John 3:16 is a very famous verse in the bible: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life." It may seem simple, but what does it mean? Many people isolate this verse to conclude one only have an intellectual belief in Jesus to have everlasting life. Is that really all the bible teaches? Acts 17:30 says, "God commands all men everywhere to repent." What is repentance and what should we repent of? In a sense, repentance is a turning from sin and a turning to God.
Maybe you don't even feel you NEED to repent. Be honest and ask yourself the following questions. Have you ever told a lie? If someone lies, what are they called? That's right, a liar. Have you ever stolen anything at all (even if the value is small)? Someone that steals is called a thief. Have you ever used God's name as a curse word? That's called blasphemy. It's very common in movies and on television. Jesus said "Whosoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart." If you are guilty of these then God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart. That means eternity in hell.
Picture yourself in a courtroom guilty of many serious crimes. The Judge sentences you to life in prison or a million dollar fine. As the guard leads you away, someone you don't even know comes in and pays your fine in full. That means you are free to go! That's what Jesus did for us 2,000 years ago. He took our punishment upon Himself by taking God’s wrath on the cross. Then He rose from the grave – defeating death.
Jesus said "Repent and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15). Repentance involves agreeing that what God says is true; He won't overlook the guilty, we are all sinners, and Christ has died for our sins. This will lead to genuine sorrow, shame and even hatred for what we have done. It will also result in a lifestyle of turning away from sin, and trusting in Jesus alone for salvation. Repent and believe the gospel today.