never lose?
Martyred missionary Jim Elliot put it this way in his journal shortly before he died,
“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep
to gain what he cannot lose.”
He was right and many of us are fools.
What does it profit?
You got a good answer for that? No, you don’t, even if you think you do.
So I urge you today, . . . the most important thing you can do today, is to turn your life to Jesus, repent of your sin and rebellion, believe in Christ who suffered and died for you on a cross outside Jerusalem nearly 2000 years ago. Believe in the One who is coming back, perhaps soon, “to judge the living and the dead” (2 Timothy 4:1) Believe in Christ today and begin your citizenship in a “country” far more important than the United States of America.