"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1
Latest News & PROPHECY
A Growing Divide between the USA and the EU

Defying Trump EU leaders commit to Iran Nuclear Accord

The Associated Press  Published: OCTOBER 19, 2017 5:45 PM

US vs EU divide

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, walks to a meeting on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. British Prime Minister Theresa May headed to a European Union summit Thursday with a pledge to treat EU residents well once Britain leaves the bloc. Francois Lenoir, Pool Photo via AP)

BRUSSELS 

The leaders of the 28 members of the European Union are showing their support for the Iran nuclear agreement, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's opposition to it.

EU spokesman Preben Aaman tweeted that the EU leaders agreed at a summit Thursday to show their joint commitment to the international agreement curbing Iran's nuclear program.

The EU leaders called the 2015 deal a pillar of efforts to reduce the global nuclear threat. Some fear that walking away from the deal could compromise chances of encouraging North Korea to negotiate on its nuclear program.

Trump "decertified" the deal Friday, angrily accusing Iran of violating it, and directed the U.S. Congress to make it more stringent.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has certified eight times that Iran was living up to its commitments.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and French President Emmanuel Macron participate in a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. British Prime Minister Theresa May headed to a European Union summit Thursday with a pledge to treat EU residents well once Britain leaves the bloc. Francois Lenoir, Pool Photo via AP)

Bible Prophecy teaches that the European Union will become more and more influenced by Russia, Iran is an ally of Russia. Together they will become what the Bible terms as the King of the North and they will increasingly fail to support Britain and Amercia in their efforts to keep Russia in check.  So we can expect to see a GROWING DIVIDE between the U.S.A and the European Union.  

The EU will become a SUPERSTATE with a dominant FEDERAL GOVERNMENT described in the Bible as a Beast System due to its amalgamation of different countries and peoples into one State with one Voice.  Along with this development we expect to see RUSSIA become more involved in Europe with links to a combined army.  Again it's interesting that they see the development of a EU Army as an important next step.This EU SUPERSTATE will along with Russia enter into a final conflict with Israel and the Middle East.  Germany is the key country in what Bible Prophecy refers to as the land of "Magog". 

The Land of MagogThey are spoken of militarily as the "King of the North".  Together the Bible says that Russia and the EU will invade the Middle East in the Last Days.  So Bible Students expect to see Germany and France taking a greater role in leading Europe.  It is also interesting to see Germany taking greater control of a continent they tried to take by war and failed.

Yet again we see in Todays News Headlines words that show how the Nations are fulfilling the latter day alignment of Nations as Prophesied by the Bible. 

See this article to learn more about this and the latter day prophecies of the Bible.

See this article for more on this subject: WHAT IS NEXT FOR EUROPE

WHY IS BIBLE TRUTH SO IMPORTANT?

Bible Truth

THE IMPORTANCE OF BIBLE TRUTH

Is Bible Truth important to your Faith and Salvation ie. will you be saved despite what you believe the bible teaches or does it matter what you believe?

Well the word “truth” appears 237 times in the bible, that alone says it must be important!

Therefore it must be important to understand what “truth” is.

A quick scan of the passages using this word “truth” leave us in no doubt that it is not only important, but vital to our salvation.

John 17:3

3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

1 John 5:20

20And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true,even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

1 Timothy 2:3-4

3For thisis good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

 

Clearly then knowing what is Bible Truth is important and vital, in addition to this we are also warned that some would depart from the “truth”…

1 Timothy 4:1

1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry,and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

1 John 4:6

6We 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.

From these passages it is very clear that we need to know the “truth” about God and His Son as it is taught to us in the Bible.  This means we must learn what this is from the Bible itself.

 

Don't let your HOPE of LIFE ETERNAL rest with someone else eg. your pastor or minister, YOU owe it to yourself and your family to be fully convinced of what it is you believe to be sure it HOLDS something REAL for you.

We have all been warned by God that there would be many false teachers and Jesus himself has told us that "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."  See Matthew 7:14

 

Sadly when Christ returns to this earth, many will only then realise that they have believed in lies Jeremiah 16:19

"19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit."

Don't let this be you or your family!

 

BIBLE TRUTH and true faith must be founded on a fully inspired Bible.

 

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“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”  John 17:3

 

Our Commitment to all True Bible Teaching Seekers is that all our teaching will be supported by consistent and clear Bible Passages.

 

The Greek word for "know" in the passage above is 'ginosko' and it means to have a thorough and deep understanding of the subject. 

 

So if you seek "life eternal" then you must truly "know the only true God and Jesus Christ".

 

Click here to learn more about the INSPIRED WORD OF GOD:The Inspired Word of God

Wrested Scripture

Wrested Scripture and True Bible Teaching

 

Are mainstream Christian teachings correct?


The true Gospel can suffer from preconceived ideas and misinterpretations.


Find out what the Bible is actually saying and where interpretation can go wrong.

 

You owe it to yourself and your family to be sure of what it is you believe, the Apostle Paul has told us to "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling"  Philippians 2:12

The OFFER of LIFE or DEATH

God's Offer of LIFE or DEATH

“Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.   See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him… This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life…"  Deuteronomy Chapter 30:12-20

 

From this passage we see how important it is to each one of us that we seek after God and His Word the Bible to us.

 

Without this we have no hope of LIFE, but only a future of DEATH.

 

This Word of God was originally given to the Nation of Israel and later it spread via the Apostles of Christ to the World, that even we today might have this same HOPE of LIFE ETERNAL.

 

It is UP to YOU then to seek out God’s Word, to KNOW what is the TRUTH of God’s Word so that you and your family might KNOW the way of LIFE ETERNAL and the great HOPE of living in God’s Kingdom on EARTH.

 

Do not let your HOPE rest upon others and most importantly on what others teach, search it out for yourself because we have been warned that the churches would be astray from God’s word in the last days.

 

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”   2 Timothy 4:3-4

 

Too much is at stake for you to not act yourself to seek out the TRUTH.

 

Christ himself has told us to do this when he said…

 

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. Godis a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24

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The statements on this guide represent what we believe is true Bible teaching. The statements are deliberately challenging, asking every reader to compare his own opinions with the plain teaching of Scripture, examining carefully the Bible passages offered as proof. If, as a result, a change of mind and heart is called for, there will be no doubt that the teaching of the Lord, and the book he trusted, must be followed and not what the churches teach.

 

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CONVERSION

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True Bible Teaching - What the Bible really says about God and His Purpose

CONVERSION

Conversion

Conversion - Past, Present, FutureRepent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out…”  Acts 3:19

Introduction
Saul of Tarsus, the determined enemy of Christians, took the road from Jerusalem to Damascus with fury and hatred in his heart. In his burning zeal to exterminate the growing church he spared neither himself nor his followers the scorching heat of the Syrian desert. But the Saul who arrived at Damascus would not have been recognized as the man who left Jerusalem. He did not ride through the city with the power of an inquisitor; he stumbled, blind and stricken, leaning on the arm of his guide, humbly pleading to be led to the house of a Christian disciple.

What had turned this proud Pharisee into a broken and contrite disciple of Christ? A light, brighter than the mid-day sun, had stopped him in the way. Christ had revealed himself in the blinding glory, called Saul from his misguided zeal and claimed him for himself. Saul's bewildered cry "Who are you, Lord?" had been answered, not in divine anger but in a loving call to obedience and service:  "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. Now get up and stand upon your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you" (Acts 26:15-16).

It would be difficult to exaggerate the effect of this blazing revelation which swept Saul from the feet of Gamaliel to become Paul at the feet of Jesus. The whole course of his life was changed; but nowhere was the change more clearly seen than in his character. The light which exposed his confidence and self-sufficiency also purified him, and Paul's great natural gifts were changed in grateful submission to the service of his Lord. Counting himself the least of the apostles, he gloried in what Christ was pleased to accomplish through him. To the Galatians he disclosed the secret of his great apostleship:  "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

The great experience of Paul on the road to Damascus is full of drama. It traces the simple pattern of Christian conversion, and powerfully illustrates the fundamental change which follows the humble response of man to the loving challenge of Christ. But in these days when humanism is so popular and most people are convinced of the dignity of man rather than the depravity of man, conversion may seem an old fashioned word. In considering the subject of conversion the values of the modern world are not much help. Today, man is placed in the centre of the universe, and human knowledge is considered adequate to interpret life and to provide an understanding of its meaning. Man's basic condition in the sight of his Creator does not usually get a mention.

In the modern world there is a marked aversion to talk about something as unpleasant as sin - even though it is the core problem with humankind. There is a natural tendency in man towards comfortable conclusions and self-serving values. So, on every conceivable subject the authority for man's beliefs and opinions (beliefs and opinions which determine our habits and character) lies with the changing fashions and attitudes of the world. There is a tragic leaning in human nature to accept the current fashions of thought as a foundation for thinking, without any attempt to challenge them. And of course, the more important the subject, the more disastrous the results of this inclination become. When the subject is God, following the crowd can be fatal. Belief in a personal God who is not only the Creator of the universe but is in touch with His creation is an essential part of our subject ; and in spite of man's self-assurance and pride, when man reaches the limits of his own resources he instinctively lifts his face toward Heaven. However inarticulate a man's cry may be, we see in it something of the spirit of the Psalmist who cried, "Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I? (Psalm 61:2) 

There is in every man an instinctive need for God. The greatest discovery we can make in life is the recognition that God has spoken. God has revealed His purpose through His Word - the Bible. And then through the historical experiences of Israel - a nation raised up to be His witnesses and the custodians of His purpose. Finally God has revealed His purpose in the life, death and resurrection of His Son - Jesus Christ. This discovery is a necessary requirement to the subject of conversion. God has allowed men to know something of His attributes. By responding to His love man can become eternally associated with His purpose of glory. 

The claims of the Bible as the instrument of divine relations are dealt with elsewhere (Isaiah 40:6. See also Psalm 90:5-6,103:15-16, James 1:10, 1 Peter 1:24.) Our purpose is to examine the Bible's teaching on the condition of man, his need of God, and the way in which God has met that need. We are faced in the Bible with a description of ourselves which may cause a profound shock to our self- importance, yet a description which is understandable when viewed from the standpoint of the Creator of the universe. God's view of man is summed up in the words of Isaiah: "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers, and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows upon them. Surely the people are grass." (Isaiah 40:6-7) 

With our modern knowledge of the vastness of the universe we are able to see more clearly than our forefathers how the Creator views man: 

"Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket. They are regarded as dust on the scales, He weighs the islands as though they were fine dust." (Isaiah 40:15) 

This was not a difficult concept for the Israelite David, who was not preoccupied with the dignity and significance of man, but who spent his days and nights on the hillsides looking after his father's sheep.  "When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that you care for him?" (Psalm 8:3-4).

This is God's assessment of man. It also shows man's acceptance of this assessment as the way to humility, which is not only appropriate to our situation, but also acceptable to God:

"This is the one I esteem, he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. (Isaiah 66:2)  When we are humble, we are better prepared to receive God's lessons concerning human redemption.

The first truth to be grasped by our humbled spirit is in relation to our Creator. Historically this takes us back to the drama of Eden as it is described in the book of Genesis. There we find man created for fellowship with God, capable of knowing and loving God, in harmony with himself, and his fellow, and having authority over the rest of creation around him. The harmony and well-being of our first parents was based upon their fellowship with God, their recognition of their responsibility to Him and their obedience to a wisdom greater than their own. But by disobedience to God they became separated from their Maker, expelled from His presence, and placed under the sentence of death. When man fell he dragged all creation down with him. Separated from God, man found conflict within himself, and we have only to wait for Adam's sons to witness the first murder. Nature grew wild about him, thorns and thistles sprang up in his path, and among the animals which he had named there were those which now became fierce and unapproachable. Man's plight is desperate. He lived his short, frustrated life estranged from his Maker, out of harmony with himself, his fellow and his environment, until at last, paying the penalty of his sin, he returned to his earth. As children of Adam this is the world into which we are born and this is our natural heritage. Paul summarizes it with uncompromising clarity; "Sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned." (Romans 5:12)

The early chapters of Genesis are essential to our understanding. Before we can begin to understand deliverance, we must know something of the situation from which we have been delivered. There is nothing of himself that man can do to restore harmony with his Creator, no struggle back to God has any hope of success. Man is held in the grip of sin and is unable to free himself. If there is to be any deliverance for him, it can only be the work of God. The glorious message of the Gospel is that in His redemptive love God has prepared a way in which man can turn to Him, become reconciled, and enter into an eternal relationship with Him. God has wrought this redemption not from far away, but by coming near to man by means of His Son, by speaking to man in a language he can understand, and in love by drawing man back to Himself. In the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we hear the voice of God once more, not now in judgement, but in gentle tones of love, calling men to a glory greater than that which Adam lost.

Conversion is the active response of man in obedience to the call of God. It consists in man being brought to realize his weakness and corruptibility, his helplessness to save himself, his need of divine help, his recognition of the provision God has made in the coming of Jesus - a Saviour who lived a life of perfect obedience and died a death of atonement. It involves the acceptance of this Saviour, and with him God's promise of forgiveness. It means deliverance from the bondage of this life to an inheritance in the life which is to come. It is a call to self-denial and rebirth. The Bible is a record not only of the fall of man, it is above all a revelation of God's love in redemption. It is the only source of instruction in the way men can turn to God and live. 

Turn back - Be Converted
The word convert conveys the literal meaning of turning back. It is a challenge to man to turn from the paths of sin and death and walk in the path God has prepared ?towards an eternal inheritance as children of God. It is a word used (with all its derivatives) only fifteen times in the Bible, but the idea it conveys of turning to the Lord is the whole purpose of God's word, and runs like a golden thread from Genesis to Revelation portraying the drama of the conversion of the world (see 1 Corinthians 10). Nowhere is it more powerfully expressed than in the words of Paul to the believers in Ephesus:

"Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel, and foreigners from the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2:12-13)

The Law and the Prophets
The Old Testament provides a wealth of material for a study of this great subject of conversion. The nation of Israel, rather than an individual, was the subject of God's call. The redemptive purpose of God was revealed in the history of the nation of Israel who, as the children of Abraham, were witnesses of God, custodians of His purpose of redemption, and the means through which His purpose would be achieved. But it should not be forgotten that so many of the experiences of Israel were symbolic of the spiritual pilgrimage of the Christians. (see 1 Corinthians 10)

Throughout the Old Testament the recurring theme is a call to Israel to be obedient to God's commands, and the reward of their obedience is seen to be a restoration of harmony with God. 

"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God for he will freely pardon. (Isaiah 55:7) 

"Turn away from you all the offences you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O House of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live." (Ezekiel 18:31-32)

"Wash, and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight... though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be white as snow, though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." (Isaiah 1:16-18)

This is the divine language of conversion whether it is addressed to a people, or to an individual. The essentials do not change. They combine repentance and responsive faith based upon consciousness of God's redeeming love. They also give hope of participation in divine glory in the future. In Jeremiah 31 the call of God and the response of man is finely illustrated: "I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with loving-kindness.? (Jeremiah 31:3)And man responds: "Restore me, and I will return, because you are the Lord my God. After I strayed I repented, and after I came to understand I beat my breast. I was ashamed, and humiliated." (Jeremiah 31:18-19)

Conversion is clearly revealed as a work initiated by God's love and completed by man's obedience. The command "get a new heart and a new spirit" (Ezekiel 18:31) is accompanied by the promise "I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you." (Ezekiel 36:26)
Yet it is in the experience of one individual that the full beauty of conversion is concentrated. Revealing a pattern in which all the Scriptural teaching on the subject finds its place. In the vision which Isaiah received (Isaiah 6) we observe the four stages which combine to describe the process.

The Call of Isaiah
The call and consecration of Isaiah is as inspiring and illuminating as that of Paul. The prophet received a vision of the Lord, described in terms of glory, surrounded by angelic ministers chanting: "Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory." (Isaiah 6:3). The impact of this holiness and glory on the man who stood upon the earth resulted in a feeling of shame and utter unworthiness expressed in his cry, "Woe to me, I cried, I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips ... and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty? (Isaiah 6:5).  It is then that God intervenes, and the prophet, brought near to God through atonement, humbly and eagerly accepts the divine commission to be God's servant: "Here I am. Send me? (Isaiah 6:8)

The Psalms
While the dramatic experience of Isaiah shows the stages of conversion, it is in the Psalms that we breath the atmosphere of conversion. (Particularly Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143) . Again and again we meet the despairing spirit of man from whose presence God has hidden His face. A conscience tortured by a sense of sin, eaten by remorse. No language seems adequate to describe the anguish, the groaning, the burden of sin, the deep pit from where there seems no deliverance, the yearnings for mercy and forgiveness. But triumphing over all this is the happy acknowledgement of spiritual illumination, the joy of conversion in the heart returning to God - and remaining in Him, songs of gratitude beyond expression at the assurance of God's love and the salvation which God has made known.

There are frequent anticipations of Jesus - through whom God was to achieve deliverance for man, so that faith and love accompanies repentance and gives reality to conversion.

Yet the Old Testament still awaited the full revelation of the New. While the sense of sin and the need of forgiveness were felt, the nature of redemption could not be fully seen until Christ was manifested to "abolish death and bring life and immortality to light through the Gospel." (2 Timothy 1:10). So in the Old Testament the joy of conversion could never be fully realized. The oft repeated chorus of the Psalmist "Restore us, O God. Make your face to shine upon us, that we may be saved." (Psalm 80:3, 7, 19), could only be answered fully when God, commanding the light to shine out of darkness, had "shined in our hearts? "God, who said "Let light shine out of darkness? made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:6)

The New Testament
In the New Testament we find conversion a great theme. This should be no surprise when we realize that God had sent His Son into the world as the Saviour of men. The promise of redemption which God had made through the words of His prophets, the symbolic offerings of priests, the troubled history of Israel, these all became a reality with the birth of Jesus.  These things were expanded as Jesus' life unfolded, revealing in his example the attributes of His Father. In Jesus' teaching, he revealed the spiritual inheritance possible for men. In his miracles he gave a foretaste of the power of the life to come. The whole purpose of his life was to show his Father's redeeming love. This love found its full expression and power when the Son humbled himself to die on the cross. Christ's resurrection was the triumphant vindication of all that he came to achieve. It was the assurance to all men of the final inheritance of glory awaiting those who respond to his love. The advent of the Son of God was heralded by the preaching of John the Baptist. John prepared the people for the coming of Jesus by calling upon men to repent, to be obedient to the command to be baptised, and to show evidence of their repentance by changes in their lives.

John welcomed the Saviour on the banks of Jordan with a startling announcement, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." (John 1:29) Yet the teaching and content of John's words are seen in both the Law and the Prophets.  The Redeemer, Jesus, was to open the way to God by putting away sin through his own sacrifice. For that way to be open to individual lives it was necessary for men to respond to the work of the Saviour. And so the call of Christ was a call to repentance. With the arrest of John, Jesus began his ministry in Galilee with the words, "The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news." (Mark 1:15)  Jesus spoke of God's happiness when sinners repent. He warned those who told him the story of a massacre of Jews by Pilate; "Unless you repent, you too will all perish? (Luke 13:3)

But Jesus did much more than demand repentance. Mere regret for the sins of the past will not necessarily produce a transformation in the future. He demonstrated that repentance is the gateway to a new life, a life with different standards and higher values, a life which draws from himself its sustaining power. The standards of this new life are portrayed in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew ch.5-7). But we must be careful not to allow the beauty of the new life to divert our attention from its uncompromising conditions. There can be no question of getting the best of two worlds. There are two paths, one narrow - which leads to life, the other wide - and which leads to death. These are two paths heading in different directions. We cannot travel both at the same time. In the same way there are two kinds of trees bringing forth entirely different fruits. Likewise there are two mutually exclusive masters - we cannot serve both. The teaching of all these figures is summed up in the pronouncement of Jesus:  "You cannot serve both God and Money." (Matthew 6:24) 

Jesus' great discourse ends with a parable of two houses, one built on sand and the other on rock; the first is scattered by winds and storms, but the house built on rock remains firm: 

"Everyone who hears these words of mine, and puts them into practice, is like a wise man who built his house upon the rock." (Matthew 7:24)

Jesus, who showed the true way of repentance, also opened men's eyes to behold the face of his Father and prepared their hearts for a revelation of his Father's love. In his daily ministry among men, Jesus revealed the power, the compelling beauty and fruitfulness, of a life which found its sources and nourishment in the presence of God. When the work of Christ was taken up by apostles who were revitalized by having witnessed the resurrection of their Lord, and inspired by the gift of the Holy Spirit, their call to men was:  "Repent then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out." (Acts 3:19).  Once more, in the Acts and the letters, we find the same evidence of the positive nature of conversion. Conversion is revealed as the beginning of a completely new life.

Let us look at the language which describes it:

Turning from the power of Satan to God (Acts 26:18)

Dying and rising again (Romans 6: 2-8)

Becoming children of God (Romans 8:16)

A new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Christ dwelling in the heart by faith. (Ephesians 3:17)

Putting off the old man and putting on the new man. (Colossians 3:9)

Redemption from iniquity (Titus 2:14)

Called out of darkness into marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9)

The picture which emerges shows a converted man as one who has been born again and become a child of God. This new man has surrendered human relationships, he is fed by the Word of God, encouraged by the presence of Christ and sustained by the hope of the return of His Lord Jesus to the earth, and with that day the fulfillment of God's purpose of glory.  The new man's life finds its centre in Christ's life, death, resurrection and future return. This man's heart is so filled with the desire for God, and for His kingdom that all other desires fade into insignificance beside it. His intellect delights in the word of God - the Bible, and he meditates continually upon its message to man, his will is strengthened by a singleness of purpose towards the Lord God who has called. For him the Gospel has become "the power of God for salvation of everyone who believes? (Romans 1:16)

Much of the authority of the Word preached by the disciples lay in the evidence of their own completely changed lives. People could see that their conversion had affected their whole way of life.  Paul's experience on the Damascus road was the most dramatic in history. As surely as he left the feet of Gamaliel for the feet of Jesus, so surely did Paul change from doubt to faith, from legality to grace, and from sin to holiness. Yet profound as it was, Paul's transformation did not exhaust the full potential of the power and love of God in redemption.

Paul was never guilty of the terrible crimes which he lists to the Corinthian converts; "Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God? (1Corinthians 6:9-10)  It is a fearful catalogue, and yet Paul says:  "And that is what some of you were." (vs. 6:11) What had happened to change them? Only one thing; Like Paul they too had been truly converted.  "But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the spirit of our God? (1Corinthians 6: 11).  So we can see the power of God in Jesus in operation when even the worst of men call upon His name.

The Conflict
It is important to recognize that the picture of conversion we have drawn from the New Testament is the ideal and completed picture. It is neither an easy nor a rapid transformation. The inclinations of the flesh and the attractions of the world are things deeply bred into our bones, and they are not discarded without a fight which is often long and agonizing.

The difficulty of this struggle is vividly described by Paul when he records his own experience. He presents us with a graphic picture which we instantly recognize because it is so much a reflection on ourselves. Our self is divided against self in a death struggle which caused Paul to cry out in anguish;  "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24)  But this most tragic lament is followed by a triumphant song of praise as Paul finds in Jesus the deliverance he seeks. The power of Christ has won, Paul is more than a conqueror, and nothing can separate him from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Paul joins the group of apostles whose dedicated task was the conversion of men and women of every people and nation and tongue. With them Paul calls upon men to believe the Gospel, obey the call to repentance, and experience the joy and peace of new life and adoption into the family of God.

An analysis of Conversion
We are helped to a better understanding of the process of redemption by some kind of analysis. But it is made with the reservation that such an analysis is largely unreal in practice; there are no clearly defined stages by which conversion is accomplished in every life.

God deals with us as individuals not as impersonal units, and His grace will find a differing response according to our temperament and our environment. Some have grown up in an atmosphere of reverence for the Word of God, and the call to surrender will seem to be almost a natural process in their spiritual development. Others have been brought up in an agnostic setting, and they begin to tread the road towards conversion when some deep sorrow or sudden crisis has made them realise the limitations of purely human wisdom.

For others the penetrating truth of the real message of the Bible may suddenly challenge their previous acceptance of popular religion.  An apparently chance conversation in a train, a striking newspaper advertisement, a leaflet dropped into a letter box - any of these things may begin he process which results in our becoming children of God.  "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound but cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going." (John 3:8)

Having recognized therefore that it is somewhat artificial to attempt to number the stages of redemption as though we would place well proportioned stepping stones across a stream, it is nevertheless helpful to at least define the processes which are described in the Bible, to prevent confused and careless thinking on the greatest of all the issues of life.

Repentance
Repentance, as we have seen, is the act of turning to God. In practical terms this means an act, or a series of acts, by which our desires are purified, and we turn to God. We begin to feel distaste for those things that offend God, and a pleasure in the things that belong to Him.

Repentance is a largely emotional experience - it has to do with our feelings. For that very reason it must be recognized as only one of several ingredients in conversion. The ability of popular evangelists to create a spontaneous reaction in the hearts of thousands of people shows the danger of purely emotional surrender. The statistics that follow even the most carefully organized and apparently successful evangelical campaigns, show the profound truth of the teaching of Jesus in his parable of the Sower. "The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.? (Matthew 13:20-21).

Emotion by itself is a shallow sentimentalism which cannot withstand the powerful pressures of everyday living. To it must be added a faith upon which to build the principles of life. This, to return to the parable, will constitute the good ground in which the seed of God's word falls, it represents one who; "hears the Word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown? (Matthew 13:23).

Yet emotion, which can be disastrous alone, or as an end in itself, has its place in conversion. The God who says, "Come now, let us reason together." (Isaiah 1:18) is also the same God who says, "My son, give me your heart." (Proverbs 23:26)  It is in the realm of feeling that we become aware of that sense of sin which inspires repentance in our heart. Paul tells us that:  "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation." (2 Corinthians 7:10) 

From such a condition is born a humble desire to know what God wants us to do, thereby preparing us to receive knowledge of His ways.

The burden of sin must be a personal experience before we can begin to appreciate the deliverance that God has wrought. The cross of Christ will not move us until we begin to learn, the hatred for sin, and the hunger for righteousness which led the Saviour to it. With that understanding our desires will be diverted away from sin and towards God. 

We turn to the Bible as our sole guide for evidence of the part that emotion plays in the awakening of spiritual awareness. We find there that the whole range of human feeling is evoked by admission of sin and regret for past wrongs committed. It is the Old Testament that is particularly valuable in this study. For while the same range of feelings is known in the New Testament, there it becomes merged with the greater sense of deliverance that the coming of the Saviour has brought, with joyous hope for the future brightening the personal sorrow for the past. But our personal past still has to be recognised. As we have noted before in the Bible, emotion alone is not enough. With genuine emotion must come the demand for objective action -a demand for repentance which is designed to lay the foundations of a new relationship with God, leading finally to a new life.

In the Old Testament we find a sense of sin pervading the spirit of the servants of God and producing burning emotions in their hearts: Shame and confusion (Genesis 3:7-8; Ezekiel. 9:6; Jeremiah 31:19), self hatred (Job 40:4, 42:6; Ezekiel 6:9,20,43, Psalm 51:2), guilt and fear (Genesis 3:10, Psalms 6:1,38:1), weariness (Psalms 6:6,38:8), loneliness, (Psalm 102:6-7, Jer.23:39, Daniel 9:18), remorse and a sense of uncleanness (Job 33:27, Psalm 6:2-3, 31:10, 38:8-9) are all there. 

These feelings are accompanied by an intense desire for deliverance. There is a profound sense of the alienating power of sin. We recognise that only God can bridge the gap, and that, unless God does bridge the gap, all things are worthless - that there is no profit in anything that is done under the sun. But hope and trust are there too. In these cries of complete unworthiness and desperate need, there is the echo of the cry of a child to a father. There is a recurring note of confidence that God will bring redemption. It is a well grounded hope, because from the Garden of Eden onwards God had promised man a Redeemer.

Progressively through the history of Israel that hope became more clearly defined as the character and work of the promised Saviour was unfolded. Abraham rejoiced to see Christ's day (John 8:56). Moses spoke of the greater Prophet who would be raised up by God and command the obedience of men (Deut.18:15). David saw him still more clearly and in prophetic words called him "Lord." (Psalm 110:1). At many times, and in various ways, God had spoken to the forefathers of the Jews by the prophets. Finally the fullness of His grace was seen in the way of redemption prepared by His Son. It was in the light of this unfolding revelation, that we hear the note of hope, mingled with confessions of sin. 

In Hebrews chapter 11 we have a stirring record of the transforming power of that hope in the lives of those who lived and died in the glow of the promises God gave them of forgiveness and final deliverance. One of the great lessons we learn from the Old Testament is that shame for the past comes with hope for the future. Repentance is the gateway to a new life based upon the promise of God. The kernel of all Bible teaching on conversion is found in the two halves of the following verse: "stop doing wrong, learn to do right." (Isaiah 1:16-17)

With the coming of Jesus, the hope becomes a reality. The work of the Son of God was an expression of his Father, the Almighty, revealing the Father's character, showing forth God's love and accomplishing deliverance by reconciling man unto his Creator.  "God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us ?(Romans 5:8). 

Here in God's own wondrous way the deliverance of men was accomplished, here was the way of forgiveness, bringing with it a peace and joy which the world can never know or take away, leading on to a new relationship with God, through His Son, and preparing men for an eternal inheritance in His Kingdom.  "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me." (John 14: 6)

Faith
In the consciousness of our need - and the recognition of God's love in meeting that need - we are still in the emotional realm. It is the heart rather than the mind that recognizes the one and gratefully accepts the other. But as we have seen, feeling is not enough. There is another factor in conversion, another ingredient in the good soil in which the word of God flourishes and brings forth fruit.  Faith has to do with the mind rather than the heart; it may be considered as the consecration of the mind to God. To have faith is to believe, to believe is to consider as true. In the Bible workers in the Gospel are told to "contend for the faith" (Jude vs.3), and to "build yourselves up in the most holy faith" (Jude vs20). 

Truth is also used with the definite article - "the Truth" It is possible to "come to a knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 3:7), to be "firmly established in the truth" (2 Peter 1:12). The faith and "the truth" are seen in this context to consist of the knowledge of God's purpose as revealed in the Bible. The teaching of the Bible is that an acceptance of certain doctrines concerning the nature and purpose of God is an essential condition of conversion. 

Conversion requires an acceptance of the authority of God's Word:  "Anyone who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Hebrews 11:6)  The importance of believing should not require any emphasis. That it does today is to a large extent the measure of the harm that is done by evangelical campaigns where the appeal to conversion has been based so much upon the emotions. It can be easily seen that even on the lowest natural level this represents an attitude of mind that would have devastating consequences.  A beneficiary under a will would be particularly stupid if he did not take the trouble to study the document in order to find out whether any conditions were required of him to receive his inheritance. On the higher level of human relationships a young man away from home who claimed deep devotion to his parents but who did not even take the trouble to read their frequent letters to him could not be taken very seriously.  But these are poor examples of something infinitely higher.

The true situation stated in its simplest terms is that God in His great condescension and love has met the desperate need of man. God has revealed Himself and His purpose with man and with the earth, and has shown man what he must do if man wishes to enter into a relationship with his Creator and be associated with His purpose. To accomplish this deliverance God sent His Son into the world, and by the perfect obedience of Jesus to his Father's will and his sacrificial death, redemption is assured. If a man responds in obedience he will receive of this great deliverance which will alter the whole course of his present life and find its fulfilment when God's purpose is complete and the earth is full of His glory.

Throughout the Bible, but particularly in the New Testament, belief is emphasized as an indispensable condition of conversion. The mind must be enlightened by the revelation which God has given to man, and man must reach that crisis in his life when he is faced with the acceptance or rejection of what God has revealed. 

Paul insists that neither apostle nor angel from heaven can be tolerated if he preaches "Any other Gospel" than that which is given from heaven (Galatians 1:8). He encourages Timothy to "keep as the pattern of sound teaching" which he had heard from Paul (2Timothy 1:13).

Paul stresses to Titus the need for sound doctrine (Titus 2:1). The same emphasis characterises the whole of New Testament teaching.
The destructive modern idea that "it does not matter what we believe" is totally contradicted in the light of what the Bible reveals. There may be, and often is, a period of painful doubt. A rational mind may be tempted to insist upon an entirely rational faith. To those with such doubts it may be pointed out that faith and reason agree so long as they cover the same ground, yet in some of its most vital aspects faith transcends reason.

There is nothing "rational" in the cross of Christ, yet that is the central truth of the Gospel of salvation. Critics of the Gospel are likely to demand of the Christian believer more than they require of the experimental physicist or the philosopher, and likely also to deny God's love simply because they themselves cannot explain it. So what should be the content of belief? The apostolic definition was: "The Good News of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 8:12, see also Acts 28:31)

These things are explained in the New Testament and demand, firstly an acknowledgement of the Bible as the Word of God - a recognition that the Bible came by the will of God and man's only part in its production was as divinely inspired agent (see 2 Peter 1:21, 2Timothy 3:16). Once the authority of the Bible is fully accepted, God's Word comes to us in all its power. It is beyond our present scope to do more than give the barest outline of Bible doctrines - each of which has other booklets devoted to the subject. (Please write to the local address on the back cover for information about booklets on specific Bible subjects). 

Sufficient for our purpose now is to emphasize that man is declared to be mortal (destined to die), and in need of redemption, that this redemption has been traced in the work of Jesus who lived a life of perfect obedience and died a sacrificial death as Saviour of men. Further that the purpose of God will be fulfilled when Jesus Christ returns to the earth to take possession of the kingdoms of men and rule a world transformed by his power into a place of peace, joy and prosperity, where God alone is worshipped and all things are done for His glory. 

The Bible clearly shows salvation to be about turning away from the things that belong to this life, the world, the flesh, and all it stands for, and in the unreserved surrendering of ourselves to God on the basis of His promises. This surrender is marked first by the obedience of baptism, and then in living a life worthy of our new relationship, as children of God. Such attainment is recognized to be impossible by our own efforts, but possible by accepting the divine gifts which accompany our new life in Christ. It is a mortal pilgrimage still, ending in a death, but death to a child of God is no more than a sleep which will end in a resurrection - awakening from the dust - at the return of Christ. Approval of our faithfulness will bring the welcome from our Lord,  "Then the King will say to those on his right; "Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Take your inheritance - the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world." (Matthew 25:34)

Brief and incomplete as this outline of Bible truth is, the value of faith in such a belief will be readily seen. It is a universal truth that profound conviction influences a man's behaviour. A man who has no knowledge of the purpose of God will fashion his life according to the patterns and perspectives of the present life. He will be conscious of no power greater than his own to influence him, he will count success in terms of the satisfaction of human ambitions, and his horizon will be limited by his seventy years.

How fundamentally different is the experience of the man who turns to God in repentance, and seeks the illumination of God's Word. His expectation of the coming Kingdom of God on the earth extends his horizon to eternity; he ceases to accept the values of this world but begins to live in the power of the world to come. His self-sufficiency is replaced by his increasing dependence upon heavenly resources. It is not difficult to see why Christ demands that moral goodness must have its roots in right beliefs.

Surrender
All that we have so far spoken about is only the preparation for the great experience of conversion. The acknowledgement of our natural depravity and our desire for fellowship with God, our Maker, however intense it may be, is not sufficient on its own. Our acceptance of the authority of the Bible and our knowledge of God's purpose, however profound, will not of itself accomplish our salvation. Together the desire of our heart and the enlightenment of our mind in the ways of God, prepare us for the crisis of the Damascus Road. And it is here that we face the most searching and decisive step of our life.

We are called upon deliberately to surrender everything to God and commit ourselves unreservedly to Him. It is not a matter of resolving that from now on we will order our lives to follow Christ's teachings, because that will do no more than give a religious appearance to our lives. In our unregenerate self, our righteousness and our sinfulness are alike unacceptable to God. However successful we may appear to be in our efforts we shall fall short of the glory of God, for in His sight no person can be justified. The only way to God is the way of surrender. The call of Christ is explicit. "In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has, cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:33) 
And the context shows the extent of that renunciation, it includes the most intimate of human relationships, and most important of all the surrender of self:  "Yes, even his own life? (Luke 14:26) This is no easy task, nor is it made easier by the exacting requirements of the new life which we are offered in Christ. There is nothing congenial to the natural man in the demands Christ makes. Paul says uncompromisingly, "The natural man does not accept the things that come from God." (1Corinthians 2:14 Greek) 

Taking up a cross and following Christ is a stumbling block to human ambition, and foolishness to a worldly mind. In his natural state a man resists it with all his power. Yet the cross is the perfect symbol of Christian discipleship. Transcending the many lessons of the crucifixion is its message of divine forgiveness and its revelation of divine love. Here alone is the source of a responsive love in the heart and mind which finds expression, first in self-discipline and then in Christian service. The principle of sacrifice has been defined by the Anglican writer William Temple as "choosing to do and to suffer." It is a principle which finds complete fulfillment in the death of Christ, and it must be the abiding rule in the life of his follower.

It is here that we meet the full definition of faith and feel its challenge. It is so much more than passive belief, it is the living and dynamic power of that belief forging a momentous decision, and enabling us, with the help of Christ, to live in the light of that decision whatever the cost. It is the force that enables us to believe that the demands that God makes of us are part of the promise which He offers us, so that we must obey where we can, and for the rest we must trust in God.  In the dimmer light of the Old Testament times faith had a transforming effect upon the lives of the servants of God we have already considered. They desired a better country, they were looking forward to the city, they endured as if seeing God who is invisible; and their living faith in God, and His promises, brought them triumphantly through jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. (Hebrews 11:36)

Their faith remained steadfast though they were "stoned, sawn in two, they were put to death by the sword." (Hebrews 11: 37) "These people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance." (Hebrews 11:13)

With the fuller revelation of the purpose of God in the work of His Son, the faith of the men of old grows in stature, and by the same token the response of those who have witnessed the development of the divine purpose in the coming of Christ should be the more complete and powerful.

Baptism
Having recognised our mortal heritage and become instructed by the Word in the way of redemption, and having reached the great crisis in our life when we decide to turn to God and live, the first act of obedience which is demanded of us is baptism. There in an act of wonderful symbolism we renounce all that we are and all that we have as children of Adam and offer ourselves to God.

We are aware that the divine command of baptism has been either neglected or accommodated to human convenience since the earliest days of the church. The changes that have been made do not have God's approval.

The New Testament teaches unequivocally that baptism into Christ is only for believing adults, not for infants. It is the initiation into the new life in Christ by burial in water. To disregard this initial act of obedience is to turn away from God on the very threshold of the door to life.
Apart from the significance of baptism, recognition of it and obedience to it should be unquestioned in the light of Christ's insistence upon it as a condition of salvation. The words of Christ in his parting instructions to his disciples before his ascension leave no room for the slightest ambiguity,  "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19)  Nor are his words recorded by Mark less clear:  "Go into all the world, and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:15-16)

In the Acts of the Apostles we see the disciples faithfully fulfilling those instructions. To quote but two specific examples, Philip is sent to an Ethiopian eunuch who desires to be instructed in the knowledge of the Gospel. Following that instruction we read. "And as they travelled along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptised? [Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart you may.." And the eunuch answered and said, 揑believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." ] And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down both into the water, and Philip baptized him." (Acts 8:36-[37]-38) 

A little later we have record of the conversion of Cornelius, the first Gentile to embrace the Christian faith. Peter is sent by God to fulfil this momentous mission. Again after instruction in the Gospel the incident reaches its climax in the word; "Then Peter said, "Can anyone keep them from being baptised with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.." So he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.." (Acts 10:47-8)  

These specific accounts are quoted against a background of belief and baptism. Many Jews were persuaded by Peter of the enormity of their crime in crucifying their Messiah and cried, "Brothers, what shall we do?." (Acts 2:37). And Peter commanded them:  "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins." (Acts 2:38) 

Philip, preaching the Gospel in Samaria, brought the joy of conviction to many, and "then they believed Philip, as he preached the good news concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." (Acts 8:12). It is also in the Book of Acts that we have the record of Paul's dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus. That experience was completed by the divine command given to him through Ananias, "And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.." (Acts 22:16) 

In his letters Paul explains the spiritual significance of baptism. This is done not so much to formulate a doctrine as to show to those who obeyed the meaning of their conversion, and to give them the incentive to walk in the power of their new life in Christ. Paul shows baptism to involve on the one hand the confession of sin, and the renunciation of Adam's nature, and on the other the acceptance of Jesus as Lord. It is shown to mark the transition from a state of sin into a holy consecrated fellowship, the beginning of a new life, nourished and brought to maturity by union with Christ. That union itself is described under the metaphor of a marriage, openly sealing the spiritual relationship with Christ prepared by desire and faith and completed by God's grace (Ephesians 5:23-32; 1 Corinthians 6:11,12:13, 2 Corinthians 5: 14-17) .
Nowhere is baptism more clearly and beautifully explained than by Paul in the sixth chapter of Romans. There he shows that the believer's immersion into and his rising out of the water are to be regarded as a personal identification with the death and resurrection of Christ.

"Don't you know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." (Rom.6:3-4) 

Baptism is shown to be the believer's identification with Christ's death and the beginning of a new life of union with him. The figure is repeated in the epistle to the Colossians: "Having been buried with him (Christ) in baptism, and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins." (Colossians 2:12-13)

The figure changes to add further illumination in the epistle to the Galatians where Paul describes baptism under the image of "clothing oneself" with Christ, like the putting on of a robe so that enfolded in the righteousness of Christ, we are acceptable to God. "For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." (Galatians 3:27)

This beautiful language is extended in the Book of Revelation where we find a description of those who are redeemed and enter into the kingdom at the last day:  "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the lamb." (Revelation 7:14)
There are numerous other direct and indirect references to baptism in the New Testament, but enough evidence has been given to emphasize the fundamental importance of this first great step - which on the one hand assures us of forgiveness; and on the other the divine initiation into a new life in Christ as sons of God.

We have described baptism as the first act of surrender, the seal of our conversion. It is not an end but a beginning, the beginning of a new life in Christ, differing fundamentally from all that has gone before. Though we retain the nature of Adam, by our response to the grace of God we have been enabled to benefit from the victory of Christ, and our "body of sin" is being destroyed with his on the Cross. We can consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God.

In his description of this change Paul does not suggest that our victory is complete. Indeed he reminds us of our mortality and encourages us to keep on struggling against the assaults of sin which will remain a potent force. Speaking of his own life, he confesses that his great hope is to "attain to the resurrection from the dead" (Philippians 3:11). A hope which will become a reality: "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me upward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:12-14 - note that the word "heavenward" found in the NIV, is not found in the original text)  Using the analogy of the Greek stadium he exhorts the Corinthians believers so to run that they may obtain an incorruptible crown : again in a sudden flash of self-revelation he says hat he imposes discipline upon himself so that, having preached to others, he himself will not be "disqualified for the prize" (1 Corinthians 9:27). In his message to the early churches Jesus exhorts change in the life of believers and promises eternal blessings to "he who overcomes" (Revelation 2:7) In this sense conversion is a continuing process, for sin is still possible and return to God still necessary. Peter's experiences illustrate this. His faith did not fail, for his Lord had prayed for him, his love was not in question, for he had revealed it constantly, yet in a moment of sore trial he denied his Lord, and the need for conversion against which he had so indignantly protested became painfully evident. And even after this conversion and the unquestionable strength of his later example, he failed again in circumstances that revealed the same human weaknesses. (see Luke 22:32,54-61 Galatians 2:11-13) 

But having established the fact that our new life in Christ is a progressive one, and one in which the possibility of failure can by no means be excluded, we can turn to the blessings and power of the new inheritance which has become ours by belief and baptism. We become children of God. Our Heavenly Father loves us and guides us through the experiences of life, preparing us for the day when He will bestow upon us the gift of immortality, and we shall be invited to inherit, with Christ, the Kingdom prepared for those who love God. The guidance of God is not remote but intimate, because in the privilege of prayer we are able to communicate with Him, and find in His presence the power, the peace, and the joy which are blessings of our new heritage. Christ becomes the centre of our life. Not only do we find inspiration and abiding strength from the radiant example of Christ's obedience to his Father, but we are able to accept his promise to be with us always, a promise made understandable by the intimacy of our union with him in baptism, and assured by the fact that he is risen from the dead and is alive for ever. So real and so transforming was this promise to Paul that he wrote to the Galatians: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

There is fellowship too with other disciples, who believing the Gospel, have made the same decision and submitted to the obedience of baptism. All who have responded to the appeal of the Lord are brothers and sisters together in God's family. "Therefore come out from among them (the unbelievers) and be separate says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and my daughters, says the Lord God Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:17 quoting Isaiah 52:11 and 2 Samuel 7:14) 
In varying similes of surpassing beauty these believers, united with Christ, and in him brought into the family of God, are described as "the Bride" "the Body" and "the Church of God" . So it is that the person, who is truly converted, is separated from the world with its temporal standards and objectives; he orders his life according to the precepts of Christ. It is a way of life not congenial to his natural instincts, but with the growth of the spiritual life, the natural life gradually fades and dies.

Conclusion
Conversion begins with the recognition first of our insignificance in the sight of God, and then our need of Him, which creates in us humility of spirit. We find that God has not only created the world but communicated with it, revealing His purpose with the earth, and showing men how they can be reconciled to Him and share in His glory. The desire we find in our hearts to turn to God, intensified by the power and love of Christ, must be supported by our understanding of what God has revealed. We must believe the record of Adam's fall and learn the message of the Gospel which tells us how God has met our need in Christ to reconcile us to Him. God offers us participation in His glory when Christ returns to the earth to consummate His purpose. Our desire for God, our faith in His Word, our recognition of what Christ has achieved, and what he requires, prepare us for the crises in our own life when we decide to forsake all that we are as children of Adam, and surrender ourselves without reserve to God. 

This decision finds its first expression in obeying the Lord Jesus' command to be baptised, a symbolic act portraying the renunciation of the flesh and initiation into the family of God, through identification with the death and resurrection of Christ. Our new life will not be blameless, for the conflict between the flesh and the spirit continues, but now we are children of God and we have a High Priest who mediates, offering forgiveness when our hearts are right. We experience all the blessings of fellowship both with the Father and the Son and with fellow pilgrims on the way of life. We wait in faith for the fulfillment of God's purpose, knowing that all the circumstances of our life are a preparation for participation in His Kingdom, and that therefore all things are working together for our final and eternal good. We delight in the assurance that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

One thing remains to be said. God has respect for human freedom. He does not force His gifts upon men. He has prepared the way of redemption through the work of His Son, and now in His Son He appeals to men: Jesus says to us "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock." (Revelation 3:20)

Jesus waits until we open to him the door of our life. Whether or not we open the door and allow him to come in to us, bringing with him the blessing of his holy fellowship and the hope of eternal redemption, must always be a question that only we can answer. But the call of God to conversion, redemption and life eternal has gone out into all the earth, "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without cost. .. Give ear and come to me; hear me that your soul may live" (Isaiah 55:1.3)

BY MELVA PURKIS

 

 

THE OFFER OF LIFE OR DEATH

 
 

The Offer of Life or Death“Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.   See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him… This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life…  Deuteronomy Chapter 30:12-20

From this passage we see how important it is to each one of us that we seek after God and His Word the Bible to us.

Without this we have no hope of LIFE, but only a future of DEATH.

This Word of God was originally given to the Nation of Israel and later it spread via the Apostles of Christ to the World, that even we today might have this same HOPE of LIFE ETERNAL.

It is UP to YOU then to seek out God’s Word, to KNOW what is the TRUTH of God’s Word so that you and your family might KNOW the way of LIFE ETERNAL and the great HOPE of living in God’s Kingdom on EARTH.

Do not let your HOPE rest upon others and most importantly on what others teach, search it out for yourself because we have been warned that the churches would be astray from God’s word in the last days.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn awaytheir ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”    2 Timothy 4:3-4

Too much is at stake for you to not act yourself to seek out the TRUTH.

Christ himself has told us to do this when he said…

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”   John 4:23-24

Learn about God's Promises to YOU here!

 

 
 

God's Declared Purpose with YOU and the EARTH

 

The Book of Revelations Explained

Would you like to know what the Book of Revelations is all about?

Click on the image above to commence a short series of 3 

articles that will explain to you in summary form what the

 

true message of the Book of Revelations is all about.

 

 

Weekly World Bible Prophecy Watch

 

Bible In The News

 

The Man of Sin, The Antichrist and the "mystery of iniquity" are all about Roman Catholicism

YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS, SO CLICK ON THIS IMAGE AND READ THE ARTICLE, KNOWING ABOUT THIS WILL SAVE YOU FROM FALSE TEACHING THAT WILL COST YOU YOUR LIFE AND THE LIVES OF YOUR FAMILY!