Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15
If we give Jesus the simple credit of intelligence then these first words must be taken seriously if we are to be followers of Christ i.e. Christians.
Firstly, we see that the Good News is not identified with coming forward at a worship meeting and giving a mental assent to an understanding of the atonement. Important as that is, it is not how Jesus described it. Neither is the Good News here about a place in heaven when we die. In Jesus own terms, it is very much about the present and not just for when we die.
The Good News is the Kingdom of God. Gods Kingdom manifests in the person in whom God’s presence is welcomed and through that empowering presence God has his will and way. It is not so much geographical or spacial but a personal invitation to receive Gods kingdom or enter into it. These are the words the Bible uses with the Kingdom – we can enter it or receive it.
That poses a question to us. Do we want to have Gods rule and reign in our lives? Is this something that gives us a sense of a thrill or does it leave us feeling cold at the thought of reneging our will to His on matters of sexual purity and economic affairs to name just two elements. Jesus will not force his will upon us, the Good News is that we can receive /we can enter into this Kingdom.