We do not have what it takes to offer repentance to the most high God. No matter how hard we try, we cannot djinn up enough moxie to repent of our sinful past.
Now, I realize that what I am saying seems contrary to what you have heard, that you must repent or you will die in your sins. But, in fact, it is not contrary…both are true. You must repent of your sins or you are lost; and, you cannot repent. What then are we to do. In his great novel, the Puritan Daniel Defoe had Robinson Crusoe experience this very dilemma. Crusoe was in agony over his misspent life, his load of sin. He tried mightily to repent several times, but found that it was but a passing repentance; and when time went by and the punch bowl went around, his repentance evaporated.
In the gracious providence of God, a Bible came into his hands, and in agony of soul, he began to read. He came at last to the passage in Acts 5:31, where, speaking of Jesus, the bible reads:
Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
In transport of joy, Crusoe cried out:
Jesus, prince and savior, give me repentance.
At that moment, he truly and effectually repented. Not by his own strength or will, but by means of the gift of an exalted prince and savior, Jesus.
In like manner, Jesus who has ascended to the right hand of the judge of all the earth stands ready to give you repentance. Freely does He give this gift to all His children: