“The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” —Mark 1:15
These days, many of us rely on GPS and believe it is the best navigator. But on occasion, I’ve doubted that claim. One day, I was heading toward my destination by following GPS directions. However, without warning, my GPS suddenly announced, “You have reached your destination” despite me being in the middle of nowhere! I could see nothing but open fields. This situation reminded me why, in my home country of India, we usually trust the direction of the locals, who know the surroundings and neighborhoods, much more than the GPS!
In John Wesley’s sermon, “The Way to the Kingdom,” he speaks with utter confidence to all those who will listen as he directs them down the right path to find the Kingdom of God. He had traveled that road himself.
The Kingdom of God is found in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the perfect peace that comes only from God, and the unspeakable joy brought by the Holy Spirit.
These attributes will fill your heart once you enter into His Kingdom!
So, how can we become a part of that Kingdom? Repentance is the only way to enter the Kingdom of God here and now. For many, it may be hard to accept that our hearts are deceitful and wicked. We may feel we are good at heart and self-righteous; we may consider our works and deeds as our means of finding the Kingdom of God. But as Wesley explains in his sermon, repentance comes when you truly know yourself, know the condition of your heart, and acknowledge that your heart needs to be changed.
Wesley directs us to the second step on the path to the Kingdom of God—believe in the holistic gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words, believe that Jesus came to save us and the world! Wesley’s sermon reminds us of the story of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40. Phillip shows the Ethiopian the way to the Kingdom.
Many lost souls around us have taken the wrong path to understand salvation. They think their intellect is the right way, as is the case with many of my Hindu friends. Sadly, they are not on the right path! My heart cries and says to them, “I’m not leading you astray when I say only the path of true repentance and belief in Jesus Christ as Savior will take you the right way!” Let’s help our friends find the right way so that we may journey together toward His Kingdom.
Premal Awasarmal is lead pastor at Arlington Naya Jeevan Church of the Nazarene in Arlington, Texas, USA, and Asian Indian coordinator of the West Texas District.
To read the full text of the sermon, click here.
Written for Coffee Break.