What does it mean to repent?

First of all, God’s Spirit leads us to repentance. We didn’t wake up one morning and decide today’s the day. God speaks through our circumstances; in ways our mind and heart can comprehend. He even speaks in dreams to show the lost their need of a Savior. To repent is to turn to Jesus, acknowledge our condition (honesty), ask for forgiveness (humility) and receive His love (our need). Those who repent belong to Jesus (emphasis on “belong”), our Creator gives us to His Son. And those who belong to Jesus now become His workmanship.

Grace for the Gentiles

God grants humans an undeserved chance to repent and live. He could have remained silent, acting without warning. But He did not. God leads us to His Son.

“When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, ‘Well then, God has also granted to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.'” (Acts 11:18 NASB)

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, for His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. Through these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world on account of lust.” (2 Peter 1:2-4 NASB)

God leads, but the fool will not repent.

“But do you suppose this, you foolish person who passes judgment on those who practice such things, and yet does them as well, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and restraint and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will repay each person according to his deeds:” (Romans 2:3-6 NASB) 

God hears and saves those who repent.

“for He says, “At a favorable time I listened to you, And on a day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is “a favorable time,” behold, now is “a day of salvation”— (2 Corinthians 6:2 NASB, Isaiah 49:8)