The pressing message of the Gospel of the Kingdom is REPENT! It was then and it will be in these last days. John the baptist preached it (Matt.3.2) as did Jesus (Matt.417). It's the urgency, the top agenda, in the Book of Revelation as angels warn churches in the last days.
To the Ephesus church, God says repent and do the things you did at first (2.5). To the Pergamum church, he says repent and do away with the Nicolaitan's and Balaam's teachings (2.14-16). To the church in Thyatira, he says repent or suffer with Jezebel (2.22). To the Sardis church he says repent from dead works (3.3). Finally, to the Laodicean church he says be earnest and repent of lukewarmness (3.19). All on repentance.
Only Smyrna and Philadelphia are spared.
Thus, it's easy to see if you're actually building God's Kingdom on earth or just building your own empire. If you're not preaching hard against sin, you're not preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. Especially when the trend these last days (and as part of Satan's great deception, to deceive even the elect, if possible) is to preach on motivation, prosperity, social concern and life's purpose---and stay away from repentance as much as possible, especially hitting hard against sin which offends people.
Yup, they're gradually changing the "gospel" from the good news of the LIFE of Jesus Christ to merely being good news per se. They're gradually kicking out Jesus from the gospel and replacing him with another Jesus---a Jesus who just inspires us to be more motivated, do better to succeed, become rich and to help other people better, regardless of our spiritual condition.
Anyway, God understands and he won't condemn us, they insist. He accepts us as we are. We're "saved sinners." Perhaps. But it's a great way to coat lies with sweet icing if we insist on these things to water down genuine repentance.
Don't get me wrong. Motivation, success, riches and money, and helping people are all good. I want them. But it's bad when we do away with (or downplay) repentance and just zero in on them.
Well, some preachers, on the other hand, overdo on repentance because they know nothing else. In reality, they receive no other revelation so they just stick to repentance and downplay the other facets of the King and his Kingdom. This is not what I'm talking about here. We should know the King immensely and intimately and explore his Kingdom from end to end, to the max. But we should remain emphasizing repentance. A lot of church people today just brush this off as something optional.
Worse, they see repentance shoos people away from church so they soften on it or devalue its importance. Or dress it up more acceptably. Sometimes, sin becomes a mere weakness or psychological condition. They won't dare tell people upfront that sin is rebellion against God and earns his judgment, condemnation and wrath. It's precisely sin that makes God throw you to hell and there's no other way to deal with it than to repent.
In these last days, non-Kingdom churches will do everything to skirt the repentance issue. And throngs will flock to them. They will become big and prospering churches that people will think they're probably doing the right thing because of their sheer size and material capacity.
But remember Christ and John the baptist, the first preachers of the Gospel of the Kingdom. They were the least in their days. They looked small, poor, inconsequential, small-time and contemptible. Even funny and stupid. Just imagine wearing nothing but camel's hair and leather belt and eating nothing but insects and honey.
And imagine Jesus, a poor carpenter just roaming around, promising people about some vague Kingdom with mansions in heaven no one but him sees.
People rejected them in the end and killed them. But Jesus and John were absolutely right. People, then and now, need to repent.
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