BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
Many people are familiar with the phrase or term to be born again. But it is not everybody that understands the meaning. In John 3, a man who should have known better, being a respected Jewish teacher of the law, expressed his ignorance of the meaning of the concept to Jesus.
The Bible records the conversation between the man and Jesus in the book of John chapter 3:1-10 thus: “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.’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ Nicodemus answered and said to Him, ‘How can these things be?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?’” (NKJV).
Jesus went ahead to teach Nicodemus how to be born again. There are many people like this man – sincere but ignorant. They don’t know why they should be born again, and the devil will exploit this ignorance to drag them to hellfire contrary to God’s plan.
One could be a pastor or church leader, a church official, or a worker and not be born again. There is a difference between church membership and being born again. Your name could be in the register of the church and not be in the Book of life. Your pastor may know you but does God know you? Are you born again?
In this message, I want to share with you twelve reasons you should be born again. These twelve reasons actually overlap, but it is good to highlight them for emphasis. Why should you be born again?
1. Because God loves you. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to die for you that if you believe in Him, you shall not die, but live forever and have eternal life (John 3:16). It is the love of God for sinners that made God send His only begotten Son, Jesus, to come and die for the world.
God loves you. Others may not love you but God loves you. Some may not love you because of certain things about you, but God loves you even in your sinful state. He loves like nobody does.
God loves the sinner but hates the sin in his life. Therefore, the first reason you must be born again is that God loves you. You need to respond to the love of God today by accepting Jesus into your life as your Saviour. Turn over your life to Jesus today. This is the best decision you can ever make in life.
2. Because everybody has sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We have all fallen short of God’s glorious standard. You are included in the “all” in that scripture. It doesn’t matter your good works, you are a sinner, and that sin-nature in you makes you sin. You were born a sinner but you shouldn’t die as one. Without accepting Jesus into your life, all your works of self-righteousness are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Without Jesus in your life, all your good deeds mean nothing to God. Only when you surrender your life to Jesus can your good deeds mean anything to God.
3. Because the soul that sins shall die. Death means eternal separation from the life of God. It means endless life in hellfire. You are a sinner by birth and a sinner by your actions. If you die in sin without Jesus, you will go to hellfire where the pain and the suffering there are forever. Ezekiel 18:4 says, “Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die” (NKJV). The wages of sin is death. Sin pays! It pays with death! Eternal damnation! But God’s gift is eternal life given by Jesus Christ our Lord. That’s what Romans 6:23 says. You must be born again because the soul that sins shall die.
4. Because God does not want you to die in your sin. The desire and plan of God are that you should not die in your sin. He wants you to repent. That’s why He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for you. That’s why He has not allowed you to die yet; He is still waiting for you to accept His free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. However, you have to be careful because the opportunity God has given you to repent will not last forever. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV).
God’s will is for you not to perish in your sin but to come to repentance. Why don’t you cooperate with Him and repent today?
5. Because God does not want you to spend your eternity in hellfire. God made hellfire as a place of punishment for the devil, not for man. But many people by their personal decision are heading for hellfire. God does not want you to suffer in hell. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 says, “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him” (NKJV). Psalm 9:17 also says, “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (NKJV). Why must you forget or ignore God and end in hellfire?
6. Because Jesus Christ has already paid the price for your salvation. Jesus has given His life to save you; He died on the cross for you a sinner. God does not expect you to do any good work for you to be saved other than to believe and accept what He has done to save you. The price has already been paid. All you have to do is receive what has been paid for on your behalf, which is salvation. “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:10-13 NKJV).
Jesus didn’t wait for you to repent before He died for you; He died for you in advance. That’s to tell you how much God loves you. Romans 5:6-10 says, “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (NKJV).
Also, the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:15, “And He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (NKJV). Stop trying to save yourself. It is impossible. Simply accept what Jesus has already done for you. You must be born again because Jesus Christ has already paid the price for your salvation.
7. Because your sins have been forgiven. Sin has the power to send anyone to hell fire but someone whose sin is forgiven is free from the power of sin. God forgave you your sins over 2000 years ago when the blood of Jesus was shed on the cross and He died for you. The shedding of His blood brought you forgiveness. Hebrews 9:22 says according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood, there is no remission.
Jesus took upon Him your sins on the cross. As 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, God made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin for you so that you might become the righteousness of God in Him. What a love! Romans 3:25 says that God set forth Christ Jesus to be a propitiation (or an atonement) by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness because in His forbearance (i.e. patience or tolerance) God had passed over (i.e. forgave) the sins that were previously committed. God sacrificed Jesus Christ for the sins of the world. You are made right with God when you believe that Jesus shed His blood and sacrificed His life for you.
8. Because you can become a new creature. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV). When you give your life to Jesus and invite Him into your heart, you become a new creature, a brand new person. Your past is forgiven and forgotten; it is as if you had no past as regards sin!
Why will you continue in your sinful life when you can become a new creature? There is no record of your sinful past again before God once you give your life to Jesus. In the last part of Jeremiah 31:34, God says, “For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (NKJV). Hebrews 8:12 says a similar thing: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” (NKJV). He gives you a new life to live, an opportunity to start life afresh. So you don’t have to be a captive of your ugly past. God wants to give you a brand new beginning by making you a new creature!
9. Because no matter how terrible your past is, Jesus will receive you. Everybody has a past, and many people have terribly shameful pasts they don’t like to remember. God knows your past and your present; He knows your future also. God is not scared or ashamed of all your past and present atrocities. You could be a cultist, kidnapper, prostitute, armed robber, fraudster, murderer, liar, homosexual, etc. If you’ll come to Jesus in repentance, He’ll show you mercy and receive you to Himself. Jesus will not reject you. He says in John 6:37 that all that the Father gives Him will come to Him, and the one who comes to Him, He will by no means cast out. Don’t condemn yourself. He is waiting for you to come to Him; He’ll warmly receive you. Don’t deny yourself of this precious opportunity. Don’t forget this number nine reason: No matter how terrible your past is, Jesus will receive you.
10. Because heaven will rejoice at your salvation. All heaven is waiting for you to make the decision today to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Heaven will rejoice over your repentance. You make the heart of the angels of God rejoice when you give your life to Jesus. Jesus says in Luke 15:10, “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (NKJV).
Don’t delay further; make this decision now and throw all heaven into great rejoicing. As 2 Corinthians 6:2 says, now is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation. Stop procrastination! Act now!
11. Because death is not the end of everything on earth. There is something after death. Don’t think that you can live your life anyhow and once you die that is the end. That’s a fallacy. It is a lie. That’s what many people think but that’s not what the Bible says.
Hebrews 9:27 says that it is appointed for men (i.e. human beings) to die once but after this the judgment. You have an appointment with judgment after your appointment with death! Did you hear that? Romans 14:12 also says each of us will give a personal account to God after death. But the judgment of those who have given their lives to Jesus is not for condemnation but for reward.
Your decision to accept Jesus into your life or reject him has eternal consequences – everything doesn’t end with your death. There is life after death – it is called eternity. Where will you spend your eternity? Heaven or hell? You can only decide that while you’re still alive. It will be too late once you die.
You cannot wine and dine with Satan here on earth and hope to wake up in heaven to Christ’s banquet for the faithful. This is the marriage supper of the Lamb which Revelation 19:9 talks about. You can’t have your cake and eat it. A life without Jesus on earth is an expressway to hellfire after death! Death is not the end; give your life to Jesus today. If you refuse to accept Him as your Saviour and Lord today, one day you will stand before Him as your Judge. Because death is not the end of everything on earth, give your life to Jesus.
12. Because you cannot see the Kingdom of God unless you are born again. “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’” (John 3:3 NKJV). Unless you accept Jesus Christ into your heart, (i.e. unless you are born from above), you cannot be in the Kingdom of God or experience it. Jesus says He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). There is no other way. It is Jesus and Jesus only. Don’t let anyone deceive you. Only one way leads to heaven, and that is Jesus. The rest will take you to hellfire.
Jesus says in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (NKJV).
How to Be Born Again
Romans 10:8-10 explains how you can be born again: “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (NKJV).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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