and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:13)
Confession leads to true conversion, and there is no conversion at all until these three steps have been taken.
Now the word “conversion” means two things. We say a man is “converted” when he is born again. But it also has a different meaning in the Bible. Peter said: “Repent, and be converted.” The Revised Version reads: “Repent, and turn.” Paul said that he was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision, but began to preach to Jews and Gentiles that they should repent and turn to God. Some old divine has said: “Every man is born with his back to God. Repentance is a change of one’s course. It is right about face.”
Sin is a turning away from God. As someone has said, it is aversion from God and conversion to the world: and true repentance means conversion to God and aversion from the world. When there is true contrition, the heart is broken for sin; when there is true conversion, the heart is broken from sin. We leave the old life, we are translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. Wonderful, isn’t it?
Unless our repentance includes this conversion, it is not worth much. If a man continues in sin, it is proof of an idle profession. It is like pumping away continually at the ship’s pumps, without stopping the leaks. Solomon said:—“If they pray, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin . . .” Prayer and confession would be of no avail while they continued in sin. Let us heed God’s call; let us forsake the old wicked way; let us return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon us; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
If you have never turned to God, turn now. I have no sympathy with the idea that it takes six months, or six weeks, or six hours to be converted. It doesn’t take you very long to turn around, does it? If you know you are wrong, then turn right about.
From “The Overcoming Life” D. L. Moody