Faithlife
Faithlife

07-04-22.01

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07-04-15.02                              vv                              07-04-22.02

Title:           “You must be born again…!”

FCF:            being dead in our sins

D-Theme:   The command to new birth

M-Thrust:   be born again

Comment:  comment here

Subject:     new birth

Date:          EB03CEFEF92F446E98933D841414E6D4

Text:           John 3:7

7Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

• Module #1

•   You’ve just heard two testimonies…

•   From two different men with very different backgrounds…

•   One knew nothing of church…

•   …and cared little for church…

•   One grew up in church spending many Sunday’s in the pew…

•   …but was an adult before he came to faith…

•   They have very different tastes in motorcycles as well…

•   …one rides a Harley—the other a Honda…

•   As different as they are both men have something in common…

•   They love to ride… and they are born again…

•   I know that is one of those ‘churchy’ phrases…

•   …where we roll our eyes and say “O, please…!”

•   …been there—done that… heard it before…

• module #2

•   There are two important things you need to know…

•   First, these men testified their lives have been transformed…

•   …they do not and will not regret being born again…

•   Second, it is not optional—Jesus commands it…

•   “You must be born again…”

• module #3

•   You can have a future and a hope…

•   You can know freedom from fear—lasting peace…

•   Your lives can have purpose and meaning…

•   But “You must be born again…”

• module #4

•   Many have struggled to understand being born again…

•   Nicodemus came to Jesus under the cover of darkness…

“Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

3…“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4…“How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5…“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ [1]

• module #5

•   How many…

•   …live without spiritual questions…?

•   …have no desire to look into matters of eternity…?

•   …aren’t motivated by wanting a sense of purpose…?

•   …aren’t desirous of having meaning in life…?

•   How many aren’t like Nicodemus…

•   …not sure we want to approach Jesus…

•   …afraid to express our ignorance…

•   …afraid of what happens to us after death…

• module #6

•   Late-night talk show host David Letterman was interviewing extreme mountaineer Aron Ralston. Ralston had used a pocketknife to sever his lower right arm to free himself from being pinned under an 800-pound boulder in a remote Utah canyon after five days.

•   As he was explaining all of this… Letterman wondered out loud, ‘Could everybody have done this? Ralston replied, ‘If you had a choice to go through an hour of pain to live another 60 years, you’d do the same thing.’

•   Instead of a quip, Letterman leaned on his elbow, settled into his chair, peered at Ralston through his spectacles, and asked: ‘Is that what you know about life that I don’t know necessarily?’”

•   Some members of the audience laughed nervously, unsure whether they’d just heard a joke or whether they had actually heard television’s most deeply serious funnyman ask the least funny question of them all. As in: What’s the meaning of life? What’s it all about? Why are we here and where are we going? You have some answers, Aron? You’ve been to the brink and back, so lemme have ‘em.” [2]

• module #7

•   If one like Letterman—@ the pinnacle of personal success…

•   …still lives with these fundamental questions…

•   It seems certain we would have the same questions…

•   Why are we here… what is our purpose…? Life’s meaning…?

•   That’s why we want to get our bikes blessed…

•   Faced with the possibility we might enter eternity…

•   …in a moment—in a twinkling of an eye…

•   And it doesn’t matter whether you ride a motorcycle…

•   Or a bicycle… Or drive a car…

•   If you are a college student… or a NASA employee…

•   …the possibility and questions are the same…

• module #8

•   Where would Aron Ralston be today if he procrastinated…?

•   And what would he say if you asked him…

•   “Was it worth it all…?”

•   If you would ask Marty and Steve about their lives…

•   “Was it worth it all…?” what would their answer be…?

•   And where might they be if they procrastinated…?

•   And so the question is… “is the Christian faith worth it all…?”

•   Can I really have peace, purpose, meaning, and freedom…?

•   What is it going to cost me to become a Christian…?

•   And you also have to ask yourself…

•   Do I have peace, purpose, meaning, and freedom now…?

•   And I mean a freedom greater than what comes…

•   …from riding a motorcycle…

•   And you also have to ask yourself…

•   What will it cost me if I don’t become a Christian…?

•   Marty will tell you he will never regret coming to Christ…

•   Steve will tell you he will never regret coming to Christ…

• module #9

•   I want to briefly share with you my own story…

•   Which began in a Roman Catholic home…

•   Mom took us to church every Sunday…

•   Until her and Dad divorced… after that she dropped us off…

•   …and since she wasn’t there to watch us… J

•   We moved during high school—new community—new church…

•   And as a rebellious teenager I just never could connect …

•   So that by the time I was in my late teens early twenties…

•   Christianity was the furthest thing from my mind…

•   However, after I was married and children started coming…

•   My heart was more receptive…

•   My stepfather had given me a copy of Robert Schuller’s…

•   Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do!

•   And on a day in May 1985 I read how…

•   John Wayne’s daughter recounted to Schuller…

•   …what happened in his life before he died…

•   “He never missed your telecast. One Sunday morning you did something you very seldom have done. You said, ‘There must come the time in our life when we really surrender our life entirely to the Lord. Today may be the day when you should slip out of the chair, get down on your knees, and yield your life completely to God. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins. Ask Him to save your immortal soul.”

•   Now as she looked at me, John Wayne’s daughter said, “Dr. Schuller, my father was so sick in his bed—but he got out of his bed, got down on his knees, and prayed your closing prayer with you and turned his life completely over to the Lord!”

•   Now I am just simple enough that I said in that moment…

•   “If it’s good enough for the Duke then it’s good enough for me.”

•   And I did as Schuller said…

•   I surrendered my life entirely to the Lord…

•   I asked Him to forgive me of my sins

•   I asked Him to save my immortal soul.

• Invitation

•   And I am just simple enough to ask you to do the same…

•   …slip out of the pew, get down on your knees, and yield your life completely to God. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins. Ask Him to save your immortal soul.”

•   Jesus has given the command to new birth “be born again”

•   And since it is a command we must be able to obey…

•   We can say yes to Jesus…

•   We can respond to his invitation…

•   You responded to an invitation to come get your bike blessed…

•   …you came from where you were — to come here…

•   Jesus invites you to come as well…

•   …from where you are to where he’s calling you…

• Let’s pray…


----

[1]      John 3:3-7

[2]      Lee Eclov, Vernon Hills, Illinois; source: Verne Gay, “Lights out on ‘Late Show’?” Chicago Tribune (9-1-03);

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