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Repent and Believe The Gospel
By Brian Price 7/26/2012

"Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." - Mark 1:14-15

We read here in Mark chapter 1 about Jesus, and how he "came into Galilee, preaching the gospel..." Notice that Jesus did not come into Galilee suggesting that men buy his self help book, neither did he come into Galilee offering advice on how to get one's life straight. He did not come into Galilee in order to impress people with his talents. No. He came and preached the gospel. He preached and told men to repent.

Listen my friend. You are a sinner. You are not a good person as you would like to suppose. You are a God-hating, friend betraying, lust loving, sinner. There is no way around it. That's what you are. You are a snake, a viper, a soul that is on his way to hell, and there is no escaping it. Saying 3 Hail Mary's everyday is not going to save you. Going to church on Sunday every week is not going to save you. Doing good works is not going to save you.

The Bible says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9

Do you think a murderer in prison should be set free because he gives to charity every year? Do you think a child molestor should be declared innocent by the judge because he volunteered some of his time to help feed the homeless?

What makes you any better than a murderer, an adulterer, a liar, and a blasphemer, who is on death row? No amount of good works will set you free from the bondage of sin. No amount of alms deeds will let you into heaven. The pope himself is esteemed a sinner in the eyes of God. What makes you think you are more righteous than him?

But notice that Jesus told men to repent. What does repentance mean?

Repentance as defined by Webster's 1828 dictionary is "3. Real penitence; sorrow or deep contrition for sin, as an offense and dishonor to God, a violation of his holy law, and the basest ingratitude towards a Being of infinite benevolence."

Realize that without repentance, true sorrow for your sins, you cannot be saved. Realize that you must repent.

Jesus did not say, "Only believe the gospel." No. He said, "Repent ye, and believe the gospel."

There is no easy believism. There is no little prayer to ask Jesus into your heart that will save you. It is true sorrow for sins towards God and faith in Jesus Christ that will save you.

The Bible says, "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." - Proverbs 28:13.

Realize that God said there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither his that shall not be known. Your sins will find you out one day.

Jerry Sandusky perhaps thought he was getting away with molesting little boys, but the day came when his sins found him out, and now he is serving jail time for 45 counts of sexual abuse with minors.

Your day of judgment is coming as well. Do not think that your sins will go with you to the grave. Do not think that you are going to cheat justice. No. Justice will find you.

Jesus said, "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." - Matthew 12:36-37

There is a hell. Hell was never meant for a good, honest, law abiding person. The problem is, there is no such thing as a good, honest, law abiding person. There is none righteous, no, not one.

Good deeds do not outweigh your bad. You are a filthy, rotten, unclean sinner who needs to repent of his sins, and find mercy in the hands of Almighty God.

The Bible says, "Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye." - Ezekiel 18:30-32

There is a day of judgment coming. You will be cast into the lake of fire for your hatred, for your adulteries, for your witchcraft, for your oppression of the poor, for your wicked blasphemies, and all your sins that you have ungodly committed.

Repent, O sinner! Repent!

There is no mercy for an unrepentant, self-righteous hypocrite. You who preach against adultery, do you commit adultery? You who hate stealing, do you steal? You who hate idolatry, do you worship money? You who love God, do you hate your brother? You who love your brother, do you hate God?

The day is coming when you will die. You will die in your sins, as Jesus said, if you do not believe that he is the Messiah. If you do not believe the gospel, you will die in your sins, unforgiven.

Your day of death is going to come like the next winter. It will come and all your sunshine will be gone.

The Bible says, "Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." - Proverbs 27:1.

Your death could be today. It could be tomorrow. One thing is certain, it is coming, and you don't know when that will be.

I knew a girl back about 8 years ago. We often hung out together before I got married. We would go to the local pool and swim together with all of our friends. One day, after about a year of knowing her, she went home on vacation in my home town, and got hit by a car, and died. She died without any warning. Nobody got to say goodbye to her. She had no idea her death would come so soon. She was probably 21 years old.

I knew another young man, named Zack. He was a popular guy that everyone got along with. We worked together. We didn't know each other that well. But whenever I saw him, I would always say hello, and we laughed together on a couple occassions. Him and his best friend got into a fight after a night of drinking, and his friend punched him, and he fell backwards and had a brain aneurysm, and died.

I was there when they shipped his dead body in a casket back home to his parents. He never did get married, nor have any children. He too died in his early 20's.

Another guy I knew. I forget his name. But I'll never forget his face. We were also acquaintances. I often talked to him about Jesus, but he had his own ideas about God. He would listen to what I had to say, but he never gave his life to Jesus. Just a couple weeks after I spoke to him about the Lord, I was told that he had a heart attack in a convenient store, and died. He was 32 years old.

One other young man I knew. His name was Chris. We worked together. On one particular day, we went out to finish the job we started. We got to the very last piece of cargo we had to take off one of the semi trucks, and the strangest thing happened. We had an accident, and my friend Chris was crushed between the cargo and our forklift. He layed in my arms dying. He could barely breathe. He was paralyzed and could not move his arms or feet. As I held him in my hands, I said to him, "Chris, there is no one who can help you right now. You need to call out to Jesus and pray to him. He is the only one who can help you. Say, Lord Jesus, please help me. Please don't let me die."

He prayed that. He lived, but he never walked again.

My friend, you don't know when your day is coming. It could be today. It could be tomorrow.

If you have never trusted in Jesus Christ to save your soul, and to forgive your sins, you will perish.

Jesus said in Luke chapter 13, "2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?

3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?

5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

You see, those men I knew were not worse sinners than you or me. They were your average person. They were not criminals sitting in prison. They were normal, everyday people. Yet, they perished, except for one.

Jesus said, that except you repent, you also will likewise perish. You will also suffer the same fate as them. You will die.

Repent while there is mercy for you.

"As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" - Ezekiel 33:11

If You Died Today, Would You Go To Heaven?