Church of God, New World Ministries

Bible Q & A

Q. You state that Jesus Christ did not convert one single person during His entire earthly ministry. I was taught that hundreds, and perhaps even thousands, became followers of Jesus Christ before He was put to death. To me, these followers were converts.
 
A. Certainly Jesus had many followers during His earthly ministry. The book Matthew states that “great multitudes came unto him” (Matt. 8:1; 15:30). (See also Luke 6:17; Matt. 21:1-11; and John 12:19 in this regard.)

However, being a follower of Jesus Christ and being truly converted are not one and the same thing from the biblical point of view. Conversion (being a real Christian) by definition involves the receipt of the Holy Spirit. Notice Romans 8:9: “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

Only a short time before Christ’s death, Christ told Simon Peter: “And when thou are converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:23) acknowledging that Peter was not as yet converted, in the sense that he had not yet received the Holy Spirit as a begettal from the Father. Later after Christ’s earthly ministry had been completed and he had been resurrected for nearly two months Peter did receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2)

But there is no biblical record of a single person ever receiving God’s Spirit during Christ’s earthly ministry. True, many were baptized by John, but it wasn’t until the day of Pentecost that they received the Spirit of God (Acts 2:38; 19:1-7). For more on this subject send for our FREE DVD, “Proofs of Conversion”.
 
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