Conversion is a goal for many in the world. People who produce content on youtube want to convert casual viewers into subscribers. People who have retail stores want to convert shoppers into buyers and then buyers into regular customers. People who have electronic market places online want to convert visitors to their website into buyers. It may be that we want to convert acquaintances into friends. We may be courting a special someone and want to convert them from a courtship relationship into a spousal relationship. What do all of these conversions have in common? There is always a point in time at which the conversion took place and there is a distinct chain of events surrounding the conversion which facilitated it. As Christians our desire should be to convert souls from sinners to saved. The Bible talks of this. Sadly, the world has muddied the water to such a point that it is very difficult to discern the truth for many. Let us look to Scripture and see exactly when conversation of a soul takes place.
The Driving Force of Conversion
The Psalmist very simply states, “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple (Psa. 19:7).” Friends, its that simple. The law of the Lord is the driving force of conversion. Without it we would be tossed to and fro by every wind of teaching that comes our way in an effort to fill a God sized hole in our chest if it were not for that which is perfect, the Word of God (cf Eph. 4:12-15; 1 Cor. 13:10). The medium whereby the gospel is preached unto us is the Word, referred to as the seed (1 Pet. 1:23,25; Luke 8:11). The gospel, which is delivered by the Word, is God’s power unto salvation (Rom. 1:16.). Without this power there can be no conversion. We would be forever be slaves to the power of darkness with no power to be translated into the kingdom of His dear Son (cf Col. 1:13).
The Deciding Factor of Conversion
We read that the Thessalonians were called by the gospel (2 Thes. 2:14). That being the case then are we all called by the gospel. Jesus said that we would not come into the kingdom unless we were all taught of God (John 6:44-45). How do we receive the Word? We must receive the Word with gladness, readiness of mind, much affliction, as God’s Word, and meekness (Acts 2:41; 17:11; 1Thes. 1:6; 2:13; Jas. 1:21). Receiving the Word is like putting an engine into a car. It doesn’t matter the quality of the body if there is no driving force and there can be no driving force if there is no reception thereof; the car will never move.
The Distinct Form of Conversion
Conversion actually takes on a certain form. That form is baptism. Conversion from shopper to buyer is manifest in the form of a transaction involving money. That is the form of conversion. The form of conversion from sinner to saint is baptism. Notice the words penned by Luke: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:1:19).” Surely we must repent. Repentance is a change of mind, not a change in location. The conversion happens when our sines are remitted. A parallel to this would be “…repent and be baptized… for the remission of sins…(Acts 2:38).” Now, another place it is written, “repent and turn to God (Acts 26:20b). Now, taking these three passages, we know that remission of sins, turning to God, and conversion all take place at baptism. Friends, the conversion of the world from a place with no chance of salvation at all to a place with the chance of salvation happened at the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. This form of teaching is referred to as the gospel (1Cor. 15:1-4). This is the point at which one is made free from sin and made a servant of righteousness (Rom. 6:17-18). Again, the form of this conversion is baptism (Rom. 6:3-ff).
Knowing what you have read today, how can you sit idly by and not be converted? If you have been converted, how can you sit idly by and not teach someone this wonderful operation of God? Friends, I pray that we will ever be diligent in our obligation to the Great Commission and teach the gospel to everyone we meet.