I have been reading Dwight L. Moody’s “The Way to God and How to Find It”. The following excerpt seemed a fitting addition to the article I posted last Wednesday. If you missed “You Must Be Born Again” you can find it here.
This excerpt is from Chapter 2 “The Gateway into the Kingdom”
“”Except a man be born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
Now if the words of this text are true they embody one of the most solemn questions that can come before us. We can afford to be deceived about many things rather than about this one thing. Christ makes it very plain. He says, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God” – much less inherit it. This doctrine of the New Birth is therefore the foundation of all our hopes for the world to come. It is really the ABC of the Christian religion. My experience has been this – that if a man is unsound on this doctrine he will be unsound on almost every other fundamental doctrine in the Bible. A true understanding of this subject will help a man to solve a thousand difficulties that he may meet with in the Word of God. Things that before seemed very dark and mysterious will become very plain.
The doctrine of the New Birth upsets all false religion – all false views about the Bible and about God. A friend of mine once told me that in one of his after-meetings, a man came to him with a long list of questions written out for him to answer. He said “If you can answer these questions satisfactorily, I have made up my mind to be a Christian.” “Do you not think,” said my friend, “that you had better come to Christ first? Then you can look into these questions.” The man thought that perhaps he had better do so. After he had received Christ, he looked again at his list of questions; but then it seemed to him as if they had all been answered.
Nicodemus came with his troubled mind, and Christ said to him, “Ye must be born again.” He was treated altogether differently from what he expected; but I venture to say that was the most blessed night in all his life. To be “born again” is the greatest blessing that will ever come to us in this world.
Notice how the Scripture puts it. “Except a man be born again,” “Born from above,” [Note: John 3:3 Marginal reading] “born of the Spirit.”
From amongst a number of other passages where we find this word “EXCEPT,” I would just name three.
“Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3,5)
“Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
“Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)
They all mean the same thing.”
The writer goes on to list all of the things that people try to use to claim entry into heaven, but which the Bible makes clear is not what will get us into heaven:
Going to church
Trying to do what is right
Turning over a new leaf
Partaking of the Lord’s Supper, partaking of the Sacrament
None of these will get you into heaven. Jesus made it clear.
“Except a man be born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2012