The Seldom Mentioned
LET'S EXAMINE REAL CHRISTIANITY, beginning with CONVERSION. In the Bible,
God commands, "Repent ye therefore, and BE CONVERTED, that your sins may
be blotted out" (Acts 3:19). God is not referring to some intellectual reformation
where a person decides one day to live a Christian life. Conversion is a supernatural
transformation performed by God. It takes place on a spiritual level, not a physical one.
It occurs when a person repents and trusts Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
Conversion is Synonymous with Being Born Again
Jesus Christ told Nicodemus, a man religiously trying to live a godly life, "Marvel not
that I said unto thee, YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN" (John 3:7). Jesus taught that a
person must be born again "spiritually[,]" "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and
that which is BORN OF THE SPIRIT IS SPIRIT." John 3:6
This spiritual birth is necessary because man is born into this world spiritually dead
(Eph. 2:1-5). He is a soul confined to a body that is only capable of physical awareness
through its five senses. Man goes through life sensing something lacking, spiritually, and
tries to fill his spiritual void by "searching out God" through religion. However, even
with religion, the best man can do is hopelessly grope in spiritual darkness. "Even so
THE THINGS OF GOD KNOWETH NO MAN, but the Spirit of God." 1 Cor. 2:11
The Apostle Paul reminded those who had already been born again, "Now we have
received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; THAT WE MIGHT
KNOW THE THINGS THAT ARE FREELY GIVEN TO US OF GOD" (1 Cor. 2:12). This
spiritual birth (conversion) gives a person spiritual awareness. They can know the things
of God. The person [not only] believes the Bible is God's Word, he KNOWS IT IS! God
becomes real to them!
Jesus said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see [perceive, know, understand,
truly relate to] the kingdom of God [the spiritual realm]" (John 3:3). To know God in a
personal way, you need a spiritual birth, "Ye must be born again[,]" thus you must be
Conversion Produces a New Creature
The Bible says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ [i.e. born again, converted], he is A
NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; behold, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW"
(2 Cor. 5:17). One of the things that "become[s] new" is the realization that one doesn't
fit in with this God-rejecting, sinful world anymore. The new creature in Christ has the
same personality he/she had before his conversion, only now he has a new nature--a
godly orientation, an inclination, a desire and interest toward the things of God. Their
spiritual eyes are now open.
Since the things of the world go contrary to the things of God, this new creature feels
out of place. In fact, the Bible refers to true, born-again Christians as "strangers and
pilgrims" (1 Peter 2:11) in this world, who can't wait to get home to Heaven. That's one
reason why, to the unconverted person, real Christians look like "peculiar people" (Titus
2:14; 1 Pet. 2:9) who simply don't fit into this world!
Does any of this sound strange to you, even as a professing Christian? If it does,
perhaps now is a good time for some serious self-examination . . . before it's too late.
WHEN THE APOSTLE PAUL, under the inspiration of God, wrote to the church at
Ephesus, he reminded them of their conversion. He said: "And you hath he
QUICKENED, WHO WERE DEAD in trespasses and sins..." (Eph. 2:1). To be quickened
means to be brought back to life spiritually, to be born again.
Paul went on to tell that church, "...Wherein in TIME PAST YE WALKED ACCORDING
TO THE COURSE OF THIS WORLD, ..." (Eph. 2:2). In other words, "before you were
converted, born again spiritually, you walked according to how the world walks,
according to its principles."
The world walks contrary to God, according to its own rules and philosophies. The
world has its own definition of right and wrong, definitions that change "as society
changes." That's why, on another occasion, Paul warned Christians, "BEWARE lest any
man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after THE
RUDIMENTS [principles] OF THE WORLD, and not after Christ." Col. 2:8
The Bible also warns, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of[sanctified, separated, set apart] IN ALL
the eyes, and the pride of life, IS NOT OF THE FATHER, BUT IS OF THE WORLD."
1 John 2:16
Born again Christians are to be, "As obedient children, NOT FASHIONING
YOURSELVES ACCORDING TO THE FORMER LUSTS in your ignorance: But as he which
hath called you is holy, so BE YE HOLY
MANNER OF CONVERSATION [lifestyle]; Because it is written, BE YE HOLY; FOR I AM
HOLY." 1 Pet. 1:14-16
"the former lusts" refers to the old lifestyle, the one prior to conversion. Christians, as
new creatures in Christ, should no longer be gravitating toward the things of the world.
Their primary desires should not be in the things of the world, but in God and the things
of God. The Bible says, "LOVE NOT THE WORLD, neither the things that are in the
world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father IS NOT IN HIM." 1 John 2:15
Not only should Christians not love the world, but according to Jesus Christ, the world
will not love them. "IF YE WERE OF THE WORLD, THE WORLD WOULD LOVE HIS
OWN: but because YE ARE NOT OF THE WORLD, but I have chosen you out of the
world, THEREFORE THE WORLD HATETH YOU." John 15:19
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be
called THE SONS OF GOD: therefore THE WORLD KNOWETH US NOT, because it knew
him not." 1 John 3:1
As a professing Christian, ask yourself, "Can I point to a time and place in my life where
I was converted?" (Not an intellectual, physical, or moral conversion; not a redirecting
of your life; not a dedication/rededication, nor for that matter, a commitment to Christ,
but a genuine born again, life changing, conversion, a conversion that resulted in you
feeling out of place in this world.) "Am I anxious to go home to Heaven? Do I feel like
a stranger and pilgrim who's just passing through? Am I a peculiar person to the rest
of the world? Do I love the things of God and not the things of the world?"
Keep asking yourself, "Does the world, with its partying, and boozing, and self-seeking
pleasures and lusts, seem to love me back? Or did I lose my worldly friends when I
supposedly became a Christian? Did they drop me?" "Ye adulterers and adulteresses,
know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore
will be A FRIEND OF THE WORLD IS THE ENEMY OF GOD" (James 4:4). "They are of
the world: THEREFORE SPEAK THEY OF THE WORLD, AND THE WORLD HEARETH
THEM. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth
not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." 1 John 4:5-6
It is true that, as Christians, we must exist in this world, work in it, raise our families in
it, and most importantly, try to reach it with the Gospel. But it is one thing to be in it,
and quite another to be PART OF IT. That is why God commands, "BE YE NOT
UNEQUALLY YOKED TOGETHER WITH UNBELIEVERS: for what fellowship hath
righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? .
... Wherefore COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM, AND BE YE SEPARATE, saith the
Lord, and TOUCH NOT THE UNCLEAN THING; and I will receive you." 2 Cor. 6:14,17
Perhaps you are not sure where you stand. Perhaps you're not sure if you have been
born again. First of all, if you have been converted, you would definitely know it!
Therefore, if you're not sure, then you haven't been. But there is another way to tell.
The Bible says, "FOR THEY THAT ARE AFTER THE FLESH DO MIND THE THINGS OF
THE FLESH; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit." Rom. 8:5
Earlier we learned how, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born
of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). A person who has never been converted is still living
after the flesh. In other words, they are still a soul guided by their flesh. They will tend
to "mind the things of the flesh[,]" be interested in physical things, and pursue the things
of the world. They will have worldly aspirations, goals, and ambitions.
The Bible calls the unconverted person, "a natural man." "But THE NATURAL MAN
RECEIVETH NOT the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him:
NEITHER CAN HE KNOW THEM, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Cor. 2:14
So with this in mind, ask yourself, "Am I more interested in the things of God, or the
things of the world? Do I derive more pleasure from watching T.V. or studying the Bible?
Would I rather go to a football game than attend church? Do I enjoy the preaching of
God's Word? Where does my ambition lie--in the things of the world, or of God? Am I
more interested in making money, or participating in a church ministry?"
Be honest with yourself. Would you rather buy material things for yourself, than give
money to missionaries so they can reach out to others? (Don't confuse charitable, self-
righteous acts with genuine interest in seeing others saved.)
Finally, do you look forward to fulfilling worldly ambitions and goals, rather than to the
return of the Lord Jesus Christ? Is He truly your Lord and Saviour? "Teaching us that,
denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously,
and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious
appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;" Titus 2:12-13.
If you haven't been converted, please write us. We have more material available,
including a Bible correspondence course. In the meantime, take the time to
read the back [below] to find out how you can be born again . . .
IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven? The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).
BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you
from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God," Isaiah 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: Not of works, lest any
man should boast." Eph. 2:8-9 Baptism, good
deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are
all examples of good works that cannot save you,
because: "Not by works of
righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he [Christ] saved
us," Titus 3:5.
THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through
Jesus Christ. He said: "I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) THAT'S
WHY: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us." Romans 5:8-9
THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your
mind); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner
and can't save yourself. And call upon Christ, and
Him alone, to save you. "if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [REPENT], and
shalt believe in thine heart [TRUST] that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved." Romans 10:9
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