Contrary to popular ‘Oprah’ belief that their are many paths to God and to the kingdom, Jesus said to Nicodemus, not once but twice… “YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN.” He also said, to Thomas in John 14:5,6 “Lord… we do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
So, who would you rather believe? A figurehead who uses her celebrity to impress many individuals and has led many people on a dangerous path? Or would you rather believe the Giver of Life, who have given everything to make certain you have a place in the kingdom?
Well, sadly enough, people have found comfort in popular belief. But there is hope.
In John 3 Jesus drove His message home to a man of the cloth, a religious figurehead, a man who knew God’s Word front back and sideways… a leader of the people… and might I add, who also had celebrity and influence… Nicodemus. (oh, humor me… I’m paraphrasing this encounter with Jesus, but am careful to provide the scripture verses I gleaned it from).
“Nick, my friend, I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but you still gotta’ be born again. Cool, you have achieved knowledge, status, and experience. I’m all about getting an education; but you are still lacking. You have got to begin again with a new heart. You must become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) Nick, I know you can’t understand these things now. It’s puzzling to you. You see, this comes about through the Holy Spirit of God who you cannot see… but like the wind… He is there. Oh Yeah. And You can sense His Presence once you are born again. Everyday you will walk in that Presence and have the assurance of my Love and Forgiveness and more than that, My Transforming Power. The transforming power will change you into My image. You will lose your image… not what you have gained; but what has glorified you will now glorify Me.”
Could the Word of the Lord be more clearer? Yet, there are many who have inherited religious ways, and have named the name of Christianity based on ‘inheritance.’ I know. This is out on a limb. But I have witnessed this even before coming to the saving faith of Christ. (see my story trilogy, beginning with part one The D.N.A. of a PK ) It is possible to do church and be church-folk and never knowing the Savior. I saw this first hand as a (false) preacher’s kid. Oh, and Christ was no where near the clergy. But we knew how church was done; we had a form of godliness, yet denied the Power of God to transform us.
So, there you go. Now that I have made some religious folks uncomfortable; it is possible to be a Nick and look really good and holy and lack the transforming power of God. I’ll go a step further and say there are really sweet, quiet, soft spoken, loving people who in appearance seems Christ-like, yet, their throats are open sepulchers. Fancy word for graves. Romans. 3:13. Sadly, being a (false) preacher’s kid, I witnessed this first hand.
Please realize that my intention is Not to upset the apple cart to a point of making folk uncomfortable with doing church. My intentions are that each one of us do a self-examination… as Paul the apostle encouraged the Corinthians to do.
Remember I said earlier, “But there is hope.”
We have time to go through the apple cart and remove all doubt; seeing the fruit of our ways that does not reflect the Life of Christ, and begin to desire the born again transforming power of the Holy Spirit through a sincere repentance and acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Acts 2:37,38
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
You see, we can’t ride on the faith of mama ’em. Mama ’em ain’t the Way. Jesus is. Thank God for the Christian upbringing, for those of us who have had that foundation. It does have HUGE advantages. But as Jesus said to Nicodemus, “YOU must be born again.” It has to be a personal decision of faith. Think about all those who did not come from Christian homes, yet they heard the word of Salvation and have accepted it with joy and are living a life of transformation. Not only have they been reconciled to God, they also have begun the ministry of reconciliation. Which is every believer’s call. Ooops! there goes that apple cart again.
But again, don’t take my word for it. I don’t have celebrity.
Only His Word. “Ye Must Be Born Again.”