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God the Father chose the WHOLE WORLD to be saved through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as it is written in Jn. 3:15-17,
‘And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up [on the cross,] that whoever believes in Him [CLEAVES TO HIM, TRUSTS HIM, AND RELIES ON HIM] should not perish, (come to destruction and be lost,) but have eternal life.’
‘For God SO loved the [whole] world that He gave His only begotten (unique) Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn, (pass sentence, reject) the world, but that the world THROUGH HIM might be saved….’
[The Amplified Bible]
Jn. 1:11-13, ‘He Came to His own [people, the Jews,] and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him [personally,] to THEM He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His Name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.’
Gal. 4:6, ‘And because you are [His born again] children, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts [or spirits,] crying out, Abba, Father!’
1 Jn. 3:1, ‘Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, [the atonement of Jesus Christ,] that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.’
THE WAY TO ENTER INTO GOD’S KINGDOM
As every significant detail of Jesus’ life were prophesied in the Old Testament Scriptures, the Old Hebrews knew all about Jesus’ Messianic birth, life, death, and resurrection centuries before He ‘came to His own,’ the Jews.
Yet, despite all these facts, ‘His own did not receive Him,’ – Jn. 1:11.
Their rejection of Jesus as the Hebrew Savior was not a question of the reality that God had become a Man — they knew that from their Scriptures, but of the acceptance of that Reality – Jn. 1:12-13.
The reason? His own nation rejected the spiritual Kingdom in the ‘hearts’ or human spirits of believers, which Jesus brought to them, because they chose to accept a counterfeit, physical kingdom — the ‘kingdom of god here on earth.’ In effect, they declined Jesus invitation to the spiritual rebirth as the ONLY way in which humankind may enter into His Kingdom in heaven because they wanted deliverance from the Roman Empire and restoration of an independent State of Israel in the here and now, Jn. 3:3-5; 4:23-24.
JESUS EXPLAINED IT ALL TO NICODEMUS
In Jn. 3:1-21, Jesus explained the necessity of the spiritual rebirth to Nicodemus, an influential and respected member of the Jewish Sanhedrin. In context of the New Testament, Jesus was actually saying, “Nicodemus, you were trained in Jewish law and theology; therefore You call Me a ‘teacher of Israel.’ You know all about the prophecies concerning Me and the Spiritual Kingdom which I brought to earth. Yet you come to Me by night, under the cover of darkness, as if you are ashamed of Me, because you love the honor of religious men more than the honor of the Living God.
“It is a great certainty ‘that unless one is [spiritually] born again he cannot see [perceive, recognize, or identify the spiritual] Kingdom of God… Because God is Spirit, He desires spiritually born again worshippers, who are able to worship Him in [their newborn human spirits, in the power of the Holy Spirit] and in Truth. Unless one is [spiritually] born of water, [the Truth of the Word, which is I Myself,] and the Spirit, [or through the conviction and in the power of the Holy Spirit,] he CANNOT enter or understand the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh…” (Jn. 4:21-24; 3:3-5.)
Jesus must have sighed heavily as He judged this Pharisee’s heart. Maybe He placed His hand on Nicodemus’ shoulder, and looked sadly into his eyes, “Nicodemus, do you know that even the devils believe in Me and they tremble, for they know that I Am really God Who became a mere Man. Similarly, you do not lack belief in Me as a Reality, but your idolatrous pride, position and self-interest are the sins that keep you in bondage. Idolatrous self-worship is the failure to die to sin and self, (to crucify the ‘flesh’ or worthless religious thoughts and aspirations of man) and to put your trust in Me alone. To accept Me as your personal Savior, and to follow and obey Me as your personal Lord and God above all else.
“Nicodemus, without Me you might remain an honored religious ruler for the rest of your natural life, but you will still perish in your sin. Neither your good works nor your lofty religious position can save you. Your religious acts are as filthy rags before the Father, but I came a man to deliver you from spiritual death and bondage, and from the death and blindness of religion. ‘God SO loved the [whole] world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life… He who believes in Me is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already… And this is the condemnation that The Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than The Light, because their deeds are evil…’ (Jn. 3:17-21; Gal. 2:20-21; Gal. 3; 2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 6:8-18.)
“Oh Nicodemus… ‘You are a teacher, yet you do not understand these things…’ All the Old Testament prophesies concerning Me is being fulfilled before your eyes! How can you not realize that ONLY the true Savior would be able to fulfill ALL the Hebrew prophecies so exactly! All you need to do is to ACCEPT Me as a Fact, and believe and do what I say. For all those who decidedly, consciously, and willingly ‘RECEIVED Me [as their personal Lord and Savior,] to them the Father gave the [Holy Spirit] POWER [and personal right] to become the [spiritually born again] children of God; to those who believe in My Name. Those who were born ‘from above,’ not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh… but of God.” - [Spirit Filled Bible: Jn. 1:12-13; Gal. 4:6; 1 Cor. 2:13, 14; Heb. 8:10-13.]
Religion in all its different forms was thought up by Satan and established by man. It was the death of all unbelieving Hebrews, and it will remain the death of all those who forfeit real spiritual life in Christ for the sake of religious church deception.
Jesus is a Person not a religion. He cannot be contained by a physical church building and its many unscriptural doctrines. In contrast to a spiritual life in Christ, religion is of the flesh or the corrupted mind of man, and the flesh is of this realm; it can only convert change the mind of man on an intellectual or mental level to shift him from one worthless religious belief to another. [I.e. to ‘convert’ from Catholicism to Protestantism.] Only the Living Word of God, (Jesus Christ Himself) and the conviction, teaching and power of the Holy Spirit can transform a person spiritually from spiritual death to spiritual life.
Even though a natural, (spiritually dead) person might know all the historical facts concerning Jesus on a mental level like the Old Hebrews did, he still cannot “receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him… because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritually alive judges and understands all things.” - [See Rom. 12:1-2; Jn. 16:7-15; 1 Cor. 2:14-15.]
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