In today’s world of global evangelism – with gospel tracts, TV preachers, revival crusades etc., there are many persons repeating a short prayer for salvation as they seek to know God. And having had said that prayer, their claim of becoming children of God and Christians may either be accepted by others, or scoffed at.
Their salvation experience leaves room for doubts and questions as we wonder if these persons really meant the words the preacher asked them to say. Was there genuine repentance? Was there true conversion?The word conversion comes from the Greek word epistrephó which means “a turning about (to God)“; and not everyone who repeated a prayer for salvation has turned to follow God’s ways.
True conversion is a process that involves three other processes – (1) conviction, (2) conversion, and (3) conformity.
- CONVICTION – A Requirement For Spiritual Birth (Salvation)
For a man to experienced conviction, he must be convinced of the danger of sin. The Bible states in John 16 verse 8, that when “He (the Holy Spirit) comes, he will convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.”
- Conviction of sin causes you to know the venom that sin possesses. A sudden realization and understanding of your dirty and worthless old life comes to you, and you want to hurriedly leave that life behind you and forget about it altogether.
- Conviction about righteousness is having a realization of what is right.
- Conviction about judgment is a realization that all actions shall be judged.
Conversion is an irreversible change of life.
When there is no conviction, conversion can not ever be genuine. It is a deception to give an assurance of salvation to those who do not experience conviction, because they don’t even know what they have repented from.
Conformity is a building up to the image of Christ. That is why Ephesians chapter 4 verse 13 states: “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”.
Persons who do not have conviction before they claim conversion, can never be conformed to the image of Christ; because you can only grow into the life of the person that birthed you.
If you claim to be a convert to Christianity, then there must be genuine change in your lifestyle as you seek to be like Christ. If you find yourself always succumbing to and repenting of sinful practices; it could be that you were not saved at all. All your prayers of repentance may then be considered a waste of time . . . because your problem is not in the sinful act itself, but in the sinful NATURE that you posses.
The nature you have, is not that of the nature of Christ [the divine nature received at salvation]; and that may be why you keep on commit sins again and again.
The real problem is that of (spiritual) birth; you are not truly a child of God.
If this describes you, then don’t delay to make it right and to truly confess your sins to God, and repent. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; and serving God your way [the way of the flesh] is an impossible road to heaven.
2017 movie: “True Conversion“