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Repent! His Majesty Jesus I (the First) is Crowned King!
What did the Lord Jesus mean when he proclaimed as his main message: “Repent! God’s Kingdom is being established. Believe as welcomed this incredibly great news!”?
Why should people welcome King Jesus with his stunning Kingdom Gospel?
Caution: Beware of what most preachers or scholars or commentators insist is the technical dictionary definition of Repent (Metanoia in Greek). They downplay it to merely mean ‘change of mind’, ‘rethinking’, ‘seeing things in a new way’, ‘getting a fresh outlook’. Many will add it should lead to change of will, behavior or direction.
Too many interpreters claim Jesus is not as negative or fiery or intense as John Baptizer about repenting. John is softening up the crowd while Jesus as the Main Act is using a carrot to John’s stick, honey vs. vinegar, loving gracious invitation of welcome (try a better way, My Way) instead of ‘turn-or-burn’ scare tactics to spook people into God’s Kingdom. Jesus is using positive motivation of heaven to win people, overriding and distancing himself from John’s negative fear factor of hell and judgment. Jesus preaches Grace besting John’s Law. John is blunt and brutal, bludgeoning sinners into submission yelling: Cancer! Disease! Quit doing that habit and stop using that product or it’s all over! Jesus is soft and sweet and tactful, beckoning weak helpless sick people to hope and cure: Healing! All is forgiven! God loves you just the way you are. Change your mind and follow my way to live your full potential, don’t miss out on God’s best for you! John warns while Jesus woos.
This diminished soft-pedalled approach to toning down the Kingdom Gospel message is dangerous, lethal, fatal. This sort of ‘repent’ needs to be repented of!!
Metanoia in Scripture is drastic. Life or death. Radical. All or nothing. Do or die. Mandatory not optional. Commanded not suggested. From heaven, not men. Ultimatum, not advice. Unbelief is damnable. Sin condemns. The consequences of not repenting biblically are horrific and catastrophic. Let the Bible itself define what Repent means, not your favorite thinkers. To presume Repent means merely what many imagine is to say that Lion is just a furry animal. Repent is way more than about-face, turnaround, course-reversal. If sin and unbelief are like addiction or substance abuse, the only hope of rehab, recovery, restoration, health is to quit permanently, once for all, come clean and stay clean, no relapse, utter stoppage, complete cessation, never again, no going back.
In the Bible, it is always turning AWAY from and simultaneously immediately turning TO.
AWAY from sin, evil, lies, wickedness, unbelief, doubting, unrighteousness, disobedience, rebellion, lawlessness, godlessness, Satan and self, judgment, hell.
TO Christ, God, truth, goodness, faith, trusting, righteousness, obedience, submission, lawfulness, godliness, selflessness, forgiveness, heaven.
Of course, this is impossible by flesh and blood of itself, on its own. It takes a miracle of grace, mercy, God’s tender compassion, kindness to receive the gift of Repentance.
“God’s kindness leads to repentance.” But kindness is not found just by invitation or second chances or hope or wooing; it is just as kind to warn and urge in tough love.
Repent is to renounce, repudiate, reject, reverse, forsake, abandon, break it off, end it with sin. Permanently. Once for all. From now on. Treat sin like cancer, a crime against God, poison, a fatal contaminant, a damnable offense, a self-curse, causing deep hurt to the Lord, others, oneself. Sin = Self Inflicted Negation.
One of God’s greatest gifts is repenting-in-advance of falling for besetting temptations. Sin is bad but at its worst when we don’t need temptation first!
John Baptizer prepared the King’s Way. Christ introduced himself as God’s King – God’s Way. His chosen apostles and messengers spread and developed their King’s Way.
John the God-sent prophet unequaled among earth’s humanity testified about Christ Jesus being the true light of the world for eternal life. John preached so that people might trust God’s ChristKing. His message was a baptism of repentance for sin-forgiveness preparing people to believe in Jesus as they confessed their sins in the Jordan River (symbolic of Joshua’s river crossing from wilderness wandering into the Promised Land). For months John preached often to exhort the people proclaiming the good news of God’s Kingdom Gospel. He gave specific examples for the crowds, tax collectors, and soldiers to produce repentant fruit by sharing and caring for those in need. Being honest as public government servants and not extorting people by discontented greed and abuse of authority with false accusations for bribery.
“I myself am not this ChristKing. I am only the prophesied voice of one crying in the wilderness to prepare the way for the Lord making straight the direction to reach him.
I am unworthy to even be a lowly slave cleaning his royal sandaled feet. Christ far surpasses me because he existed long before I was ever born. I just water-baptize people so he might be revealed as prominently presented to Israel. But Christ will baptize with the Holy Spirit and purifying fire of heaven’s anointing. He is God’s sacrificial Passover Lamb who takes away the world’s sin. How did I recognize him? I saw the Holy Spirit in dove-form descend from heaven through a breached opening in the sky and settle upon him as he was praying. The Word of God which came upon me for prophetic mission said ‘the man upon whom you see the Spirit come down and remain will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
I have seen and testify that this is God’s ChristKing in the flesh. He must increase in popularity and recognition to the foreground, I must diminish and fade to the background as merely the bridegroom’s attendant. I eagerly expected him and rejoiced at his voice. Now that he is here, my joy is at its peak happily blessed!
This ChristKing who arrives from heaven above is supreme over all. I as only a person from earth belong to the earth and can only speak as one who is earthbound (not from heaven). (I am merely a signpost pointing the proper direction. He is the actual destination.) The ChristKing testifies to all he has seen and heard (heaven-sent by his Father), but no one on their own accepts his testimony. Those accepting (by God’s Spirit-anointing/baptizing) have certified that God is truthful. For the ChristKing sent by God speaks God’s very words and gives the Holy Spirit (baptizing) without measure. The Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything into his hands. Whoever believes in the Son (receptive) has eternal life, but whoever disobeys/denies (rejective) the Son will never see eternal life while God’s wrath remains on him.”
“Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near! Who warned you viper-bred Pharisees and Sadducees to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with true repenting. Do not imagine you can justify yourselves with the false self-assurance of claiming Abraham as your father. God can easily mass produce these worthless random stones into Abraham’s children. God’s ax of judgment is already poised to uproot every tree in his orchard that is unfruitful, ready to turn soil wasting trees into firewood. My baptizing is calling people to repentance. But ChristKing’s miracle-powered baptizing will be with the Holy Spirit and fire. As God’s supreme harvester and Savior-Judge, he will industriously toss and thresh the wheat gleanings, gathering the grain into his kingdom barn while burning the discarded chaff husks up in flames unquenched never to be extinguished.”
“Lord, I need to be baptized by you and yet you come to me for baptizing?” Jesus replied, “Go ahead now and baptize me; it is necessary for us to go through with this (inaugural anointing heavenly event) to fulfill and satisfy all righteousness. Prophesied Scripture. God’s will for official public ministry ordination via the agency of your Levitical priesthood. As foretold to your father Zechariah through the angel Gabriel to anoint MessiahKing of the house of Judah’s Davidic dynasty now God-appointed raised up for Israel. Righteous God installing his Righteous Son to usher in Kingdom Righteousness salvation through judgment.”
His Majesty King Jesus I referenced his Kingdom dozens of Gospel-recorded times. His apostles and messengers in Acts and Epistles who were living out and sharing and spreading Christ’s Kingdom of God’s heavenly spiritual dominion on earth referenced their King countless times. The King proclaimed his Kingdom while his Kingdom subjects proclaimed Jesus Christ as King of the Way. The Christian Faith, the Church Militant (non-violent weapons of the Cross-Gospel by Faith in the Crucified/Resurrected Prince, prayer, lived out love and service to God and neighbor). Heaven’s only portal to eternal life among all the manmade religious philosophical paths, methods, traditions which lead to eternal loss.
“The time has come. God’s Kingdom is breaking upon the scene. Repent and believe as welcomed My incredibly great news! God’s ChristKing is none other than Myself!”
To Israelites like Nicodemus, the Sanhedrin and the crowds in Jerusalem during the feasts, to his hometown of Nazareth, to his ministry base in Capernaum, to the region of Galilee in Bethsaida and Chorazin, to the Samaritans in gentile country and to all throughout Judea, he accomplished widespread beneficial achievements. Including healing people under the devil’s power because God personally and prophetically worked in and through him with miracles, signs, and wonders.
King Jesus’ message coincided perfectly with John’s preaching of repentance for sin forgiveness. Salvation or Judgment. His parables dramatize and portray heavenly spiritual kingdom realities as revealed (to believing seekers) and concealed (from unbelieving skeptics and scoffers). His sermons and teachings unpack the heart of the Old Testament Scriptures concerning himself as King. He taught how true loyal trusters as Kingdom subjects live among the world’s kingdoms of darkness, evil, Satan’s domain, human governments, religious systems, colonial empires -a wicked generation, a fallen sinful cursed earth awaiting judgment and future restoration of God’s chosen heirs in Christ with the hope of a new heaven and new earth, the forever homeland of righteousness.
“I must proclaim the Kingdom Gospel to all the towns since that is why I was sent.” And he kept on preaching in Judea’s synagogues.
“Unless you are born again from above of water (baptism of repentance for sin-forgiveness) and the Holy Spirit (heavenly anointing, miracle regenerative conversion, justified as righteous before God along with heart purified by faith), you cannot enter God’s Kingdom.”
“Unless you repent, you will all perish…Unless you believe that I Am, you will die in your sin.” “Stop sinning (against God and me) or something worse than crippling illness will happen to you.” “I do not condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin (repent).”
“Do you Pharisees see this woman with a bad reputation kissing my feet like a household slave serving honored guests at the table by anointing my feet with perfumed oil using her own hair instead of a towel? You didn’t greet me with so much as a common courtesy kiss of welcome at your door or offer to clean my feet.
See then that she has been forgiven of her many sins loathsome to you which is evident by how much she expressed her love to me. But you who have been forgiven little, and don’t even realize how sinful you actually are, end up showing little love or gratitude. Love is the true measure of acknowledged need and gratuitous undue forgiveness received by sheer mercy.”
“We (John and I) speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen, yet you people still refuse to accept our testimony.”
Tax collectors and sinners were baptized in repentance for sin-forgiveness because they believed John’s testimony, showing God’s way to be right. But the Pharisees and Law experts refused to submit to John’s baptism, rejecting God’s purpose for themselves.
“What do you think about this? A man had two sons whom he asked to work in the family vineyard. The first refused to go but later repented and went to work. The second agreed to go but never went to work as he promised. Which of these actually did his father’s will? You’re right, the first son. But you are behaving just like the second son. For tax collectors and prostitutes that you despise are entering God’s Kingdom ahead of you (instead of you, you won’t even try to go in, they are at the front of the line actually being admitted inside as repenters while you remain waiting at the end of the line outside as nonrepenters.)
For John showed you the way of God’s righteousness and you refused to believe him, while the sinners you loathe believed John. And to top it all off as the final outrageous offense against God (and me), after seeing their repentant welcome of full free sin-forgiveness and their measure of praising joy and devoted love for God (and me), you did not learn from their humble example. You stubbornly continued to exalt yourself as if entitled to front-of-the-Kingdom-line-presumed-due-privileges. They repented in faith for sin-forgiveness, but you excluded yourself in willful unbelief as unworthy of inheriting eternal life worthy only of judgment as sons of hell.”
Jesus appeared to Saul (Paul) outside Damascus with this converting commission: “Open their eyes, turning them from darkness to light, and from Satan’s power to God so they may receive sin-forgiveness and a place among those sanctified by trusting in me.” Paul adds that he obeyed this heavenly vision and preached for people to repent and turn to God, proving the genuineness of their repentance (possessive not just professive) by their changed behavior (see James 2).
Peter preached the same Kingdom Gospel message of repentance for sin-forgiveness as John, the Lord Jesus, Paul and all the apostles and messengers sent by Christ.
Repent. Believe. Trust Christ as King-Prophet. If not, you will be completely cut off from the people in eternal judgment. Be saved from this corrupt generation.
God sent you his ChristKing to turn you from your wicked ways.
In Revelation’s letters to the churches, he repeats and recapitulates his Kingdom Gospel message: Repent! Whoever overcomes will be blessed and rewarded. Otherwise cursed and punished. Proto-Resurrection or Compound Death. River of Life or Lake of Lava. Lamb’s Banquet (eaten and enjoyed) or Lucifer’s Breakfast (be eaten and be destroyed).
Finally, a distinction must be made between God-trusters considered justified before the Lord in the Gospels and unbelievers considered unjustified.
Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph, Simeon, Anna, John Baptizer, disciples like John, Andrew, Peter, James, Philip, Nathanael, Joseph of Arimathea and others were true God-fearing believers righteous and godly before the Lord. Some died without being baptized yet were saved. Some were converted during John’s and Jesus’ preaching and baptized such as Mary Magdalene, Zacchaeus, Nicodemus. Those are the justified righteous believers.
Multitudes heeded John’s call to his baptism of repentance for sin forgiveness, but most had no true Jesus-trust and were lost. True believers numbered only 120 when Jesus ascended to heaven.
Repentance must be combined with Jesus-trust upon the advent of the Kingdom Gospel. True saving justifying Jesus-trust always includes repentance as a biblical given.
But many people pursued repentance of their own accord apart from Jesus-trust and remained unsaved unjustified condemned.
The call to Repent! is primarily targeted at unbelievers considered unjustified leading to regenerative conversion. Once only born from above by water and the Spirit.
Or as Jesus told Peter (pre-triple denial) when washing his feet “You are already clean because of the Kingdom Gospel message I gave you.”
But that very Peter and other Jesus-trusters can lapse often repeatedly and severely (Corinthians, Galatians, churches in Revelation with a mixture of saints and nonsaints). They also need to repent in a believers’ way from temporary sin ensnarements or when trust-challenged succumbing to temptations and when failing faith-testing trials.
But they are not re-reborn or reconverted or justified again for readmission to Christ’s Kingdom after expulsion or self-exclusion or forfeiture of heavenly citizenship needing to reapply or requalify for Kingdom membership in good standing again.
Are you a repenter in Jesus Christ? Keep repenting as you keep trusting the Lord for complete sin-forgiveness. Unrepented sin remains unforgiven until confessed, forsaken.
A professing Christian continually embracing sin is renouncing that very Christ he claims to trust and follow.
Are you a non-repenter outside of Jesus Christ? Now is your opportunity to repent for the first time and for the rest of your life. Only repented forsaken sin is forgiven.
An avowed non-Christian by God’s miracle grace in faith can embrace Christ by renouncing the selfish sin he used to rely on and pursue.
Now you know Jesus’ choice for you out of compassion and mercy and holy fear something worse may forever happen. What is your choice for you?