"About 30 years ago, I became a born-again Christian. I think my evangelical work was foreshadowed when Cecil B. DeMille chose me for The Ten Commandments and said, 'I feel the hand of God has been on you.'" -- Debra Paget in response to inquiry from Parade Magazine, Feb. 25, 2007
It seems as we have launched into the 21st Century that if someone states that he/she is a 'born-again' Christian, it is akin to confessing you have a serious contagious disease or worse, a critical mental health problem!
Actually, in spite of the tendency to use the label, Christian, very carelessly in times such as these, and with the claim many persons make as to being a 'Christian,' only those few who testify without hesitation to having been "born again" are the real thing -- even more so than Coca-Cola which staked out a claim to being the "real thing" in ads somewhere in the past!
Jesus Christ, Who is the absolute Authority on all things having to do human beings and their existence in this present world, clearly revealed 4 demands which we humans must meet if we expect to be citizens of the future Kingdom over which Jesus will unquestionably rule forever. One of these involves an experience of being born again. Here is how He said it:
"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." -- John 3:3
He leaves nothing to the imagination on this, does He? There is no offer to sit down and "dialog" if you find the statement offensive or too radical and the need to find some common ground of agreement. No, it's very plain -- either you meet the demand in order to see the Kingdom, or you do not, and consequently suffer the biggest loss it is possible for a person to experience -- both in time and for an endless eternity!
Those who have had the experience of being "born again" know without doubt that it has happened to them -- it is nothing short of a miracle of a work which God has done through His Holy Spirit to literally transform the believer's entire life. Indeed the person is new from the inside out, having a desire to know his/her Lord better, to seek God's will and fulfill the plan mapped out for that believer's life!
Those other demands, which tie into the one mentioned above, are found at Matthew 18:2,3; Luke 13:3; and John 6:53-63.
There are those in professing Christian circles who make absurd statements such as saying that we cannot be really sure as to our destiny -- or all we can do is hope for the best when we cross over to the other side -- that it is best not to get into the issue of what being "born again" means, since it just causes confusion! Even some pastors have expressed bewilderment and dismay when the subject of being "born again" comes up! Sometimes it's like that moment when you kick over a dead log in the woods and all those creepy crawly things underneath that log start running for their holes -- they can't stand the light which has just hit them -- they much prefer to get back into the darkness where they are much more comfortable!
Here's a little something to sleep on tonight -- if you have been born again by the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, you will once more, as you have done many times in the past, give thanks for all He has done for you and have a good night's sleep without pills! But if you haven't, it's going to be a very long and uneasy night!
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. -- Romans 5:1,2
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. -- Romans 8:15-17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. -- 2 Corinthians 5:17
So, how is it with you -- have you been born again, or not?