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What Does Repent Mean?

According to the apostle Paul, God “now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30 ).

Repentance is not a popular subject in most of the religious community. Seldom is a modern-day religious audience exhorted to repent.

Yet Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, vigorously preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” and told his audience to “bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:2, 8). Soon after John’s martyrdom, Jesus Christ continued the same theme by preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).

Within weeks following Jesus’ crucifixion, the New Testament Church was founded. Peter’s inspired words to an audience of thousands of devout Jews were, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

What does repentance mean? Is it required for salvation?