For years I’ve read how - first John the Baptist, then Jesus himself preached the same message. That simple one line message can be found in Matthew 4:17 which says:
"From that time on Jesus began to preach, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.'"
All of this time, I thought that when they preached this message, they were saying that the kingdom of heaven is soon – that near was referring to time. It could’ve been referring to Jesus fulfilling his role as the messiah through his life, death and resurrection. Maybe it was referring to the idea that time is short and that we need to accept Jesus now because the kingdom of heaven comes upon us without warning. Maybe both of these are true. Or maybe, Jesus and John the Baptist were saying that the kingdom of heaven is within our grasp. So not near as in time, but near as in proximity. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near today, it is within your grasp. If you haven’t believed in your heart and confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, then you still can. Heaven is within your grasp. It isn’t far, it isn’t impossible to obtain. But because of Jesus, it is very near.
The kingdom of heaven is near – it is within your grasp today. Tomorrow is promised to no one. Making a decision for Jesus isn’t something we should take lightly, nor is it something that we should wait too long to make. Jesus, the son of God and John the Baptist, the one of whom Jesus says, “there is none on earth greater than him”, preached the same message. “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near”. So I encourage you to heed these words. Repent and turn to Jesus, because the kingdom of heaven, right now, is within your reach.