To repent is to recognize the error of your ways; to regret having offended God; to renounce your sinful attitudes and actions; and to return to God in humble faith. Why did Jesus command people to repent? Because “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” God has always ruled the universe as King over all. Nothing escapes His sovereign control. His kingdom entered a new phase, however, when His son Jesus began His public ministry of preaching, teaching, and healing. As eternal Son of God, Jesus also is King. His coming introduced a new dynamic into the world. Wherever He went, people saw the light; they felt His love; they experienced liberation from guilt, from the power of sin, from illness, and even from evil spirits. God’s power became manifest in the lives of His people in a new way. To enjoy the benefits of the kingdom of heaven, however, we must greet the King with humble hearts. Like the Hebrews of old we must recognize how wrong we have been in our beliefs and our behavior. As we see our costly errors, we shall feel regret for our iniquities. That will make us renounce and turn away from our destructive patterns of life. Then we shall turn towards the only one who can bring true happiness, Jesus, the righteous, holy, omnipotent, and loving King. As John the Baptist proclaimed, the coming King will either baptize repentant people with the Holy Spirit or burn stubborn rebels with unquenchable fire. Which will it be for us?