Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
So what does this mean????
In order to understand this lets define ‘convert‘. Here is a list of examples.
- Change from one system to another or to a new plan or policy
- Change the nature, purpose, or function of something
- Change religious beliefs, or adopt a religious belief
- Exchange or replace with another, usually of the same kind or category
- Cause to adopt a new or different faith
- Make (someone) agree, understand, or realize the truth or validity of something
The word ‘converted‘ is defined as follows:
- Spiritually reborn or having changed religion as in “a converted Christian”
If we look at this scripture and John 3:3 we see that being born again and being converted go hand in hand.
Many people question, “converted, why? From what?”
The answer is, if there is no conversion from the life of sin then there is eternal death.
To be converted or born again involves repentance; a turning back – reversal – to think differently. It means transformation, a change of heart, to change from habitual sin to holiness, from old life to new. Rom.6:4 / 2Cor.5:17
Turning away from all that is ungodly, turning to God, and producing fruits of righteousness.
We humans are selfish and self-serving, we need to learn to repent and turn to a better course, and that course is through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Being converted does not come naturally but it comes as we surrender every aspect of our lives to Christ.
A person does not have God, has not been converted, if he/she continues to do the things of the world. 1John 1:5-10
A person cannot enter the kingdom of heaven while remaining worldly and full of sin!
This change or conversion that is required by Christ begins with our becoming as little children humble, weak, dependent, and ready to be molded by God the Father into what He wants us to be.
We must humble ourselves; there can be no pride and no self.
There is no true conversion without humility and a person filled with self cannot turn to Christ. Jesus insisted upon conversion (verse3).
We must turn totally with the whole heart, mind, soul, and body.
Each of us, as individuals, must have an actual knowledge of that change, of that conversion from an inward experience. That inward experience/change will reflect to the outside, to those around us.
Jesus was telling the disciples, to turn from their earthly ambitions, jealousies, rivalries, and their bickering. He is saying also to us today, to turn from these and all sin, or else we cannot enter the kingdom.
With TRUE CONVERSION, changes WILL take place.
Conversion does NOT mean just a single act of sorrow or repentance, but a new attitude of life. It is part of genuine saving faith and a basic requirement for salvation.
With conversion comes fruit Matt.3:8. Our relationships, pleasures, commitments, habits, and our whole outlook on life will change as the result of our new relation with God.
I believe there are many, many people who have said a ‘sinners’ prayer, but have not had that conversion experience because they do not want to let go of sin and the world.
The Bible tells us in 1John2:15 that if we love the world then the love of the Father is not in us. Also in James 4:4 it says, if we are friends with the world then we are enemies of God.
Each one must turn from the world, sin, and self to God in order to have eternal life.
In other words, WE MUST BE CONVERTED TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD!