The Good News of God: The Gospel.

God calls, Satan Tempts, Jesus Preaches,

Daily Spirit & Word: 610:

Jesus Begins Preaching The Good News.

Good morning my friends, today we’re back in the Gospel of Mark: We’re preaching through the whole of Mark’s Gospel. We’re in Chapter 1:9-15 (Jesus begins His public preaching ministry).

Mark 1:9-15 (NIV)
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. (Notice: no detail about conversation with John as in Matthew).
10  As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.
11  And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
12  At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert,
13  and he was in the desert for forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
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 is near. Repent and believe the good news!”

1) GOD SPEAKS TO JESUS.

Before anything AMAZING or Miraculous happens in the Bible, normally God speaks first.

Genesis: Before there was anything, God spoke it into existence.

Before Adam and Eve: God had spoken the plants and animals and all living things into existence.

Before the Fall: God Spoke one word of prohibition: “Don’t touch, don’t eat”

Before Moses went back to Egypt: God spoke to Him from the Burning Bush.

Before Samuel was a Prophet: God spoke to Him.

Before King David was confronted about his adultery and murder, God spoke to the prophet Nathan.

Before Jesus began His Ministry: God spoke to Him and said, ”

Mark 1:11 “And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

My friends, God still speaks today:

He’ll speak to you, through His Word, through dreams, visions and words of knowledge. He’ll speak to you through other people and through circumstances that you are going through.

Recently: One of the Evangelism Team said, “I think the Lord is telling us to go to Brixton”… We prayed about it and agreed to go. However, God confirmed it in different ways: I knew I was running out of tracts and coins, but I’d not ordered any on time. So I prayed and asked the Lord: Give us some things to take: Well as I was getting my bag ready to go, guess what, I found two bags of 10 Commandment Coins: Over a hundred: more than enough for one nigh, and lots of other tracts as well.

God leads, God guides and God Speaks my friends.

What was it God said? Who did He say it to?

Mark records that it was to Jesus God was speaking.

Matthew records that John heard God speaking to Jesus.

“You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

When you know that you are hearing God’s Voice: it give you confidence, comfort, commitment, determination, direction and joy. Jesus went into the wilderness, directed by the HOLY SPIRIT. Today, God calls you to Jesus, He gives you the same HOLY SPIRIT and He’ll guide you into your Ministry. Whatever He determines that is. For it is HIM who gives you gifts. He let’s you KNOW just how much He loves you. How happy He is when we are obedient to His call. He lets us KNOW we are HIS Children.

2) SATAN TEMPTS JESUS:

Just after God spoke, He guides Jesus by His Spirit.

He guides Him into the wilderness to undergo some testing, which He allows the Devil, Satan to tempt Jesus.

Mark is unlike the other Evangelists: He doesn’t go into any detail:

For instance: Mark leaves out the fact that Jesus fasted 40 days, there’s no detail about how Satan tempted Him, or what Jesus did in response to Satan’s tempting. Mark only records the fact of Satan’s tempting Jesus.

When we’re reading Mark’s Gospel: If you’ve read the other Gospels, then you sub-consciously fill in the blanks, you’ve got a mental picture from all the other information the Bible provides about what that TEMPTING meant.

So let’s imagine for a moment; that we’ve never read any of the other Gospels: Why did Mark leave it out. You see the New Testament didn’t come together as one book for a long time after this Gospel was written. His focus was not on the detail, but on the acts that Jesus performed, the things that Jesus did. You’ll notice that again and again in Mark’s Gospel of Jesus. Why? It’s because Mark knew the things that Jesus did, speak loudest about WHO JESUS IS. When we know that, we’ll put our complete trust in Jesus.

He doesn’t go into the detail of things; like Matthew and Luke. (My wife and most women LOVE detail: LOL).

He doesn’t tell us about conversations; like John does.

He merely records the facts of what Jesus did. He paints with powerful picture words: i.e. (Heaven being torn open: Matthew tells us heaven opened and a dove came down, Mark tells us it was TORN OPEN. There’s a FORCE behind the Gentle Dove. We fill in the blanks with our minds.

Application: Satan Tempts Today: When you’ve heard God speaking, Satan will then, quite often come an hassle you too.

It didn’t take long for Satan to come and try and convince Jesus to go his way instead of God’s.

He tried to cause Jesus to doubt God’s Word / God’s Voice. He’ll do the same with you too.

Just after a friend of mine was converted: He had an awesome experience of the Holy Spirit.

A few weeks later, at the Bible study, He was doubting God’s Word: He said, “I can’t believe all these miracles”, but I said, “Pray about it, leave it on the back-burner and just concentrate on what Jesus taught and what the Bible teaches for a while”…

It didn’t take long for my friend to overcome his doubts, the next week he came back, Jesus DOES PERFORM MIRACLES.

It took the miracle of immediate answered prayer to convince him. He believed the Bible 100% after that.

When you’ve heard God speaking, Satan will try and steal it away from you.

  • He’ll try and make you doubt your calling.
  • He’ll try and take you away from God.
  • He’ll do his best to convince you “Life is better without Jesus, God, Church, Fellowship, Bible study, Prayer, Praise, etc etc etc…”
  • All that God calls us to do: He’ll try and convince you to STOP>
  • Why? Because Satan Knows there’s POWER in all the things that God has called us to do. He KNOWS: Once you START obeying God, you’re FAITH will get stronger and it’ll be harder for him to pull you away. He’ll never stop trying though. It’s a Constant Battle for the Saints against our arch-enemy Satan.

On Friday, we met a woman who’d been convinced she didn’t need ‘Church’: However, over time, her faith had dwindled, she’d fallen into sin and an old stammer she had came back to haunt her.

We encouraged her: To know God’s Word concerning gathering together regularly to worship: To get back into fellowship, bible study with others and prayer and praise with brothers and sisters.

Satan had fooled her into thinking, “I don’t need ‘Church'” Oh yes she does my friends. And WE ALL NEED IT TOO.

 

3) Finally, JESUS PREACHES: (The Good News of God).

God Spoke, The Devil Tempted and Jesus Preached.

Jesus had OVERCOME Satan’s attempts to divert Him, to make him walk away from God’s Plan.

Jesus begins to proclaim the Good News.

Notice what Mark tells us:

14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. (Notice again: No detail about why John was put into prison, or how Jesus went about preaching the good news, just the fact that He did).

15  “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”

What was Jesus “Good News”: Gospel:

The TIME has come, The Kingdom of God is Near:

a) The Time Has Come:

Jew were EXPECTING THE MESSIAH. Jesus is declaring, boldly, loudly and clearly: I’m The Expected One. (The one that John the Baptist was telling you about, telling you to get ready for, I’m here)….

b) Repent and Believe the Good News:

Repentance and Belief: This is a KEY Doctrine that will NEVER be taken away until Jesus returns.

For any person to be SAVED: There must be both: Repentance and Belief.

JESUS GOSPEL: TO THE JEWS.

The Gospel Jesus preached was before any of the events of the Crucifixion or Resurrection and Ascension: These are the KEY elements in any Proclamation of the Gospel today.

But when Jesus was on earth, He was preaching mainly to Jews: His Gospel, Good News, was slightly different.

You see the Jews were God’s Chosen People: They were EXPECTING God to speak, to send messengers, who would usher in God’s Kingdom rule. Jesus is declaring to those who knew this: “NOW IS THE TIME: God’s Kingdom is close at hand, it’s near, it’s right here with you NOW”…. So, Repent (Get back to God, get right with God, turn away from sin and unbelief). Believe.

The Gospel For Us:

We know that Jesus died.

We know that Jesus is alive.

So the Gospel Message is: Believe in what Jesus has done on the Cross, Repent from your sins and Receive Him as your Lord and Saviour.

However, before people who are not like Jews can accept that message, we need to plough up the soil of the heart to get it ready for the seed of the Good News to be planted. We need to help people see their NEED of the SAVIOUR before they’ll be ready to receive Him rightly.

Imagine: A farmer going out to sow his seed in an un-ploughed field? He just would not do it. No farmer in his right mind would sprinkle seed on un-prepared ground. Why? Because He knows; the Birds will steal it away. The seed will be ruined.

It’s like casting your pearls before swine. So it is with giving the Good News before they’re ready to receive it.

The Apostles knew it and proclaimed it, the Preachers of Old knew it, we’re re-learning it’s value again today: With God’s help, we need to bring conviction of sin, the consequences of sin, the judgement to come, eternal destiny of all men without Jesus, and then they’ll be ready; Once they know their NEED of Jesus.

Today: People’s hearts need to be prepared, like a farmer’s field, before they hear and receive the Good News or it will be a waste of time, or a perverted Gospel we’ll be preaching.

BUT: What do we see today? People are being given the Good News, before they’re ready to receive it.

The Church tells the world: God LOVES you and Has a plan for your life: My friends, they’ve got their own plans, they love their lives of sin, they don’t want anyone telling them what to do and how to live. They’re happy in their sin.

So Now people are enticed into ‘church’ with words like: come to Jesus and you’ll be happy, you’ll get peace, joy and lasting fulfilment. So people come to that Jesus. They love that message, it doesn’t talk about: Sin, true Repentance, Judgement or Hell. No wonder those churches are full to overflowing. We NEED a ‘real’ Old Time REVIVAL TODAY.

Once a sick patient knows his need of a cure: He’ll be ready and eager to receive it.

Once a sinner knows his need of forgiveness, cleansing from sin and how to get it, he’ll be ready for the cure: The Gospel, Good News of Jesus Christ. How God loved him enough to send His One and Only Son into the world to die upon the Cross for the sins of every sinner. (John 3:16)… Also he’ll be ready for the warning (John 3:18-21).

Before we can give them either: The Good News or The Warning:

We must be gentle, humble and instruct them about their NEED of a Saviour, by showing them HOW they have offended God. We also have an inward ally who’ll help us: Their Conscience (God’s LAW written upon their hearts).

We have a Heavenly Power who’ll be drawing them: The Holy Spirit, who’ll lead them to a Conviction of Sin. However, our part is to EXPLAIN and PREPARE their Hearts for the Good News of the Gospel.  We need to be like the farmer, getting hearts ready for Good Seed of God’s Gospel Message planted perfectly into their prepared hearts.

My friends, it’s so wonderful when you observe people’s faces as they see their need of Jesus. You can physically see as their eyes are opened and they understand the Gospel, it makes sense to them. Not everyone is ready at that instant to Believe and Repent, but their hearts have been prepared, the ground has been ploughed and the seed sown. God’s WORD: Faith Comes by Hearing. God will do His Work.

Conclusion:

God Speaks, Satan Tempts and Jesus Preached.

God calls you today, fills you with His Spirit, to guide you.

Satan still tempts you today,

and Jesus has commanded you to PREACH: Good News, but prepare hearts for the Gospel first.

Go into ALL THE WORLD… The emphasis of Jesus is for everyone of us to “GO”… Let the world know the Good News of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Mark 16:15-20 (NIV)

15  He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
16  Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
17  And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
18  they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
19  After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.

20  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

Mark 16:20 (NIV)

20  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

Let us PRAY: Dear Lord Jesus Christ, thank you so much for Mark’s Gospel message. We can see that just like You, we can Hear our Father speaking today. We know the reality of Satan and how he tries to tempt us away from You and Your will for our lives. We believe that You are calling us all to share the Good News. Please give us the will to be obedient, the desire to share and the wisdom to know when we’re being tempted. Keep us from all evil, give us daily bread, Your Kingdom Come. Amen.