Summary: Ask most people, “how do you know you’re going heaven?” and they will give you their list.
There is something about us men…we don’t like to ask for directions.
I heard about these 3 men – they were out hiking through the wilderness and they came upon this violent raging river and they needed to get to the other side. The first man prayed, “God please give me the strength I need to get to the other side.” And poof instantly he had big muscles and he swam to the other side in 2 hours. Seeing that, the second man said, “God give me the strength and the tools I need to make it across.” And poof, God gave him a boat and he was able to row across in 30 minutes. The next man said, “God give me the strength, the tools, and the intelligence to get across the river.” And poof God gave him a map and turned him into a woman...she looked at the map, hiked 5 minutes upstream and walked across the bridge.
In John 3, Jesus gives us directions on how to get to heaven.
John 3:1-15, Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This 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.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus 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?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
The key verse is verse 3, the passage about “Born Again” – 5 times in 10 verses Jesus uses the phrase “born again” so this is a passage on being born again.
This morning I want to give you 6 Sign Posts that will help you get to Heaven from Springfield.
1st Jesus knows the condition of your heart
John 2:23-25, Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.
Jesus knows the condition of our heart.
2nd You can know about Jesus and not personally know Jesus as your Savior
John 3:1, Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
Background on the Pharisees:
• His name: Nicodemus and he is a ruler in the Sanhedrin.
• He is moral, disciplined, a civic leader, religious, has memorized the Old Testament
• He is open-minded (he calls Jesus Rabbi)...but none of those things will get him to heaven.
• He is as lost as a pimp, a prostitute, or a meth addict.
Why? Because you can’t earn salvation.
Ask most people, “how do you know you’re going heaven?” and they will give you their list.
John 3:2a, This man came to Jesus by night….
John 9:4, We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.
John 11:10, But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.
John 13:30, So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
Metaphorically, “night” in John’s Gospel refers to moral/spiritual darkness, and self-righteousness is deep darkness. He also comes at night perhaps because he is embarrassed.