It’s an interesting fact that the Gospel of John, which claims to be written that the one reading it “might believe”, never once employs the word “repentance”. After all, many professing Christians will argue that it is impossible for anyone to be saved without true genuine repentance. And I agree, but first we must ask, “What exactly is repentance?
“Whenever one of these religious folk tells a would be convert to repent, quite often what they really mean is, “You need to stop sinning and turn from your wicked ways.” But that isn’t what the word “repentance” means at all. The word repentance comes from the Greek word “metanoia” which, simply translated, means “after thought”, or better yet, “to think afterwards.” It refers to a change of mind that occurs after thoughtfully considering something. So, when John compelled his readers to “believe”, he didn’t have to use the word “repent” because repentance is implied within the very word “believe”. In order to believe, a “change of mind” must occur, a change from unbelief to belief.
While it is a commendable thing to stop sinning, that isn’t repentance and it certainly isn’t the Gospel. The Gospel compels us to REPENT — to BELIEVE, to place our faith upon Jesus and trust that his death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins provided everything necessary to reconcile us to God. Salvation isn’t about what you have done or promise to do for God but trusting in what God has done for you.