We Are S-o-o-o Dumb
We are so dumb that we can be born again and not know it. We can be born again and forget it. We can believe that we have been born again when we have not. We can believe that we do not need to be born again. We can convince ourselves that others have been born again when they have not. We can convince ourselves that others have not been born again when they have. We can be born again and not know how it happened. We can be fooled so easily. We can misunderstand so easily.
John 3:3: 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 3:7: Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Plainly, being born again is necessary. People who have been born again go to heaven. People who have never been born again do not go to heaven.
Here is how to be born again:
John 1:12: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
The him in that verse is Jesus Christ.
Being born again and becoming a child of God are one and the same thing. It takes power to become born again. We didn*t have the power to cause ourselves to be born. And we don*t have the power to cause ourselves to be born again. Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone has that power. He alone can give it to men. It is something that is given to us by Him.
He gives it to all those that receive Him and no one else. The phrase as many as is a very precise number. It is an exact number. There is no wiggle room.
Being born again is the guarantee of heaven. Being a child of God is the guarantee of heaven. Receiving Christ is the guarantee of heaven. Those three things are all parts of one event. They are never separate events. They never occur one at a time. If one part is not genuine the other two are not genuine. If one is genuine all three are genuine.
Forgiveness of sin is important. Some think that confession and forgiveness of sin is all there is to it. Forgiveness of sin is part of the deal. Forgiveness of sin is not the cause of the deal. Forgiveness of sin is a result of the deal. God*s power is the cause of the deal. Those who have been born again have been forgiven. Those who have not been born again have not been forgiven. Being regenerated means the same thing as being born again. The forgiveness that comes with being regenerated is the real deal.
Titus 3:5: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Belief is important. Some think that belief is all there is to it. The phrase even to them that believe on His name is misunderstood. Believing that does not receive is not believing. The kind of believing that works salvation cannot be separated from receiving. Believing is receiving. Receiving is believing. Receiving is the evidence of believing. Believing is the evidence of receiving.
Rejecting Christ is unbelief. Unbelief is rejecting Christ.
We can afford to be dumb about a lot of things and still get to heaven. But we cannot afford to be dumb about this one thing: Ye must be born again.
If you have received Jesus you have been born again. If you have not received Jesus you have not been born again.
John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Acts 4:12: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
This is the central issue in the Bible. This is the central issue of your life. This is the central issue of your eternity.