Jesus said: Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3 KJV) Rabindranath Tagore, the great Indian poet and philosopher, said this passage was the most beautiful passage in the Bible.
But what is conversion? Converted comes from “con”, with, and “vertare”, to turn – “to turn with.” The big question in life is, is my face or my back toward Christ? The first step in the new life is to turn your back on the old life and face toward Christ. You do not do that alone – there is the “with”. The moment you throw your will in His direction, He is there with you. He helps you to do what you can’t do – to break with the old life – but that decision to turn around is your decision. There you stand alone and as a free moral being you make the decision alone, severely alone. The moment you make it, however, He is “with” you.
There are a lot of people whitewashed with religion who are not washed white in the blood of Christ. This is indeed a true saying. Nicodemus was a most religious man, but he needed to be washed white. “Verily, verily, I say unto thee” said the Saviour, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) And when Nicodemus expressed his surprise at the Lord’s teaching, he was met by the solemn declaration, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:7) You may be respectable, moral, upright, kind, amiable, and religious, without being washed white in the precious blood of Christ. (I Peter 1:19; I John 1:7).
A professing Christian was awakened out of her slumber of death in a very remarkable way. A high Church dignitary advised her to burn some Gospel tracts given to her by a relative. As she watched the destruction of one of them, her eye caught the words of one of the pages, “I was going respectably and religiously to hell.” The Holy Spirit revealed to her the fact that though she was “whitewashed” she was not washed white; that, in fact, she was “going respectably and religiously to hell!”
The Lord Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in there at: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7: 13, 14) Multitudes throng the broad way, some on the clean footpath, and others on the dirty footpath. Few find the strait gate; they mistake other gates for the strait one. Some mistake ‘religion’ and ‘churchanity’ for Christ and Christianity.
Which road is the reader traveling — the broad or the narrow? Which class do you belong to —-the whitewashed or the washed white? Are you regenerated? Have you been ‘converted’ to, and by, God? If not, hearken to Christ’s declaration: “Except you be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). If you have never experienced this great change, you are an unsaved, unsanctified, unforgiven soul. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be cleansed from every stain (Acts 16:31). — A.M.
A tract from Pilgrim Tract Society, Randleman, NC 27317. Contributions send tracts to many nations. Send postage for 100 samples of tracts)
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