Turn to Me and be saved,
all the ends of the earth;
for I am God, and there is not other.
For they themselves report about us
what kind of reception we had with you,
and how you turned to God from idols
to serve a living and true God, and to
wait for His Son from heaven...
I Thessalonians 1:9-10a
Now after John had been taken into custody,
Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel
of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and
the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and
believe in the gospel.
Recognition of sin is important. However, conviction of sin is not salvation, and neither does conviction of sin save anyone. Rather it is the turning from sin, and turning to God that saves. Repentance springs out of a heart that has been convicted of sin, but there are many who, after being convicted of their sin, never turn from their sin to God (Mark 10:17-22)
Repentance is that turning of mind, the changing of mind, the about face in the mind that causes one to turn his back on his sin, his anti-God attitude and lifestyle, and turn to God. And it is not a momentary turn, but a turn that lasts a lifetime. For once he has turned to God he continues to follow after God, and leaves his sinful lifestyle further and further behind, like watching the receding horizon in the rear view mirror as the car's path takes it further away from where it was before.