Thursday, April 4, 2013

It's Not About Religion - It's About Relationship

Can you recall a time when a family member or friend came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ?  Have you personally witnessed someone’s radical conversion to Christianity?  Maybe you were the one who changed so drastically that others could not believe it!

I was the one who repeatedly rejected God and anyone who tried to help me “see the light”.  For years I declined invitations to church and made excuses for not wanting to attend a service.

I was the one who thought it was all about church and religion.  I did not realize it was about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

I met the Lord in 1989 - right around Easter time.  I was thirty-three years old and walked up the isle of my church, acknowledging that Jesus Christ was my Savior.

I had what you would call a “radical conversion” to be sure.  My life began to change right away – beginning with a burning desire to be in church, attend bible studies, and worship in a corporate setting with other believers.  God’s Holy Spirit had permeated me to the point that people who knew me (including my husband) noticed a change in me right away!

Sure – there were personal habits and routines that needed to be changed, and language that would eventually “clean up”, but for the most part – I was totally transformed that very first Sunday service.

As I surveyed our church’s auditorium during one service, I wondered how many in attendance were sure of their salvation. Many who came to church that Sunday believed they were Christians. Some attended every week, while others came only on special occasions.  Being in church does not make you a Christian.  Having parents or grandparents who are Christians does not make you a Christian.  

A Christian is a “follower and disciple of Christ”.  The one who keeps His commandments and does His will is a true Christian (John 14:15). 

Preachers have expounded on the passage in Matthew 7:21-23 which clearly states that not everyone who calls Him Lord will enter the kingdom of God.  There are many who enter through the wide, easy gate of destruction, and few who enter through the narrow, difficult gate leading to life (Matthew 7:13-14).

The Word declares that God draws us unto Himself.  In Luke 19:10 Jesus says, …for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  Jesus also told us in John 15:16-19, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit… I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

My husband would occasionally join me for church. Like many people in church on any given Sunday, my husband thought he was indeed a Christian.  You say, How do you know he isn’t?   I say, How do I know he is?

Scripture tells us that there are evidences of a true conversion.  Zacchaeus is a great example of someone who immediately wanted to make things right with those he had wronged (Luke 19:1-10).  Another example is that of Saul – later known as the Apostle Paul.  Once he hunted down and murdered followers of Jesus who called themselves The Way, and then he was ministering to saints and gentiles about the saving grace of Jesus Christ.  He preached across Asia Minor and much of the Middle East, and authored over two-thirds of the New Testament.

In most cases – a true conversion produces a changed life.  

Godly sorrow produces repentance, and that equates to a noticeable change.  Becoming a Christian requires a transformation from the “old man” to a "new creation" – a child of the Living God.

While you are waiting for your miracle (e.g. your spouse coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ) be sure to pray Scripture over your mate. 

One of my favorite verses to pray is Ephesians 1:17-19.  I would pray something like this:  “Lord, I pray that You would give [insert spouse’s name] the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who You are, that the eyes of their understanding would be enlightened; that they may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power towards them who believe, according to the working of His mighty power. Amen.”

In the meantime…Stay focused on the truth.  Pray that God will reveal Himself to your spouse in a tangible way.  Persevere in faith.  Wait with expectant hope.  Salvation is coming to your household!  (Acts 16:31)

Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It is written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion.  It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together. 

If you have been encouraged by this post - please take time to share it with others.



  1. Such a great post, Deborah! I'm so glad your hubby went to church with you. Be encouraged...keep at it. God wants to bring the answer more than you do! Blessings to you!

    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement Lynn! Great to hear from you. I appreciate you so much! :D



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