“God therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, now enjoins men that they shall all everywhere repent” (Acts 17:30).
Repent of what? From our evil ways; from our sins! Things like lying (Revelation 21:8), stealing (1 Corinthians 6:10), lust (Colossians 3:5), fornication (1 Corinthians 6:9; Revelation 21:8), greed, drunkenness, insults, vile language (1 Corinthians 6:10), and so on.
The Bible says that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This includes you and me. We all have sinned, even if it is in the past.
But why is repentance necessary? Because God “has set a day in which He is going to judge the habitable earth in righteousness by the Man whom He has appointed, giving the proof of it to all in having raised Him from among the dead” (Acts 17:31).
We must repent because there is a day of judgment coming on the whole earth, and God has appointed Jesus Christ as judge. “Repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Flee from “the coming wrath” (Luke 3:7), “for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Romans 1:18 ESV). “Unless you repent, you will … perish” (Luke 13:3 ESV).
“We entreat for Christ, Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)
The Bible makes it clear that after death, it is not over. “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27 ESV). There is a judgment for all the sins you have committed, and Jesus Christ will be the judge. It will then be too late to repent and be reconciled to God. It will be the hour of condemnation and eternal punishment.
“Now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2 ESV). Jesus Christ took, on the cross, that judgment which you deserved because of your sins, and bore God’s judgment and wrath in your place. That is why He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46; Psalm 22:1) And before He willingly surrendered His spirit into the Father’s hands, He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30).
However, this completed work will be valid for you only if, before God, you acknowledge and forsake your sins and believe that Jesus, the Son of God, died on the cross to pay the debt of your sins. Only then will you be safe from the coming judgment.
But you have to believe from the heart. It is not an intellectual act. It requires “repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21 NASB).
Do not wait until tomorrow to do so.
Repent, believe, and have life. Be reconciled with God before it is too late.