Repent is an inclusive word - everyone will need to repent or they will perish.
Second, REPENT is a Decisive Word
The story is told of a shoplifter who writes to a department store and says, "I’ve just become a Christian, and I can’t sleep at night because I feel guilty. So here’s $100 that I owe you."
"Then he signs his name, and in a little postscript at the bottom he adds, "If I still can’t sleep, I’ll send you the rest."
That is NOT true repentance! Repentance must be accompanied by true godly sorrow! Repentance is not motivated by the desire to feel better, it is driven by the desire to BE better!
"Repent" is a crucial word. "Repent" is a critical word. Repent is an absolute necessity. This is borne out in the following things: you must REPENT or you will PERISH!
When you are diagnosed with a potentially terminal disease and a radical treatment is prescribed, you know you receive what the Surgeon is calling for or you will perish. That is a decision that must be made sooner rather than later.
It is not a time for distraction or speculation it is time for decisive action. The Surgeon is not interested in discussing medical theories with you or wildly speculating on why some people get cancer and other people don’t, he wants you to commit to dealing with YOUR cancer.
In this encounter with Jesus these men were trying to avoid the issue by speculating about what was wrong with these other people. Jesus will not allow you to avoid the issue. Through His Holy Spirit He will relentlessly confront you and convict of your sin. That is the whole point of repentance.
Repentance is a definite decision made with the intention of turning AWAY from sinfulness and turning 180 degrees TOWARD God! Repentence is the "Christian U-Turn" in that it is a decision to immediately stop the sins that lead you away from God and turn around to return to Him by faith.
If you do not want to perish (be destroyed for eternity) then you will want to repent and return to God!