“Convert to Islam. Repent Later!” said some not so important character in the movie Kingdom of Heaven a few years ago. “WHAT?!” was my response to this because it was such a stark, sinful, exhortation from the priest to the military leaders of the Christian camp in this movie. Though this quote is fantastically wicked and sinful it is a way for me to bring up our next mark of all healthy Christian churches – a Biblical understanding of conversion.
Conversion? I’m sure to some of you this word sounds like something out of a Medieval literature text book or Dante’s Inferno but I’ve come to embrace the doctrine of conversion as a sweet and pleasant doctrine that not only gives rest and assurance to our souls, but it also something we must strive to get correct if our churches are going to be healthy.
Why conversion? Simple, conversion is the beginning of the Christian life and how we go about defining our beginning will by and large direct where the rest of our theology will go. To put it in other words, conversion is the A of theology and if A is wrong our J, N, U, and Z will be wrong too. At stake in this whole idea of conversion is really the main thing of all things – the glory of God. If we view conversion as an act of God, we’ll view all of salvation and the Christian life in a God-centered manner too. If we view conversion as an act man performs, we’ll view all of salvation and the Christian life in man-centered manner.
This really matters. So don’t be duped into thinking that conversion is an archaic term only useful for churches who only use the KJV. Conversion is the work of God in the heart of man. It is beautiful, it is life from death, water in barrenness. Hear me, unless a human being comes to a point of “conversion” in life, no salvation will be present and hell will be eagerly waiting as opposed to riches in Christ for all of eternity.
Conversion matters. More tomorrow….