“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’.” (John 3:5-7)
I’ve heard people say “I was born a Baptist. I lived a Baptist. And I’ll die a Baptist”. Based on the above words of Jesus spoken to rabbi Nicodemus in John 3, a person who bases his or her eternal future on a natural birth will die and go to hell.
Each of us “must be born again.” Not just a natural birth when a birth mother’s “water breaks”; but, spiritually when a man, woman, boy or girl is buried with Christ in death but rises to walk with Him in eternal life. Such a rebirth only happens when that individual confesses personal and death deserving Sin/sin and surrenders control of his or her life to Jesus by faith in Him as Lord. (Romans 3:23; 6:23; 10:8-10, 13)
My grandfather, “Bepaw”, was as fine a man of God as I have ever known. Even a little boy like me appreciated the fact that he not only “talked the talk” of Christian discipleship. He also “walked the walk”.
Besides being a faithful husband to “Memaw”, father to my Dad and his five brothers and sisters, he also pastored a great Baptist church in Lexington, Kentucky. There was no compromise with sin.
There were many obvious and fundamental sins outlined in the Scriptures and then there were many, not so obvious or agreed upon “no no’s”. No card playing, drinking alcoholic beverages, dancing, going to movies or “co-ed bathing”. That’s what the church called boys and girls swimming in the same swimming pool.
And there was to be no work or virtually anything else done at all on Sunday. With one or two exceptions.
My grandmother and four aunts would go right into the kitchen after church and finish preparing the “Baptist Bird” (Kentucky fried chicken) for Sunday dinner. No one else could work on Sunday except the church ladies.
Bepaw loved the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. In fact he would sit in front of the radio every Sunday afternoon and listen to the “double header” even though my dad and I were not permitted to play catch in the back yard.
Even a little kid like me could see some inconsistencies in the religion practiced by my well intentioned, faithful and loving grandfather.
This much I know from God’s Word, the Bible. Just being born into a Christian family or any other religion isn’t enough to get you into the Kingdom of God or keep you out of hell. You must be “born again”.
Gratefully, I lived long enough to discover this truth for myself.
Such is both the Mercy and Grace of God. We’ll definitely consider these truth principles in greater depth along the way.