Faithlife Sermons

True Conversion

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Intro

Text - 1 Kings 18.36-37
1 Kings 18:36–37 NKJV
36 And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”
Title - True Conversion

Issues

What is conversion?
How does one know when he or she is converted?

Definition

Convert, Converted
Lexham Theological Wordbook ἐπιστρέφω

ἐπιστρέφω (epistrephō). vb. to turn, change direction, return, to repent, be converted. Describes an act of turning, turning around, back, changing direction, returning, and, thus, repenting or being converted.

2 Peter 2.22 - a dog ‘returns’ to his own vomit...
Matthew 10.13 - let your peace return to you (revert)
James 5.19-20 - turns back a sinner
Luke 1.16-17 - turn many…turn the hearts…
Conversion is going back to God after one has been separated or backslidden.
Example - Israel, because she was led to idol worship
Conversion is going back to things that are true, from error.
Example - Gentile people of God - they were supposed to worship the true God
Conversion is going back to a previous state or way of life.
Example - The Church in the end-time, because she has been led away from true apostolic faith and experience
Conversion is first a corporate plan and work, then a personal experience.
Examples
Israel was to be turned back to God as a people, but the experience will be personal/individual
Matthew 18.2-3
the Church was to be restored back to apostolic faith, but the experience will be personal/individual
Acts 3.19-21

Sermon Points

True conversion is an Elijah ministry

John the Baptist
Luke 1:16–17 NKJV
16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Israel was converted by an Elijah type ministry
the Church will be converted back to apostolic faith and experience by an Elijah type of ministry in the last days

True conversion takes place at the altar.

Elijah’s altar
he repaired the broken altar - 1 Kings 18.30
he gathered 12 stones - 1 Kings 18.31-32
he placed the wood and the sacrifice and saturated them with water - 1 Kings 18.33-35
wood and sacrifice - Christ and the Cross
water - worldiness, sin
John’s ministry pointed to the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world
essentially the Cross of Christ
The Endtime Message is being preached from “pulpits”, which are essentially altars.

True conversion is from false to right.

Elijah’s prayer
1 Kings 18:37 NKJV
37 Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”
From “idolatry” to the Living God
1 Thessalonians 1:9 NKJV
9 For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,
Acts 14:14–15 NKJV
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out 15 and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them,

True conversion is vindicated by supernatural fire.

Elijah’s fire
1 Kings 18:38 NKJV
38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.
John’s pointed to the coming baptism of fire
Matthew 3:11 NKJV
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
The End-time Message was vindicated with the Pillar of Fire!
no other ministry in the end-time was vindicated by supernatural light from beginning to end
Moses’ ministry under the pillar of fire and cloud

Conclusion

True conversion is happening now in the last days!
Where?
Wherever the Message brought by the Elijah ministry is being proclaimed and believed by believers of God.
What’s happening?
the Church is being “brought back” to the true “altar” of apostolic faith and experience
Personal conversion is taking place
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