Agnes Aku Zormelo, Accra, Ghana, Email:  Mark; 1:16-17 “Now as He walked by the sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, come ye after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.” Explain

We often assume that Jesus disciples were great men of faith from the first time they met Jesus. But they had to grow in their faith just as all believers do. Fishing was the major industry around the sea of Galilee. Fishing with net was the most common method. Jesus called the disciples to fish for people with the same energy they had use to fish for food. The gospel would be like a net lifting people from dark waters into the light of day and transforming their lives. If you avail yourself God can use you in a different ways to bring people to His kingdom. The gospel makes missionaries of all Gods people. 

Charity Zormelo, Accra, Ghana   ... Matthew 3:1-2

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

EXPLANATION: In the above scripture, John’s message was a call to repentance. Some people think that repentance is mostly about feelings, especially feeling sorry for your sin. It is wonderful to feel sorry about your sin, but repent isn’t a “feelings” word. It is an action word. John told his listeners to make a change of the mind, not merely to feel sorry for what they had done. Repentance speaks of a change of direction, not a sorrow in the heart. The Kingdom of heaven at hand refers to the Kingdom of God which starts with the first coming of Christ, and all who have faith in Jesus enter it when they confess that Jesus is Lord.

Is repentance something we must do before we can come to God? Yes, and no. Repentance does not describe something we must do before we come to God; it describes what coming to God is like. If you are in USA, and I tell you to come to Ghana, I don’t really need to say “Leave USA and come to Ghana” To come to Ghana is to leave USA, and if I haven’t left USA, I certainly haven’t come to Ghana. We can’t come to the kingdom of heaven unless we leave our sin and the self-life. The call to repentance is important and must not be neglected. It is entirely accurate to say that it is the first word of the gospel.