Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Born again...Yes!

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, 
unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 3:3

Entering a saving relationship with Christ is a life-changing experience! All things become new! Not some things, but all things (2 Cor. 5 :17) . For the first time in your life, Christ is Lord ; God is Master. When you become a Christian, Christ's presence will affect every part of you. You will have new thoughts, new attitudes, new values, and new sensitivities. New priorities will dramatically affect your relationships. You will view everything in your life from a Christlike perspective. Christianity is not something you add to your life; it is life!

Nicodemus thought that salvation meant performing certain religious exercises and holding to particular religious teachings. He had no idea of the all-encompassing nature of salvation! When you become a Christian, God gives you a new heart so that everything becomes new! God gives you a new mind, like that of Christ, so you think differently. He gives you new emotions, so you feel deeply about completely different matters. You become sensitive to sin, so you are no longer comfortable with it. Your recreation will be affected as you are made aware of what is honoring to God and what is not. Your relationships will now be guided by the Holy Spirit. Destructive habits and attitudes, previously immune to change, will be transformed.
Have you noticed the changes God has brought to your life since you entered a vital relationship with Jesus Christ? These changes should be very noticeable as a testimony of the new life you received when you trusted Jesus as your Savior and Lord. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Oh to think of Nicodemus...had he not been so Spiritually curious, we wouldn't have had what we now do as the most famous passage in the Bible.  

What we have all seen and been told by many a believer likely has its roots in John 3:16.  

His experience with Jesus in this nightly visit changed Nicodemus forever.  We know it stayed with him to the crucifixion because he helped care for the body of Christ afterwards.  Nobody who ever had been with Jesus was ever the same afterwards.  Some for good some went deeper into darkness to get away.  That's the impact of true light on a life.

I am convinced that a young Saul was there among the Pharisees in those years of Jesus's ministry.  If you look at the qualifications to be an Apostle it bears to the fact that regardless of if he was a believer he was there throughout His ministry.  It factored into his being called an Apostle to the Gentiles.  What he lacked was being born again, which happened on the way to Damascus. 

Many probably scoff at such an idea.  But the truth from Jesus is that you must be born again to gain the rights and privileges of a Heavenly citizenship.  Without being born again your name isn't written in the Lamb's book of Life.  Without it you are not wheat but false wheat.  You can mimic Christian faith all you want but it won't make your name appear in that book.  I know of people who love the idea of being near Christian people at concerts that the Gaither's have.  But they won't commit to Christ.  They are afraid to. 

There is no fear in coming to Christ.  It's as the Bible says...come as a child.  Receive the good news as a child would.  The thief on the cross simply asked to be remembered because regardless of what he saw he believed Jesus to be the Christ.   No schooling, no baptism, nothing but belief that turned into being born again. 

The Ethiopian Eunuch was just reading his copy of what he had of the Bible. In his case only the Old Testament.  Philip was told to go ask him about what he was reading.  He showed him from that place in Isaiah and others where it spoke of Jesus being the Christ.  He was born again.  Then wanted to be baptized to show the world that he was born again. 

Faith comes by hearing.  Wow. Years ago I listened through the Bible.  One of the most powerful 3 weeks of my life.  It was like a key went into my heart and mind. When I listened the key turned.  I was SEEING the Bible coming to life in me. 

The Spirit calls to everyone.  He's not shouting but calling.  In no way does God WANT anyone to perish apart from God.  Choice is in the hands of man and woman.  

In his time speaking with Jesus, Nicodemus was on the cusp of believing.  The fertile ground of his heart was ready.  Jesus calmly removed the doubts that stood in the way so that he would see the truth for what it was. Then Nicodemus chose.  

What is keeping you from your own conversation with Jesus?  How much longer do you think you have to argue in defense of your excuses?  You don't think Nicodemus had obstacles to overcome? You only read of a few in the Gospel account. That conversation went on for a while.  Look at Paul.  This man was a Pharisee. Taught by the best of the Pharisees.  His experience with Jesus shut him down for 3 days.  Alone in his mind with Jesus.  His life for the first time flashing before his eyes, not unto death physically, but unto death Spiritually.  He had everything he had been taught questioned!  Jesus had an answer for all of it.  He was healed of his blindness and baptized into the family of God.  He was empowered mightily to defeat the arguments of his own constituents because the truth of Scripture was explained to him.  He was born again.  In Christ he was a new man with a new purpose.  He says himself that he counted it all as loss in his life to live for Jesus. 
Things of the world didn't matter so much anymore. 

But that's what I am afraid of! You say. I won't get to enjoy what I like anymore!  

Really? That's your excuse?  You find some things that enjoyable that you can't imagine something else that would be more so?  You can't imagine it because outside of Christ you will never experience it.  Being born again is a requirement to experiencing a life with Christ.  Being nearby isn't good enough.  

Hell is filled with good people who believed they were good enough for Heaven.  There are billions there who thought they lived a good life.  Didn't harm anyone.  Did good to others when they could.  They thought they were saved, some of them.  They weren't born again.  You can know today that you are born again.  Look up Romans Road.  If you get to the other end of it and see that you're not.  Fix that today.  Don't fret about what might happen to your life.  Your alternative is to spend life in Hell, which, regardless of the songs that have been written, is no party.  If you get to the other end of that and find that you are saved, fantastic!  All that remains is possibly renewing your life with Christ.  Asking for forgiveness of sins and seeking to live as He wants you to. 

I came to Christ at a very young age.  1975 I believe. I barely remember that day when I went forward at the end of the service.  I remember going into the Pastor's office afterwards and talking with the Elders about my decision to be born again.  I remember the sunshine coming through the window in that office.  God's favor shining down on me.  We prayed and I think the men put their hands on me when they did.  I was given a small copy of the book of John.  

Life, as Mark Lowry has said, is interesting when you come to Christ.  You certainly will have an interesting life.  But you will never be alone.  You will indeed live Psalms 23 many times in your life.  You will live through being the Prodigal Son or Daughter.  You will still have joyous times and sad times.  But in all of it you won't need to despair of life.  The promise of the Holy Spirit we read about is promised to us too.  You may find yourself rocked to the core of who you are, as I have been several times, you may not. Depends on what it takes to make you more like Christ in your rebirth. 

Oh to be born again.  Read John 3. See how many of his questions are your questions.  Time is running out.  This is a limited time offer.  We know not when Jesus is returning.  We are only told to be ready.  As Jesus said if the owner of the house had known (been ready) he wouldn't have let his place be robbed.  

To be ready is to be born again.  Then you won't be left behind crying out for a second chance, knowing full well that you missed when He returned.  Billions will be crying out after the Rapture happens. Just like billions beat on the Ark wanting in, only then believing that all that Noah preached about was true.  Just as it was Jesus who closed that door, He will close the door for that opportunity when His Father says it's time.

The time is now to be born again. 

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