How can I be “Born Again?”
I received a call the other day from a man in crisis. He had just learned that the chest congestion he thought he had was in fact something far more serious. His medical team’s best prognosis still left him eyeball to Eyeball with His Maker in just a few short months.
For the past three days his mind bad been racing. Everything had to be re-evaluated, not in terms of life goals as he was used to thinking, but in terms of eternity! He had not slept more that one or two medicated hours nightly. He had lost his appetite for all but peace of mind, something not on the hospital menu card.
“I need to get well… start going to church,” he said. “I need to straighten out my $@#% life…,” he blushed.. “and speech,” he added. “Gotta quit the smokes too! – Gee, that’s hard.”
“I seen them movies,” he continued. “Someone goes to some big church meeting… something happens. I went to a church once… they were saying and doing all sorts of things… I couldn’t understand it. I went to this other church too…. They sang old hymns…. The minister guy stood up and talked. I don’t think he mentioned the Bible…. Jesus. Some things come close, but there’s always this part that seems missing.”
Finally, he paused…
“All those are good things to do,” I began, “but you don’t need to wait… you can find that peace now. Set aside all those things you mentioned. There are really only four things you need to understand.” I listed them on my fingers:
1. God loves you. He want to transform you into something wonderful… for eternity.
2. There’s a problem. God is Loving, but He is also Holy. He can’t have anything sinful in His Presence. If we are going to get to Him we are going to have to be holy! But we are not! This is something God cannot overlook, because God is also Just. He doesn’t bend the rules!
I told him about a judge whose son had come before him for sentencing for a crime he had committed. The fine was $500 — which the son did not have. The judge could not let his son go free; if he did, he would not be a just judge. But he loved this boy. What was the judge to do? The judge took off his judge robe stepped down and gave his son the money for the fine. The boy paid the fine and was free. Justice and love had both been satisfied by the grace extended by the father-judge.
“This is what Jesus did,” I explained. “Believing that is the 3rd thing that is necessary.
Number 4 is the most important thing. Points 1, 2, and 3 have to move from your head to your heart. You surrender your life to Jesus, turn from sin with His help, and let His Spirit transform you. Read your Bible, pray at all sorts of times, share your life with Jesus and learn to hear and obey His Voice.
The gospel is such a simple thing: 1. God loves you, 2. Your sin has separated you from Him, 3. God has made a way through Christ to restore you, 4. You agree, and take Jesus as both Saviour (He paid for your sin) and Lord (you commit to obey Him – you stop calling the shots and instead follow His step-by-step plans and commands).
“The jailer… fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He… asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:29-31a)
The next time I visited this man He said he felt calmer… “There’s a different ‘feel’” he said. He has begun a new road, a new life….. He has been “born again!”
You can be too!
Got a question? Use the Contact page and send It to me. We’ll search the Word for God’s answer