Millions have been led to think they are "saved," who are only deceived and don't know it! Here is a frank, daring article, making the truth PLAIN!


This article is based upon one published by the old Radio Church of God in 1966 (Armstrong HW. False Conversion. Plain Truth, November 1966). It has been updated with more scriptures and a more modern translation of many of the verses originally cited--plus some historical and more modern information has been added. A related video is also available: False Conversion.

IT'S DIFFICULT to believe, but it's true. In today's religious confusion millions have supposed they had salvation spiritually - they have believed on Jesus Christ - and are not saved!

Would you suppose one could actually worship God- and all in vain?

Do you know what Jesus himself said of these people who want to worship Him without obedience to God's Commandments?

Listen to Jesus words:

7 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'

8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men — the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do."

9 He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. (Mark 7:7-9, NKJV throughout, unless otherwise noted)

Jesus then gave an example on how the scribes and Pharisees reasoned around one of the Ten Commandments and then said they were: "making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do" (Mark 7:13). The Pharisees actually reasoned around all the Ten Commandments (see also Were the Pharisees Condemned for Keeping the Law or Reasoning Around it? ).

Now, people will say, well that was only related to the scribes and Pharisees. That cannot have anything to do with Christianity.

Well, notice something Jesus said would happen to some who claimed to work in His name:

21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' (Matthew 7:21-23)

Just calling Jesus "Lord" is not true conversion. Sadly, many practice lawlessness.  

Back to the Faith Once Delivered

What else does GOD tell you in his Word?

Through Jude, God says:

3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people

There was an original faith, and real Christians should contend for it and practice it. But notice that some slipped in who were not really converted:

4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. (Jude 3-4, NIV).

Yes, even before the New Testament was completely written, ungodly men had crept inside the Church to corrupt it - turning GRACE into a LICENSE FOR IMMORALITY!.

And what is the "license for immorality" here? It essentially means unrestrained liberty - abuse of privilege. In other words, license to do that which seems right in human eyes - according to human conscience - though it disobeys God's LAW! And that is exactly what those ungodly men, even in the first century, did - turned GRACE into unrestrained privilege to disobey God's law and turned to human conscience as a guide! And once introduced, the practice has persisted and spread over the whole world until today!

This is acceptance of lawlessness is one of the FABLES the apostle Paul warned us men would turn to. Paul said:

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Notice that Paul also wrote:

13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned (2 Timothy 3:13-14).

We need to continue the original faith and not acept what evil men and imposters have pushed.

But, one will argue, Jude said these men would deny the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not the people who teach a "no works" doctrine believe in Christ? Do they deny Him?

Yes, they DENY him! God says: "They profess that they know God; but IN WORKS they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every GOOD work reprobate" (Titus 1:16). The way of human reason - that seems RIGHT - is often DISOBEDIENCE to God!


What the Savior Himself Taught

These deceived teachers have a couple of favorite texts. One, some quote, is Acts 16:31:"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved."

Now that text from the inspired pen of Paul means what it says. But there are two kinds of BELIEVING - the living faith that brings salvation, and a dead "no works" faith that produces only DEATH!

But WHY do they, in their tracts and their sermons, never quote what the Savior himself said in answer to the question? WHY?

Jesus was asked: "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" (Luke 18:18.) Some might try to tell you that the SAVIOR himself did not know, or teach, the way of SALVATION - He was teaching Old Testament religion. Well, He was asked HOW to gain ETERNAL LIFE. Is that salvation? It certainly is! Old Testament religion teaching lasted until John-not until the cross- not until "Pentecost." Just UNTIL JOHN (Luke 16:16). Jesus preached the SAME gospel he commanded his disciples to teach ALL nations- gentiles included-the same gospel Paul preached to gentiles. He preached only the NEW Testament gospel. He revealed the WAY OF SALVATION.

Notice something that of the SAVIOR HIMSELF on HOW TO BE SAVED:

"IF thou wilt enter into LIFE, keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:17, KJV)

And He then enumerated enough of the Ten Commandments to show it was this particular law that must be obeyed AS A CONDITION to receiving eternal life as God's GIFT. Jesus said "IF" - (THERE WAS A CONDITION) - "IF" we are to be saved, by God's grace, WE MUST KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS!

God lays down his own terms and conditions. His FREE GIFT is conditional - you get it ONLY if you "keep the commandments."

You can't EARN it. God GIVES it - but only to those who "KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS." God will not GIVE you eternal life in sin. And what is Sin? "SlN IS THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW" (I John 3:4, KJV) or as the NKJV says "sin is lawlessness.".

Some who pervert God's truth insist Jesus did not name ALL of the Ten Commandments in the above scripture. Sin is the transgression of THE LAW. It is a COMPLETE LAW. He named enough of its points to designate WHICH LAW he was talking about. And James says that law has "POINTS" - and, if we break any ONE of the 10 points of the Ten Commandments, We BREAK THE LAW, and are sinners (James 2:8-11).

The very same day the Holy Spirit came - the very day the NEW TESTAMENT Church commenced - thousands, hearing the inspired Peter's sermon, which struck straight to their heart, asked, "What shall we do?" - yes, WHAT SHALL WE DO TO BE SAVED?

The inspired answer was:

38 Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts. 2:38).

Jesus said, "REPENT and BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL" (Mark 1:14). We must BELIEVE not only in Jesus as Savior, but we must believe also THE GOSPEL He brought and preached - the Gospel of the Kingdom of God - the AUTHORITY of God and the WORD of God over our lives - a message not preached today by most organized churches!

After His resurrection, in His parting instructions to his disciples for preaching the way of salvation, Jesus said:

46 Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. (Luke 24:46-48).

This is the gospel for ALL NATIONS!

But what must we repent of? WHAT is SIN? Do you realize that VERY FEW people know? Paul would not have known what was sin, except by the law. But what law? The very law which says: "You shall not covet" (Romans 7:7). That law is the Ten Commandments.

This law is summed up in the one word - LOVE! It is further defined in the two great Commandments, LOVE to God, and LOVE to neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40; James 2:8). But the same law is further defined and divided into 10 points, by the Ten Commandments - the first four of which tell us how to love God, the last six of which tell us how to love neighbor.


James' Inspired Answer

And thus it is explained in James:

8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well; (James 2:8)

Here is the royal law - the whole law - as a general principle. But most REALLY do not fulfill it.

The law is LOVE - and LOVE is the fulfilling of the law. Jesus fulfilled it, setting us an example that we, too, should fulfill the law. We fulfill it with LOVE - not any natural, carnal love in human nature, but as Paul wrote,"the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit" (Romans 5:5). The Holy Spirit in us is merely GOD'S LAW IN ACTION IN OUR LIVES! And so, if we fulfill this royal law we do well -but if not, we commit sin (James 2:9). Now read verse 10:

10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. (James 2:10) .

If we keep the WHOLE LAW - the general principle of LOVE to neighbor- yet offend in one point, we are guilty - we have broken the law -and the penalty is DEATH, not eternal life.

Notice, please, the law is divided into points! And it is divided into 10 POINTS- the Ten Commandments. These are merely the 10 points, or subdivisions, of the general royal law, LOVE to God and to neighbor. "For he that said [or, that law which said], Do not commit adultery" said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery" - if you do not break that specific point - like murder or adultery - you just break that one point - "you have become a transgressor of the law" (James 2:11). So you see the TEN COMMANDMENTS is the very law it is sin to transgress.

It is a SPIRITUAL law (Roman 7:14). It is fulfilled by the SPIRITUAL LOVE that is God's precious gift to us- his love placed within us.

The Apostle Paul did not do away with God's law. He was inspired to write:

12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. (Romans 7:12)

To REPENT of sin means to turn from sin. It means to QUIT SINNING! And that means to stop transgressing God's holy law. And the way to stop breaking it is to begin KEEPING God's Commandments- ALL OF THEM, for if you break only one, you bring on yourself the penalty-ETERNAL DEATH - and you lose salvation.

Now Jesus was prophesied to "exalt the law and make it honorable" (Isaiah 42:21). When we put a spiritual "magnifying glass," so to speak, on the Ten Commandments, it is enlarged in spirit and principle into many more points. And in a larger aspect the ENTIRE BIBLE is a magnification of God's law. The law is the basis of all Scripture. It defines THE WAY of life- the way to happiness, joy, eternal life!

Notice how like God it is! The law is GOOD (Roman 7:12). God is good (Mark 10:18).

The law is HOLY (Rom. 7:12). GOD is holy (Joshua 24:19)!

The law is JUST (Rom. 7:12). GOD is just (Isaiah 45:21)!

The law is SPIRITUAL (Rom. 7:14). GOD is spiritual (John 4:24)!

The law is PERFECT (Psalm 19:7). GOD is perfect (Matthew 5:48)!

The law -including all his Commandments- is immutable, ETERNAL, God's precepts stand FOREVER AND EVER (Psalm 111:7-8). And GOD is eternal (which is basically what YHVH, I am that I am--Exodus 3:14--means).

Of course - for the law is the very character, the very nature, of God! It is the WILL of God. 

Mystery of Lawlessness

But, in the New Testament, we read of Simon the magician who had false conversion:

5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city.

9 But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, 10 to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, "This man is the great power of God." 11 And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. 13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.

14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, "Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit."

20 But Peter said to him, "Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity."

24 Then Simon answered and said, "Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me."

25 So when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans. (Acts 8:5-25)

Records related to early church history reports that Simon promoted lawlessness and commandment breaking (see Simon Magus, What Did He Teach?). Simon Magus had a false conversion and even had fooled Philip. While many nowadays think that no church would teach what Simon Magus reportedly taught, the fact is that some of the largest churches that claim Christianity teach many of the doctrines that Simon Magus and his followers taught. For some details, check out the article Simon Magus, What Did He Teach? and/or watch the sermon Simon Magus and 'Christianity'?

The Apostle Paul saw a problem in his day:

7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. But the one who restrains is to do so only for the present, until he is removed from the scene. (2 Thessalonians 2:7, NAB, a Catholic translation)

7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2 Thessalonians 2:7, NKJV)

How can iniquity or lawlessness be a mystery?

Well, it is a mystery because most people who profess Christ do not understand what Paul meant by using the term anomia.

A few verses earlier, the Apostle Paul warned about "the man of sin" "the son of perdition" (2 Thessalonians 2:3)--he will violate all the Ten Commandments (see also The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast). Despite this, many do not understand that sin is related to anomia. Anomia is shown to be the iniquity of lawlessness--transgressing God's law (1 John 3:4). Sin and lawlessness are mysteries to many who profess Christ. See also the article Mystery of Iniquity

Many rely on 'traditions' and 'traditional explanations' of portions of the Bible, without realizing that they are guilty of practicing sin and believing in lawlessness.

The Apostle John also had a problem of dealing with those who had a false conversion:

18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. (1 John 2:18-19)

So, antichrists were/are those that claim to be Christian but did not continue in the original practices of the faith. Practices of the Apostle John in particular (for more on John, see the article The Apostle John).

John had to deal with a false convert named Diotrephes who even wanted to put the apostle out of the church (3 John 9)!

How can you tell today if one is false? For one way, notice something else that the Apostle John wrote:

2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:2-3).

4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. (1 John 2:4-6)

So there you have it! Those who are falsely converted do not really keep the commandments and those that are the children of God really do. Real Christians walk as Jesus walked, and Jesus kept the commandments (John 15:10; see also What Did Jesus Teach About the Ten Commandments?).

It perhaps should also be pointed out that early apostates from Christianity, such as Simon Magus and Marcion did not keep the Ten Commandments, but taught against them. Actually, despite the fact he was CLEARLY an apostate, some Protestant scholars have called Marcion the First Protestant. In the second century, Polycarp of Smyrna called Marcion "the firstborn of Satan. " Yet, he influenced many in the Greco-Roman world, including in Rome itself. Some of Marcion's doctrines are sadly now taught by the Greco-Roman-Protestant churches (for details, check out the article Marcion: The First Protestant?).

If Protestants would look into church history, they would find that no faithful early Christian taught against the Ten Commandments, but taught that they must be kept. Furthermore, if the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox would also look into the truth about early church history, they would see that the doctrine and practices of early church--including how the Ten Commandments were viewed and kept--more closerly resembled the Continuing Church of God than their churches in the 21st century (see also Continuing History of the Church of God).

Furthermore, church history records that although there were faithful Christian leaders in Jerusalem until about 135 A.D., the bulk of those who professed Christ there compromised and turned away from God's law then (see also Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups that Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries?). Surely, the mystery of lawlessness was spreading.

Conscience Not Your Guide

But in the modern-day Babylon - confusion of conflicting teachings - you have been taught, falsely, that YOUR CONSCIENCE tells you what is sin. But your conscience only troubles you when you do what you THINK is wrong! And what you think is wrong, another may think is right! Your conscience is NO GUIDE!

Sin is not the doing of what you think is wrong. Not the transgression of conscience - sin is the transgression of God's LAW (I John 3:4). Sin is thinking and doing what GOD SAYS is wrong- and He says it in His law.

One who does what he thinks is right may be committing a great deal of sin!

God says: "There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death" (Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25).

Notice also:

15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise. (Proverbs 12:15)

Can you accept biblical counsel?

Many today do not know what the Bible teaches. Even in the Anglo-American nations, biblical ignorance is massive.

Do not allow yourself to be deceived. Consider:

2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, (Proverbs 16:2)

Do not let your ego or pride get in the way. Be willing to repent and change.

Sadly, most will not. Jesus taught:

13 Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

Most will not find it, but follow the way of the world.

The world has been going the WAY that seems right to man for some 6,000 years. But this WAY has brought unhappiness, emptiness, discontent, poverty, sickness and disease and finally, CHAOS and DESPAIR all over the world! It is not GOOD!

God says:

6 Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.

8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. (Isaiah 55:6-8)

And there is THE WAY of salvation! There is THE WAY to find GOD! SEEK HIM, by forsaking - WHAT? Forsaking YOUR WAY - your thoughts! The way you have THOUGHT to be right. 

The unrighteous do not obey the commandments. What is righteousness?

172 ... all Your commandments are righteousness. (Psalms 119:172)

Do not be unrighteous. Keep God's commandments.


The first step toward salvation is to REPENT, and that means forsake your way- the customs and traditions you have been following, the ways of man, the ways you have been living. FORSAKE YOUR OWN WAY. Turn to God's way - the way of HIS LAW! The way of HIS WILL! Yes, the WAY of success, achievement, doing good, of prosperity- the WAY Of ETERNAL LIFE!

Since the entire Bible contains the magnified explanation of GOD'S LAW, the Bible becomes OUR GUIDE FOR RIGHTEOUS AND SUCCESSFUL LIVING! That is why Jesus said man shall live by every word of GOD!

True repentance means you give your SELF to God. And the only kind of repentance that is prerequisite to the gift of eternal life is COMPLETE AND UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER TO GOD - to his will, which means to HIS LAW. You become HIS, literally, and wholly, with no reservations! Repentance is a COMPLETE CHANGE in your life- in your attitude TOWARD life - your purpose in life - your THOUGHTS and your ACTIONS.

It means forsaking some of your old friends and companions - if they are living the worldly life that seems right to MAN. It means turning from and forsaking worldly social and religious customs, interests, pleasures that are contrary to GOD'S WAYS.

It means THE BIBLE becomes the SUPREME AUTHORITY over your life - your guide to living- yes, to happy, abundant, gracious living, and SUCCESSFUL and righteous living, henceforth and forever - to live your life from now on with GOD'S HELP, and BY HIS POWER, according to the spirit and principle, as well as the letter and precept of his Commandments. You henceforth STUDY THE BlBLE- not just carelessly read, but STUDY, to learn GOD'S WAYS, and to LIVE BY EVERY WORD OF GOD!

Now ask yourself, candidly: How MANY people who profess salvation - who have "accepted Christ" - do you believe have REALLY COME TO THIS KIND OF REAL REPENTANCE? "Except you REPENT," warned Jesus, "you will all likewise PERISH" (Luke 13:3, 5). Sadly, BILLIONS ARE DECEIVED!

But if billions are deceived about the prior CONDITION of repentance, just as many millions are deceived today as to the KIND OF FAITH that really SAVES!



Now think a moment! Use your REASON! We are taught, and rightly, that we cannot EARN our salvation - it is the GIFT of God. If is by GRACE - and "grace" means undeserved pardon and free gift. Yet, notice how inconsistent people are! They argue there must be NO WORKS - no OBEDIENCE to the Commandments, or doing GOOD- no recognizing of God's AUTHORITY over your daily living - because salvation comes by GRACE - God's free GIFT. And yet they seem to believe that somehow WE must supply the FAITH that brings salvation! If WE work up, or if WE supply this FAITH by which we are saved, would not that, in fact, amount to our producing our own salvation by the very WORKS of supplying this FAITH?

So notice, what that scripture teaches. Notice more CLOSELY than you did before!

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

The faith that really saves is GIVEN TO us by GOD - it is a GIFT from HIM! You don't supply it, or work it up--and we were given that to walk in good works.

Did you ever notice that before?

Well, what then? In Galatians 2:16, Paul explains a man is justified only "by THE FAITH of Jesus Christ" (KJV). Notice, he does not say, by the man's faith IN Jesus Christ- he says by "the faith of Jesus Christ" - which means CHRIST'S FAITH - the faith HE has and uses - the same faith with which he performed all his miracles - the same faith by which he lived - his faith, placed by a miracle, as a gift direct from God, into the man!

So, PLEASE UNDERSTAND! Salvation is GOD'S GIFT. You do not, cannot, earn it. God GIVES it. But - and here is where people become mixed up, and stumble- God will GIVE it only on condition! Yes, there are terms and conditions! God has set these terms, and you can't alter them, and he won't change them!

I want to make this perfectly PLAIN. It is not your faith in Christ - a faith YOU supply by BELIEVING in him as Savior- that saves you. It is CHRIST'S faith, which he supplies and places in you by his Holy Spirit, which actually IMPARTS ETERNAL LIFE. But WHAT, then? Is it not necessary for YOU to believe, with YOUR OWN faith, in Christ?

Now let me make this PLAIN! Salvation is GOD'S FREE GIFT- it is by GRACE ALONE. Yet the very purpose of God demands TWO prior CONDITIONS on YOUR part. First, you must REPENT! Second, you must BELIEVE in Christ as Savior. But you cannot believe in Christ unless you also believe his message - the Gospel of the Kingdom of God (Mark 16:15-16). But NEITHER your repentance, followed by your obedience, NOR YOUR faith earns any salvation! They are merely prior CONDITIONS. But when you supply these two ingredients, then God STANDS BOUND BY HIS PROMISE to impart to you by his Holy Spirit HIS righteousness, and CHRIST'S faith - and THESE, supplied by GOD, are the ingredients that SAVE AND IMPART ETERNAL LIFE!

Paul explains: "Even we have believed IN Jesus Christ, that we might be justified BY THE FAITH OF CHRIST" (Galatians 2:16, KJV). You must repent and believe in Christ, as a condition, a prerequisite, IN ORDER THAT you may receive, and be saved by the faith OF Christ - by his faith placed within you!


Cut Off From GOD

All have sinned (Romans 3:23)!

All have gone the way that seems right in human eyes. And our sins have cut us off from God:

2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear. (Isaiah 59:2).

Now salvation - eternal life - comes from GOD. But your sins have cut you off from God. The connection is SEVERED. You severed it! God will not GIVE you his gift of eternal life until you are reconciled to Him!

But he so LOVED you, that he GAVE his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to DIE FOR YOU so that you need not perish - but, through Jesus Christ, be brought into contact with him so He can GIVE you eternal life!

The PENALTY of transgressing his law is DEATH! Jesus paid that penalty in your stead. If, and when, you TRULY REPENT, as I have explained at length, and BELIEVE on Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Savior from sin and from sinning, then by and through HIM you gain access to GOD THE FATHER.

The two conditions of turning FROM sin, and accepting Christ (including baptism), YOU must DO YOURSELF! That's what YOU must do! That is NOT what saves you! It merely reconciles you to GOD - brings you into CONTACT with God, so that God will then GIVE YOU his HOLY SPIRIT - and his SPIRIT imparts the gift of the FAITH that saves - and is also the Spirit of UNDERSTANDING, of knowledge, of the love that FULFILLS the law and imparts GOD'S righteousness.

Billions have been deceived and falsely believe that they have a salvation that they do NOT yet have at all! GOD HELP us, then, to UNDERSTAND. 

What You Should Do

You need to change to be a real Christian..

Now, finally, just HOW shall you go about it?

Must you go down the aisle in a church? Must you shed tears in front of others, and pray aloud before others?

Being converted is not an initiation into a lodge or secret society! It is not a rite or ceremony! It is a matter of turning FROM the old life that was false, yet may have seemed right to you - of turning TO a new and TRUE way of life in Christ Jesus, living by every word of God, in and by the power of God's Holy Spirit! When you UNDERSTAND the real MEANING and the PURPOSE, you'll see that it is something that takes place down deep in your HEART and not a matter of THE PLACE or THE SURROUNDINGS, or the presence of other people. What Jesus said about confessing or denying him before men did not refer to a rite, or ceremonial form of being converted. Being converted is the receiving of the Holy Spirit - the very life - of God.

You CAN, of course, make this full surrender and consecration to God in front of others, in a church. You can, also, make it just as sincerely and fully, in a private room at home, all ALONE with God! You can pray in church before others and do it sincerely from the heart. Yet Jesus said, "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet [any private room], and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall, reward thee openly."

WHEN you have really repented - repented of what you are as well as what you have done - WHEN you come to this parting of the ways from the old life - when you come to the place of making this COMPLETE CHANGE- this total unconditional surrender to God- this complete consecration, GIVING your SELF to him, accepting Christ as your personal Savior - turning FROM your sins, and TO GOD'S way of life as you'll find it in the Bible, you'll want to PRAY! Yes, you'll want to throw yourself completely on God's mercy, and ask him through Jesus Christ to FORGIVE YOU all your past sins and transgressions against him.

The apostle Paul reveals how. He confessed:

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. (Romans 7:18-19).

He saw human nature in its gruesome reality. He struggled with it-fought against it- only to find that it was more powerful than he!

What could he do?

Paul cried out:

24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:24-25)

It is not, perhaps, of great consequence where you do it! But the IMPORTANT thing is to DO IT! The longer you put repentance off the harder it will become. WHY it should be difficult to just go and throw yourself on God's mercy, and ask his forgiveness and give your SELF to him, is hard to understand- yet something in the human nature within you will keep tempting you to PUT IF OFF. That temptation is not of God, you may be sure.

If you are sick and tired of the empty, fruitless, materialistic life you have been living - IF in your heart you DO want to turn from it to the FULL and JOYFUL life filled with God's SPIRIT, then WHY DELAY? This is just the start of the real Christian life. Don't look for a certain feeling, but repent and believe.

A related video is also available: False Conversion.

For more on the Christian life, check out the free online book: Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.

Also, consider the free online book: Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from Protestantism. Several related sermon are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History, The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character, The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon, Eucharist, Passover, and Easter, and How Does the Church of God Differ from Protestantism?

Note: The old Worldwide Church of God no longer exists and the group that took it over would not make Herbert Armstrong's writings available, even when I offered to pay. So the above article is shown in the public interest, and with additional scriptures, etc. The most faithful remnant of his old church is the Continuing Church of God. Article updated 07/05/2017

For more on conversion, see also the article Real Conversion.

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