Summary: This message, although not a sequel, builds on an earlier teaching, "Dead To The World."
We are not who we used to be
In November, I delivered a message titled “Dead to the World.” In that message, I talked about what it meant to be dead to sin and to the things of this world. But the focus of the message was on what it means to be spiritually alive without the shackles of the Adamic nature that has been destroyed.
As I continued to think about this spiritual transformation, I began thinking about my own personal salvation and, for lack of a better word, how “odd” it was. Even though this message, “We Are Not Who We Used To Be,” is not Part 2, you could say it’s a close relative. ?
I died in the summer of 1966. I was 10 years old. I didn’t realize it at the time. After all, I was still breathing. And no one else seemed to notice either, not even my own family. At 10 years old, I had died to everything that linked me to this world. Now, I ask you, how could I die and not know that was dead? And how did no one seem to notice I was dead? But I had. I guess you could say, at 10 years old, I became one of “the walking dead.” ?
And the strange thing about my death was this: there were others around me who were also dead and no one seemed to notice them either. I mean, how can a person die and not know that he is dead and how can those around him not notice he’s dead? Yeah, I know this is the second time I asked this question, but it’s an important question. And, there’s a good chance that you are dead too and hopefully, unlike me at 10-years old, you know that you are dead.
I’m going to repeat something that I said in November: “I am dead to the world.” “You are dead to the world.”
When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior in 1966, I died to this world and to a nature ruled by sin. I just didn’t know it. Now, I’m sure you’re asking yourself, Bro. Barry, why didn’t you know? No one told me that I would die when I got born again. And because I died, Jesus was able to give me God’s most precious gift – eternal life! But, I had to die to this world in order to receive it.
You see, ladies and gentlemen, I had to die so that I could truly live! And so did you.
The moment I died was the very moment I was re-born. Jesus calls it being “born again.” In John 3:3, Jesus says, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (born from above with God’s life), he cannot see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God.”
In 1966, God became my Father even though I still had an earthly father. He and my mom had died years earlier, but just like me, they didn’t know it. And the people they knew, who had also died to this world, didn’t know that they were dead. I just didn’t understand the magnitude of what had happened to me. I don’t believe many in that little country church knew that when they accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they died too. I mean, after all, on the outside, nothing had changed. They looked the same.
It took me a while to understand this. Let me pause here for a moment. You see, it’s this “death” that forever separates people in eternity. Spiritually, there are only two races of people. One has God’s DNA. God’s nature lives in them; they are going to heaven. The other, the one everyone is born into originally, has Adam’s corrupted DNA. His nature lives in them and they are going to the lake of fire unless they repent and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. No other races exist.
Ladies and gentlemen, what I’m talking about has eternal ramifications.
When we die – when our physical bodies cease to function – our spirits will join their family. That cannot be changed once we die – once we stop breathing. The only way to change spiritual families is while we still wear “human clothing.” Once we take off our “earth suits,” there are no do-overs.
Merriam-Webster’s definitions drive this point home. One says “race” (a noun) is a family, tribe, people, or nation belonging to the same stock (source or origin).
There is only one race in the kingdom of God and it’s based on spiritual DNA. If you don't have God's DNA, if you don’t have God’s life living in you – the exact same life that lives in Jesus – then you're not a part of His family, or mine. And, you are not going to Heaven. If you don’t say “yes” to Jesus now, nothing else will matter because your eternal destination will not include Him.