Wednesday, July 13, 2016

"You Have To Be Born Again"

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God".  John 3:3

When Nicodemus came to Jesus at night, he said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him".  Jesus didn't say back to him, "You are right.  My Father has revealed this to you. I am glad you recognize who I am".  He said none of that.  Instead He said something odd-- to me it made no sense.  It sounded like it had nothing to do with what Nicodemus had said.  Jesus immediately responded by telling him he had to be born-again.

Jesus never beats around the bush.  He always goes to the heart of the matter.  He was letting Nicodemus know that entering into the kingdom and having eternal life was more than just having the right belief.  Jesus sets the criteria.  Although Nicodemus had all the "credentials", his credentials were not the criteria.

Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a religious ruler, a teacher, he had a place in the temple, he recognized that Jesus was from God, he knew He could do miracles, he knew God was with Jesus, he followed Him in the crowd, but that wasn't enough.  He still had to be born-again.

Just because you go to church, just because you are a Sunday School teacher, just because you sing in the choir, just because you are on the deacon board, just because you give tithes and offerings, just because you pastor a church, just because you joined a church, just because you shook the preacher's hand, just because you raised your hand in secret and repeated a prayer does not mean you meet Jesus' requirements for entering into the Kingdom of heaven.  Let's take it one step further, like He did for Nicodemus-- just because you believe that Jesus is from God and He is the Son of God doesn't mean you are saved.  Even the devils believe that Jesus is who He is, but they aren't and never will be saved.  Jesus said you "must be born-again". 

A person gets into a family here on earth by either being born or adopted into it.  If you haven't been born into God's family, you don't belong to Him-- you are not in the family.  If you are not in the family, you will not live with Him forever in His house in heaven-- only family gets to do that.  Nicodemus was religious but he was not born-again.  He believed right about Jesus but he was not born-again.  You can be a faithful church goers, you can be religious, you can believe the right thing about Jesus, but if you are not born-again you are still lost and will not enter into God's Kingdom.  That is what Jesus said-- and He makes the rules!

Have a great day.  You have to be born-again in order to enter into God's Kingdom.  If you aren't, you won't! 

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ffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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