We all need a second birth (John 3:5)

John 3:5

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5).”

If you were to inquire of all the evil, sin, misery, and madness of this world, and keep asking the “why?” question, you would find out that the answer has something to do with the human condition. All of us are born into this world with a heart malady, and from this heart malady flows the problems we face in this world.

I once heard an environmentalist say that humans so endanger our planet that earth would prosper better without humanity. I disagree with that assertion, but I think people who say such things are catching on to something. To put the tragedy in biblical terms, the one creature God created to care for and cultivate this planet contributes the most to its destruction. Even the Book of Romans says that “the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God (Romans 8:19).” Creation itself waits for the day when humanity will actually care for and cultivate creation how God intended.

Many people mistakenly think the problem exists externally. Dictators prey on that mindset. They say, “Just give me the power, and I will get the mechanics working right and there will be peace in our land.” It never works. As soon as they get power, they start building a layer of elite leaders working under them. Then they start treating the elite class differently than the masses under them. Whether the environment or politics, the problems flow out of the human heart.

Jesus told Nicodemus that you and I “must be born again (John 3:7).” We all need a second birth that takes place spiritually in the human heart. If God were to permit any of us to enter his Kingdom without this change of heart, heaven would cease to be heaven. Just one unrepentant sinner would drag hell into heaven.

We need this heart-permeating change to turn our heart away from sin and evil and unto God and his ways. Yet no one has figured out how to effect this change on their own. In repenting of our sinful nature and surrendering ourselves to Christ, we find ourselves taking the first crucial step in being prepared to enter the kingdom of heaven, where all will adore our Savior and take pleasure in all his ways. “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

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