Summary: Today’s basic question: If you were to die today, do you know for certain that you would go to heaven?
Billy Graham tells of a time early in his ministry when he arrived in a small town to preach at a meeting. He had arrived a little bit early to finish writing a letter for back home. As he finished the letter, he asked a young boy standing on the sidewalk of the location of the town post office. When the boy had given him the directions, Mr. Graham thanked him and said, “If you will come to the Baptist church this evening, you can hear me tell everyone how to get to heaven.” “I don’t think I will be there.” The little boy replied, “You don’t even know your way to the post office, let alone how to get to heaven.”
John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Today’s basic question: If you were to die today, do you know for certain that you would go to heaven?
Here in John chapter 3 was a man by the name of Nicodemus who was the cream of the crop of Jewish people. He was a religious leader, he knew the Old Testament and was a member of the Great Sanhedrin, it was like our supreme court. He had a head full of knowledge but, his heart was empty.
Nicodemus, recognized it was more than a religious thing with Jesus. Nicodemus recognized it was more than a Sunday morning church service. Nicodemus understood it was more than the ability to quote the scriptures.
Sometimes even sincere people who have grown up in the church do not understand what it means to experience Jesus, or how to make Him a reality in their life.
This was the case with Nicodemus, this man who was a Pharisee. He was a religious leader in Israel, and yet he did not understand what it meant to know God. He was a good and religious person. He was knowledgeable of the Scriptures. But he thought that a relationship with God was all about performance. He thought that the better he was at keeping the rules, the closer to God he was.
Jesus confused Nicodemus when he said, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3.
Jesus was talking about a relationship with God, and Nicodemus was thinking in terms of following rules. Jesus was talking about an experience with God, and Nicodemus was used to thinking in terms of obedience to God. Jesus was talking about entering into a new kind of experience, a birth into the spiritual world, and Nicodemus did not understand the spiritual world and what it meant to be born into it. Many faithful church people today are mystified by it as well.
It's simple, so simple that most will miss it. Lots of folks don't want to change. Why, because they feel they have earned their way to heaven on their own. They won't confess their sins and turn from them. Why, because they feel as though they are a "good fellow or good person" The Bible is very plain that there is none good no not one. Romans 3:12