John’s call for repentance was in view of preparing for Jesus, whose coming was imminent. Jesus call to repentance is in view of preparing for the Kingdom of God, which is ” at hand “.
The word repent implies two elements:
One is regret. For example, we repent behaviors by which we have hurt someone we care about. Whether we did so deliberately or thoughtlessly;
The other element is change, taking the form at least of a firm resolve to avoid such behaviors for the future. Neither one alone is repentance. Regret without resolve changes nothing; resolve without regret lacks motivation.
Why we must repent?
” Christ suffered for our sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that He might lead you to God. ” If we are not led to God, then Christ suffered for us in vain. What would be the point? Furthermore, ” may we experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then we will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God ” – Ephesians 3: 19.