Acts 11:22-23…”News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.” Those that believed were convinced of the truth of the gospel, and it brought about a changed life. They turned from a careless, carnal way of living, to live a holy, heaven-leaning, spiritual life. They turned from worshiping God in show and ceremony, to worship him in Spirit and in truth. They turned from themselves to Jesus, and submitted their lives to Him as Lord. This is what true conversion looks like. Someone who is actually converted will go from being a spiritual corpse, to having spiritual life. Unfortunately, this has been cheapened in our day, and reduced to merely praying the sinner’s prayer or walking down the aisle during an altar call, and no evident change is either encouraged or required prior to baptism. The result is false conversions, which produce Christians who look/sound/act/live no differently than non-Christians. However, in these verses, and throughout scripture, we see that true conversions produce spiritual fruit.
Matthew 13:18-2318 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”