Repent and believe in the gospel

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” This is how Mark 1:14-15 summarizes in a single sentence what Jesus Christ calls us to do.

to repent

To change your mind about some concrete topic because you realized that you were wrong. If your mistake has caused any measurable damage, repentance includes that you do your best to repair this damage.

To review one’s actions and feeling contrition or regret for past wrongs, which is accompanied by commitment to and actual actions that show and prove a change for the better. (Wikipedia)

Mark does not explain what this Gospel actually is (that’s another topic), but one thing seems clear here: some people believe in it and others don’t. And these others are called to change their mind about it.

When you call somebody to repent, you must always make clear about what particular question you ask them to repent. It means “I believe that you are wrong in this particular question and that you would better change your mind about it.”

Believing in the Gospel seems to be an existential question, an important question, a question of life and death. Which leads us to a next question: What is so good about the Good News?