Archive for the ‘conversion’ Category

The Power of God’s Word

May 16, 2011

One of the most dramatic examples of the Bible’s divine ability to transform men and women involved the famous mutiny on the “Bounty.” Following their rebellion against the notorious Captain Bligh, nine mutineers, along with the Tahatian men and women who accompanied them, found their way to Pitcairn Island, a tiny dot in the South Pacific only two miles long and a mile wide. Ten years later, drink and fighting had left only one man alive–John Adams. Eleven women and 23 children made up the rest of the Island’s population. So far this is the familiar story made famous in the book and motion picture. But the rest of the story is even more remarkable. About this time, Adams came across the “Bounty’s” Bible in the bottom of an old chest. He began to read it, and the divine power of God’s Word reached into the heart of that hardened murderer on a tiny volcanic speck in the vast Pacific Ocean–and changed his life forever. The peace and love that Adams found in the Bible entirely replaced the old life of quarreling, brawling, and liquor. He began to teach the children from the Bible until every person on the island had experienced the same amazing change that he had found. Today, with a population of slightly less than 100, nearly every person on Pitcairn Island is a Christian.

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Using a bird to catch a bird

January 28, 2010

‘There is a common hard by the place where I live; and, on Sundays, Londoners come down by scores, and occupy themselves in this way upon it. They bring with them little birds in cages, and use them to lure other birds from the sky, that they may entrap them. Only the other Sabbath, as I was going to the house of God, I saw a little robin sitting on his perch in a wire cage, and he was diligently whistling so as to attract other birds to the fowlers’ snare. I assure you that it was a good lesson to me; for I said to myself, “These men know that it is no use for them to frighten the birds; but if they want to catch them, they must put one of their own kind into a cage, and the little captive, by its song, attracts its fellows.” Suppose one of those fowlers should be stupid enough to put a cat into the cage, it would not allure any robins; or suppose he was to put in an owl, that sleepy creature would not attract any larks. The arts of the bird-catcher teach us that, when God would save a sinner, He usually takes one of the same sort, first converts Him by His grace, and then sets him to preach, or teach, or sing, or to do something which attracts and allures others.’

Charles Spurgeon, Autobiography, Vol.2

We have outgrown that sort of thing in America

January 12, 2010

A South Sea Islander, who was a reformed cannibal and a convert to Christ, proudly displayed his Bible to a G.I. during WW”. The soldier mockingly said, “We have outgrown that sort of thing in America.” The native smiled back and said, “It’s a good thing we haven’t. If it weren’t for this book, you would have been a meal by now.”

Michael A. Robinson, God Does Exist!, Author House 2006, p.163

(If God had) drawn up his Bible into heaven and sent me down another, it could not be newer to me

November 24, 2009

(If God had) drawn up his Bible into heaven and sent me down another, it could not be newer to me.

William Grimshaw of Haworth after his conversion, quoted in, Faith Cook, Fearless Pilgrim: The Life and Times of John Bunyan, Evangelical Press, 2008, p.88

Bunyan’s Vision on the Green

November 23, 2009

…as I was in the midst of a game of cat, and having struck it one blow from the hole, just as I was about to strike it the second time, a voice did suddenly dart from heaven into my soul, which said, ‘ Wilt thou leave thy sins and go to Heaven, or have thy sins and go to Hell?’ At this I was put in an exceeding maze; wherefore, leaving my cat upon the ground, I looked up to heaven; and was as if I had with the eyes of my understanding seen the Lord Jesus looking down-upon me, as being very hotly displeased with me, and as if He did severely threaten me with some grievous punishment for those and other ungodly practices.

John Bunyan, in

Faith Cook, Fearless Pilgrim: The Life and Times of John Bunyan, Evangelical Press 2008, p.69

what mad folk we have so long been, who have wished to force the Turk to the faith with the sword, the heretic with fire, and the Jews with death

November 3, 2009

…what mad folk we have so long been, who have wished to force the Turk to the faith with the sword, the heretic with fire, and the Jews with death, to root out the tares with our own power, as if we were the people who could rule over hearts and spirits and make them religious and good, which God’s Word alone must do.

Martin Luther

Princes are not to be obeyed when they command submission to superstitious errors, but their aid is not to be invoked in support of the Word of God. Heretics must be converted by the Scriptures, and not by fire, otherwise the hangman would be the greatest doctor.

Heresy is a spiritual thing which one cannot hew with any iron, burn with any fire, drown with any water. The Word of God alone is there to do it.

Martin Luther

Conversion of Jonathan Edwards

August 4, 2009

Read it here

Religious Experience is not Conversion

July 5, 2009

At the age of 12 Nietzsche had ‘a vision of God in his full glory’ J.P. Stern

Conversion means turning from self-righteousness

November 5, 2008

We turn from our own RIGHTEOUSNESS. Before conversion, man seeks to cover himself with his own fig-leaves, and to make himself acceptable with God, by his own duties. He is apt to trust in himself, and set up his own righteousness, and to reckon his pennies for gold, and not to submit to the righteousness of God. But conversion changes his mind; now he counts his own righteousness as filthy rags. He casts it off, as a man would the verminous tatters of a nasty beggar. Now he is brought to poverty of spirit, complains of and condemns himself; and all his inventory is, ‘I am poor, and miserable, and wretched, and blind, and naked!’ [Rev 3:17]. He sees a world of iniquity in his holy things, and calls his once-idolized righteousness but filth and loss; and would not for a thousand worlds be found in it!

Now he begins to set a high price upon Christ’s righteousness. He sees the need of Christ in every duty, to justify his person and sanctify his performances; he cannot live without Him; he cannot pray without Him. Christ must go with him, or else he cannot come into the presence of God; he leans upon Christ, and so bows himself in the house of his God. He sets himself down for a lost undone man without Him; his life is hid in Christ, as the root of a tree spreads in the earth for stability and nourishment. Before, the gospel of Christ was a stale and tasteless thing; but now—how sweet is Christ! Augustine could not relish his once-admired Cicero, because he could not find in his writings the name of Christ. How emphatically he cries, ‘O most sweet, most loving, most kind, most dear, most precious, most desired, most lovely, most fair!’ all in a breath, when he speaks of and to Christ. In a word, the voice of the convert is, with the martyr, ‘None but Christ!’

Joseph Alleine, Alarm to the Unconverted, 1671

Don’t dispute about your election

November 5, 2008

You begin at the wrong end if you first dispute about your election. Prove your conversion, and then never doubt your election. If you cannot yet prove it, set upon a present and thorough turning. Whatever God’s purposes be, which are secret, I am sure His promises are plain. How desperately do rebels argue! ‘If I am elected I shall be saved, do what I will. If not, I shall be damned, do what I can.’ Perverse sinner, will you begin where you should end? Is not the word before you? What says it? ‘Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.’ ‘If you mortify the deeds of the body you shall live.’ ‘Believe and be saved’ (Acts 3:19; Rom 8:13; Acts 16:31). What can be plainer? Do not stand still disputing about your election—but set to repenting and believing. Cry to God for converting grace. Revealed things belong to you; in these busy yourself. It is just, as one well said, that they who will not feed on the plain food of the Word should be choked with the bones. Whatever God’s purposes may be, I am sure His promises are true. Whatever the decrees of heaven may be, I am sure that if I repent and believe, I shall be saved; and that if I do not repent, I shall be damned. Is not this plain ground for you; and will you yet run upon the rocks?

Joseph Alleine, Alarm to the Unconverted, 1671