Title: No Ifs, Buts, or Maybes
I heard a speaker recently talking about almost being a Christian, which sounded as rational as the drowning man who was almost rescued. Obviously, he wasn't. Likewise, the person who is almost a Christian, isn't.
In today's world many claim to be Christians because it is the "politically correct" thing to say in certain circles, or because they claim that they are not heathen; or because they attend church; or because they live a moral life, or even because they are religious. But do any of these qualify one for being a Christian? No. Not at all.
If any of the above issues qualified one for being a Christian, then Nicodemus, a highly respected religious leader in Christ's day, would have qualified, but he didn't. Besides being a religious leader, Nicodemus was undoubtedly a model citizenóstrong in character and a man of integrity. In fact, as good a man as Nicodemus was, Jesus assured him that unless he was born again he wouldn't even see the Kingdom of Heaven, let alone enter it.
To this good man Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."1 And again, "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'"2 Jesus then reinforced this imperative by telling Nicodemus that unless an individual is born again of God's Spirit, he/she "cannot enter the kingdom of God."3
"You must be born again" is an imperative that applies to every one of us. That is; if you and I are going to see and enter God's Heaven, there are no ifs, buts, or maybesówe, too, must be born again. No matter how good, famous, rich, poor, or humble we are, we, too, must be born again.
So what does it mean to be born again? Nicodemus was confused, too, and asked the same question of Jesus. Simply put, it means that we need to be born spiritually as well as physically. That is, when we entered the human race we were born physically; to enter God's Heaven we need to be born spiritually! And how can we be born spiritually? We do this by confessing to God that we are a sinner in his sight; by believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He died on the cross to pay the just penalty for all our sins; and by inviting Him into our heart and life as personal Lord and Savior and asking for His forgiveness for all of our sins.
If you are not sure that you have been born again spiritually, the following prayer will help you to do this: "Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner and am sorry for all the wrongs and sins that I have committed. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross to pay the penalty for all my sins. Please forgive me. I invite you, Jesus, to come into my heart and life as my Lord and Savior. I commit and trust my life to you. Please give me the desire to be what you want me to be and to do what you want me to do. Thank you for dying for my sins, for your free pardon, for your gift of eternal life, for the assurance that I have been born again, and for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, Amen."
If you prayed this prayer and genuinely meant it, please fill in the brief form at: http://www.actsweb.org/decision.php and we will send you helpful articles (without charge) to help you grow in your Christian life.
For further help read "How to Be Sure You're a Real ChristianóWithout Having to Be Religious" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.
1. John 3:3 (NKJV).
2. John 3:7 (NKJV).
3. John 3:5 (NKJV).