A BORN-AGAIN BELIEVER

Home » Posts tagged 'spiritual rebirth'

Tag Archives: spiritual rebirth

THE PARTING OF THE RED SEA, THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS, AND OTHER MIRACLES

Passover is the most exciting time of the year. As well as celebrating the exodus from Egypt, it commemorates the two most celebrated miracles of all time – the parting of the Red Sea and the resurrection of Jesus the Christ.

Both miracles show the strong hand of God directly intervening in human history.

We read about these miracles in scripture, but for many people, they are just a story, perhaps even just misinterpreted natural events that through primitive eyes took on a supernatural hue. For these people, the story never leaves the pages it’s written on. It never comes to life.

But for me, as a born-again believer, I not only celebrate and commemorate these miracles, I pray to God for a deeper understanding of them, to see them through the eyes of the people who witnessed them first-hand.

Because have no doubt – it was people just like you and me who were there and lived them.

**********

I have experienced many miraculous escapes and rescues in my life that were for me like my own personal parting of the Red Sea. At the time, I didn’t recognize them as miracles because I wasn’t a believer. It was only after I was born-again that I understood God’s direct intervention in my life.

I also had my own personal resurrection – my spiritual rebirth. I died on a beach an atheist, and I came back to life a born-again believer. If that wasn’t a resurrection, I don’t know what is.

**********

The parting of the Red Sea was an escape miracle. The children of Israel were hemmed in by the sea on one side and the full force of the advancing Egyptian army on the other. They could see no way out because there was no way out, not in the natural order of things. They hadn’t gotten themselves into the predicament on purpose; God had led them into it.

When God leads you into situations that put your life in danger, he does so to give you a miraculous escape. He gives you the miraculous escape for two reasons: one, so that you’ll know he exists, and two, so that you’ll fear him. There can be no genuine faith without fear of the Lord, and no one-on-one relationship with God without faith. The parting of the Red Sea was God kick-starting a one-on-one relationship with the children of Israel, so that they would trust him and heed Moses, his designated minister, for the 40 years of their wanderings.

When God performed his miracles for me, as an atheist, rescuing me from what seemed like impossible situations, I was like Jesus’ mother Mary, tucking all these mind-boggling experiences away for another day, as I couldn’t at the time explain how or why they’d happened.

I’m sure the parting of the Red Sea affected the Hebrews the same way – they had no idea how it could be; they just knew that it was.

Jesus’ miraculous resurrection had the same effect. Although no human (that we know of) was present when Jesus rose from the dead, several of his followers arrived at the gravesite soon after and witnessed that it had indeed happened. They saw him alive and well and walking around. He spoke with them. And then, over the next 40 days and nights, he walked and ate and spoke with them some more on several occasions and at several different locations.

Of course, he didn’t look like Jesus anymore (his body was in the process of being glorified, which means he was in the process of being physically perfected) and he had the unnerving habit of showing up out of the blue or disappearing into it, which made some of his followers initially doubt it was even him. But as soon as he spoke familiar words to them, they knew beyond a doubt that he was Jesus.

**********

We all experience miracles every day of our lives. God is with us all the time through his Spirit. He also sends his angels and other ministers to help and guide us and direct our course. He sends me to you and you to me; he uses each of us according to our willingness to be used: Most of the time he uses us without our even knowing it.

We are surrounded by miracles because we are surrounded by God. As a believer, I look back on my impossible escapes as an atheist and they don’t seem impossible anymore, because I know (Jesus told me) that nothing is impossible with God.

I have no doubt that the Red Sea parted as described in scripture, and I have no doubt that Jesus rose from the dead. I have no doubt that the miracles described throughout the Bible happened not only because I have myself experienced miracles, but I am one. Spiritual rebirth is a miracle, and the being that emerges from the rebirth experience is a walking, talking miracle, like Jesus was.

I am a walking, talking miracle. I don’t speak my own words; I speak God’s Word. Anyone who knew me prior to my rebirth and knows me now, knows that words like these never left my lips before, and that the only time that I spoke the names of God or Jesus were as part of a curse. Some think I’ve gone crazy, while others think it’s just a phase that will pass, yet here I am, 23 years a believer, and still going strong.

But underneath, they’re not really sure what to think. I can see it in their eyes. They’re squirreling me away for later, as they cannot process who or what I am: it doesn’t fit into any of their understandings. They’re doing to me what I did to God’s miracles when I was an atheist: putting them to the back of their mind, filed under “???!!!”.

And like Jesus, I will just keep on walking and talking until my time is up, until the parting that divides this world from the next one opens up before me, and I can go home.

ARE YOU BORN AGAIN?

ARE YOU BORN AGAIN? This may seem a strange question to ask readers of a blog that is intended for born-again believers, but ask it I must. You don’t have to answer me. I’m not looking for an outward answer. You need to answer within yourselves.

Jesus said that we need to be born again. He said that if we’re not born again, we can’t see the Kingdom and can’t enter into it. And if we can’t see the Kingdom and can’t enter into it, we won’t make it home.

That’s why the question of whether or not you’re born again is so important and needs to be asked, even on a blog that’s written for born-again believers.

And if you’ve answered with “No” or “I think I am” or “I’m not sure”, you need to drop everything you’re doing and focus entirely on getting reborn.

_____________________

Spiritual rebirth is not something that you can arrange like a play date. You can’t order spiritual rebirth online. You can’t buy it – not with all the money in the world – and you can’t learn it from all the world’s wisdom. Even your minister or priest can’t make you born again, no matter how hard they try. Spiritual rebirth, as John tells us, comes from the will of God only, not from the will of man.

So how can you get born again?

Good question.

And the answer is: Ask God.

Since God is in charge of spiritual rebirth, it only makes sense to ask him how to get reborn.

_____________________

Spiritual rebirth happens at a time and place of God’s choosing. It won’t happen simply because you want it or because you recite something or do an altar call. I’ve had arguments with people about this. I’ve also had arguments with people who claim that spiritual rebirth is a long drawn-out process that happens over time rather than an instantaneous miracle. Gestation happens over time, yes, but birth happens suddenly and with a great cry and push. It’s the same with spiritual rebirth. The long process of spiritual gestation is not rebirth: the great final cry and push that brings a new being into life is rebirth.

Ask a mother who still has a child in her womb whether her baby’s been born. She’ll look at you all kinds of strange. The same holds true for spiritual rebirth. The born-again soul is something entirely different from the soul that is still gestating.

_____________________

Many people who claim to be born again are actually in a state of spiritual gestation. This is not a bad thing, but it’s not rebirth, so it’s not enough. Jesus said you must be born again. If you stop at the gestation stage, it will be no different than if you’d lived a life of unrepentant sin and died unrepentant. You’ll be like the people Jesus mentions in scripture who knock at the Master’s door, trying desperately to get in and saying: “We’ve eaten and drunk at your table, and you’ve taught in our streets”, to which the Master responds: “I never knew you.”

Imagine the horror of hearing Jesus say to you on Judgement Day “I never knew you”, knowing that because he never knew you, you weren’t going to Heaven.

I can’t think of anything worse.

And at that point, it will be too late to get to know to Jesus.

If your aim is Heaven, you need to be born again while you’re still on Earth. There is no other way to get where you want to go. Jesus says those who try to climb up some other way rather than entering through the door will not make it home. Jesus is the door, and God’s Way is how you enter.

_____________________

If you’re not born-again, you need to let God know that you want to be born again. You need to let him know that you want a relationship with him as your Dad and with Jesus as your Lord, teacher, brother, and best friend. You can only have these relationships if you’re born again, and if you don’t have them, you won’t make it home. It’s that simple.

So I ask you one more time: ARE YOU BORN AGAIN?

Don’t tell me the answer. Tell yourself. And if your response isn’t a resounding “YES, THANK GOD!”, tell God in prayer that you want to be reborn. Then make being born again your one and only priority until you are.

SPIRITUAL REBIRTH: Dr. God’s spiritual pain-killer

Dr. God pain-killer shot

I’ve spent a lot of time around Christians over the past 20 years since my rebirth from atheism, and the one common feature I’ve noticed is how messed up most of them are. They are burdened by any number of problems, whether health problems, relationship problems, or financial problems. If they have children, their kids are (as my grandmother used to say) “holy terrors”; if they’re married, the marriage is on the rocks; if they have a house or car, they’re money pits always in need of repairs; and if they’re working, they hate their boss, their job, or both.

On the surface, though, everything is wine and roses. It’s as if Christians feel the need to project a sense that that they have it all together, even if behind the scenes they’re falling apart.

This is not the way to live your life on Earth or the way to get home to Heaven. Having no joy and no peace and stumbling from one crisis to another will lead you the opposite way of Heaven and make you very miserable along the way. I lived that kind of life as an atheist, and I see the same heaviness, joylessness, anxiety, confusion and PAIN that I felt as an unbeliever reflected in believers.

How can that be? How can people who claim to have faith in God and be followers of Jesus have lives that are so messed up and so full of pain? (more…)

SPIRITUAL REBIRTH: The only way to salvation

empty

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? (more…)

HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M BORN AGAIN?

bright-sun-and-sky-background-300x187

I think the question should rather be: “How can I NOT know if I’m born again?” When a soul undergoes spiritual rebirth (healing, is made whole), it’s such a revolution that there is zero doubt what has taken place. It affects every part of your being, and the impression it makes on you is so primal and so deeply entrenched that you’re more certain of your rebirth than you are of your name and date of birth. (more…)