Mark Dever asks the question that seems to go unasked when it comes to conversions – especially those made in response to evangelistic “altar calls”. On his post over at Together for the Gospel he writes,
Sometimes I get the feeling that people think there’s something wrong with questioning the reality of a profession of faith. It’s legalistic, or judging, or holier than thou. Or something.
“Easy believism” often coupled with manipulative emotional pleas to make a decision for Jesus continue to confuse and confound the truth. I agree with Dever’s concern that “conversions professed are conversions possessed.”
I just spent an hour trying to answer a young woman’s email question that came to our church office. She is experiencing grave doubts about truth. She believed in Jesus as a young teenager, but now she’s not sure its true, but she wants to know whether she would still go to heaven if she died today with her doubts. Since I don’t know much about her or her situation I hesitate to jump to conclusions. But part of my answer had to do with whether or not she had truly believed in the first place. I know some who would consider that unkind. I think not. I was a youth pastor for 25 years and know how many students accepted the “youth group” or the “acceptance of the youth group”, or even the “idea” of Jesus — only to walk away when something “better” came along — not unlike Jesus’ parable of the soils in Matthew 13. They need to know the truth … they are most likely not saved. Their eternity is at stake. Kindness on our part will be honesty.