The converted person will love the good he once hated, and hate the sin he once loved

Published 8:09 am Friday, July 14, 2023

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: As a student of psychology, and also a Christian, I’m struggling with the subject of conversion and how to understand it from both thought processes, since both speak in terms of conversion having the potential to change a person’s life as they move forward. Many in my field say that the Christian view of conversion is strictly emotional. Is there a difference between intellect and emotion? – P.C.

Dear P.C.: Psychologists have said that there are two kinds of conversion. One is accompanied by a violent sense of sin, and the other by a feeling of incompleteness, a struggle after a larger life and a desire for spiritual illumination. While psychological studies of conversion cannot be brushed aside, many psychologists don’t accept Biblical conversion as a supernatural experience.
Conversion, as taught in Scripture, involves three steps. Repentance is conversion viewed from its starting point – turning from the former life. Faith indicates the objective point of conversion – turning of God. The third is the new birth – commonly called being “born again,” born into God’s family.
In order to get to Heaven, Jesus said that we must be converted. Jesus spoke of conversion (see Matthew 18:3). True conversion involves the mind, the affection, and the will. Some believe what the Bible says about Jesus, but have never been really converted. The Bible says that “even the demons believe – and tremble!” (James 2:19). In every true conversion, the will of man comes into line with the will of God.
The converted person will love the good he once hated, and hate the sin he once loved. “Repent … and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come” (Acts 3:19).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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