The Gospel According to Jesus, Part II
''The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.'' Luke 16 : 16.
The word pressing means to force ones way in, in other words, trying to make the gospel more comfortable to fit your lifestyle. It's like trying on a new suit that doesn't fit, you just can't make it feel right and you try to stretch it, forcing it to fit your body. The religious leaders of John's day didn't like what he was preaching, proclaiming to be righteous they didn't see any need to repent.
Repentance is the foundation of the gospel, to turn away from a sinful life and follow Jesus on a new journey to becoming a new creation is what it's all about. Like a worm turning into a beautiful butterfly is what it's like to become a new creature in Christ. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. II Corinthians 5: 17.
To repent is not only turning away from sin, it's changing your mind and allowing God's word to wash your conscience and renew the way you think.
By meditating on God's word and letting it enter your heart you will eventually have the mind of Christ. Transformation comes by the renewing of your mind to think like God thinks. Remember the old saying, you are what you eat ? If you eat the bread of life you will become like Christ.
Without repentance there is no forgiveness and without forgiveness there can be no transformation and if there is no transformation there is no salvation. When one truly repents and turns away from controlling his own life and surrenders to the control of the Lord Jesus he becomes a true child of God. Salvation is a free gift in that it can only be given to those that are willing to subject themselves to the Lordship of a King. In other words, your life must be given to God in exchange for eternal life.
''If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. '' For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. ''For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? Luke 9 : 23-25