Repentance is a prominent doctrine in the Bible. The importance of this doctrine cannot be overstated and the New Testament provides us with the reasons for why repentance should be central in the preaching of the Gospel:
(1) John the Baptist and Jesus both began their ministries with a call to repentance (Matt. 3:1, 2; ).
(2) When Christ dispatched the twelve, as well as the seventy messengers to proclaim the Gospel, He commanded them to preach repentance (Mark ; Luke 24:47).
(3) When it came to apostolic preaching, repentance was central (Acts ; ).
(4) God’s desire and command to all men is that they repent (Acts ; 2 Pet. 3:9). Failure to do so will guarantee man’s condemnation (Luke 13:3).
True repentance touches man’s:
(1) Intellect. By this we mean that repentance causes man to change his mind, views, and/or attitude towards a matter, be it, the Person of Christ, sin, etc. (Luke 15; 18; Acts 2:14-40).
(2) Emotions. (Ps. 38:18; 2 Cor. 7:7-11).
(3) Will. The idea here is that repentance will not only cause man to see sin for what it is and be broken hearted over it, but to turn from it (Ps. 38:18; Isa. 55:7; Luke 15:21; 18:13), and turning to God (Isa. 55:7; Acts 26:18); 1 Thess. 1:9).
Repentance results in:
(1) The repentant sinner being pardoned and receiving forgiveness of his sin (Acts ). It is important to note that nowhere does the Bible teach that pardon and forgiveness come apart from repentance.
(2) The repentant sinner receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts ). The Spirit of God will not enter the heart of an unrepentant sinner.