I remember when I was born again of the Spirit, all the way back in 1989, because that is when I came to know the real Jesus Christ. If you have been reading this Soul Refuge blog for any amount of time, then you know that the Lord delivered me out from the deception and bondage of the Roman Catholic system. There is no question in my mind that the whole system of Roman Catholicism, is a corrupt and wicked system that has been deceiving souls for centuries. I LOVE the precious people within the system, but I hate the counterfeit system, that is DECEIVING the people whom I LOVE! That is exactly why I warn people, but most of the time it falls upon deaf ears. I came up with the title Soul Refuge for this site, simply to point you to Jesus Christ, who is the ONLY refuge for your soul, in this world in which we live.
Let me cut right to the chase here on this post regarding the great necessity for the new birth in the life of every living person on planet earth. I am writing today to tell you that YOU must be born again if YOU want to enter Heaven one day! You may not be the “religious” type or you may not even be interested in these things, but that does not matter at all, because YOU still must be born again if you want to enter Heaven one day! You can attend church for decades and still end up in Hell! Deep inside your heart you know that something is wrong, and that you are not right with God, even though you are not a mass murderer, or a hardened criminal!
As a former Roman Catholic, I attended church for years but I did not know the Lord Jesus Christ. I attended my Catholic Masses, I prayed my Hail Mary prayers on my Rosary beads, I made my “first” Holy Communion and Confirmation but I was as lost as could be. I would go inside the “Confessional Booth” to confess my sins to the local Catholic Priest, but I found myself making up stuff, and lying as I made my confession. I prayed before the Catholic statues (graven images) of “Mary” and “Jesus” for many years, never realizing that the 2nd Commandment absolutely forbids doing that! (Exodus 20:4-6). Sometimes I was a faithful attendee at church, and there were other times when I was nothing more than an “A&P Catholic” (Ashes and Palms). I wanted people to see that big black cross of ashes that the priest put on my forehead. I also liked to get a large piece of palm on “Palm Sunday” so that I could make a nice cross to show everybody that I went to church. The whole time I had no idea that I was hanging over Hell by a thread!
The Bible makes it very clear that both there is no difference between the Jew or the Gentile when it comes to the need for the new birth. Well then, what happens if a person has never been born again, and they have no intention of being born again? The answer to that question is that a person who has never been born again, will simply remain in their natural and fleshly state of mind, and they will ultimately die in their sins one day. Listen to Jesus Christ as he spoke with a Jewish ruler by the name of Nicodemus.
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. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the FLESH is FLESH; and that which is born of the SPIRIT is SPIRIT. Marvel not that I said unto thee, YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN. (John 3:1-7)
Keep in mind that Jesus was speaking with a Jewish leader, but the man had never been born again of the Spirit. Nicodemus was born “in the flesh” which is speaking of his “natural birth” but he was never “born again” of the Spirit which is the “spiritual birth” or “new birth” as it is sometimes called. The words which Jesus spoke that day to Nicodemus are still as much alive today as when he first spoke them, and they still apply to every person who is alive in the world today. It does not matter where you live in the world, it does not matter what language you speak or what color your skin is, the word for YOU today is that YOU must be born again.
If YOU have already been born again of the Spirit, then YOU know what I am telling you is true. Every one of your relatives, friends, and co-workers must also be born again or they will never enter Heaven! That is the God-honest truth. Now listen to me here, I am not asking you if YOU go to church or if YOU attend religious services, or if you have turned over a new leaf in your life, but I am asking YOU if YOU have ever been born again of the Spirit? It is important that YOU know that all of your own good deeds and good works will not get you into Heaven. Did YOU know that? That is the God honest truth and that is what the Bible teaches us:
For by GRACE are ye SAVED through FAITH; and that not of yourselves: it is the GIFT of GOD: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Not by works of righteousness which WE HAVE DONE, but according to HIS MERCY he SAVED US, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the HOLY GHOST; (Titus 3:5)
Those words were written by the Jewish apostle Paul, the very same one who used to persecute born again believers in Jesus Christ wherever and whenever he possibly could. That man was an absolute tyrant because he would arrest Christians after getting permission from the Jewish priests, and he would cause some of them to blaspheme, watch others put to death, and he did it all in the name of God! (Acts 26:9-12) The good news is that Paul eventually got saved, and then he turned around and started preaching the very same gospel of Jesus Christ, and the faith which he once destroyed! (Acts 9:1-31) The only problem though, was that his fellow Jews were not very happy with that, and they sought to KILL him immediately! (Acts 9:19-29)
Why did that happen, and why did Paul’s fellow Jews seek to kill him? The answer is quite simple, and it is because Paul’s fellow Jews were still in the same darkness and kingdom of “the world” that he was in BEFORE he got saved! They were still on the road to Hell, the very same road that Paul was on UNTIL he got saved! That is the God honest truth ladies and gentlemen. After Paul got saved he knew instantly that his fellow Jews were totally lost and hell-bound without a saving faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. He knew that Jesus was indeed the Christ (Messiah) and that was what he preached to the people whenever he could. Paul preached the cross of Christ, because he knew the power of the blood to wash away the sins of the lost souls. Paul knew that it was only the BLOOD of Jesus Christ that would justify the sinner on judgment day! He also wrote the following words:
But GOD commendeth HIS LOVE toward us, in that, while WE were yet sinners, CHRIST DIED FOR US. Much more then, being now JUSTIFIED BY HIS BLOOD, we shall be SAVED from WRATH through HIM. (Romans 5:8-9)
There is only ONE kingdom of God, and the people in that kingdom have been born again of the Spirit of the living God, and thus they can be called the children of God. (Galatians 3:26-29) Does that make sense to you? I hope that it does, because a person without the Spirit of God, is still a child of this natural world, and they are in a very dangerous place, because they are on the road to destruction (Hell). I make absolutely no apology for saying that either. The Jewish apostle Paul knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that his fellow Jews were LOST, dead in their sins, and Hell-bound without the same Jesus Christ whom he served! Listen to what he said here:
I say the TRUTH IN CHRIST, I LIE NOT, my conscience also bearing me witness in the HOLY GHOST, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from CHRIST for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the FLESH: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of GOD, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as CONCERNING THE FLESH CHRIST CAME, who is over all, GOD blessed for ever. Amen. Not as though the word of GOD hath taken none effect. For they are NOT all ISRAEL, which are of ISRAEL: (Romans 9:1-6)
The Jewish apostle Paul started off by saying, listen to me I am not lying, and the Holy Ghost will bear witness to it also. He went on to say that he had a continual heavy and sorrowful heart because his fellow Jews (in the flesh) were lost! When he said that “they are not all Israel, which are of Israel” he was merely saying that a person who is Jewish by nature, is not necessarily a Jew who has been born again of the Spirit! That is the very heart of the matter right there. Just because a person was born “Jewish” does not make them a true “Jew” in the sight of Almighty God! Paul wrote the following to explain that same thing:
For he is not a JEW, which is one OUTWARDLY; neither is that circumcision, which is OUTWARD in the FLESH: But he is a JEW, which is one INWARDLY; and circumcision is that of the HEART, in the SPIRIT, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of GOD. (Romans 2:28-29)
Who was more qualified to speak on those things than the Jewish apostle Paul who had a direct confrontation from Jesus Christ out of Heaven? Every true believer in Jesus Christ, who has been born again of the Spirit should be able to relate to the heaviness and continual sorrow of heart which Paul spoke about. Why? Because all of us are surrounded by relatives, friends and co-workers who are on the broad road to destruction!
Cathy and I were visiting Cathy’s Dad (before he died) at a Nursing home in Queens, NY and we met a nice Christian lady who was also visiting a relative. It was not long before the Christian woman quietly asked Cathy if her father was born again. I could see how serious and concerned the woman was about his soul, and it was refreshing to hear that (and such a rare thing). She then went on to say with an obvious heavy heart that her husband and Son were still not saved. What that Christian woman was experiencing, was TOTALLY normal, because we were ALL on the other side at one point in our lives, and we KNOW by the Spirit of God, that ALL people need to be SAVED in the same manner. We do NOT boast in our own goodness, but we do boast in the Lord who saved our souls. How could we NOT have a continual sorrow and heaviness of heart, when we know that most of the people that we know are headed for an eternal Hell!
Many years before that in the early 1990’s Cathy’s Mom was diagnosed with uterine cancer, and she was treated by radiation treatment at a well known Hospital in New York City. Not too long after that, her Mom began to look very pale, and she did not feel good. She went for follow up treatment but they did not find anything wrong. She was eventually taken to the emergency room at Long Island Jewish hospital, where she was examined and emergency surgery had to be done. Why? Because they found out that the radiation treatment had ruptured the colon and her life was in danger. We went to the hospital and waited downstairs in the lobby, along with my stepdaughter, while the operation was going on. The Doctor, who was one of the best in the country, eventually came downstairs, about two or three o’clock in the morning, and basically told us that it did not look good. He told us that it was one of the worst cases of a “burst colon” that he had ever seen. I remember thinking to myself how difficult it must be for a Doctor to have to speak to families in situations like that, especially when you know that they have done their absolute best.
Now we realize that people do not live forever, and Cathy’s Mom was in her seventies, but there was only one problem. Cathy’s Mom did not know the Lord, and she had never been born again of the Spirit! We had shared the gospel with her many times before that day, but we know that she had never received Christ, so we were naturally concerned. We went off to a small side room to pray, and we felt a release after praying, that somehow everything would be alright. I must be honest with you here, that our faith was truly tested that night. To make a long story short, Cathy’s Mom went on to live another 15 years after that night. God is so good! Many years went by after that, and Cathy’s Mom suffered a stroke and she was admitted to a Nursing Home in September 2001. The Lord opened up a door for Cathy and I to do Christian Sunday services at that Nursing home for many years, sometimes 2 or 3 times a month. During that period of time, we saw a change take place in Cathy’s Mom, and she became more open to the gospel. Cathy would read the scriptures to her every time we would visit, and she attended other Bible studies from another Christian minister. We both believe that Cathy’s Mom was born again of the Spirit, before she died in 2007. We give ALL the Glory to our wonderful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
Therefore if any man be IN CHRIST, he is a NEW creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become NEW. And all things are of GOD, who hath reconciled us to himself by JESUS CHRIST, and hath given to US the ministry of RECONCILIATION; To wit, that GOD was in CHRIST, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of RECONCILIATION. Now then we are ambassadors for CHRIST, as though GOD did beseech you by us: we pray you in CHRIST’S stead, be ye RECONCILED to GOD. (2 Corinthians 5:17-20)
None of us are promised even another day in this world, and we all have an appointment with death.
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” Hebrews 9:27
Folks, the good news is that the Lord will SAVE you, just like he has SAVED every other person who has called on his name. Take it from me, because the Lord SAVED a wretch like me. If the Lord can save ME, then he can save YOU too! Do not put it off, and remember that the Devil’s today is TOMORROW, and it never comes! He will tell you that you have plenty of time, when you don’t!
“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)