|Posted on May 11, 2014 at 9:00 AM|
Being or becoming a Christian (or a follower of Christ, if you will) doesn't necessarily mean one is to be "converted" or "convert" to some sort of religion. "Conversion" isn't really the best term to describe it at all. "Returning" or "coming back" is more like it.
What is one to return or come back to?
Christ didn't come to start a new religion. Rather, He came to pay the debt of death that we owed for our sin, so we can come back to life. (Romans 6:23)
Wait a minute now, what is this 'sin', it sounds so religious?
It's another way of saying:
God made us to be in relationship with Him, forever. But, we strayed and went our own way. He warned us to go right, not left. "Go left and you'll die," He said. A con artist then came along saying, "If you go left, you won't die. You'll be like God." So, what did we do? We went left instead of right. (Genesis 2:4 - 3:24)
When we read the Bible, we shouldn't see it as a book on how to get converted. We've complicated it far too much. It's God's story of His love for us, how we went our own way, but can return to Him.
One example comes through the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). The youngest of two sons pretty much considers his father as dead and demands his inheritence, which is normally only given when the father actually is dead. He goes and squanders it, comes to his senses and returns to his father's household, truly troubled and sorry for what he did. What does the father do? He sees his son coming from afar and runs up to him, embracing him and calling to throw a big feast to celebrate. Talk about "forgiving and forgetting!" His son was dead, but came back to life. He was lost, but then found again. The prodigal son didn't join a new religion. He made a 180 degree turn from the wrong path he was going.
I recently bought this Gungor album and the song "Ezekial" based on Ezekial, chapter 16 is another, very stark, yet stunningly true analogy. There's no getting around it. The Bible doesn't mince words or matters. I've been there, done that, putting other things first. But, He patiently called me back, like the father in Luke, like the jealous bridegroom in Ezekial. He forgave and forgot.