If spiritual rebirth is the most important AND NECESSARY change that humans can undergo while on Earth, why do we rarely – if ever – hear anything about it in the churches?
Why are people excited about births and sad about deaths and giddy about marriages and depressed about break-ups and divorces, while spiritual rebirth – conversion – is absent from their emotional radar?
Why do so few people who identify as Christian (including pastors) even know what spiritual rebirth means?
The answer is: the earthly church. The earthly church is to blame for misinterpreting spiritual rebirth and for downplaying the importance of conversion as a necessary step to becoming a Christian. The earthly church has become the blind leading the blind, just like the synagogues in Jesus’ day. How can the earthly church teach about spiritual rebirth if it has no idea what it means?
God’s church, on the other hand, is all too aware of spiritual rebirth, as God’s church is the only genuine church on Earth. Born-again believers collectively make up God’s church, which is world-wide, non-denominational, building-less, and inhabited by God’s Spirit. Those in God’s church worship God in spirit and in truth, as foretold by Jesus. Born-agains know the truth about spiritual rebirth because they’ve experienced it and live its reality every day.
Some denominations claim that you’re reborn “in baptism”.
Some claim you’re reborn by reciting the “Sinner’s Prayer”.
And some claim that an alter call and speaking a few words over you will make you reborn.
None of this is spiritual rebirth.
You are not reborn at baptism, you are not reborn just by repeating words, and you are not reborn by an alter call and having someone mumble over you.
You are reborn by the power of God’s Spirit and not at a time of your choosing or someone else’s choosing, but at a time of God’s choosing.
And when it happens, you have ZERO doubt that it’s happened. Conversion is your new reality, and it is 180 degrees different from your previous reality.
Spiritual rebirth enables you to “see” and “hear” what you were formerly blind and deaf to – namely, God’s kingdom.
You can see and hear because God is constantly with you, through his Spirit – not occasionally, as with the Old Testament prophets, but constantly, as with Jesus, and you see through God’s eyes, like Jesus did.
Jesus is also with you, as he promised, by the power of God’s Spirit.
God and Jesus are your guides, protectors, and, yes, correctors, night and day, through the power of God’s Spirit. Without their guidance and protection (and correction), you will not be able to make it through your temptations and trials, which means you will not be able to make it to Heaven.
The earthly church has a lot to answer for: they either ignore the absolute primacy of spiritual rebirth in Christians or they profoundly misrepresent it. The reason that mainstream Christianity is so flaccid is because most Christians are not Christian (that is, not born-again). The power of God’s Spirit is absent from their lives, so there is no power in their words or actions. They do “Christian things” on their own steam and volition, not on God’s, and it shows.
There needs to be a deep and broad and genuine desire for rebirth among those who follow Jesus, and it needs to start NOW. If people are not born again – if they don’t have the power of God’s Spirit in their lives – they will not get to Heaven. That is a foundational spiritual principle of Christianity. Being born again doesn’t guarantee automatic admittance to Heaven, but it will help you see the Kingdom and “endure to the end”, which Jesus tells us is the only way to be saved.