Please stop by the “Autumn Weekends” booth for good food and good company. Look for the blue signs in front of the red barn on Hawk Mountain Road. We’re open Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 till 6:00, October 3 through November 1, with pork barbecue, hamburgers, soup, apple pies and other good things. You are also welcome to worship at 10:00 a.m. any Sunday.
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“Gospel” means “good news.” What is the good news that our Lord Jesus Christ brought when He came into the world? Here’s what He says in the Gospel of Mark, chapter one:
Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is near; repent, and believe in the gospel.” (vss. 14-15)
The time is fulfilled: the Lord God, who for thousands of years has been promising to come into the world, has now actually come! And because He has come, “the kingdom of God is near.” In Matthew it says, “the kingdom of the heavens is near.” Heaven is not far away. “Indeed, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 18:21). Our life, even in this world, can become more like heaven, and we can prepare to enter fully into heaven when the Lord calls us.
This is wonderful news! There really is a life after death. The Lord creates us to be happy forever, if only we are willing to cooperate with Him. And how do we cooperate? We repent, and believe in the gospel.
“Repent” can sound scary, but what it really means is that by the Lord’s power, we are free to make real changes in our lives, changes for the better. We can take an honest look at ourselves: our habits and attitudes. The Lord gives us the power to be objective about ourselves—that’s amazing in itself!
Then we can recognize an area in which we are sinning against the Lord instead of cooperating with Him. How do we treat our spouse, or our kids, or our co-workers? We can use the Ten Commandments for a checklist: Do I harbor hateful or contemptuous thoughts? Am I looking at someone else’s wife in order to lust for her? Have I stolen from someone? Do I have a tendency to be deceitful?
After we have identified a problem, we can pray to the Lord to help us overcome this weakness, and begin a new life. We can stop doing something we know is wrong. The Lord, who has all power in heaven and on earth, and who is always with us, will give us the strength to make real improvements in our lives, if we ask His help and do our part.
In October, the air is fresh. Let a little fresh air into your spiritual life too! “Repent, and believe in the gospel!”