Church

The Futile Effort of Trying to Stop Conversion to Christ

Lucas Champ

“When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions.” – Colossians 2:13

The Christian life is one of contrast, change, transformation, regeneration, and more specifically, conversion. Every single one of us who is saved has been converted by Christ, the converter of souls.

This word ‘conversion’ has fallen on hard times, both in the eyes of the world and the church. To the world, the term sounds coercive and evokes images of forcing someone to say or do something outwardly, which they may inwardly resist.

Attempting to Please the Culture

We have all heard something like, “Stop pushing your religion on me!” Concurrently, in the evangelical church at large, the word conversion is not doing any better. In an attempt to please the culture and be acceptable in the eyes of the world, the church has abandoned the exclusivity of the gospel for the sake of a more soft-sell Christianity. We don’t convert people, we just ask them to “accept Jesus into their heart.” Or, simply raise a hand, walk an aisle, say “Jesus is Lord,” or get baptized – Voila! They are in! There is no need for harsh words like “conversion,” “repentance,” or “transformation.” Those words sound demanding and will turn people off to our message. Tragically, this pragmatic approach to playing church has been anything but helpful to those who are lost and dead in their sins.

Because the issues at hand are serious, the Bible uses serious language. There can be no error when dealing with the souls of men. There can be no softening of Biblical truth. We are communicating the words of a Holy God to sinful men, who otherwise have no hope of salvation. That should drive us to be clear in how we speak to them. At the time in which we are currently living, there is a need for clarity in the church and for those attempting to subvert the church and rule over it.

The Reality of Persecution

In many ways, the days we are currently living through were previously thought to be improbable, if not impossible, by most Christians. In the last several years, there have been multiple arrests of Christian pastors and evangelists that have shocked many Christians. The reality of persecution against the church in general does not necessarily shock us, but the fact that these arrests have taken place on North American soil most definitely has.

In the West, we are living in a time where ‘religious freedom’ has begun to turn into ‘religious persecution’ specifically directed at Christians. The world hates Christian conversion, as they do not want to see their own leaving and joining the side of Christ. It has become abundantly clear that the governing powers in the US and Canada are attempting to protect a particular state-sanctioned religion. Rather than the Christian tradition that founded these nations, the religion of today has become the actual worship of the state or the cultural “progress” it represents. The state claims to have the corner on truth, and therefore anyone who opposes what the state says is unacceptable and must be canceled and destroyed.

When these same governments tightened their stranglehold on their citizens during the COVID years, we saw pastors and parishioners both north and south of the border arrested and/or fined for exercising their God-given rights. Recently, we’ve seen other examples of this hostility, like when young evangelist Marcus Schroeder was arrested in Wisconsin for simply reading the Bible or when Lizzie Marbach’s tweet: “There’s no hope for any of us outside of having faith in Jesus Christ alone” cost her a job with Ohio Right to Life. Every nation has a religion, and it is clear the powers in the West don’t want theirs threatened by followers of Christ. But herein lies their problem: While governing authorities may abuse their power and arrest or silence those who preach Christ, they cannot win. They can attempt to stop the Word of God from going forth, but theirs is a futile effort.

Christ, the Converter of Souls

God alone is the one who decides what will happen with His Word. He alone is the one who converts lost sinners and brings them to a point of repentance before Him. No government or any other human institution can thwart His plans – no matter how many laws they make. No police officer can stop the spread of His Word no matter how many Christians they arrest for reading it.

What we are experiencing in our world today is an attempt to make sinners comfortable in their sin. We call abortion ‘healthcare.’’ We blame laziness, anger, anxiety, and disobedience in children on ‘mental health.’ We normalize the horrors of the LGBTQ+ movement and attempt to pass laws to salve the consciences of those who walk in rebellion against God. Here is the problem: No matter how hard culture tries to normalize and excuse away sin; they cannot prevent the converting power of Christ. 

Governments may rage against God attempting to limit His powerful hand of conversion. They may arrest pastors, stifle the Word, fine those who defy them, and try their hardest to silence those who stand with Christ. They may take away your churches, remove tax-exempt status, and slander your character by calling you a racist, homophobe, or, as has become increasingly typical and effective, a “white supremacist.” They may do their worst, but they cannot stop Christ from converting those whom He desires to convert.

Christ is the converter of souls, and to work against Him is to attempt to limit His limitless power. He will convert. He will save. He will redeem. And no government can stop Him. Nothing can prevent true conversion from taking place in the souls of those the Lord calls to be His own (Rom. 8:29-30).

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