ARE YOU BORN AGAIN OR JUST A BELEIVER?
Do you know the difference between being born again or just being a believer? If a person believes, is he automatically born again? Why do some people profess to believe in Jesus but don't live any differently than the world around them?
If you are like me, you have wondered the same thing at sometime in your life. How can a person be a lifelong active member of a church, sing christian music, maybe go to seminary and maybe even become a pastor and not be born again? Strange as it may seem this happens all the time. You see, just believing is not enough. That's right. Jesus said in John 3 to Nicodemus that you MUST be BORN AGAIN to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. He did not say that all you had to do was believe. As the bible says, even demons believe and shutter. Of course it starts with believing but according to John 1:12 all who believe are given the right or privilege to BECOME a child of God but that is their decision to make. First you must believe but you must also ask Jesus to come into your heart and life and to become the Lord of it. Romans says that if you believe (first) in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead AND you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord you shall be saved. You see you must confess His name as well in your life and if you are born again you won't be able to help yourself. You will be so excited about Him that you will want to tell everyone. Like the parable of the coin that the woman lost (Luke 15:8-10). She searched her whole house looking for that coin and when she found it she was so excited that she called all of her neighbors around to see it. So you see, once you have believed you receive the Lord into your life by asking Him to take control of it and make it what He wants and change your mind about what you want. Before I invited Jesus to take over my life I was my own god. The things I did, I did for my own pleasure as I saw fit but after I gave that control up to Jesus I was very interested in what He wanted for my life because I knew that I could trust Him to guide me in the right direction.
Many people sit in church pews and sing songs. They work in the nursery or mow the grass for the church and are faithful in tithing and giving offerings to the church but does that mean they are born again? Sitting in church does not make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage makes you a car. Jesus spoke of those that will come to the door of the Holy City after they have been closed and they will say, "Lord open up for we have done many mighty things in your name and in your name we have cast out demons." But Jesus said that He will say to those people, "Go away you workers of iniquity for I never knew you."(Matthew 7:23)
You see, Jesus wants to know you. He does not need another servant. He has many angels in Heaven to serve Him. What He wants are children. He wants to have that intimate relationship He had with man in the garden where He can walk and talk with him in the cool of the day. God is not looking for people just to believe that He exists or even to agree with Him for some kind of Spiritual validation on His part. He does not need to be validated. What God wants is a relationship with us, His creation. He wants us to talk to Him like we would our earthly parents for instance. From our heart of hearts. God cares about our deepest pain. He wants to comfort you and deliver you from the consequence of your own foolish choices. It was never God's will for you to go through the things you have gone through in your life. The consequences you find yourself in are experienced because you have the knowledge of good AND evil. Because of this we cannot possibly make the right decision every time because our flesh is fallen and gravitates toward evil.
In the beginning God created a paradise for Adam and Eve to live in. He gave them access to the Tree of Life that allowed them to be renewed continually so that they would never die and He tried to keep them from the knowledge of evil so that there would be no consequences. The bible makes it clear that it was God's will that we live like that for eternity because after He made man and put him in the garden He said, "It is VERY GOOD." Genesis 1:31 Now God desires to put you back in the position He put Adam and Eve before they had the knowledge of evil. He wants you to live together forever in paradise. That's why He had to be manifest in the flesh as the Son of God so that He could die for you that He might cause you to live forever just as at the beginning. He has prepared the WAY for you through His son Jesus Christ to be reunited with Him forever. But that takes a commitment on both sides of the relationship. God has made His commitment to you through His death on the cross as the Son of God. Now it is your turn to not only believe that He exists and agree with Him but ask Him to come into you life and walk with you.
You can do that today by being born again. How does that happen. Jesus told Nicodemus that you must be born by water (flesh) and by the Spirit in John 3. Call to Jesus today and ask Him to take control of your life and repent from being your own god. (Romans 10:9-13) When you truly do this from the heart, Jesus will come in and you will find that paradise that God intended for your life from the beginning.