Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 24 Number 12 December 2022
Page 2


Conviction and
Conversion in the Home

Louis RushmoreThe Christian home is critically important to the conviction and to the conversion desperately needed and often lacking in the churches of Christ. Sermons and classes, despite how militantly and faithfully they may be presented, will not convert the church to Christ until conviction and conversion undergird the Christian homes of the local congregation. The brotherhood of Christ – nationally and internationally – will not excel and model conviction and conversion to Christ unless and until those concepts characterize Christian homes.

Life in the kingdom of Jesus Christ must become a completely encompassing new way of life for each Christian. “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:3-4 NKJV). There is no greater transformation in one’s life (Romans 12:1-2) about which we could read in Scripture than in the life of Saul of Tarsus – better known after his conversion as the apostle Paul. He went from being the most avid persecutor of the Lord’s church to being its most vocal advocate (Acts 9:20-21; 22:19-20; 26:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:9; Philippians 3:6; 1 Timothy 1:13). “I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women” (Acts 22:4).

Total surrender of self to Jesus Christ – Lord, God, Savior, King – is compulsory to receive the kingdom treasure (Matthew 6:21; 13:44). Total commitment to serving King Jesus surpasses loyalty to vocation, family, material prosperity and even oneself (Matthew 4:20; 19:27-29). The concept of total commitment has enough substance and presence in society to be defined in various dictionaries, not just relating to spiritual matters, but certainly total surrender or commitment to Jesus Christ ought to characterize each Christian.

Total commitment means that Jesus is Lord in every area of our lives. He’s in charge on Saturday night as well as Sunday morning. He’s Lord of our bodies as well as our brains. He’s in control of all we own and cherish. He directs our careers and our hobbies. Are we totally committed to Jesus Christ? Is He Lord of all in our lives? (Reid emphasis added)

Functionally, irrespective of whether the church or something else is under consideration (e.g., salesforce, factory production, war, etc.), the following citation is certainly true. “Total commitment must be self-evident by all parties involved from the very beginning if the potential benefits are to be achieved” (Cambridge Dictionary).

Every home comprised of a husband and a wife needs a husband who is thoroughly and completely converted to Jesus Christ, based on his immovable conviction that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Savior and the Redeemer (John 8:24). Out of the home at work, shopping, recreating or at rest, he is perpetually conscious of his Lord to Whom he is meticulously devoted and humbly obedient (Hebrews 5:9). Consequently, this Christian man treats his wife lovingly (Ephesians 5:25-28), with honor (1 Peter 3:7) and without bitterness (Colossians 3:19). Subsequently, when children enter his home, this husband also becomes an exemplary father (Colossians 3:21), providing for the physical (1 Timothy 5:8) as well as to their spiritual needs (Ephesians 6:4).

Every home comprised of a husband and a wife needs a wife who is thoroughly and completely converted to Jesus Christ, based on her immovable conviction that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Savior and the Redeemer (John 8:24). Out of the home at work, shopping, recreating or at rest, she is perpetually conscious of her Lord to Whom she is meticulously devoted and humbly obedient (Hebrews 5:9). Consequently, this Christian woman loves her husband (Titus 2:4) and willingly submits to him, recognizing that he is the head of the family (Ephesians 5:22-24; Colossians 3:18). Subsequently, when children enter her home, this wife also becomes an exemplary mother (Titus 2:4), attending to the physical (1 Timothy 5:14; Proverbs 31) as well as to their spiritual needs (Proverbs 1:8; 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15). This Christian wife and mother turns a house into a home and transforms little ones, her husband and herself into a Christian family (Titus 2:5). Her conduct inside and outside of the home corresponds to a godly decorum – inclusive of avoiding any coarseness or immodesty by which she draws unwarranted attention to herself and brings shame upon her husband, her family (1 Peter 3:1-6) or the Lord’s church.

Only when the husband/father and the wife/mother in each Christian home in a congregation are thoroughly and completely converted to Jesus Christ, based on their immovable conviction that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Savior, the Redeemer (John 8:24) and the King of their lives will conviction and conversion manifest itself in a local church. It is fruitless to expect a congregation to demonstrate conviction and conversion to Jesus Christ if these traits do not characterize the families representative of it. Congregational success to a large extent depends on the successes of its families to effectively emulate Jesus Christ daily and consistently. This success or failure, likewise, contributes to the conversion and retention of our children in the Christian faith. The less meaningful impact the Christian home environment has on its offspring, the easier it is for the ungodly and unprincipled worldview engulfing them and us to steal them away from true Christianity. Aside from the mobile societal trend, virtually every congregation ought to be able to replenish itself, as well as to increase in numbers, merely by children outnumbering their parents. Ascribing to this philosophy, the Roman Catholic Church, historically and dramatically multiplied its numbers. Mathematically, it works!

Yes, children have the responsibility to favorably respond to the best efforts of their parents to rear them, and they can make poor life choices despite the best parental endeavors on their behalf. Yet, the widespread failure of the church to retain its young people in the church is a grave disappointment shared by the home, too. Our children can and do go astray sometimes in spite of devoted parents who did their best to exhibit in their lives religious conviction and conversion, but the degree to which we observe the exodus of young people from the church is an indictment of both the churches of Christ and Christian homes.

Okay, then. What shall we do? The foregoing in this article brings us to the time for the solution for internal numerical church growth – congregation by congregation – worldwide. This is not the time for lamentations but for a renewal – a revival – of personal, of family and of congregational resolve to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). It’s time for husbands/fathers, for wives/mothers, for accountable children, for grandparents, for aunts and uncles, and for the churches of Christ to “count the cost” (Luke 14:28-30) of discipleship (Luke 14:27) and to fully, without either reservation or moderation, embrace it. Among other considerations, that means one is a Christian – a disciple of Christ – all day, every day, all day long – before valuation of one’s earthly citizenship, ethnicity, political inclination, occupational pursuits, economics, academics and family heritage. Essentially, unless Jesus Christ is the King of every facet of our lives, He is not genuinely the King of our lives at all! If He is not our everything, sadly, He is our nothing.

From a practical perspective, what can we do – or refrain from doing? It is as important what, that as children of God, we don’t say as what we do say. It is as important where we do not go as where we do go. It is as important in what entertainment we do not participate as in what entertainment we do participate. Every facet of our lives needs to be screened by what the Bible, and specifically the New Testament, authorizes or criminalizes (counts as sinful).

First, think! Think about Jesus Christ. Think about His church. Think about Heaven, spiritually and consistently training one’s eye on the horizon, beyond which is where God lives. Possess for oneself the humble mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-8). Personally adopt the Beatitudes of our Lord (Matthew 5-7). Make the Christian graces yours (2 Peter 1:5-10).

Determine to be the best Christian you can be! Decide to put your allegiance to Jesus Christ before anything and anyone. Resolve to be the Christian model for parenting if you have children, and further promise to be the ideal spouse. Volunteer to serve or work for the local church. Prioritize your time so that your family and your church family receive sufficient attention. Share the Christian faith with acquaintances, your extended family, friends, neighbors and coworkers. Genuine conviction and conversion to Christ in the home won’t stay there, but it will abound in the church and in the community.

Works Cited

Cambridge Dictionary. 10 Nov 2022. <https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/example/english/total-commitment>.

Reid, Ron. “Total Commitment.” Growing Christian Ministries. 10 Nov 22. <https://www.growingchristians.org/devotions/total-commitment>.

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