While working on another writing project, an epiphany occurred which led to this book. Although I have read both John the Baptist's and Jesus' statements about repentance and the kingdom of heaven many times, I became intrigued that both used the same phrase to describe how one prepares to experience the spiritual blessings of that divine realm - "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." The longer I pondered its meaning, the more I understood the enormous challenge Jesus faced in transforming the historic religious attitudes of Israel. Repentance was not solely about ceasing prior bad behavior. Instead, its greater meaning involved turning away from self-righteousness under the ancient legal codes of Israel and turning to righteousness based on faith in the redemptive life and work of Jesus alone. In order to accomplish that, centuries of deeply entrenched religious legal standards, traditions of the elders, social standards and attitudes, and the very order of Jewish society would have to change. It would involve the greatest physical challenge and the greatest danger one could face, but the spiritual rewards would also be the greatest anyone could experience. Given the spiritual importance of repentance, it seemed logical that Jesus would have woven its meaning into all of His teaching. This inquiry led to a deeper study of the Sermon on the Mount and to the discovery of a treasure trove of spiritual truths regarding repentance. This project has been both spiritually and physically challenging. It has been the focus of my attention and interest for a long while and has involved many hours of study and writing. The challenge seemed endless at times, but it resulted in a broader and deeper understanding of this vital spiritual concept.