My goodness will lead you to a change of heart.
Romans 2:4 (WEB)
Or do you despise the riches of his goodness, forbearance, and patience,
not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
I love this promise. Romans 2:4 basically says it is the very goodness of God that leads people to repent. Many times, when we think of repentance, we think of it as a shame based response to some form of judgment in our lives. But really, it means to go in another direction or to change our mind.
When Jesus said, 'Repent for the kingdom is near', He was calling people to go in a new direction, a new way of thinking where they would know the truth and the truth would set them free. For too long, the word repentance has had far too many negative connotations.
There may be a place for a fire and brimstone, or a turn or burn message in the proclaiming of the gospel. But there is also a place when we simply proclaim God's goodness and His love and the result is that people will respond by going in a new direction... towards their loving Father through Christ. I believe that it is the love of God that will cause people to truly repent. In John 4:19, it says...We love because He first loved us.
God loved us while we were still His enemy (Romans 5:6-10). I believe it is the love of the Father that will melt the hearts of humanity and draw each one into His bosom through the free gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. It is our Papa's goodness that will lead us to change our minds and go in a new direction.
When I think of this promise in this light, it changes the way I see evangelism. It is the goodness of our Heavenly Father that will cause the biggest transformation in a person's heart.