If I remember the story correctly, a man in conversation with the famous evangelist D. L. Moody, pointed to a drunken man on the street and said, “Moody, isn’t that one of your converts?” Moody replied, “Yes, that looks like one of my converts.” Implying that the work of man does not change an individual but only a true work of grace by Christ can convert.
When I was a child, you sometimes heard of someone being converted (becoming a Christian). Now we hear anything from “accepting Christ” to someone being “saved”. I use these terms and I do not want to scribble over terms but discuss a deeper issue. True conversion is a spiritual concept that Bro. Moody implied.
In some countries of the world there are laws against people being “converted” from their accepted religion. History even speaks of forced religious conversions. True conversion is a matter of the heart not a forced adherence to a religion. An adherent is something quite superficial and of name only.
I believe in the eyes of God there is no such thing as a “forced conversion”. One must be a willing follower or nothing at all.
Even in our evangelical circles, evangelism has almost become a sales pitch rather than a conviction of the heart. It goes something like this, “Do you want to have a better life and go to Heaven? Accept Jesus. Sign here!”
Someone said that many people are going to miss Heaven by eighteen inches (the distance between their head and heart). Salvation in Christ is not merely a mental knowing of who Jesus is—even Satan knows that. Our faith (believing) must be in Christ not a mental agreement. There is a big difference between knowing and believing.
I CAN NOT CONVERT ANYONE!!!
I can only preach about the crucified and resurrected Jesus Christ. Yes, I can and must preach in the anointing of the Holy Spirit about Jesus and Him crucified and resurrected. Then the seed of faith planted in the heart of a person is watered by the Word and heated by the Spirit resulting in the germination of that seed into saving faith in Jesus.
There must be a revelation in the spirit of man brought about by the Holy Spirit before someone can be born again into a life in Christ.
True conversion uses the biblical word “convert” meaning basically to “turn”. The greatest evidence of true salvation is a changed life. Jesus did not die on the cross so you could be a better you but He died on the cross so you could be a new you.
If you have been “converted” by a religious salesman and your life has not changed then you really need to be converted in a real life-changing spiritual way. If you are convinced in your heart that you are a sinner, that you need Jesus, and He is your only hope; you are almost there—you are believing. Take the next step, surrender to Him, accept Him, repent (turn from your sins), confess, and begin your journey with Jesus.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV).
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved./ For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10 NKJV).
Yours on the Journey with Jesus,
Harry L. Whitt