Have you heard any good news lately? What was it?
In the Bible there are four books that tell the story of Jesus’ life on earth. These books are called the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Can you find the gospels in your Bible? These four authors either knew Jesus or they knew someone who knew Jesus and so they were able to tell the story of Jesus to us.
Together we’ve looked at how John started his gospel talking about Jesus in heaven before he came to earth. Next we saw how Matthew started his gospel by showing us Jesus being baptized and then tempted in the desert. And now we want to look at how Mark starts his gospel. Here’s a couple of the first verses in Mark’s gospel:
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.”
Many people think that Christianity is just like every other religion where you need to figure out how to be good enough to go to heaven. They think that if their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds then God will give them a place in his kingdom forever. But Jesus is telling us that if we want to get into God’s kingdom (heaven), then we don’t have to try to perform, or do good, or obey a list of rules, all we have to do is these two things: repent and believe.
Repent means to turn away from something. Jesus is telling us to turn away from trusting in our own goodness and our own ability to earn our way to God. Believe means to trust in something or to count on something to save you.
Jesus is telling us that he has come to offer us the kingdom of God for free. No earning it, no paying for it, no figuring it out, no having to be good to deserve it. Nope. Just repent and believe in Jesus.
Because of Jesus we can go to heaven for free.
With Jesus we can tell others about his free gift just like he did.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Show your children a coin. Every coin has two sides but is still one coin. The “two sides” of trusting the gospel are repenting and believing. To go to Heaven with God we have to do both – repent of our sins and believe in Jesus’ death for us.
Jesus, you did everything for us so that all we would have to do is stop trusting ourselves and start trusting you. Thank you! Amen.