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True and False Conversion

True and False Conversion

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Published by: Ransel Fernandez Villaruel on Oct 11, 2009
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True and False Conversion by Ray Comfort
Page 1 of 12
This message was first preached in 1983. True and False Conversion is non-copyrighted, duplication is encouraged.www.LivingWaters.com– Living Waters Publications, P.O. Box 1172, Bellflower, CA 90706 – Order line: 1-800-437-1893
True and False Conversion
Tonight I want, by the grace of God, to share with you a teaching called “True and False Conversion.” A verysobering teaching, and a teaching that I believe is most necessary within the contemporary church.I have a teaching called “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” which deals with the use of the Law in evangelism. In fact, God’sLaw, the Ten Commandments, was the essence of the gospel proclamation of Wesley, Moody, Whitfield, JonathanEdwards, all these men that God so greatly used. They said that if you don’t use the Law, you’ll almost certainlylead to false conversions.I was reading in the American Horizons magazine, which is the official magazine of a very large, or a major,denomination of the United States which has 11,500 churches throughout the US - in 1991, their first year of whatthey called “the decade of harvest,” they got 294,000 decisions for Christ. They found that only 14,000 remained infellowship. That is, they couldn’t account for 279,000 of their decisions for Jesus. And this is normal modernevangelical statistics when it comes to crusades and local churches.Many converts don’t fall away. They get followed up and squeezed into a local church where they’re surrounded bya good social life, and they stay within the church given assurance they’re saved when there is no grounds for their salvation, because they do not have the things that accompany salvation.Now this has happened, this great tragedy has happened, simply because we haven’t followed the Biblical exampleand preach law to the proud and grace to the humble. Always, when you see Jesus approach a proud arrogantself-righteous person with the gospel, He gave law before grace. Always. With the law He broke the hard heart,with the gospel He healed the broken heart.Why did He do that? Because He always did those things that were pleasing in the Father’s sight. God resists theproud and gives grace to the humble.We see this so often in Scripture, where Jesus resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. The rich youngruler, the arrogant self-righteous lawyer that stood up and tempted Jesus. Both times, Jesus gave the Law. Hegave the Ten Commandments. When ones came with humility with a knowledge of sin by the Law, that is GodlyJews, he gave grace.Paul says in Romans 7:7, “I had not known sin but by the Law.” Charles Finney said, “Evermore the Law mustprepare the way for the gospel.” Now Finney had an 80% retention rate. He said, “Evermore the Law mustprepare the way for the gospel. To overlook this in instructing souls is almost certain to result in false hope, theintroduction of a false standard of Christian experience, and to fill the church with false converts.” And then hesaid, “Time will make this plain.”John Wesley said of those who failed to use God’s Law in evangelism, “All this proceeds from the deepestignorance of the nature of the properties and of the use of the Law, and proves that those who act thus either knownot Christ, or are the strangers to living faith, or at least they’re but babes in Christ, and as such unskilled in theWord of righteousness.”Martin Luther, in his commentary on Galatians, which is the book which speaks of freedom from God’s law, spokeof a sect that rose up in his day with a Satanic doctrine. Listen to what that doctrine was. He said, “Satan, the godof all dissention, stirs up daily new sects. And last of all, which I should never have foreseen or once suspected, hehas raised up a sect such as teach that the Ten Commandments ought to be taken out of the church, and that menshould not be terrified by the Law, but gently exhorted by preaching the grace of Christ.”He said that’s a sect, a new sect that’s risen up, a satanic subtlety and one I thought would never ever come. Hewas aghast at the thought that men would not use the Law but instead they would gently exhort one to come toChrist, preaching grace alone, which is the perfect summation of the methods of modern evangelism.Charles Spurgeon said, “They will never accept grace until they tremble before a just and holy Law.” GeorgeWhitfield said, “That is the reason we have so many mushroom converts.” That is, ones that spring up overnight
True and False Conversion by Ray Comfort
Page 2 of 12
This message was first preached in 1983. True and False Conversion is non-copyrighted, duplication is encouraged.www.LivingWaters.com– Living Waters Publications, P.O. Box 1172, Bellflower, CA 90706 – Order line: 1-800-437-1893
and disappear because their stony ground is not plowed up. They’ve not got the conviction of the Law. They are“stony ground hearers” or “false conversions.”Now with those thoughts, by way of reduction, let’s look at Romans 7:4. “Wherefore my brethren you are becomedead to the Law by the body of Christ; that you should be married to another, even Him who is raised from thedead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”In the book Hell’s Best Kept Secret, we give an illustration of a speedster who drove through a town at a dangerousspeed of 120 mph. He was drunk, there was no law against speeding, so the town council gathered and passed alaw stating that 60 mph was the maximum speed, and any transgressors would be fined $100 for every mph over the speed limit. The speedster comes back. He’s apprehended by the law. He stands in front of the judge, whowas his own father, the town’s only judge. He was proclaimed guilty. He had no money, no words of defense, hecouldn’t raise the money for the $6000 fine, so he was thrust into prison. As he waited in prison, his father arrived,opened the door and told his son that he had sold all his goods to raise the $6000, he paid the fine himself, and thathe was free to go.Now, after such a display of love, such sacrifice on behalf of the father, what would the son’s attitude be to the law?Well, firstly, the law has been satisfied. As soon as the fine was paid, he was free to go. He could smile at the law.The judge could say, “you’re free.” The law had no demand on him whatsoever because of the sacrifice andpayment of the father. The law was satisfied.And what’s his reaction to the father? What is his attitude? Well, he’s filled with gratitude at such sacrifice and abrokenness that his father would do such a thing for him despite his transgression. And now he lives in honor of the father. He wants to live for the father’s will.Listen to the attitude of a believer to the Law. Romans 7:4 again, “Wherefore my brethren you also are becomedead to the Law by the body of Christ.” There was the father’s sacrifice. That’s what appeased God’s Law. “Christredeemed us from the curse of the Law being made a curse for us.” “You are become dead to the Law by the bodyof Christ.” The Law has no demand upon the believer. “There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus,who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.” “That you should be married to another, even Him who is raisedfrom the dead, that you should bring forth fruit unto God.”So the true believer brings forth the fruit of a new lifestyle, a lifestyle that is pleasing in the sight of Almighty God. If we are rooted and grounded in Christ, it should be evident. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Hethat abides in Me and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit.” Colossians 1, speaking of the gospel, says “thegospel brings forth fruit in the believer.”Okay, what does the Bible mean when it speaks of fruit? Specifically? Well, #1, the fruit of repentance (Matthew3:8). Zacchaeus had “more than tears.” He said, “Behold, Lord, if I’ve wronged anyone I’ll pay him back fourfold.I’ll give half my goods to the poor.He knew God’s Law. He was a Godly Jew. That’s what brought him to Christ.It was the schoolmaster to bring him to Christ as a Godly Jew, knowing God’s Law. Or should I say, “a Jew thatwas humbled by the Law.” He said, “Behold, Lord, if I’ve wronged anyone I’ll pay back fourfold,” which is what theLaw demanded.I remember reading some years ago about a store that said in a newspaper they found a brown paper bag outsidetheir door on a Monday morning. They opened it up and there was a pair of pants and a note that said, “I stolethese from you on Friday, became a Christian on Sunday. Here’s the pants Monday. I’m sorry.” That’s fruit of repentance.Secondly, the fruit of good works. John Wesley said, it was Colossians 1:10, John Wesley said, “Do all the goodyou can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, to all the people you can, aslong as you ever can.”Now if anyone was zealous for evangelism, it was John Wesley. He had a zeal that turned the United Kingdomupside down. But he said, “Do all the good you can” because he saw in Scripture that good works are a legitimatetool in evangelism.
True and False Conversion by Ray Comfort
Page 3 of 12
This message was first preached in 1983. True and False Conversion is non-copyrighted, duplication is encouraged.www.LivingWaters.com– Living Waters Publications, P.O. Box 1172, Bellflower, CA 90706 – Order line: 1-800-437-1893
Now the modern church, because of what’s happened to some fiery Christian organizations over the years thathave got into social work, they’ve noticed they’ve become lopsided, and they’ve steered away from good works.And yet the Bible says in the book of Titus, “Let those who of you who have believed in God be careful to maintaingood works.” Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”When I was first a Christian, I was… I could be considered by the world as a fanatic. I mean, really fanatical. Ihaven’t changed at all. And I used to make leather jackets and suede coats to order for people for years. I madeabout 1500 over a ten-year period, and I followed in my father’s footsteps. You know who the first one was to makea leather jacket? Genesis tells us. God made… clothed Adam and Eve in the skins of animals. Not cavemanstuff. Fully lined, with covered buttons. I mean class. When God does something, He does it properly.And I actually had this in a brochure that I had, and it just said that. “God was first to kill an animal and clothe manin the skins of animals.” And I said I was following in my Father’s footsteps, and led through the covering that Godoffers through Christ.But on the window of my store, I had about a 10 foot by 8 foot window to let in the natural light. I had a HareKrishna guy got soundly saved. The thing that brought him to Christ, I said “Was it the preaching, what was it?”And he says, “It was the handshake.” Feel a Christian shook his hand, he just felt a genuineness, and gave someconsideration to the claims of the Gospel, gave his life to Christ, and within half an hour he’s eating a T-bone steak.I mean, really set free.And he said… I said, “Ron, what do you do for a living, what did you do?” He said, “I’m a sign writer.I said,“Really?” And I got him to, on a 10 foot by 8 foot piece of board, to sign write John 3:1-16. And I put it on mywindow. Incredible amount of work for the poor guy. And he said night after night he was doing this sign. And onenight he was very discouraged because it was kind of half an hour per letter to get it right. And he stood back, hefelt quite discouraged, he stood back and he read the words, “No man can do these signs that you do unless God iswith him,” and he was greatly encouraged by the Lord.Anyway, I put this sign up in the window, and I had on the door, “Behold I stand at the door and knock,” a lot of Scriptures. And I shared the entrance with a barber. And this barber called me to him one day, and he says, “Ray,I’ve got to tell you something.” He said, “Guys come into my store, they sit down in the seat, and they turn backhere, and they just say with utter disgust and contempt, ‘What a fanatic next door.’ And they just couldn’t sayanything more, and nausea consumed them.”But he said, “A number of months ago when you put out a book called
My Friends Are Dying 
and got into drugprevention work, the same guys would come into the store, sit down for a haircut, and say ‘Doing a good job, thatyoung man next door.’”And all that was happening was the fruit of 1 Peter 2:15. Listen to it. “For so is the will of God that by your well-doing you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” “For so is the will of God that by your well-
youmay put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.If you’re a Christian who is rich in good works, people will say, “Idon’t believe what he believes, but boy I can see that he’s genuine.You’ll put them to silence, you’ll stop their mouth by your good works.And I saw this a number of years ago. So as an assistant pastor of a local assembly, I said, “Let’s get into goodworks.” So I went to a place that sold vegetables, I said “Look, I want to give away 100 bags of vegetables aroundour local church.” I said, “Can you supply us?” They said, “Yeah. If you let us put our name on the bag, we’ll giveyou a good deal. In fact, we’ll give you double.” So what they did, is they gave us a bag about three feet highpacked full of carrots, cabbages, all sorts, corn, all sorts of vegetables, and they put their name on it.And then we got on a truck, we put a letter on each bag that said something like, “Dear friend.” It didn’t say,“Greetings in the wonderful name of Jesus,” there was nothing Christian on it at all. “Dear friend or neighbor, we’reconcerned about you, we care about you, we’re a local church in your area. If we can help mow your lawn, trimyour hedge, if there’s anything we can do to help you, please call on us. We’re here for your benefit. Yours,sincerely,” and just signed it. Put that at the top of the bags, then put them at the gates of 100 homes. Now I said

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