The Good News - To Believe
"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel."
It's important to understand that the word translated "Gospel" means "Good news."
According to Mark's Gospel, these are the first recorded words of Jesus Christ after beginning His earthly ministry. Religious thinking has turned this wonderful announcement of Jesus into a harsh reprimand used to put people down. This wrong interpretation is something like "you no-good bunch of dirty rotten sinners, unless you become perfect I will reject you."
Nothing could be further from the truth. Truth Himself was standing before the people joyfully sharing good news of God's love. He offered truth their lives could be built on, so regardless of life's storms, they could always enjoy victory and blessing.
Jesus was not saying "repent" as a rebuke, but as an encouragement. He was not mad or condemning, but full of joy and bursting with good news to share.
In modern language what Jesus said was, "Change your thinking and believe the good news!"
He was telling the people: "Your thinking is not correct. It does not line up with ultimate reality. It does not work to your advantage. Your way of thinking and your approach to life is off the mark, but I see reality clearly and I understand how everything works. So change your thinking to line up with mine, so you can enjoy life as I meant for you to do."
Jesus, by one English word -- repent -- is saying that your way does not work, but My way will work to provide you life in all its fullness, life as God intended. So, believe the good news I am telling you, and change your thinking so you can enjoy life.
The good news Jesus was proclaiming was God's kingdom -- the rule of God. This is good news because satan is a horrible master, but God is good and kind. So enjoying the rule of God and living in His kingdom is a wonderful blessing. Jesus came proclaiming that was now available for all people. It is available to you simply by receiving Jesus as your Lord.
The main good news Jesus was proclaiming was that God is good! God is a wonderful, loving Heavenly Father who loves us beyond our human comprehension, and you can now choose to live under His beneficent Kingdom.
The message of Jesus was
"Change your thinking about God, and believe the good news I have to share with you from God and about God."