Answering Confusion About the Rebirth – Ray E Horton
A comment on a friend’s status quickened to me the realization that many people who proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ don’t really understand the Gospel. He wrote that because of Jesus death and resurrection, all people are born again, but our sins separate us from His kingdom. This is not a Christian but a Universalist belief. Others may struggle with this, so I’ll post my response, with a few additions:
Brother, that is not correct. It is true that God so loved the world… and desires all people to be saved. By the free gift of grace obtained for us by Jesus Christs death and resurrection all people CAN receive salvation. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith…” Salvation is by grace, but it MUST be received through faith. Without believing, one cannot be Born Again. If I offer you a million dollars, that’s grace, a free gift; but if you don’t reach out your hand and take it, receive it, you don’t have it. The rebirth is easy, but not automatic.
No More Sin Nature
And concerning our sins separating us from His Kingdom, if we are Born Again, we no longer have a sin nature – we are new creations and in His Kingdom already. Just like disobedience in a family doesn’t separate the child from the family. My children are still my children, and when they blow it, I still love them and don’t kick them out of the family. I remind them what is right and encourage them to change and go forward. By God’s grace through Jesus, He cleansed us. The true sin of separation from God and His Kingdom is unbelief. As the scripture continues: “…it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Salvation has nothing to do with our works, or being good or sinless, it has to do with what Jesus did
Salvation has nothing to do with our works, or being good or sinless, it has to do with what Jesus did. No man can lead a sinless life besides the God/man Jesus. That’s why the need for Jesus’ sacrifice in the first place, to be our substitute and pay the price. Having been Born Again, He brought us into the Kingdom, and we are not separated even if we sin. Our sin can cause us harm and keep us weak, but we are forgiven, and when we turn back, we once again move forward. The prodigal son was only separated physically – he still belonged in his father’s domain (kingdom) and could return any time. His father loved him throughout.
One last thought. The idea that all men are born again is not Christian, it is Universalist. We all have the responsibility to receive by faith. God loves and has compassion for all men and wants to see us saved and participating in His Kingdom, but that doesn’t negate our responsibility to believe – He’ll even provide the faith, if well receive it.