- If you read the story of Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John you will not find the word CHRISTIAN.
Jesus talked about entering the Kingdom of Heaven.
This is such a radical thing, that no one can get in unless he or she is born again.
- This completely confused the Jewish leader, Nicodemus.
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?” John 3:4 (ESV)
Jesus had to explain.
- Jesus was on a mission. Part of that mission was to teach that Jews as well as Gentiles needed to be converted and to undergo a spiritual rebirth in order to enter the Kingdom of God.
So many people in Christian churches still don’t understand this.
- Some people teach a baby is born again in infant baptism.
But Jesus said:
….”Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3 (NASB)
- A baby cannot repent or be converted.
- Jesus always demanded personal belief, trust and commitment.
- God will never send any small child to hell but there comes a time when every boy or girl reaches the age of accountability.
Infant baptism does not automatically guarantee faith. Joseph Stalin trained to become a priest, so he must have been baptised.
- Jesus did not call people to be passive believers waiting to die and go to heaven.
For Jesus, faith was a powerful personal connection with His Heavenly Father.
He wants you and me to have nothing less than this.
“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. John 15:9 (NASB)
Jesus lived His entire live on earth saturated with the love of His Father and filled with the Holy Spirit of God.
- He wants nothing less for you and me.
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying,
- “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.
- “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'”
- But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:37-39 (NASB)
Jesus never spoke of believing and passively expecting to go to heaven.
- He called people to FOLLOW HIM, to learn from Him, to obey Him, to become like HIM, to live in friendship with God just has HE did.
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying,
“I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12 (NASB)
- What does it mean to FOLLOW JESUS?
- God is calling you to TRUST Him like Jesus did,
- to KNOW Him like Jesus did,
God is calling you to be full of love for others as Jesus was.
- God is calling you to hear His voice as Jesus did,
- to do what He shows you to do, just like Jesus did.
Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. John 14:10 (NLT)
You and I are far from measuring up to this amazing example but we can grow up into Christ.
Like children who admire their father, we can decide to grow up and be like Him.
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.
- Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT)
Dear God, show me how I can love others now!
- Even as I write these words, I pray this prayer for myself and God brings to my mind a woman who was once a student in my English class.
- She is a believer who needs help because God is prompting me to pray for her NOW.