You see, God is preparing a people to inhabit
the world of glory and to enter that heavenly land a person must be
born again. In the beginning God gave man a beautiful home. But man
spoiled the picture. The Bible tells us that at one time there was
war in Heaven. There was a controversy in heaven. Sin entered the
world of glory; but never again for the promise is given in Nahum
that iniquity will not rise up the second time. God is not going to
take any chances with the individuals whom he takes into the
kingdom: they must be pure people, they must be clean people. Every
soul that enters the kingdom of Heaven must be born again.
Some people not
suited for Heaven
it would be a risky thing for God to take certain people into Heaven
the way they are. Sometime when no one was looking, they would start
taking up the gold that paves the streets and carry it off to have a
good time. God could not have people like that in the kingdom of
There are others, if he took them into the Kingdom as they
are would be most miserable. They would be going around the Angel
choir saying, "Canít you sing a few
jazz songs or rock and roll? Iím tired of all these hymns." Others would
be sneaking around looking for a place of entertainment. The Lord
has to be careful what kind of people he takes into the kingdom of
Heaven. That is why He insists, "Ye
must be born again."
A 'new man' is
the work of God
It is very
important that we remember that the making of a 'new man' is the work
of God. It is a fearful thing for a man to take credit and say,
"I converted somebody." No man can
convert a soul. That is the work of God. Nicodemus became troubled
about that very thing and he said, "Why
Lord, it cannot be. A man cannot be born twice. He is born once; he
goes through life once and he ends up in the grave and that is the
at him and said, "Professor
Nicodemus, there is one thing that you will have to learn, you will
have to become just like a little child." "You must be born again,
or ye cannot see the kingdom of heaven."
Illustration of the power of the wind
used an illustration of the power of the wind; the mighty way, the
amazing way that God works. When I was in Fiji, a great hurricane
swept the island, and trees were ripped from the ground and carried
for yards by that 120 mile per hour wind. Complete iron roofs were
lifted bodily and carried for yards, sometimes 100 to 400 yards
away. Despite the great destructive force of this great wind, no one
saw the wind. They heard it, they saw the effect it was having, but
no one saw this wind.
"Yes, Nicodemus, you know the wind,
you have seen the way it acts! But you cannot see the wind itself." Just so, we
can see the working of God in the lives of men and women by the
results. We can only be born by the 'new birth' experience with the
Spiritís inward prompting.
like to talk as if they have had a great deal of learning. Some ask this question,
"Have you ever seen God?" "No I have
never seen God."
"Have you ever seen Jesus?" "No I have
never seen Jesus; but I still believe in Him."
Now let me ask you a
question, how many here today had a great, great grandfather?
How did you know that you had a great, great grandfather? Why, you
would say that you would not be here
today if it were not for your great great grandfather. And you would not
be here if it were not for God either. When people say there is no
God it is just like a baby looking into itís motherís face and
saying, "There is no mother."
Yes, you must
be born again. You cannot see the wind, but you can see its
activity. You cannot see the Holy Spirit, but you can surely see His
work. And the greatest proof of all, of the existence of God and his
Holy Spirit, is the way it changes manís hearts and lives.
First man fashioned from clay
the Garden of Eden, God fashioned Adam out of the dust of the ground.
I would have liked to have seen that sight, as Jesus fashioned that
lifeless clay into the form of the first man. If you had been there
watching, you would have noticed one thing I am sure, and that is
that the being that was being created looked just like his Creator.
For the Bible says that He made man in the image of God, in His Own
likeness. Adam and Jesus looked alike. And that was Godís original
plan that we should be made in His image and in His likeness. But
sin spoiled the picture.
Harder for God to remake a man
Do you know that it is harder for
remake a man than it is for Him to make him in the first place. Back
in the beginning, God fashioned Adam out of the clay, and He did it
in a short time. What was the secret? The secret was that the clay
did not resist. If God comes along to you and says, "This
is what I want you to do" and you do not
rebel but you do just what he asks you to do; He will make a good
man out of you, He will make a real man out of you.
must be born again, or ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." And the
wonderful thing is, a man can be born again. I know that from
personal experience. In New South Wales, Australia, in a large country town a
leading businessman spent quite a lot of his time in hotels. He was
rarely ever home and yet he had a very fine wife, a good Christian
lady, besides some lovely children. When you looked in at that home,
that outstanding feature that impressed you would be without
question the bareness, hardly any furniture and yet this man was
earning a large salary. An evangelist came to this town and
conducted some special meetings. This man somehow or other was
persuaded to attend and as the wonderful messages of Christ and His
soon return were presented, a profound impression was made on his
heart and mind. He surrendered his heart and life to the Saviour and
a tremendous change came into his life, and in his home as well. The
Spirit of God transformed that man and God remade another man.
Why do some people resist?
God can do a
wonderful job if you will give him a chance. But some people resist
when God tries to lead them back. Why do we fight to hang on to the
old ways, the bad ways? The Lord of Heaven is trying to reshape our
lives and make them new. Give him a chance! Do not resist and He
will do a wonderful job of re-making you. And remember this, the
only people that will be in heaven will be born again people. Now I
ask you, how could a drunkard enjoy himself in Heaven? There will
not be any breweries there and no hotels. That drunkard would have
to have a new appetite, a new outlook, and a new nature. And when a
man is born again it changes every part of that individual.
God can create a new heart
What is the
first thing that a doctor does when he has a dangerous case brought
to his attention? He goes right to the heart and begins listening.
If a man has a good heart, the doctor has hopes for him. But if he
has a bad heart there is not much else that can be done. If a manís
heart is going to stop pumping there isnít very that you can do. It
is the same with a man spiritually. In
11:19 we read, "And I will give them
one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take
the stony heart out of their flesh, and I will give them an heart of
Now isnít that wonderful? You can
bring a man to God and you say, "Lord,
think there is much you can do,
this fellow has a bad heart."
I have heard people say, "He
is just naturally bad; there is nothing good in that
You take a man like that to the
Lord and He listens to that manís heart and shakes His head and says,
"He does have a bad heart, there is
no doubt about that." But
God does not give him up. The Lord of heaven performs a surgical
operation. He cuts
out that old stony heart, that old heart all callused in sin and he
says, "I will tell
you what I will do, I will take out that old heart and put a new
heart, a heart of flesh." And
he can do it. It is just as great a miracle as making Adam in the
first place. I will give him a new heart. Then he is a new creature.
People concerned about the appearance
People are very particular about
appearance, they are very concerned about the skin. They powder it,
paint it, and stretch it;
they even put mud on it. I remember seeing some pictures in a
magazine. I thought at
first that it was a picture of a mummy. But I found that it was a
covered by a mudpack. Why, if anyone had dipped her in the mud she
would have been
insulted, but she went and dipped her own face and body in the mud.
Yes we are all
concerned about the face, the exterior. We do all kinds of things
trying to improve the
God says, "Never mind about how you
look, it is the heart that needs to be
changed, that is what really counts."
Fighting the old nature
A man who is born again will have
a new nature, that is a wonderful thing. In
Romans 8:7 we are warned
that with the old nature a man has a difficult time, "Because
the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the
law of God; neither indeed can be." Man in his sinful nature hates the
law of God. The Lord has to make a new man out of him. He has to
give him a new nature. St Paul certainly knew what he was talking
about he said it is just like a fight every day fighting self.
One person said, "I
will tell you what I will do, I want to come back to God but I am
going to move out of town to do it." The preacher said,
"Friend, the first person that you
will meet in your new location will be yourself."
It is self that we have the
trouble with. The old nature, its always there; it is lying dormant.
But God can bring it into subjection. St Paul says, "I
am in constant struggle; my best wants to do right, but my body
wants to do wrong."
Have you ever grown wearily of
yourself? Have you ever come to the place where you felt like
saying, "What is the use! I try, I
am so tired of it all."
God has a way
St Paul felt that way and he was a
mighty man of God. He said, "If I
could only shake off all those inclinations toward sin. Who shall
deliver me from this body of death?" But St Paul does not give up right
there, you donít find him going down with a cry of despair like a
lot of people do today and giving up. Instead he comes out
triumphantly and cries out, "I thank
God through Jesus Christ my Lord."
I am thankful that there is a way
out, arenít you? It is wonderful that the Lord has a way out. It
does not matter what your problem might be, from murderers to drug
addicts. All can be set free through the amazing mercies of Jesus
Christ. There is no limit to His power to save. So if the conflict
goes hard with you, your case is not too difficult for Him and you
can be assured of victory. 1 John 5:4 reads, "For
whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the
victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
A man that is born again is
standing on the victory side. Now isnít that wonderful. We can be
victorious in Jesus. Let us thank God that He can make us