The Bible says without a vision people perish. Without a true salvation it is so easy to be distracted from your vision by looking at your condition. I see many here who are distracted today, mainly because they have no vision. But in our daily hustle and bustle to get and keep those people busy we often overlook they are not serving God because they truly do not know God. Oh, there was a time they walked to the altar and spoke a prayer, usually repeated from a pastor or helper. The problem and question is: were you converted or conformed?
In II Corinthians 5:17 the Apostle Paul explains to us how when we believe and come to faith then we are become a new creation in Christ Jesus. The old man has been put away we are become new. FORMER THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY--- Our sin debt, GONE -- our sins-- GONE-- Our worries, fears, anxieties, pride, ego, GONE. Too often the first part of this verse is stressed that we are a new creation. But, the new creation is only complete because the old things are passed away and all has become new. It is no longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me. You are no longer under the cloak of the sinful nature we are all born with. It has been crucified on the Cross of Jesus so it is GONE. You have shed the former self and become like the personage of Jesus Christ. All things have changed and you have a new mind in Christ.
When you came to the cross of Calvary and recognized your sin nature, your inability to fix yourself by yourself, knowing you need more you laid your life down to Jesus, you saw the sacrifice Jesus made for you. You saw how the LORD Jesus Christ paid your sin debt. Now you are convicted that by yourself and in yourself is no good thing. That without Jesus in your life you will never find true happiness, so you repeat a modeled prayer and people shake your hand, or give you hugs. Next thing you know they have you baptized and tell you that is your public display of showing your following of Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.
The question is have you truly been converted, changed in the new life of Jesus Christ, or have you been conformed? Have you become "like" those around you? You want to be the same, you see them at church on Sundays, you see them going to prayer meetings and see that they have peace. Now you wanted the same. You feel good about the associations you now have and you have changed a few moral aspects of your life. But, did you truly, undeniably, give your life to Jesus? It is called FAITH. Our change to a new creation, our dropping of old things, ridding ourselves of the old nature, it is not of ourselves, it is accepting Jesus Christ by faith and His Holy Spirit living in us is what changes us.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace our ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast. Verses 8 and 9 from Ephesians what we claim as verses to our faith, but have you read verse 10? Have you paid attention to what II Corinthians said about becoming a new creation? Here in Ephesians 2 verse 10 Paul again tells us it is our new creation. That it is not of ourselves, becoming a new creation is only through our faith and the wonders of God loving us so much He gave His only begotten Son Jesus the Christ to die for us in our place. Verse 10: "for we are HIS workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath foreordained that we should walk in them."
Yet, there are those that sit here today in churches across this country, even in this very church, this very room, that if asked if they died today would they be in Heaven or hell, they would not know. Know this, if you cannot answer the question with all certainty, all knowledge 100% sure then you are CONFORMED and not converted. I John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that you believe on the Son of God that ye may know, that ye have eternal life and ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. Ye may K-N-O-W you may know you have eternal life.
Being saved is costly. If you have a pastor or a friend tell you it won't cost you anything, RUN. It will cost, it may even cost you your life. It may cost you friends, family, it may cost you your home, your job, everything you have. But was it yours anyway? Was it for you to possess or was it given by God anyway. Would you have had it without the providence of God? So you still do not understand? Look at your life you dress up on Sunday, you come to church, sometimes to Sunday School. Perhaps you come back for the Sunday evening service, perhaps. When it is not a bother you make an appearance on a Wednesday prayer service. After Sunday services you "feel" a bit better since you were around "church" people. Singing songs lifted your spirits a bit, and oh, you put 10 bucks in the collection plate. The pastor had a sermon that gave you a bit of positive re-inforcement. You feel comfortable believing in God, the hope of eternity, and you are confident in heaven trusting God. But come Monday you worry about bills, you rely on others to help you or talk to you on family matters. You do not let go of matters that bring you down, that cause division and strife. You try to work it all out by thinking you can take care of it all. HEY GIVE IT UP IT IS BIGGER THAN YOU! Do you know what total surrender is? It is that NEW CREATION in you that says before I kept this all in, before I just depended on me, before I tried to do all things, Paul said I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. It is that NEW CREATION that says fall on your knees and pray, surrender it all to God the Father. It is that NEW CREATION that cries I SURRENDER ALL! Yes, we sing it now and then, that great song of invitation, I Surrender All. An invitation song for the lost, but perhaps a better song for those holding on, not yet knowing just what totally becoming a new creation in Christ truly is. It is that NEW CREATION that cries out MASTER I SURRENDER ALL. What about you that claim to be saved have you surrendered all being converted through repentance and faith in Christ? Or have you conformed just trying to fit in?
Michael is an evangelist serving from South Dayton Baptist Church in Moraine, Ohio. He has given his life to serve God in evangelism and pulpit supply for over 100 area churches. He is married to his wife Tammy the love of his life. Together they travel and spread the great news of Jesus Christ.
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