1. This morning we considered several "principles that relate to change." 2. This evening we are concentrating on a subject that Jesus mentioned in these verses -- "conversion." 3. In studying this subject the first point we need to make is that . . .
I. CONVERSION IS A COMMAND OF CHRIST
A. (vs.3) Jesus said that we will not enter the kingdom unless we are converted. 1. This indicates that those who desire to enter the Lord's kingdom must be converted. 2. Specifically, the Lord requires: a. those who are not Christians to be converted (Acts 3:19) b. those who have become unfaithful to be converted (James 5:19-20). B. Since conversion is such an important matter, we must understand what it is. 1. Convert: to turn or to change, to turn to God from sin 2. Now that we understand that conversion is a command of Christ, the second point we need to make is that . . .
II. CONVERSION IS PRODUCED BY GOD'S WORD
A. (Psalm 19:7a) "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." 1. In order for God's Word to produce conversion, it must be heard properly. 2. (James 1:21) We must "receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save our souls." B. When we realize that God's Word produces conversion when it is properly heard, we can understand why some people will not be converted. 1. Some people who heard Jesus teach did not respond by being converted. 2. Jesus revealed the problem with such people as He explained why He taught with parables (Matthew 13:13-15). C. God's Word produces conversion. 1. However, in order for conversion to take place, we must hear God's Word properly. 2. For the third point of our lesson we need to show that . . .
III. CONVERSION AND JOY ARE CLOSELY ASSOCIATED (4 ways)
A. First, God rejoices when a sinner is converted (Luke 15:10). B. Second, sinners who are converted have reason to rejoice (Acts 8:39 -- following his baptism, the eunuch "went on his way rejoicing"). C. Third, the conversion of sinners should cause Christians to experience great joy (Acts 15:3 -- when Paul and Barnabas declared how Gentiles had been converted, "they caused great joy unto all the brethren"). D. Fourth, those who truly know the joy of the Lord’s salvation will be involved in converting sinners to God (Psalm 51:12-13).
1. (Matthew 18:11) Jesus came to save us. 2. To be saved, we must be converted. 3. Are you in need of conversion today? 4. If you are, take the necessary steps so your life can be right with God.