Summary: This sermon deals with the need to be "born again" to go to heaven. The Wide World of Sports skijumper who crashed is used as an illustration.
Have You Been Born Again?
1There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him."
3Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
4Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"
5Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
6That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
8The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
9Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?"
10Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?
11Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.
12If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
13No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.
14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
15that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
What is the most often used verse in the Bible?
John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Who said those words? Jesus!
Who did He speak those words to? Nicodemus!
Point #1. Religion won't save you from hell.
1. There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
Nicodemus was religious -- a "Pharisee"
Pharisees were a religious group of Jews
who strictly kept the law of Moses.
They also added many restrictions to the law...
that were not in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy.
They also made a big show of their religion.
Listen to what Jesus said about them
"Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
5"And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
The Pharisees, like most Jews, were looking for the Messiah.
They knew the prophesy of Daniel.
"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command
To restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, There shall be