“Repent,” Peter said to them, “and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus the Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
It seems to me that many people, Christian or not, do not really understand repentance at all. This is a problem, seeing how repentance is required in order to trust Jesus.
Imagine you and I are about to take a trip to a well known town about an hour away from where we are now. You are going to drive, but are not completely sure about how to get there so you bring along a GPS just for backup. As soon as we pull out of the driveway I fall asleep; I wake up later and notice that the scenery doesn’t look quite right. When I glance at the GPS screen I see that we have been traveling the exact opposite direction and are now almost to the wrong town. I point out the problem to you and tell you we need to turn around.
You now have a few options:
1. tell me I’m wrong and you know what you are doing
2. admit you are heading the wrong way but keep doing so for pride’s sake
3. admit you are heading the wrong way, stop going that direction, and turn around, heading now in the right direction
This new info poses a few good questions:
Can we go towards Jesus and another direction at the same time?
What if one asked Jesus “into their heart”, but never actually repented?
Does simply knowing the right way to go and believing it is the right way take me to Jesus?