Mar 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
The very first words of the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded by Mark in his Gospel were the commands to repent and believe the Gospel.
Paul cautions (in 2 Corinthians 7:10) that we must exercise true, not false repentance. True repentance comes from the heart and results in permanent change in character wrought by the Holy Spirit’s work in your life. False repentance is a temporary sorrow or regret for mistakes or sins committed without a full commitment to totally abandon and forsake those sins and behaviors. It is most important to seek God and follow His will so that He may grant you genuine repentance unto life.
2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
Jesus repeated the warning that repentance is necessary if we would not perish (Luke 13:3, 5):
Luk 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Luk 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Jesus set forth an example of a person who really did repent in Luke 18:13,
Luk 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
“Publicans” were a very despised bunch in the time of Jesus. They were people who had sold themselves out to Rome and served as tax collectors. Jesus explained that this publican’s prayer was answered, but the prayer of the Pharisee,
Luk 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
was not heard or answered. It was the publican not the Pharisee who displayed the proper heart attitude in prayer that resulted in God graciously answering his prayer:
Luk 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
For further deeper study on the subject of repentance see the following notes and cross references given for Mark 1:15 in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury. WARNING: As always, this is not a generic Bible study. My intention is to present truth, not Pablum. If you are not willing to conform your belief system to the Word of God accurately set forth and taught, then don’t bother to dig deeper into the Bible. But if you really want the truth, then follow through with the following study:
Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
The time. or, season. Dan 2:44; $Dan 9:22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, Luk 3:15; %Luk 21:8, Joh 7:8, +Rom 5:6, *Gal 4:4, *Eph 1:10.
kingdom of God. Mar 4:11; Mar 4:26; Mar 4:30; Mar 9:1; Mar 9:47; *Mar 10:14; *Mar 10:15; *Mar 10:23, 24, 25; *Mar 12:34; **Mar 14:25; Mar 15:43, Mat 3:2 note. %+Mat 4:17; Mat 10:7; +*Mat 12:28; Mat 16:28, +Luk 4:43; Luk 9:2; Luk 10:9; Luk 10:11; Luk 11:20; Luk 16:16; +*Luk 17:21; **Luk 19:11; Luk 21:31, +Joh 3:3, +Act 1:3.
at hand. or, has drawn near. Isa 56:1, +Mat 3:2; Mat 4:17; Mat 10:7; Mat 12:28; %+*Mat 21:43, Gal 4:4.
repent. Here, Jesus gives two imperatives: metanoeite, you must repent, and pisteuete, you must believe. The use of the imperative mood in Scripture affirms man’s obligation and ability to respond to his Creator in order to be saved. It also shows a conditional aspect—one may or may not respond. The imperative mood is of such a nature—a command or entreaty—that it addresses the volition or will, and not simply the reason. The nature of the imperative, then, expresses an appeal from one will to another in a summons to action: Peter was saying, “You must repent…” (Act 2:38); Paul and Silas said, “You must believe…” (Act 16:31); Paul said, “You must allow yourselves to be reconciled to God!” (2Co 5:20); Jesus said, “You must repent and must believe in the Gospel” (Mar 1:15).
Implicit to these inescapable imperatives laid upon mankind by Jesus is His understanding of the following:
(1) That man has a will, and if he has a will, it is necessarily free;
(2) That man is not passive in terms of the necessity to act;
(3) That man is active in his salvation;
(4) That man is not brought to salvation by irresistible grace in a state of total inability, to believe only after saved (cf. Jud 1:4 and note) [LNT, fn j]. Mar 6:12, Mat 3:2; Mat 4:17; Mat 11:20; Mat 21:31, 32, +Luk 5:32; +**Luk 13:3; +**Luk 13:5; Luk 15:7; Luk 15:10; Luk 24:47, +*Act 2:36, 37, 38; Act 5:31; Act 20:21, +*2Ti 2:25; +*2Ti 2:26.
believe. *Mar 16:16, **Gen 15:6, +*2Ch 20:20, **Act 16:30; **Act 16:31; Act 19:4; Act 20:21, Rom 4:24; Rom 16:26, Gal 3:6, Heb 6:1.
the gospel. Luk 2:10, Rom 1:9, **1Co 15:1, 2, 3, 4, 2Co 8:18; 2Co 10:14, Gal 3:8, 1Th 3:2.
As always, should you have any questions, or should you happen to disagree with what I have written, feel free to leave a comment in the comment box below.