This concept is at the very core of Jesus' teaching. In John 3:3 Jesus says "...I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is Born Again (anew, from above,) he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the Kingdom of God." (Amplified Bible)
These are strong words from the lips of Jesus. It is especially amazing when you consider who Jesus was saying this to. He wasn't talking to a person that many people would consider to be a sinner. He was talking to Nicodemus, a very devout, highly respected religious leader. This is a powerful illustration of the fact that being devout, sincere, and religious are not enough. All of these things are important, but they will never save anyone. In spite of his piety, Nicodemus was still a lost man.
What is this "New Birth?" It is the wonderful, dramatic transformation done in a person's life when they surrender their life to Jesus Christ. When you receive it, your sins are forgiven ( Acts 3:19; 1 John 1:7,9,) you are adopted into the family of God(Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:5,) you become a totally new creation, renewed in righteousness and true holiness (2 Corinthians 5:17-18; Ephesians 4:24,)and you receive eternal life,to live with God forever! (John 3:14-21) It is a gift of God. Being a gift, it obviously cannot be earned. It is given to us solely by the grace and love of God.(Ephesians 2:8-9)
The New Birth is not a "religion." This is vitally important. Religion is man's attempt to reach God. In the person of Jesus, we see just the opposite. We see God lovingly reaching out to man, loving us in spite of our sin, and willing to pay the ultimate price in order to have a relationship with us. "For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He (even) gave up His only begotten (unique) Son so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life."(John 3:16, Amplified Bible)
Friend,there is no other way. Jesus Him self said "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, NO ONE comes to the Father, BUT BY ME." (John 14:6) If there was another way, then Jesus died the most brutal, agonizing death imaginable-for nothing.
"But I'm a good person." It really isn't a matter of "This person is a good person vs.this person is a bad person." God says that "ALL have sinned and come short of His glory."(Romans 3:23) Furthermore, He tells us of the result of our sin. "The wages of sin is death"(Romans 6:23) This has a twofold meaning. It does mean physical death, which exists in the first place because of sin. However, it also means SPIRITUAL death, which is far worse. Spiritual death is eternal, conscious torment in a place called hell.(Revelation 21:8)
The good news, however, is that no one HAS to go to hell.God, in His love and mercy, has provided us with a way out. His name is Jesus. If you have never been Born Again by giving your life to Him, here is how to do it;
1.ACKNOWLEDGE-"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) "God be merciful to me a sinner"(Luke 18:13)
2.REPENT-"Except ye repent, ye will likewise perish"(Luke 13:3)
3.CONFESS-"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9)If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved" (Romans 10:9)
4.BELIEVE-For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but have eternal life"(John 3:16)
5.RECEIVE-"As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name"(John 1:12)
Friend, this is the most important decision you will ever make. If you have never given your life to Jesus, please don't put it off. You can't be sure you will have a tomorrow. Nothing in the world is worth missing out on this for. If you have further questions, don't hesitate to write to us. If you have made the decision to receive Jesus, let us know so we can rejoice with you. If you would like to talk to someone live, call toll free 1-888-NEED HIM (633-3446).
"Therefore, if any person is (ingrafted) in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old (previous moral and spiritual condition) has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17 Amplified Bible)
(c) 1999 JHB
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The song "Bullfrogs & Butterflies" was written and recorded by Barry McGuire
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