By: J.V. Vandruff
My son, Dean, has posted my autobiography on the internet; so I haven't the slightest idea who might read this. May I ask you, the reader, if you are born again, converted, saved, a believer, a new creation in Christ Jesus? These are five expressions directly from the Holy Bible, all referring to a specific event and condition that defines those individuals who are in the family of God and on their way to heaven - as contrasted with those who are lost, unsaved, disbelievers, unregenerate, agnostic, and atheistic. This is THE supreme issue in all human existence, the purpose that God had in giving you life - and freewill. God has been, and still is, seeking out his eternal heavenly family, one at a time - all definitive volunteers.
Born Again"Verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God ...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 ... Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again." (John 3:1-7)Every human being is 'water-born' (of the flesh) from a bag of water into a physical family; and (in addition) God says we must be born a second time, a miraculous, eternal, 'spiritual' birth as a child into his family. This second birth and spiritual adoption (see Romans 8:14-17) is just as precise an event as our first birth, taking place when we repent of our sins, and of our own free will, come to Jesus in trust and faith, receiving Him as personal Lord and Savior. (see John 1:12) Please read the scripture again. "Must" allows no exception!
Converted"Verily, I say unto you, except ye be converted and become as little children (to God), ye shall not enter into the kingdom of God." (Matthew 18:3)This scripture again defines a condition that must be met to enter God's kingdom and eternal life. All those who die without Christ, the Messiah, as their personal Lord & Savior, pay for their sins in eternal perdition as lost captives of Satan. Christ's sacrifice and resurrection provide victory for believers, and those who are born again know that their eternal destiny is heaven - not because of their meritorious personal performance, but because of the Lord's unfathomable performance of rescue-love on their behalf. This provides peace, security, and joy that is indescribable and indestructible.
Saved"For the Son of man (Christ Jesus) is come to seek and save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10)We can call out every word, every name, in the largest dictionary in the world, but only Jesus saves! The name "Jesus" means "Salvation." He came to earth to save sinners like you and me.
Speaking of Jesus: "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
A Believer"Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live… And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die... I and my Father are One." (John 3:16, 10:30 & 11:25-26)Every human body, the physical part of man, dies; but the spirit and soul are eternal and will exist forever in heaven or in hell. Each of us determines our own destiny by our faith in, or our rejection of, the Messiah (God in human flesh), our Redeemer, our Savior, Christ Jesus. We are all held accountable to our Creator, and ignorance is no excuse! (Rom 1:20&14:10, Heb 9:27) In their heart, everyone knows there is a Creator God, and He reveals Himself to anyone who sincerely and honestly seeks Him.
A New Creation"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)Do you know for certain that you are a new creation - in Christ Jesus? Have you put your faith in Jesus, to the exclusion of trust in baptism, church membership, good works, and all else? These are good, but they become an offense if we put any trust in them for our salvation. It seems too good to be true, but Jesus paid it all!
"There is none righteous, no not one ... there is none that doeth good, no not one ... All have sinned and come short of the glory of God ... There is not a just man on the earth, that doeth good and sinneth not ... We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags." (Rom. 3:10,12&23, Ecc. 7:20, Isa. 64:6)Sinners, altogether unfit for God's flawless heaven, we would corrupt heaven if we entered in our natural state. But God has made a way of escape for us.
"There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." (2Timothy 2:5-6)The only way to heaven – provided by the Lord who loves you – is to receive Jesus Christ as Lord (God). If you want Truth, separated from error, counterfeits, and deceptions, know Jesus as your Lord and Savior. If you want a meaningful life, now and for an unending eternity, give your life over to the Lord Jesus Christ.
"I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, except by me." (John 14:6)
"There is a way that seems right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12)
There is no other way to God! Satan and mankind have dreamed up all manner of ways to God, but they are an illusion, a self-deception.
"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins ... Christ died for the ungodly ... being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him" (1John 4:10, Ro. 5:6&9)The Lord Jesus took on Himself the punishment for our sins, paying the ransom price for our souls through his agonizing death, on the cross of Calvary, redeeming us from Satan and hell. How marvelous!
"Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1Corinthians 15:57)Salvation is a gift of the Lord, and trying to earn his marvelous gift is a prideful, rebellious insult to his incredible generosity. Self-justification is an impossibility.
"Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift." (2Corinthians 9:15)
"For by grace ye are 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)
"The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
"The just shall live by faith." (Rom. 1:17)Self-justification good works constitute a rejection of God’s grace; but a believer’s good works, to honor and serve the Lord, earn rewards in heaven. (Mat. 16:27, 1Cor. 3:11-15)
If you have not already done so, will you now join us in God's wonderful family of faith-saved children? Acknowledge your sins to the Lord and ask forgiveness; then ask Jesus to save you, to come into your life and take control, that your life might be pleasing to Him and fruitful, bringing great glory unto Him.
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36)Common belief is that most everyone goes to heaven, only the very wicked end up in hell; but it's not so!
"Enter in at the straight gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat; because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves." (Mat. 7:13-15)God warns us that only a few go to heaven! Beware of religions (counterfeits) that exploit the masses of humanity with false hope through works-bondage, a futile attempt at self-justification that deceives and damns souls. Absolutely nothing saves but Jesus alone. True Christianity is not a religion. It is a personal family relationship with the Lord of Glory - provided by his amazing grace.
My wonderful Lord has been so generous, forgiving, and kind to me, I just want to share the truth with you.“Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say REJOICE.” (Philippians 4:4)It is the only way to really LIVE.
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