Yes, sinners are saved by repenting of their sins, “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,” (Acts 17:30). As willing as God is to save, he cannot save anyone without their repentance. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (II Peter 3:9).
The word repent means “to change one’s mind for the better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins, to think differently, reconsider.” Therefore, repentance is not merely a change of actions, it primarily is a changing of your mind – your thinking process – which when performed, leads to a change of life and action.
There are so many verses which teach the essentiality of repentance. Repentance was the message of John the Baptist. “John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” (Mark 1:4) Jesus said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17). “…but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3, 5). “So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent.” (Mark 6:12). When the first gospel sermon was preached, on the day of Pentecost when the church of Christ had its beginning, the apostles of Christ gave the means of entrance into the Lord’s kingdom, the church. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38). The message of the apostles was that men must repent. “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,” (Acts 3:19). The apostle Paul said his responsibility was to show all men ever where “… that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.” (Acts 26:20).
Repentance alone will not save. Many other things are involved in accomplishing one’s salvation. However, no person has ever been saved without first repenting of his sins. God demands it! He cannot save a stubborn and rebellious sinner who refused to “change his mind for the better.” and turn to God in humble obedience and service to him. Friend, are you ready to repent and be baptized as those we read about in Acts 2:38?