See also “Atonement”.
To repent is to acknowledge that one has done wrong and then to make a decision to correct that wrong or never to do that wrong again. Repentance is entirely spiritual, that is, it is a spiritual event. The concerned individual would have felt the wrongdoing spiritually for it to be truly effective. Otherwise, it is of no use. Once the wrongdoing is felt spiritually, the Laws of God kick into action, tying new threads and creating opportunities whereby the repenting individual is allowed to expiate the guilt.
Depending on how much spiritual progress the individual has made, the karma that touches him is heavier or lighter, and in some cases it is entirely mitigated, ending in some form of symbolic action or the other. This shows the Love that is woven into everything, whereby the repenting ones are offered immediate protection from the karma that threatens them. It can therefore be seen that without repentance there can be no salvation for anyone.
For the Love of God to be fully effective, however, there must not just be repentance in particular, that is, in regard to a particular wrongdoing, but more importantly, there must be repentance in general which transform the human being and turns him into one who obeys the Laws of God in all their manifestations.