Maybe you’re a pastor seeking to lead people to Christ. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with a child, a teenager, a young adult, or a senior adult … There are certain things that mark true conversion to Christ.
Maybe you’re a missionary seeking to lead people to Christ. It doesn’t matter what culture a person comes from or how different that culture is from your culture … There are certain things that mark true conversion to Christ.
Maybe you’re a follower of Christ trying to lead others to Christ. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking to your family, your friends, or your coworkers … There are certain things that mark true conversion to Christ.
Here are the 4 C’s of true conversion:
- Comprehension. People have to understand the gospel before they can accept the gospel. For the most part, Christians in the United States do a terrible job of helping people understand the gospel. We are so eager to move people to the point of decision that we rush through the good news itself. Instead of trying to be thorough in what we share, we try to share the shortest and simplest message possible. When you’re dealing with eternal matters, short and simple isn’t always the best approach. We must be thorough, and we must make sure people “comprehend” the gospel.
- Conviction. Conviction is a little trickier than comprehension. You can pretty much gauge comprehension by asking people questions. If they know the answer, they have comprehension. Conviction is different. When it comes to conviction you’re trying to do the impossible. You’re trying to look into another person’s heart. You don’t just want to know if they can give you an orthodox definition of sin, you want to know if they’re broken over sin. You don’t just want to know if they can recite an orthodox formulation of Christology, you want to know if they now see Jesus as the pearl of great price. Again, I’m afraid Americans aren’t overly concerned about conviction. We’re too pragmatic, and we want results five minutes ago. Taking the time to look for signs of conviction is not easy, but it is necessary because conviction is part of true conversion.
- Commitment. Again, American Christians have sold commitment short. Instead of genuine commitment we’ve settled for far less … pray this prayer, raise your hand, walk an aisle, sign this card … The results of our “settling” are disastrous. Millions of people in this country consider themselves “saved” when they have never moved one step in the direction of real commitment. We must call people to repentance. We must call people to faith. We must call people to count the cost. We must call people to take up their cross. We must call people to reproduce and make disciples.
- Church. Some will object to “church” being included in a post about true conversion. Living in the Bible belt, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say, “You don’t have to go to church to be a Christian.” If I hear it again, I might puke. Jesus left behind one organization on this earth, the church. Why wouldn’t a follower of Jesus want to be part of that organization? The Bible clearly says that all Christians have spiritual gifts, and those gifts are to be used for the glory of God and the good of his church. Why wouldn’t you want to use your gift for God’s glory and the good of your church? Simply put, a person who experiences true conversion will find a place in a local church.
You want to know what real conversion looks like? Look for these things: comprehension, conviction, commitment, and church.
Originally published April 18, 2016 on landoncoleman.com.