A Job to Do
By: S. Daniel Smith
Mark 1:15: “and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (ESV)
We read this quote from our savior today and know one crucial fact: We have a job to do. As the old hymn goes, “We’ve a story to tell to the nations!” In telling the nations, we are continuing to herald the same warning that Jesus proclaimed as he began his earthly ministry. Yes, the kingdom is delayed, but it is still at hand!
To put this into contrast, if I refuse to proclaim this message to those around me who need it, then I am telling my savior that I don’t believe his kingdom is at hand and while I’m grateful that I became a believer, I see no pressing need for anyone else to join me. How can this be? How could a Jesus follower possibly, after being redeemed from his own sin, then not want to help rescue others from their sin?
The eternal kingdom is at stake. When Jesus first said these words, he was telling unbelievers that they had to make a choice about what to do with him. They had to either accept that he was the promised one or reject him. Unbelievers today are also faced with that decision.
And what is it that they must do? Repent and believe! Jesus gave us no lists of things to accomplish to earn his forgiveness. We are given no commands to see this priest or take that pilgrimage. We are only ordered to repent and believe. Romans 10:9 tells us, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Believers are also faced with a decision. Will we reject our job? Or will we tell others that the kingdom is at hand? It is a decision we must all make and we are all responsible to Christ Jesus for the answer.
I’m not saying it’ll be easy, only that it’s necessary. I struggle with rejection as much as the next person. And I certainly struggle with having a clean life just as much as the next guy. I regularly feel like I’ve blown my witness, or have no witness at all. We can’t be like Jesus completely, but we must continue to work at it, knowing that we believe the kingdom is at hand and that we can help others learn that fact.
To learn more, take a look at the following books:
Recently, on a 6th and 5th Fleet deployment, I was privileged to see four young Sailors accept Christ on the USS Hue City (CG 66). All four accepted Christ during a modified altar call during my last sermon, where I presented the Romans Road. I built a relationship with all four of these Sailors (taking more than a year in some cases) in order to get to a point where they trusted me with the Gospel message. I’m grateful for the outcome, and so very glad that God gave me the opportunity to see my job of evangelism turn to one of gathering the harvest.
Now…will you do your part?