Few people on earth are not interested in knowing whether there is a heaven or hell and more importantly what must we do to be assured of eternal life in heaven. Jesus answered these questions when He walked on the earth. He also proved, by His death and resurrection, His teachings were true and He had power over death and hell. He died on the cross to make it possible for sinful man to be forgiven of his sins enabling him to surrender his life to Jesus. We must go to the source – the Bible, if we desire to know God’s plan to rescue man from eternal death.
I think it imperative that we begin our search for the Biblical faith by examining Christ’s simple, yet revolutionary phrase that we must be “born again” to enter the kingdom of God. The phrase “born again,” has been horrendously abused and carries with it a lot of unscriptural baggage. Nonetheless, we need to restore Christ’s beautiful phrase to its pure and rightful place in helping to define true conversion, faith and practice.
Salvation, from God’s point of view, is absolutely radical, both in the price Christ paid that we might be saved and the cost for those who genuinely want His salvation. Jesus used the phrase “born again” to paint a graphic picture of the revolutionary nature of conversion. When a child is born he goes from the darkness of his mother’s womb to the brightness of new life in a new world. It is an absolutely radical change for the child, and is no less radical when a person is authentically born again.
Nicodemus, a Pharisee and member of the Jewish ruling council, went to Jesus one night honestly inquiring into the way of salvation. Jesus immediately addressed his true need, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (Jn. 3:3). Nicodemus, not understanding what Jesus meant, questioned how a man can be born a second time (Jn. 3:4). Jesus responded, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit” (Jn. 3:6). The new birth is a spiritual birth, no less radical and obvious than its natural counterpart.
When a woman gives birth to a baby there is verifiable proof that a child has been born. This means that there is objective evidence—a new born baby rests in the arms of the mother. The birth of a child is never subjective, existing only in the woman’s mind. This stands true in the spiritual realm. When a person is genuinely born again there will always be objective, verifiable evidence. That proof consists of a radical change of life that will be seen through the transformation of a person’s heart, mind and character. If there is not a radical change of character, then no matter what the person claims, he has not been born again.
The birthing process is a painful ordeal for both mother and child. As the birth pains increase in intensity and frequency it becomes obvious that the time of delivery draws near. Jesus used the illustration of child birth to show how traumatic it can be to go from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. It can be an excruciating experience to come to the knowledge that we are sinners by nature and by choice, that our sin is always a deliberate act of rebellion and that we deserve eternal damnation as a result. When a person nears the time where he can be born again the emotional pain of the sin can increase in intensity and frequency. Yet without the pain that would bring them to the new birth they would die in the womb of the world. God loves you more than any mother has ever loved her child and wants you to spend eternity with Him.
If you have never been born again or are unsure of your salvation there are two things you need to understand. First we are all sinners and the greatest sin is living our lives our way instead of obeying God and allowing the One who created us to show us how to live. The Bible states in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and fallen short of pleasing God.
Secondly, in order to enter into salvation we must be willing to surrender the control of our lives to Jesus. This means we must daily relinquish control and ask God to lead us in every decision in life. In Matthew 7:21 Jesus said that only those who do the will of the Father can enter the kingdom of heaven.
If you are willing to follow Jesus then talk to Him; confess to Him your sins, ask God to forgive you and invite Him to take control of your life. Tell Him everything and anything in your heart – you will not shock Him. The next step is tell a Christian you have made the choice to invite Jesus into your heart and life or visit a local Bible believing church. Finally, spend time each day talking to Jesus (prayer) and listening to Him as well as taking time to read/study the Bible.
We would like to hear from you if you have made this decision to follow Jesus or if you have any questions and are not yet sure about Christianity. Please feel free to call or email.
Glenn & Jessica Meldrum