If you have ever been in an auto accident that didn’t kill you, which must be the case or you wouldn’t be reading this, you probably remember the specifics rather vividly. When your life is radically spared, you tend to remember the details. So why is it that many Christians struggle to remember when God saved their soul from death?
II Cor.5:17 tells us, “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation.” Conversion of a spiritually dead man being brought to life by the power of the Holy Spirit is radical. That is why many preachers proclaim, “If you don’t have a conversion story, you probably aren’t converted.”
Most born-again Christians should and do have a conversion story. Perhaps they don’t remember the minute or even the year, but they do remember the season when their affections changed and they “got serious.” Why don’t some Christians have a conversion story?
You were never converted. If you cannot recall a time when you called out to the Lord in repentance and faith, then you should “examine yourself to see if you are in the faith.” I would suggest there are three reasons why you may have never truly been saved:
The Law of God never slayed you and you never really understood the exceeding sinfulness of your sin.
You were never told to repent and trust Jesus. Perhaps you “asked Jesus into your heart,” but you never humbled yourself called out to God for mercy.
You were peddled a false Gospel. Perhaps you were told the Gospel is about money, health or life enhancement. It is not. The Gospel is: Jesus died for sinners.
There are those who (thankfully) grew up in a godly family and lack assurance because they did not have a “road to Damascus” experience. In an effort to provide comfort to those beloved brothers and sisters, let me share my reasons why so many life-long church attenders don’t have a dramatic conversion story.
Perhaps you simply don’t remember because you were young and like so many events of your youth, you have forgotten.
Perhaps your regeneration was more subtle as you grew up being instructed in Godliness.
Perhaps you always loved Jesus and therefore, your affections were not radically changed.
Perhaps you were so young and sheltered (that’s a good thing), you didn’t have time to rack up some “serious sins.”
Perhaps you just don’t remember vividly when your obedience went from being external to internal; that can be a more difficult distinction to detect.
Perhaps you had not gone through puberty when God saved you. While I can’t sight a text, historically the church (and Judaism) has associated membership with puberty.
Perhaps you’ve heard so many “dramatic conversion stories” (I was a drug smuggling murderer) that you have forgotten that a conversion story doesn’t need to sound like a movie script.
Perhaps you don’t feel like you repented intensely enough. Maybe that is because you have been repenting since you were a tyke.
What should you do if you don’t have a conversion story because you grew up in the church?
Try to recall the season when your obedience transferred from parental to personal.
Try to recall when you became obedient because you wanted to, not had to.
Try to recall when your affections changed and Jesus became precious to you.
Ultimately, don’t worry about it. The question for you is not, “Do I have a conversion story?”, but, “Am I living like I am converted?” Remember, your entrance into the kingdom is not based on your story, it is based on Jesus.
Are your affections for Him? Do you hate sin? Do you love the Savior? Do you see fruit in keeping with repentance? Are you growing in holiness?
Congratulations! If you answered yes to those questions, you have a conversion story. (Kindly use the comment section to enhance what I wrote. Please add your thoughts, but be mindful that there are some tender ones who will be reading your words.)