“In reply Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
On occasions people are confused about Christianity because they have not “seen” or understood the true state of affairs concerning their soul and their standing with God. Part of what it means to be spiritually dead is to have no awareness or concern about your lost condition before God. Such people are like the parable of the lost sheep that Jesus told in Luke 15. The sheep wanders away from the shepherd and has no awareness that it is lost. The poor creature simply wanders further and further into the wilderness where some predator might be waiting to snatch it up, as was very possible in the days when Jesus lived.
Many people would take umbrage today to being told they are sinners, or that they are lost, or that they are not acceptable to God as they are, but that they should undergo a dramatic change. After all, we live in an age of human rights and one of these rights is to be “myself” and to be perfectly acceptable and not to be discriminated against by being told I must change. The prevailing view is that as a decent sort of person I am okay. But listen again to CS Lewis as I continue his quote from yesterday.
“If you are a nice person- if virtue comes easily to you – beware! Much is expected from those to whom much is given. If you mistake for your own merits what are really God’s gifts to you through nature, and if you are contented with simply being nice, you are still a rebel: and all those gifts will only make your fall more terrible, your corruption more complicated, your bad example more disastrous. The Devil was an archangel once; his natural gifts were as far above yours as yours are above those of a chimpanzee.”
(Mere Christianity. Book 4 Chapter 10)
It is a dangerous thing to pin your hopes for eternity upon yourself. You may have natural gifts of temperament that make you a nice person to know, but as Lewis reminds us “you are still a rebel”. No matter how much you love yourself, let me urge you to absolve yourself and turn to Christ now.
O God, like Nicodemus, I need the new birth. Please help me to see my need of a Saviour, and then turn to Christ.