Tabernacle Cardiff

» Letters to the Soul » Dear False Convert


Please forgive me for addressing you in this way, as I do not intend to be hurtful but, rather, I would like to help you. You have probably considered this question in your own heart: “Am I really the Lord’s? Am I really a Christian?” You may have had many little indications that give you reason to doubt the spiritual position of your soul with the Lord Jesus Christ. Let me help you to identify the particular state that you are in, by making a few points that may bring hope to your troubled soul.

Let us carefully consider what it means to be a false convert, for self deception is very subtle and we can be deceived and mistaken in so many ways. I am not describing those who deliberately put on many faces in different situations, merely for their own convenience, or to please the people they are addressing. Such people are fully aware of what they are doing and are without excuse. I have in mind those who have somehow been misled into a position which gives them a sense of security which is not authentic. My intention is, by the grace of God, to rescue such precious souls.

There are many forms of imitation in this world and some are easier to identify than others. Let me take you to the world of art: suppose a very gifted artist has copied one of the great masterpieces of some famous artist. To the ordinary observer, it is almost impossible to tell that this is a copy. Even an expert may sometimes fail to recognise that it is not an original. However, something has caught his eye that draws his attention to study the painting. He goes back for a closer examination and looks for certain features that belong particularly to the artist in question. It could be the use of colours, the place of shadows or some little detail. This painting may indeed be a superb copy and you may well say, “Does it really matter?” Yes, of course, it matters! It matters because it is not the work of the Master’s hand. It is simply not genuine nor is it the work of that particular great artist. The imitator may have worked hard to produce what appears to be a masterpiece, but in an auction, it would go for a pittance, whereas the masterpiece would perhaps sell for millions.

Paintings are but paintings; your soul is infinitely more important. The issue is this - is the spiritual life that you believe is yours, the work of God or a strenuous effort by yourself to please Him? Let us then consider the whole matter. You may have been in a meeting where much persuasion and human pressure was put upon you. It may be that your mind is satisfied with what you heard, or it may be that your feelings were touched by the account of the gospel, or you may have made a conscious decision of your own will to follow this teaching. Can you see the danger? This is your own effort and response, albeit sincere.

The Christian experience that takes you to heaven is very different. Let me put it like this: it is something that happens to you which is from God Himself. In some mysterious way, the Holy Spirit visits your soul and changes the direction of the very spirit of your soul. In actual fact, the rule of spiritual death has come to an end in your life and that of spiritual life has begun. Let this remain a mystery. Yet at the same time, there will be evidences which you will be aware of, taking place in your innermost being. You will become aware of the Person of God, and you will receive a glimpse of His holy character. This will have a profound effect upon you as you will begin to feel a sense of unworthiness, uncleanness and sinfulness. This is vital, as it essential that you see your need of a Saviour.

Sooner or later, through the reading of the Bible, hearing a preacher, or observing a Christian, you may well feel disturbed, even angry, and yet at the same time you have a fascinating interest. The realisation that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God will confront your soul with great reality. You may well say, ‘I know all about this’, yet this knowledge is on a different level altogether. Let me explain to you why He came to this earth. He came to die in order that you may live, and live forever. In His life, He satisfies the Law of God in our place, in loving God and our neighbour. This He does perfectly. In His death, He takes the punishment for our sin and our debt is paid in full. His resurrection is the confirmation of God’s approval of this great work. We come then to the question: how do I respond to this? While it is true that your mind will be enlightened to the truth of the gospel, that your affection will be greatly moved and that your will can see no other direction but to come to the Lord Jesus Christ, the way we approach is, yet again, a mystery. He gives us the ability to repent of our sin and exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and trust Him with the well-being of our souls. ‘By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God’ (Ephesians 2:8). There is a vast difference between our own efforts and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself approaching us and inviting us to come to Him

Any other way, however sincere, is bound to end in failure. It is God Himself who approaches us - He begins and completes the work. At the same time, we have an involvement, but this also is inspired by God. You will know and feel the Master’s hand. This is a work of grace, the work of the Master Himself. Let me give you a simple illustration of two beautiful teacups: both look exactly the same, the same shape, the same pattern. Then you take a spoon and tap each in turn. One will give a sound like a thud, the other, a clear resounding tinkle. There is a difference. In the same way, a work of God will ring true.

Now, where do you stand? The Bible tells us to examine ourselves, to see whether we are in the faith. This is essential. You cannot afford to be wrong. You dare not face eternity without the reality of a true Christian experience where your sins have been forgiven and, by the grace of God, you have appropriated to yourself, the purity of Christ. If you are worried, there is one simple answer - put yourself in His Hands to perform a work of grace in you. Ask Him with your total being and He will surely hear you. I cannot imagine that anyone desires to be false, but rather to be true: a true Christian, through and through, a child of God and your destination, Heaven.


Letters to the Soul