Curious or Converted?
Pastor Steve Ellison
One day after the writing of this column, I will be heading to Sturgis, South Dakota for a week. I will be helping to staff an evangelism tent at the motorcycle rally. We will be encouraging people to consider the most important question ever posed to a human being. Every other issue pales, really fades to total insignificance, in the light of this question. This is a question that cannot be avoided. This question will not be denied; it will be answered. The answer to this question will determine the rest of one’s earthly life and eternity. Every person is born a sinner, an enemy of God, and begins sinning as fast as possible. God in His mercy and grace and love provided a way for every person to be reconciled to Him. This reconciliation comes at a terrible cost but not to the recipient. Rather the cost was paid by the One who gave it. Any person who trusts God by receiving this precious gift has become a Christian. The Bible calls this being born again. We often refer to this change as being converted.
If a person traveling abroad wants to spend money he brought from home, he must first convert his money to the currency in use in the country to which he has traveled. The Christian is a little like the converted currency. The person who has trusted God is born again (spiritually) as a new creation. Old things have passed away and new things have emerged. Unless a person is converted to Christ, he will not enter heaven. The Bible teaches that Christians are hidden in Christ so that God the Father sees only the sinless perfection of His Beloved Son in Whom He is Well Pleased, not the sinful human. Hallelujahs are appropriate at this point. In effect, the value of the old currency (the sinful human) has been converted to the new currency (Christ).
I heard a sermon one time entitled, “Curious or Converted”? The main message was that many people believe that they are Christians (converted) when in reality they are not. They are only curious about Jesus. The record of Jesus’ ministry in the New Testament is full of illustrations of this very fact. Almost always as soon as Jesus began to draw crowds of curious onlookers, He moved quickly to weed out those who did not truly trust Him. Invariably, Jesus would unleash some very simple teaching that required the hearer to lay aside everything and throw themselves completely on His mercy. Even those who believed in Jesus ability to heal were revealed as the merely curious. These people came for healing and brought friends and family for healing but they were not converted. They sought gifts not the Giver. That is self-centered and does not result in conversion. These people were pro-Jesus but not saved. They liked Jesus and maybe even loved Him in some sense. They were in favor of the supernatural works that Jesus did. They were entertained by and interested in His marvelous teaching. Sadly, they would turn away from Jesus when they found out what true conversion meant. Many Americans do exactly the same thing today. Tragically, many curious people today never find out that curiosity and pro-Jesus sentiments do not equal salvation. In many cases, the church in America has failed to declare the whole counsel of God. We have allowed the curious seeker to believe that his curiosity and warm feelings for Christ are evidence that he has been converted, born again as a new creation in Christ, when that is not what Jesus taught at all. ..……..…..firstname.lastname@example.org