The Spirit calls men to Jesus in diverse ways- Some are drawn so gently that they scarcely know when the drawing began, and others are so suddenly affected, that their conversion stands out with noonday clearness. Perhaps no two conversions are precisely alike in detail- the means, the modes, the manifestations, all vary greatly. As our minds are not all cast in the same mold, it may so happen that the truth which affects one is powerless upon another; the style of address which influences your friend may be offensive to yourself. "The wind blows where it will."
Yet in all true conversions there are points of essential agreement- there must be in all a penitent confession of sin, and a looking to Jesus for the forgiveness of it, and there must also be a real change of heart such as shall affect the entire life thereafter. Where these essential points are not found, there is no genuine conversion. Where there is true faith, there is the new birth, and that implies a change beyond measure, complete, and radical. Any man who is united to Christ has experienced a great change. This change is a thorough and sweeping one, and operates upon the nature, heart, and life of the convert. There must be a divine work, making us new creatures, and causing all things to become new with us, or we shall die in our sins. Our condition before God, our moral tone, our nature, our state of mind, are made by conversion totally different from what they were before. In a word, if we are in Christ Jesus we are new creatures; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. In conversion, infidels become believers, Roman Catholics forsake their priests, harlots become chaste, drunkards leave their cups, and, what is equally remarkable, Pharisees leave their self-righteous pride, and come as 'sinners' to Jesus. Conversion may be known by the fact that it changes the whole man.
It changes the 'principle' upon which he lives- he once lived for self, now he lives for God. He once did right because he was afraid of punishment if he did wrong, but now he shuns evil because he hates it. He once did right because he hoped to merit heaven, but now no such selfish motive sways him- he knows that he is saved, and he now does right out of gratitude to God.
His 'objects in life' are changed- he once lived for gain, or worldly honor; now he lives for the glory of God. His 'comforts' are changed- the pleasures of the world and sin are nothing to him now, he finds comfort in the love of God shed abroad in his heart.
His 'desires' are changed- that which he once panted and pined for, he is now content to do without. And that which he once despised, he now longs after as the deer pants after the water brooks. His 'fears' are different- he fears man no more, but fears his God. His 'hopes' are also altered- his expectations fly beyond the stars. The man has begun a new life.
A convert once said- "Either the world is altered or else I am." Everything seems new. Beloved hearers, may we all meet in heaven. But to meet in heaven we must all be converted, for inside yonder gates of pearl none can enter but those who are new creatures in Christ Jesus our Lord. God bless you, for Christ's sake. Amen. by C.H. Spurgeon