Summary: We have all seen Clubs or Businesses with signs upon their doors, telling everyone their conditions for entrance. Some demand you to be a member before you enter, others demand you meet their dress code, etc. That is what John 3 is. It is the Lord’s Sign
TEXT: JOHN 3:1-21
TITLE: YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN
AUTHOR: JACK WOODARD
We have all seen Clubs or Businesses with signs upon their doors, telling everyone their conditions for entrance. Some demand you to be a member before you enter, others demand you meet their dress code, etc. That is what John 3 is. It is the Lord’s Sign on Heaven’s Door telling every person His qualifications for entrance. There is just one condition, not two but one. It is not complicated, the Lord has made it simple enough that even a little child can understand it and meet its single condition. YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN!!!
We live in a nation that is increasingly resistant to the thought that the Lord would have any qualifications for going to heaven. It is amazing to watch as our nation becomes increasingly wicked, we are at the same time becoming increasingly religious and self-righteous. Many if not most believe that they deserve to go to heaven just as they are. The Preaching of the Cross is Offensive to them. [Galatians 5:11] Nicodemus, the man in our story was probably such a man, as a Pharisee he had spent his life trying to be good enough and religious enough to earn heaven, and yet he had watched sinners and publicans, people who were not considered among the good people and who had no religious affiliations whatsoever, just simply and humbly come to Jesus and walk away with the peace of heart and the joy that he had failed to find in his strict religion. This must of driven him near insane to watch Jesus give to sinners what his religion failed to give him, how could this be, he must of asked himself, until one night he made up his mind that he had to find out for himself about this healer and teacher, named Jesus. He sets out to find and question Jesus and here is where our story begins.
Every person who has lived since that fateful night owe a debt of gratitude to Nicodemus for being courageous enough to come to Jesus for answers to his questions. These are the same questions we have all had. Jesus’ answer is the Truth we all must learn and heed if we too expect to go to heaven one day. It matters not what others may think and teach about how a person can go to heaven and miss @#!*% , it only matters what Jesus says. Jesus is telling Nicodemus, that what He is telling him is a MUST and a MUST for all. We would do well to make sure we understand the teaching of the New Birth that Jesus says that every man must have to qualify for entrance into heaven.
1. THE MAN (John 3:1, 2)
Verse One tells us that "There was a MAN... named Nicodemus..." Let’s study this man.
A. He Was a Ruler (3:1...a ruler of the Jews…)
That tells us that he was a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, which was the highest court in the nation in Jesus’ day. He would be like one of our Supreme Court Justice’s today. Society thinks that if a man like Nicodemus was qualified to be a member of such a high court in the eyes of man, then surely he would be good enough for the Lord to allow him into heaven one day. They were mistaken, like millions of others since have been.
B. He Was Religious (3:1...a man of the Pharisees…)
This was the most religious sect in Israel in Jesus’ day. They were the Separated Ones; they were so strict that Jesus said they “…stained at a gnat…” [Matthew 23:24] Surely anyone who was so committed to their faith and religious teachings would qualify for entrance into heaven. Again, all who so think are mistaken according to Jesus’ teaching to Nicodemus.
C. He Was Rich
According to secular history Nicodemus was not only one of the most Religious and Respectable men of his day, but he was also one of the richest men in Jerusalem. Surely such an accomplished man that had accomplished and acquired so much was fit for heaven. That resume never impressed Jesus within the least. When next to Jesus, Nicodemus must have felt like a very small and sinful man.
Each day of his life he had been tireless in his efforts to do enough to earn God’s favor, and each night he must of wondered if he had done anything to of undone all the good that he had done. Now he knows even all of his goodness was no better than his badness.
D. He Was Restless
Nicodemus had never achieved the peace with God that he had sought so diligently in his religion, but seeing all the secular and sinful people come to Jesus and walk away at peace just gave him more anxieties and questions. Nicodemus, like all who just have a religion, had never found rest in his works, but as Jesus tells us in [Hebrews 4:9, 10] “There remained, therefore, a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath CEASED from His Own Works, as God did from His.”