Repentance and the Kingdom
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Repentance was an important element in the preaching of the Kingdom. Israel was commanded to repent, and later were rebuked for NOT REPENTING.
Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
What was the relationship between repentance and the announcement of the Kingdom? Why was israel commanded to repent? The answer to this will help bring a greater understanding of the Kingdom that was at hand.
And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
The announcement of the Kingdom really begins with the ministry of John. John is an important figure in the scheme of Israel’s redemption. he came in the spirit and power of Elijah. According to Malachi’s prophecy, Elijah would come before the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
The day of the Lord would be a day of Judgment. Israel is commanded to remember the law of Moses. In other words they are being called back to covenant. Judgment was about to fall upon the nation for covenant violations, or as Daniel states, “to finish the transgression, ” (Daniel 9:24). In other words, Israel’s transgressions were about to end in judgment, the fulfilling of the law, and the establishment of the New Covenant.
Those in Israel who repented would be able to ever the kingdom, and escape the coming judgment. This would be the REMNANT that would be saved according to Joel’s prophecy.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the REMNANT whom the LORD shall call.
The New International Version calls them “survivors.” John told Israel that fire was coming. Fire represents judgment. God was about to come in fire and judgment upon the nation. He was coming in VENGEANCE for the bllod of his servants the prophets.
Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.