( 1 )– LOOKING TOWARD THE END.
( 2 ) WHAT DO IT MEAN TO BE BORN AGAIN
( 3 ) JOHN 14:2 ( PREPARING A PLACE FOR YOU )
( 4 ) LET’S START PREPARING
I’d like to start this by looking at a verse of scripture the Apostle Paul wrote. ( 2 Timothy 4:5-7 ) But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. ( 6 ) For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. ( 7 ) I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
The Apostle Paul actually asked Christ to be his Savior in ( Acts 9 ). The verse we just read appears to have been written some thirty years later. I would argue that, on the day that he was saved, he was not able to make that statement. I would say that no person, on the day of their salvation is ready to be offered. So, what happened to the Apostle Paul over the thirty years we are seeing in his life?
Look at your life. if something happened today and, you see that you are going to step out into eternity; are you prepared for that act no matter how it happens? Secular history teaches that the Apostle Paul was beheaded. That means that he did not die of natural causes. However, no matter what the circumstances are; how can you answer that question?
The point I’m making is that simply saying you are born again is not all it is to being ( prepared ) to stand before God. I understand that there are people that make ( death bed ) confessions and, I truly believe that they or, at least some of them actually get saved but, just how will they stand before God and, what does it all mean?
More than likely, if you are reading this and, you are born again. that is not your situation is it? You have been ( in God’s family ) for some time. So what is the difference in you than the day you got saved? Do you have the kind of relationship with Christ that you can make the same statements the Apostle Paul made? Do you think you will ever be able to make that kind of statement?
Salvation is a beginning of the preperation to be in heaven but that is not all it is to being all that God desires for each of us to be. People live their lives like it doesn’t really matter and, I realize that the Apostle Paul was speaking to a young preacher when he made the statement he made. However, what has God called you to do or be and, are you being to best you can at what he has called you to be?
God does not save anyone that he doesn’t expect to listen to him and do his will according to what ( He, Himself ) directs you to do, not one person. I might add that Church membership, tithing, Sunday School membership is not something that he directs you to do. Those things might be good to do but it places you no closeer to God’s will other that maybe giving you a spiritual education to use for his glory. And that, only if what you are hearing is inspired by God’s Spirit and, you are willing to learn his will.
Now, on the day that the Apostle Paul, the man that made the statements we are speaking of got saved, look at what the Holy Spirit said about him.
( Acts 9:13-16 ) Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: ( 14 ) And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. ( 15 ) But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: ( 16 ) For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
On the day that the Apostle Paul was saved, he started on a journey, right here on this earth. Although every person’s journey might be somewhat different; aren’t we all looking to be able to say: ( my departure is at hand, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith, and I am ready to be offered?
Seemingly, in our ( christian society ) we are not taught that today. We seem to have a mindset that; just being saved, as we call it or, saying we believe in Jesus Christ places every person on the same level with Jesus Christ. The Bible doesn’t even imply anything of that nature. As a matter of fact, if you have that mindset I’d check to make sure I was born again, make you calling and election sure, ( 2 Peter 1:10 ) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
I can see how that we truly need to understand what it means to be born again. I’m going to post this and seek to begin teaching this first and add God’s expectations of his children as the days and weeks go by.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BORN AGAIN?
Wherefore, what does it mean to truly be born again? There is a couple or more ways we can teach this and seek to help any person, to see that there has to be a seperation point in our lives as it pertains even to our ownselves. Let’s first look at Jesus Christ. ( Lule 2:49 ) And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my father’s business?
Here, we see Jesus as under the protective wing of Mary and Joseph. He is about twelve years old and, they cannot find him. When they locate him, he let’s them know that it’s ( his Father ) that he must be obedient to. In ( Luke 15:17-19 ) And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger. ( 18 ) I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, ( 19 ) And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as on of thy hired servants.
In this picture, this young man went out on his own, spent all he had and, realized just how blessed he was to have a father to could care for him. When he went back he was willing to be ( as a servant ) instead as seen as a son. Can you see the different mindset there? His father still seen him as a son but, his heart was that of a servant.
We’ll look at one scripture in the Old Teatament to make the same point. I believe this is one of the best pictures of being born again. ( Deuteronomy 15:17 ) Then thou shalt take an awl, and thrust his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant forever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise.
In this picture the servanrt is actually free to leave and to go and do as he pleases. However, by choice he desires to stay with his master and work for him as long as he lives. We could look at the awl through the ear as a type of baptism.It just shows to the world to whom our loyalty is given.
( In my opinion ) the picture of Jesus Christ and being about this Father’s business is showing us the age we should be wise enough to began to yield to the leadership of God’s Spirit and began to pull away from our parents. Around the age of twelve our parents should be able to become more in a advisory role that actually demanding or controlling all a child might do or say. This is speaking in a totally spiritual mindset. If we are all we are suppose to be as parents and, instruct our children in spiritual obedience then, this would be the picture. Actually, teaching any child to live in this world should centered around the spiritual aspect of our lives.
In the young man in ( Luke 15 ) we see the inward change of that child. That young man’s father can be seen as an earthly father to the child and, the heavenly father after the child realizes his inward change. I. as being born again still live in the same flesh I lived in as a boy or, as alost sinner but, I now listen to and yield to a totally different voice. I can look at my own flesh or, my earthly father and say, I know am a servant to a greater person than you are. That’s not to say I don’t show respect to my earthly father but, he should know as well that his training me is leading to that spiritual aspect of my life.
That is my choice. I wasn’t forced to make that dicision. Just like the servant in The Old Testament I could and do as I please but, simply out of appreciation for all he has done for me, I yield to him. This is a sticking point when it comes to being born again. When the servant was set free by his master, that means he is free to do anything his pleases, go where he pleases, act like he pleases. Since he was given that freedom, he made a choice to stay where he was and to do his master’s will.
Since I have been born again, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, I have been made free from the penalty of sin. That doesn’t mean I’m not a sinner does it? ( Ephesians 2:8-9 ) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. ( 9 ) Not by works, lest any man should boast.
A gift is free to me. Jesus Christ had to buy that gift in order to give it to me but, to me it is free. If I have to quit sin in my life to ( buy that gift ) then it ceases to be a gift, I have to work for it. To be honest, we cannot stop being sinners. We can learn our sin and, one by one repent from those things in our lives but, we are now and always will be sinners.
When we are born again God’s spirit moves into our being, into our sin cursed bodies. When that happens we have that voice to direct our paths. He speaks above our own spirit or,the spirits of anything or anyone else. Our obedience is to that spirit and, if not then God has away to deal with our disobedience as well. However to say that we have to be obedient is taking away the fact to he says it’s a free gift.
Being born again is ( as defined). First, you are old enough to reason for yourself, you see what you are in your flesh being ( a sinner ). Since you see yourself and, with that knowledge, you desire to change, you seek to be ( about you Heavenly Father’s business ). You willingly give up your right to be you own self and, now live all for God’s glory.
Just as the slave that had been given his freedom but, made a choice to remain faithful to his master, at that, a hole was placed in his ear. When people seen that hole, they knew, this man is free to go and do whatever and wherever he desires but, by choice he does the will of his master.
We often confuse the the fact that we are sinners and, the art of being obedient to God’s Spirit. It’s easy to see how that we, being desirious to be pleasing to God would make it a choice to live as sin free as possible which, is pleasing to God the Father. The Bible says or teaches us that ( obedience is better than sacrifice ).( 1 Samuel 15:22 ) And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
Let’s look at that metaphorically. Let’s just say this servant or slave likes to smoke a pipe. While he was a slave to his master, the master would not allow him to smoke a pipe in his presence. Therefore the slave was not only obedient to his master in the responsibilities he told him to do but, he never smoked his pipe in front of him either.
Now, his master has granted him his freedom. He can go and do as he pleases. However, the slave makes a choice to stay with his master and, be obedient to his commands just as he always has. On the first day of his freedom when he comes to the master’s house he brings his pipe to smoke. The master sees that pipe and, the master realizes this man is there by choice, free to do just as he pleases. He tells the slave, free slave I might add; that it’s your choice to smoke that pipe, I understand that but, I want you to know, I still don’t like it.
You see, It’s one thing to be obedient and do the will of the father and, another to sacrifice. If the free slave truly desires to be pleasing to the master he will not only be obedient but also be willing to sacrifice. He will deny his flesh, that’s sacrifice. And, he also will do the will of his master, that’s obedience.
The whole point in giving that comparison is to show that we, in our sin cursed bodies can hear God’s spirit and, be willing to do what he ask us to do. However, just how effective will we be at doing his will if we still show forth the desires of our flesh? If I say to you; I’ve been born again, washed in the blood of Jesus Christ but, you still see me acting just as I always have then, my words possibly become to none effect. Look at this verse. ( Philemon 1:6 ) That the communication of thy faith become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.
If God, by his spirit within me asks me to witness to a friend of mine then , that friend needs to be able to see the Christ I say I know living within me. It’s not that we have to become sinless but, it’s what we truly desire to communicate and accomplish in our siritual life. What do we want the world to see in us as new believers?
If I used myself as an example; I’d say that the moment I got saved. I didn’t know anything about loving Jesus Christ or, even trying to seek his will. All of that had to be taught and received within my new birth and, spiritual understanding. I’ll confess that I learned to love him, his word and to seek his will. I’m still not perfect today but, I do love him and desire to please him.
We say we believe in Jesus Christ. Are we willimg to become him? to seek to be like him? That is what be ( born again ) is all about. I’ll finish this segment with this verse: ( Hebrews 12:1 ) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
What is the difference in a weight and a sin? To begin to answer that; first, you must ask yourself. How do I desire to stand before God one day? In running a race, if you desire to win; you would not wear a back pack would you? you could, it’s nothing wrong with it. However, you would seek to be as light as possible on your feet. Spiritually, it’s just the same. It’s possible that there are things you do that could not be classified as sin but, what does people think about you doing those things? A weight would be something that would make your witness less effective for God’s glory. A sin would be something God tells you is not good to do.
The name of this article is ( Heaven ) A place we need to prepare to go. Being born again is only the first step in or, on that journey. Jesus prepared a place for us. ( Joun 14:1-6 ). He also sent his spirit to teach us, prepare us to live in that place. ( John 14:16-21 ( ( John 16: 7-15 ).
Just as the preparation of this life begin when we are born; the preparation for heaven begins when we are born again. My desire is to take this to a new level in, possible your way of thinking. Please understand that your teaching and knowledge of scripture can go much deeper than I can teach because it’s the Holy Spirit that teaches; I’m just the vessel. My desire is to give you something to think about that you might grow thereby. To show you the depth of God’s word and all we can see in one verse of scripture.
( 3 ) JOHN 14:2 ( PREPARING A PLACE FOR YOU )
( John 14:1-3 )
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. ( 2 ) In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, ( 3 ) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself: that where I am there ye maybe also.
What is the depth of what Jesus is saying here? Jesus made this statement in the previous chapter. ( John 13:33-35 ) Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go,ye cannot come: so now I say to you. ( 34 ) A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another: as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. ( 35 ) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Jesus is speaking to his disciples. He says this: ( as I said unto the Jews ). Are not all these men Jews? Therefore, what is different about these men that seperates them from the rest of the Jews? I also want you to notice three questions; asked by three different disciples as he is speaking to them. ( 1 ) Peter. ( Verse 36 ) Simon Peter said unto him, Lord whither goest thou? ( 2 ) Thomas ( John 14:5 ) Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? ( 3 ) Philip. ( John 14:8 ) Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
Neither of these men understand what Jesus is talking about. I pointed out that he ( Jesus ) is speaking to Jews and he also makes reference to something he said to the Jews. The differenece is that these Jews are believers. Although they can’t understand what he is explaining, they do believe. That puts them in a different group of people than just being ( a Jew ). I am a Gentile. I also believe. With that belief, it also puts me in the same group of people that Jesus is going to prepare a place for. I would argue that all of the disciples of Jesus, with the exception of Judas were believers. However, what is the difference in each believer today and the disciples on that particular day?
The primary difference in them and, a believer today is the presence of the Holy Spirit. Of,course these believers would soon have that same spirit and, that spirit would teach them just as he will teach each of us, if we are willing to listen. I often say this and, I will continue to teach it; praying that people will understand the point I am making. ( the toughest thing for any person to learn is ( how to ) listen to God’s Spirit and, also to yield to what he is saying.
I don’t want to forget about the diciples Jesus was speaking to in ( John 14 ) however, look at these verses: ( Galatians 4:1-6 ) Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from servant, though he be Lord of all; ( 2 ) But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. ( 3 ) Even so we, when we are children, were in bondage under to elements of the world: ( 4 ) But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of woman, made under the law, ( 5 ) To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. ( 6 ) And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
It’s a lot to teach here, as a matter of fact, it could be a lesson unto itself but, we see here that ( in the fulness of time ) ( God sent his son ). And, after that, he sent his spirit. We must understans what the Apostle Paul is teaching here. It is a picture of a child growing and developing until they are mature. However, when they mature they are not dead are they? It’s actually when we are mature that we began to truly produce the things that God desires for us to do.
Another point I often make is this. In to Old Testament; God the Father spoke to man. In the Gospel; God the Son spoke to man and after the gospels, starting in the Book of Acts, God the Spirit speaks to man. When Jesus was speaking to his disciples in John, they had no concept of ( His Spirit ) living within them. If you will continue to read in: ( John 14- 15 – 16 ) you will see that Jesus continues to teach them about that Spirit that he will send.
When Jesus said; ( I go to prepare a place for you ) to whom was he talking about? He was talking about ( all those that ever believed and trusted in him ). We’ll get back to that but; the picture is that the world is like a big body and, Isreal, God’s chosen people are the heart however, even all the heart did not believe. It’s the same picture of you and your body. You trust God with your heart and, then the rest of you body is suppose to submit to your heart. The Church today is the same way. Today the Church is the heart and the rest of the world is suppose to submit to that heart but, even all the Church doesn’t believe does it?
In the Old Testament, all Israel didn’t believe but, some did. Also we see where there were many Gentiles that believed as well. Let’s step out on a limb here and say something. Jesus, said: ( I go and prepare a place for you ). Is it possible that; that place was already built, the only thing that needed to be completed was the road or, path to get to that place? It’s two men and, something they both said that I’d like to show you here. ( 1 ) John the Revelator.( Revelation 21:10 ) And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mounntain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, ( 2 ) The Apostle Paul: ( 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 ) I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, ( whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth; ) such an one caught up to the third heaven. ( 2 ) And I knew such a man, ( whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth: ) ( 4 ) How that he was caught up into paradise, and hear unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
The point I’m making is that the city is already there. The way to get to that city was and, is by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. He, Jesus Christ is the perfect sacrafice that had to be made for all that believe to be able to go to that city. That is, the Old Testamant believers and all the New Testament believers.
We read this when Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary. ( Matthew 27:52 ) And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, ( 53 ) And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
The perfect lamb has been offered and excepted by God the Father. The road to that city had been completed and now, every person can enter as soon as they ( fall asleep ) in their flesh. ( I believe ) that the City of God is right above us, we just can’t see it in our flesh. The Apostle Paul called that city ( paradise ). However, Abraham, being a ( Old Testament saint ) also was in a place that Jesus Christ called ( paradise ). ( Luke 23: 43 ) And Jesus said unto him, Veriy I say unto thee, to day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Jesus, here was speaking to the thief on the cross beside him. At that time they both were still living in the ( Old Testament ). That changed the second Jesus Christ died on his cross. Abraham was already in that placed called paradise. ( Luke 16:26 ) And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
You can read the verses around this but, when Jesus died on his cross those saints in the center of the earth came out from where they were and went to the city that Jesus had prepared for all saints. Let’s also look in: ( Ephesians 4:8-9 ) Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. ( 9 ) Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth. ( 10 ) He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.
So, from the very beginning, its always been about preparing to live in a place that God has prepared for every person that believes. When we think or, are even taught that it’s just as simple as ( believing in Jesus Christ ) that can be deceiving within itself. We must understand what ( to believe ) is actually saying.
As we went through all of this. We see how God created the whole world, He chose his people, Israel, we call ed them the heart. God’s will, through that heart was to draw the world by his side. The whole time the true picture has been unfolding, Jesus Christ, the perfect lamb must be offered, his Spirit must come and, that Spirit must be received. Each person that receivs that Spirit must yield to that Spirit so that Christ can be seen within each believer, therefore drawing the world unto himself, meaning ( unto Christ.
Are you preparing to live in that city?
LET’S START PREPARING