I have been stressing that the Gospel is not about being forgiven of your sins, although that is very important. The gospel, or good news, is that God is setting up a kingdom. As a result we should “repent”, i.e. change our way of thinking! Why would Jesus think that is good news? And how should we change our way of thinking?
In this post I will explain that by looking at recent world events.
I was listening on the radio just last night to a discussion about the situation in Haiti. On the New York Times website one reads “Haiti is in crisis. If the U.S. wants to help, it needs to stop meddling…” The prime minister, Arial Henry, was asking for an international military presence to stop the many gangs from ruining the economy. One of the opposition’s people spoke equally convincingly and passion why that would be a mistake.
Then I listened to various experts discussing the Russia Ukraine war. Some were saying that Russia was on the point of collapsing, while others were stating as fact that the sanctions had no effect on Russia and that the European economy would collapse and Germany would go it alone.
If I wanted to I could listen to crisis in whatever part of the world I wanted and would see similar situations. Some group is in power, by fair election or by military coup or corruption. Greed, for money or power, usually plays an important part. The end result is almost always violence and often all-out war. Individual rights are ignored and innocent people get hurt.
This is not new, it has been the case throughout history. In the time of Jesus it was the Roman empire who was in charge and committing many of the atrocities. It was just one government in a string of world governments as shown by the beasts in Daniel’s dreams.
Many leaders sincerely try and make things better for the people but inevitably it goes wrong. The British prime minister publishes a budget that would make things better and promptly the pound crashes!
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph 6:1
The anti-christ and his team is actively working to interfere wherever they can. God sent the angel Gabriel to speak and help Daniel.
“But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me…” Dan 10:13
Satan had a demon prince appointed over the kingdom of Persia stirring things up behind the scenes. It took 21 days even with Michael’s help before Gabriel could get to Daniel.
As an aside, Gabriel means “man of God; my strength is God” – from Hebrew gheber “man”, or gabar “strong”, combined with el “god” and Michael “who is like God”.
These are not lightweights in God’s team. And yet even for them it was not easy to counter the antichrist’s team. We should not underestimate the enemy!
People in the time of Jesus were familiar with the scriptures. So they were excited when Jesus announced the end of these world governments and the power behind them.
God is setting up a kingdom that will rule the world without war and corruption. So change your way of thinking (repent), don’t get swept up by the various promises of government systems like democracy, communism, capitalism, monarchy, autocracy, etc.
Rather, become part of God’s team. Or as it is written
“After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”” (Mark 1:14 – 15)