Jesus said, Repent!
Jesus ministry in the world began with the preaching of a clear message: “Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mt.4:17) And he preached that message clearly and consistently to the end.
Jesus picked up where John the Baptist left off when they cast him into prison. As the forerunner of Jesus, John proclaimed that same message: “Repent! For the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mt. 3:2)
When the Apostle Peter preached the first sermon at Pentecost launching the church age, he proclaimed, “Repent and be baptized…” (Acts 2:38)
Jesus came into the world to save sinners. To invite the spiritually lost to cross from darkness and death into eternal life. And to offer his life a sacrifice to make that possible.
But before one can receive the gift of eternal life, it’s necessary first to repent. To admit that he is a sinner, as all unregenerate people are, and to decide to change. Repentance is a core message of the gospel.
When a sinner repents, he agrees with God that he’s going the wrong direction and turns around. He turns from his sinful life and comes to Christ. God gives him His Spirit who make the conversion possible, and his whole life changes. He passes from sinful darkness into the light of eternal life in one miraculous moment.
The Kingdom of God comes to him, and the Holy Spirit rules in his heart. On the day of his conversion God becomes the King of his life. He begins to live for Christ. He is now on the path to receiving Truth.
Still today Jesus comes to the neediest hearts. To hearts prepared by the Holy Spirit to receive him.
“Yet to all who received Him, He gave the power to become sons of God, to those who believed in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (Jn. 1:12-13)
That is the message of the gospel. “Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”