Things are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
There was a great man in the community who was by all worldly standards, a “godly” man. He was a priest, - a pharisee. If anyone had a question about godly things such as behavior, or Bible teaching, or even civil disputes, he was the “go to” guy. He dared not show any weakness, or question the “status quo” of the established religion for fear of losing his religious and even social status.
Still, he couldn’t get past the Person of Christ. He was compelled to seek Him out, but couldn’t figure out how to go about it. And when he did, what would he ask? What would he say?
So, he goes to Jesus under the shroud of darkness, and commences to babble. He compliments Him on His ability to perform miracles, and heal, and teach, etc. etc. He may as well have asked Jesus about Monster trucks. Wasn’t he just like us? We want God, from the depths of our souls, but we don’t know how really, to go about it. After all, one church tells you one thing, and this church tells you another!!! We even use this as an excuse. “When all you churches get it together, then I will listen”. That sounds great here, but can you imagine standing before the Lord on that day, and saying “But I was waiting for all the churches made up of fallible people, to get their act together”.
Jesus cut right through it all when he looked this teacher in the eye, leaned in close and said: “Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”-John 3:3. In this world we live in, there are two camps. Those that don’t believe in God (or really hope there is no God), and those that do. Of those that do, the opinions of how to get to heaven, are really amazing. The #1, is “if I am a good person, and do more good than bad, I’ll get to heaven”. Not! God does not grade on a curve. He is the standard, and the standard is perfection – yet, the Bible says we are all sinners, and fall short of the mark - Romans 3:23. #2 is baptism. “If I have been baptized, I’m good to go - right?” Wrong. A better question would be “what qualifies me for baptism?” This is exactly what the man asked Philip in Acts 8:36. Philip answers in the next verse: “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God”. This is not a weird new concept. There are literally hundreds of versus that bear this out. It is the Pastors job to tell you the truth. To challenge you, even when the message is not popular. The rest is up to you. You can be wrong on a lot of things, but not this one.
Have you been born again? (born from above in the Greek) If not, You Cannot see the Kingdom of God.