My youngest son and I were talking one evening about salvation through Jesus Christ. After explaining the truth to him, I gently asked him if he would turn from his sin to God. His response at that time was, “It’s just too hard.” It wasn’t until months later that God finally convinced him of his need. During a message by a visiting preacher my son was willing to listen and respond in a positive way to the gospel. This was a happy occasion for us but one which needed to be handled carefully because of a dangerous trend today.
I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. —Acts 20:20-21
In the past 30 years or so, it has become popular to present a partial gospel that emphasizes faith without repentance. While the Scriptures do emphasize faith, they also show that repentance is also required. Think of it this way. Why would anyone want to believe in Jesus if he was planning on continuing to wallow in his sin? Repentance is a change of mind regarding one’s sinfulness that leads to not only faith in the Savior, but also to a different attitude toward sin. This is what God requires of anyone who will be saved.