It’s Time to Repent and Believe | 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.”
Whenever a preacher gets to application, he can sometimes find himself trouble. This was the case with John the Baptist, who was arrested after calling on Herod Antipas to repent of his marriage illicit marriage (cf. 6:17–19). Nonetheless, John the Baptist was resolute: people need repentance and Christ.
This was also Jesus’s message, for “repent and believe” are the first two commands that Mark records Him saying. The imperatives here are plural, extended to everyone; we could say today that Christ’s commands are y’all repent and y’all believe. All those with sin-stained souls, turn in your hearts from your sins to God and believe in the good news of Christ.
These acts of faith are essential to everyone’s salvation. As Isaiah 55:7 says, “[L]et the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” One must abandon the futile ways of sin and self, turning around to find treasure in the Lord. One must place trust in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, to find the stain and guilt of sin removed.
Jesus said that the time is fulfilled. In Acts 17:30, we read, “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” This is the time to repent, and it’s also the time to trust in the work that God started. Gal 4:4–5—“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”
God is going to restore His kingdom (Rv 22). To be a citizen of the kingdom, you must humble yourself before Him. Don’t assume you’re okay, and don’t try to impress God with good works. Repent and believe the gospel He provides in Christ. And when you sin, continue in repentance and believing in the good news, knowing that there’s forgiveness and cleansing in Christ (1 John 1:9).