When Thou Art Converted


Photo by Zugr on Unsplash

The past two weeks in the Christian news world two men astounded myself and others with their testimonies. The first man was a pastor and an author of a best selling book called “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”. The man renounced his Christian faith, walked away from his wife, and joined a Gay Pride Parade in Vancouver. Another man – a highly successful worship music writer renounced his faith in Christ. Many Churches sang his worship songs, songs like All I Need Is You:

One more day and it’s not the same
Your Spirit calls my heart to sing
Drawn to the voice of my Saviour once again
Where would my soul be without Your Son
Gave His life to save the earth
Rest in the thought that You’re watching over me
All I need is You
All I need is You Lord

What beautiful words! This poor man upon renouncing his faith in Christ wrote:

How many preachers fall? Many. No one talks about it. How many miracles happen. Not many. No one talks about it. Why is the Bible full of contradictions? No one talks about it. How can God be love yet send four billion people to a place, all ‘coz they don’t believe? No one talks about it.”

Salvation Comes By Doing The Father’s Will

I didn’t bring this up today to judge these men. There have always been people who have come into contact with the Church who outwardly looked Christian. Jesus forewarned us:

Matthew 7:21-23 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

From what Jesus said it is possible to do as I’m doing here today – to stand in this wonderful place and preach His Gospel – and yet still be lost. It is possible to be a great missionary who – confronting devil possessed people – can cast out devils – and yet still be lost. You could run an orphanage, or go on mission with our Director of Missions, and minister to those in need – and still be lost. You can pastor a mega-church or a mini-church, or lead the worship services, or serve in the choir, and still be lost.

Jesus said the only ones who go to Heaven is he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. What did Jesus mean by the will of my Father? That is very important. Jesus said:

Matthew 12:50 … whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

What is this will of my Father Jesus spoke of ?

What is it that God the Father would have us all do? Jesus was quite plain on this point. Someone asked Jesus, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?”. Jesus replied:

John 6:29 This is the work of God, that ye BELIEVE ON HIM whom he hath sent.

The work of God is to believe on Jesus. It is so important to believe on Jesus. To believe Him as He is presented in the Scriptures. To believe Him as the Word of God. To believe that He is the Only Way to Heaven. As that poor deluded man said:

How can God be love yet send four billion people to a place,
all ‘coz they don’t believe?

God IS love. He loved you so much, and loved me so much, that He sent His Only Begotten Son to die for our sins, to pay a payment we cannot pay. If four billion people go to hell it will not be because God wished them there. It will be because they would not do the ONE WORK that God requires – to believe on the Son.

When We Believe SOMEONE Happens

When we believe on the Son of God something happens. Let me change the way I said that. When we believe on the Son of God SOMEONE happens. Jesus told us in another place:

John 7:38-39 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

When you believe on Christ SOMEONE happens.
The Holy Spirit COMES to you.
The Holy Spirit CONVERTS you.
The Holy Spirit CHANGES you.
You are NOT THE SAME when you believe on Christ.
The BLOOD OF CHRIST brings forgiveness.
The SPIRIT OF GOD brings change.
You are changed from DARKNESS to LIGHT.
You are changed from SON OF ADAM to a SON OF GOD.
You are changed from FAMILY OF MAN to FAMILY OF CHRIST.
You are changed from perpetual SINNER to eternal SAINT.
You are changed from HELL bound to HEAVEN bound.
You are changed from workmanship of SATAN to craftsmanship of GOD.

I believe that the reason so many people who were apparently and visibly Christian come back and later change their testimonies is because they have not truly believed on Jesus Christ.

We see an example of this in our message today in Luke chapter 22. Turn with me in your Bibles to Luke 22. Matthew, Mark, LUKE. The third Book in this Book of Books, this Master Text, this uncorrupted and incorruptible Word of God that abideth forever and ever. What is happening in Luke 22?

Luke 22:1 Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.

It is the Passover, the Jewish Feast that commemorated Israel’s salvation from Egypt. It is a time when lambs without spot or blemish are killed, and their blood poured out to cover the sins of God’s people. The Passover is a time of SANCTIFICATION, a time of SEPARATION, a time DEDICATION to God. But what are the leading Preachers and Teachers doing in this most Holy of times? We are told:

Luke 22:2 And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill {Jesus}; for they feared the people.

While we gather around and sing “Oh, how I love Jesus, because He first loved me” the religious crowd gathers and sings “Oh, how we hate Jesus!”. So you have this crowd of outwardly religious preachers, teachers, and worship leaders who plot and plan. What else do you have?

For over three years twelve men have followed Christ. Outwardly they look good. They sat in His classes,
and ate at His table.

But something is wrong with all of these men. They followed Jesus OUTWARDLY, but God the Holy Spirit had not yet been given, for Christ was not yet glorified. The Spirit did not come to indwell these men. Jesus has not yet been crucified for our sins. He has not died on Calvary. The Spirit came temporarily on these men, but did not come to abide as Jesus said. Outwardly they looked good. Inwardly they were not changed.

Luke 22:3-6 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. 4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. 5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. 6 And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.

Judas followed Jesus.

Judas was there when Jesus healed.
Judas was there when Jesus fed five thousand.

Judas carried baskets of food out and ministered with the other eleven on that wonderful day. Judas was an Apostle. It was Jesus’ intention to bless Judas Iscariot along with the other eleven. Jesus would later tell Judas and the others:

Luke 22:28-30 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. 29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the TWELVE tribes of Israel.

Twelve Apostle – Twelve Thrones – Twelve Tribes in Israel. These men followed Jesus. Judas followed Jesus. But note the phrase Then entered Satan into Judas. Judas was not indwelt by the Spirit of God, but with the Angel of Evil. Satan took hold of him. He was FILLED with the devil.

Jesus Modeled Absolute Surrender To God

Jesus has these men set up a table where He can celebrate the final Passover meal with these twelve.

Luke 22:15 With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you BEFORE I SUFFER:

Jesus knew He was gong to suffer Calvary, but wanted to have one final meal with His men. As He ate the meal with the men He showed them how much He loved us all. He was going to suffer a terrible death, a horrible thing for the Son of God. The Bible says:

Luke 22:19 {Jesus} took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

Jesus speaks of His absolute surrender.
His Body is going to be broken.
He shall suffer.
This do in remembrance of Me.
Remember what I did for you.
The agony, the pain – for YOU!

Is not God love? Is He not love? We are nothing, and Christ is everything. Yet Everything gave everything for this nothing.

Luke 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament IN MY BLOOD, which is shed FOR YOU.

Jesus would shed His Blood for you, for each person at this Table, for each person in this room. But as the Scripture says:

2 Timothy 2:19 … The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

The Lord knows. I do not know, but the Lord knows. Jesus knows that Judas Iscariot has betrayed Him. He said

Luke 22:20 … BEHOLD, the hand of him that betrayeth Me is with Me on the table.

Jesus knows them that are His. He knows them. Judas is going to betray Christ. Jesus said:

Luke 22:22 … truly the Son of man goeth, as IT WAS DETERMINED: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!

God knew Judas would betray Jesus. But woe unto Judas! But Judas is not the only person who is going to betray Jesus. Jesus has just finished showing the disciples absolute surrender – His absolute surrender. Jesus wants us to live lives of absolute surrender to God just as He did. But here’s something shocking.

Luke 22:24 … there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.

For over three years Jesus has taught these disciples humility. For over three years He has told them, over and over again,

Matthew 11:29 … learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart

Luke 14:11 … whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted

Jesus taught His disciples – these twelve men – humility and surrender to God. Jesus taught us to “be clothed with humility, because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5-7, my paraphrase). Jesus told us and them:

Matthew 16:24-25 … If any man will come after me, let him DENY HIMSELF, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will SAVE HIS LIFE SHALL LOSE IT: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

The way of Christ is absolute surrender. Jesus is going to absolutely surrender Himself to Calvary. He’s just explained His broken body and shed Blood. In the midst of all this:

here the twelve sit ARGUING “Who will be the GREATEST”!

Why? Why is this? Because though these men followed Jesus, and though these men heard His teaching, none of these men were yet indwelt with the Holy Spirit.

How do I know this? Because of something Jesus told Peter, something I have read numerous times but it has never pierced the fog of my mind until this sermon.

Jesus chastises the disciples once more for their pride. He says:

Luke 22:25-26 … The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

Jesus called these men – and us – to be like Himself. If you’re going to be like Jesus you need to humble yourselves. Pride cannot take you very far. As Jesus says these words and watches them bounce off of these men, He focuses on Peter. Who was Peter? Peter was a disciple open to the Lord. The day that Jesus called Peter He said:

John 1:42 … Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas {or “Peter”}, which is by interpretation, A stone.

Jesus gave Simon the name Cephas or Peter, which means Stone. But now Jesus calls him not Peter, but Simon:

Luke 22:31-33 And the Lord said, SIMON, SIMON, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and WHEN THOU ART CONVERTED, strengthen thy brethren. 33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready …

I have read this passage so many times but have never absorbed those four words:


Satan is going to sift Simon. Not Peter the Rock, but Simon. Simon means “he who hears” but Cephas means “a solid rock”. Simon is not yet really Peter. Why? Because he has not been CONVERTED (ἐπιστρέφω epistréphō, pronounced ep-ee-stref’-o) or changed, turned around. The devil was going to get hold of Simon, but God would turn him around. While Simon was trying to do things in his own power he would deny the Lord. Oh, Simon was sincere. He said:

Lord, I am ready to go with thee,
both into prison, and to death. (vs 33)

I have no doubt of his sincerity. I do not doubt the sincerity of the pastor and author who once claimed to be a Christian but now renounces his faith. I do not doubt the sincerity of the musician who wrote such stirring worship music who once claimed to be a Christian but now renounces his faith. I believe these men, and others of whom I know, were very sincere and very genuine. They were outwardly such paragons of faith.

But did they know Jesus?
Had God the Holy Spirit come to them?
Were they surrendered to Christ?
If you are surrendered to Christ you are Peter.
If you are puffed up by self you are Simon.

Who Are You Following?

You can have the best of intentions, but unless you have believed on Him Whom the Father hath sent there is no genuine salvation. Salvation is not found in how you are dressed. Salvation is not found in the songs you produce or sing. Salvation is not found in being a good preacher or a good orator. Where is salvation found?

Only in Jesus. Only in receiving Him as Lord and Savior. Only in the heart and mind submitted to Him. When you submit to Him – something only you can do – He sends the Spirit of God to you. When you bend the knee to Calvary, knowing yourself worthy only of damnation but for Christ, then the Son rises in your life. The Son becomes your Lord, and your Lord enters your life. He changes you, and begins to make you into that creature that God wants you to be.

Simon, when thou art converted, when your direction is changed;
When the “I” no longer rules, but you bow in wonder and admiration
Not to yourself, but to Jesus. Then the Spirit comes. Then the life changes.

Art thou converted? Or are you following yourself?

All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live

All to Jesus I surrender
Humbly at His feet I bow
Worldly pleasures all forsaken
Take me Jesus take me now.

I surrender all, I surrender all
All to Thee my blessed Saviour
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender
Make me Saviour wholly Thine
Let me feel the Holy Spirit
Truly know that Thou art mine!

I surrender all, I surrender all
All to Thee my blessed Saviour
I surrender all.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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