You Must Be Born Again

Do All Roads Lead to God?  

Jesus said,

“No one can see the kingdom of God

unless he is born again”


People hope to get to heaven when they die. They believe that their good deeds will get them there. Or their membership in a religion.

Now listen to the words of Jesus again, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5).

Let me tell you something at the start.  The words “…enter the kingdom of God” has nothing to do at all with what happens to you when you die. In fact, it has nothing to do with your religion or mine.

Entering the kingdom of God does not begin for you in the future. It has everything to do with the PRESENT. That is, how you are going to respond to the words of Jesus – NOW.

To be “born again” is where everything begins for you – NOW. Let me explain.

In his Gospel John narrates a story about Nicodemus, one of the teachers in Israel, who came to Jesus one night.  Nicodemus knew that Jesus was a teacher from God. He said, “Teacher, we know you are a teacher who has come from God.” He obviously desired to hear from Jesus first hand.

Jesus understood what Nicodemus was getting at and straightway told him, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (3:3).

When a person is shocked by what he hears or sees we say his jaw had fallen to the ground.  Nicodemus must have felt the same way.  Be that as it may, when he recovered, Nicodemus argued,“How can a man be born again when he is old? Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”

Good question. But it misses the point.

Jesus explained that he was not speaking about physical birth at all. There is a physical birth, he said, and there is a spiritual birth. To be “born again” is to have a spiritual birth.

“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit” (3:6).

Now the phrase “born again” reallymeans “born from above.”  Nicodemus must be “born from above.”  That is, this birth that Jesus is talking about has nothing to do with human agency, but it has everything to do with God.

Earlier in the Gospel John writes about the coming of Jesus, the Messiah. John announced: “…to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (1:12,13).

Clearly then, spiritual birth is the work of God. Now a death scene is part of the picture of the spiritual realities Jesus was talking about. He reminded Nicodemus about the time when Moses “lifted up the snake in the desert.”

The desert incident is recorded in Numbers 21:4-9. The people “spoke against God and against Moses” (21:5). “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread. There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”

Their rebellion angered the Lord so much that He sent venomous snakes that bit the people and many died.

The people wasted no time to come to Moses in repentance. And God instructed Moses to “make a (bronze) snake and put it up on a pole. Anyone who is bitten can look at it and live” (21:8).

Now listen to the words Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” (3:14,15).

The Bible tells us this: Because we all have sinned against God the venom of Sin is running in our veins – in our hearts. We desperately need a Savior. Jesus Christ is that Savior. And we all need him desperately!

It cannot be then true that all roads lead to God!  There are two reasons for this. First, God sent his Son to the world and He wants everyone to believe in him. Jesus is the only Savior that was “lifted up” on a cross. Speaking about himself Jesus said, ‘“But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die”’ (12:22,23).

Second, Jesus declares that man will be condemned for one Sin. “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe in him is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (3:17,18).

Further, in his teaching about the Holy Spirit Jesus said, “When he comes he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin, and righteousness and judgment. In regard to sin, because men do not believe in me” (16:8,9).

Thankfully, God loves us and does not want us to perish!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (3:16).

Listen, friend. There are no two ways about this. There is only one way: Believe in Jesus and be “born from above.”  Or perish!

So, all who are born from above “become children of God,” that is, become members of God’s Family. (This is why we say being Christian is not having a religion but a relationship.)

Only the Spirit of God can “deliver” this birth.  Like the wind, the operation is unseen. “So it is with everyone bon of the Spirit” (3:8).

“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”

One who is not yet born from above is dead in sin as far as God is concerned. We all need to be born from above. We all need to be born of God.

How?  To receive Jesus and to believe in his name mean the same thing. When we “receive” Jesus we receive the Savior into our life. To have the Savior in our life is to “believe in his name.”  In Bible terms, this means we completely cease believing and trusting in ourselves and living for ourselves. We turn our whole life over to God. We accept his kingship and authority. In other words, we enter the kingdom of God.

We are “born from above.” God gives us the gift of eternal life. We become members of God’s family.

“Spirit gives birth to spirit.”

Listen, this is not speaking about what could happen to you in the future when you die. Your spiritual birth can occur TODAY– before it is too late –if you “receive him” and “believe in his name.

Only YOU can look to Jesus for yourself. As no one can take your bath for you, so no one can be born from above for you. No one can do this for you.

There you have it, my friend. To be “born from above” has everything to do with what you do NOW in response to Jesus. “…To all who receive him, to those who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”  (See also 20:31.)

A kid saw Jesus in a dream and he asked how much Jesus loved him. “This much,” Jesus answered, and he spread out his arms before the kid.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (3:16).

My friend, the sun will rise tomorrow. But you may not.

Turn from your sin. Believe in Him NOW, and you will receive God’s gift of ETERNAL LIFE. NOW!


Authored by Pastor Fernando Basilio

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