Scripture Mark 1: 9-15 Sermon Title: Religion vs The Gospel
The text for this morning is from Mark 1: 14-15, 14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee,proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” In the last 40-50 years in the church we have stopped preaching the Gospel. We have brought our children up teaching them to live by the rules not by the Gospel. There is a big difference between the two. Our standing with God is not based on how good or bad we are on any given day. Instead our standing with God is based on the Gospel. If you want to be a good Christian based on your actions there are 2 list one good one bad. On the bad list we think how can I be saved if I do the things I do, or on the good list how can God not bless me as good as I am. In scripture we are told of the story of the Pharasee and the Tax Collector praying in the temple the Pharasee stood and said ,‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ The tax collector knew he was a sinner and approached God humbly and repentent, the exact opposite of the Pharasee. We were taught through religion we shouldn't, dance, play cards, drink etc., but that is not how it works to be approved of God we need to do what Jesus did. The essence of faith, God loves, accepts and connects with us on the basis of what Jesus did on the cross. When we look back again in Mark 1: 14-15, with that one statement Jesus seperated Christianity from all other religions, it is only by repenting and believing that we as Christians are saved, not on our merit. God hates sin but loves the sinner. God is slow to anger. God is not just gracious no God is also just. There must be punishment for sin, God will endure our sins and endure our sins, but there comes a time when God will judge. Numbers 14: 18 ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’ He will punish our sins when the time of fulfillment come. When 1st century prophets talk about the fulfillment of time, what would you think of, maybe the time of the great flood, God endured mans sin for a time, or maybe you think of Sodom and Gomorrah again God endured sin for a time. Jesus said repent, you broke all the rules but you get another chance. We are but filthy rags when we stand before God and His Rightousness. God's wrath was not poured out upon us but instead on Jesus on the cross. Jesus took our sins on, on the cross, this is attonement. The punishment you and I deserved, Jesus said He would take it on and even further He went on to say He will always be there for us. Jesus paid the price and God said Well done. What is uniquely different about Christianity, other religions talk about doing your best to do more good than bad. As if there were a scale weighing our good against our bad and that will decide our fate. Christianity, the Gospel cleanses you and the Spirit of Christ compels us to repent and believe in Jesus. Remember the thief haning on the cross beside Jesus, when he asked Jesus to remember him, Jesus took the time to stop dying to say to him, "Today you will be with me in eternity". Oh how I Love Jesus, Oh how I love Jesus, because He first loved me. No scales, let Christ into your heart and keep living and believing and do our best. What can seperate us from the love of God, nothing not life nor death, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and rightousness, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name. On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand.