When Jesus began His ministry, He used the word "repent" in context of encouraging people to change their heart – their way of thinking – because the longing of a better way was there before them. Unfortunately, this is NOT the way the church has been encouraging people to repent but teaching repentance as a means of escaping hell and going to heaven. Even with John the Baptist's usage of the word, he is not telling the people how bad they are, but the opportunity to change their way of thinking and living is about to change.
The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand (part 2)
As we continue with our discussion:
Paul shares a very important message to the Colossians when he says:
"The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant" (Colossians 1:15-23).
Receiving Eternal Life is more than just a place to go after we leave our natural body where there is peace, love, and perfection. Eternal Life IS KNOWING God and Jesus Christ whom God has sent (John 17:3). Jesus is not praying to God for us to receive intellectual understanding and calling it eternal life, but an actual experience of intimacy that only LOVE can impregnate into the intellect and bring transformation to the whole mind, heart, spirit, soul, and body.
Notice that Paul wrote that Jesus reconciled to himself ALL THINGS on earth or in heaven by making peace through his blood shed on the cross. Everyone was once alienated from God in our mind, but NOW everyone has been reconciled back to God by Christ's physical body that already went through death, and now has been presented to God as holy without blemish and free from ALL accusations.
When we make accusations against another, we subconsciously are saying that the cross didn't finish the job of judgment, death, hell, and the grave.
When we carry the cross, the judgment we perceive upon others, we can release God's love to them instead of death. The power of death and life begins in our thoughts, then become spoken into the air as they are circumcised by the blood of Christ in our hearts (Proverbs 18:21).
REPENT – change your way of thinking, for the Kingdom of God is Here!
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:2).
"We all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18).
When we truly know Jesus Christ, not only as our Savior, redeemer, healer, provider, etc., but in the intimacy as husband, the lover of our soul, we then shall behold the cross of our cross, and the resurrection of Christ as our resurrection today while in our natural body (2 Timothy 2:11).
We must stop being impressed by the devil – the kingdom of darkness – but enter the gates of that kingdom with joy and thanksgiving in our hearts. What we perceive with our natural senses of separation, division, partial truth, negativity, and condemnation are all functions of the kingdom of darkness, but greater is HE that is IN YOU – where is Christ Jesus? IN YOU! Where is the King of kings and Lord of lords? In His Kingdom in you! "Christ in you is the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27). The body of Christ – the church – IS where Jesus Christ functions in His Kingdom in the natural realm. When we know we are Christians but try to tell the KING of GLORY how to run His Kingdom, instead of being the submissive bride of Christ, we create divisions in the Kingdom of Heaven that darkness has no rights except what we give it through our own thoughts or creation from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil instead of the Tree of Life.
The power of LIGHT, LIFE, and LOVE flows in us because we are IN Christ Jesus now, not a relationship with Jesus that is off somewhere in an unseen realm or planet.
John writes a very powerful message in his letter in 1 John:
"Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so, we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister" (1 John 4:11-21).
If we claim to love God, yet judge others, we are a liar. We can call ourselves a Christian by our choice of saying a sinner's prayer and claiming Jesus as our personal Savior, but God is saying the truth of the matter is that you are a Christ one by MY choice. God chose YOU in the beginning, and He placed His DNA within you. His Spirit to love the world as He does will be evident to the kingdom of darkness that you are in CHRIST (John 15:16, 19).
When you think you're in the middle of a hellish – dark place in the world – rather than complain, look up to find the open window of Heaven within and release the joy of the Lord as your strength so that the banner of love will come against the day of judgment casting out fear.
Ask Father God what He is doing for what you think about is what you empower. Let your mind – your thoughts – become the canvas God paints on. Don't feed your thoughts on what you don't see in the natural, but by faith what has already been finished in the Kingdom of Heaven upon you, turning the grounds of hell and torment into Being the LIGHT of the world you are in. "As He is, so are you in this world today" (1 John 4:17).
Christian accountability is not about keeping us from sin and self-promotion, but taking us into our destiny, gifted, and calling to be a reformer unveiling the Kingdom of Heaven NOW. Telling people about Jesus without also telling them about the Kingdom of God is at hand is a partial theology. Jesus never meant repentance to be about how bad we are, but to turn around to see the TRUTH that will set you free from the imprisonment life you've been living, instead of the Truth that "you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light" (2 Peter 2:9).