Today, many understand repentance as a decision we make prior to baptism and conversion. In the "plan of salvation," repentance is merely one step in a process. Repentance is often understood or stated as though it was a feeling of remorse for past sin committed.
While this understanding of repentance is important, it is not the whole story. According to John the Baptist, repentance is a lifestyle of conforming to the values and priorities of God and his kingdom. He noted, in his preaching, that judgment exists for those who do not repent (Matt. 3:10, 12). But he also noted that one's lifestyle needs to demonstrate their repentance. Thus, repentance is a lifestyle; it must be ongoing. We must "bear fruit in keeping with repentance" (Matt. 3:8).
So repentance is not just "felt" but also demonstrated. Repentance is a way of life within God's kingdom because the challenge of changing our lives--of being transformed--to be kingdom agents for God is ongoing and always in process.
Does your life demonstrate the fruit of repentance?