No "Ifs," "Buts," or "Maybes" It's a Must
"There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, 'Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.'"1
In Christ's day, Nicodemus, a well-known Jewish religious leader, and undoubtedly an outstanding man of noble character and high moral living, came to Jesus one night wanting to find out just who this miracle-working Jesus was. Knowing what was really on Nicodemus's mind, Jesus ignored his statement and went directly to the heart of Nicodemus's personal need, and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."2
Understandably, Nicodemus didn't understand what Jesus was talking about; but to underscore the point he was making, Jesus said, "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'"3 To reiterate the imperativeness of what Jesus was seeking to communicate to Nicodemus, he said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."4
Jesus was saying to Nicodemus that unless a person is born again, he won't even see the Kingdom of Heaven, let alone enter it. That truth applies to every one of us.
So what does it mean to be born again—to be born of God's Spirit? Obviously, to enter earth we had to be born physically, so to be born again means that if we want to enter Heaven after this life, we need to be born spiritually. For one thing, our physical bodies could never survive out of earth's atmosphere, so obviously could not survive in Heaven. Furthermore, the fact that we are all sinners, God would never ever allow sin or sinners to enter his Heaven and pollute it. Furthermore, because God is a God of infinite holiness, no sinner could ever survive in God's presence—like a moth in a flame, we would be consumed.
But because God is also a God of infinite love, He sent his Son, Jesus, to die in our place to pay the just penalty for all of our sins. We are born spiritually when we, as an act of faith, believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that he died on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins, and in our hearts accept and with our lips confess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. When we do this, we are born again—spiritually, and in so doing receive God's forgiveness and are made fit to enter God's Heaven. This means that after we die, at the resurrection, we will be given a new body, just like the body that Jesus had following his resurrection. We know this because Jesus said that when we see him, we will be like him.5
When it comes to entering God's Heaven, there are no "ifs," "buts," or "maybes." It's an imperative! As Jesus said to Nicodemus, 'You must be born again."6 The same truth applies to you and me. We, too, must be born again to see and enter God's Kingdom of Heaven.
If you are not absolutely certain that you are born again (spiritually), you can be today by genuinely praying the following prayer: "Dear God, I do believe that Jesus Christ is your Son—the Son of God, and that he died on the cross to pay the penalty for all my sins. I confess that I am a sinner; please ha ve mercy on me and forgive me for all my sins. And, Lord Jesus Christ, I invite you to come into my heart and life as my Lord and my Savior. I thank you for taking the punishment for all my sins by dying in my place on the cruel Roman cross. And I thank you, God, for giving your Son, Jesus, to die for me; for your gift of forgiveness, for the gift of spiritual re-birth, and the gift of eternal life so I will be able to live with you in Heaven forever. Thank you for the assurance that I am now born again according to your instructions. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer; gratefully, in Jesus name, amen."
Note: If you prayed this prayer and genuinely meant it, please let us know by filling in the brief form online at: www.actsweb.org/decision.php and we will give you additional help without charge. Be sure to do this today. Or if you need further help, be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian—without having to be religious" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.
1. John 3:1-2 (NKJV).
2. John 3:3 (NKJV).
3. John 3:7 (NKJV).
4. John 3:5 (NKJV).
5. 1 John 3:2 (NKJV).
6. John 3:3 (NKJV)
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.