Do you ever wish you weren't born the way you were? Maybe there are things you'd like to change? Well, there's good news! If you don't like the way you were born, you can be born again! This doesn't mean you go back into your Mom's stomach, but there's a way to start your life over, and at the same time, know that you'll go to Heaven, too. Read this story to find out how you can be "born again."
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council.
He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God
unless he is born again.’”
“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of Heavenly things? No one has ever gone into Heaven except the one who came from Heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son." (John 3:1-18)
Would you like to live forever? This is what Jesus is talking about when he tells Nicodemus how to have eternal life. Eternal life is living forever with God, in Heaven.
Many people wonder what happens to us when we die. Obviously I've never died so I can't tell you from personal experience what it it like. But Jesus has and He's come back to tell us.
He said Heaven is incredible and awesome. In Heaven there's no crying, no pain, no suffering, no fear, no darkness, no night. None of the things that are bad or scary about this world will be there.
There will be peace in Heaven. Even lions and lambs will lay down and sleep next to each other without one killing the other.
Most of all, we get to be right there with God every day, forever.
But how do we get to Heaven?
When Nicodemus asked Jesus this, Jesus told him he must be "born again." Not that he had to go back into his Mom's stomach, but that he could ask the Holy Spirit to give him a new life from Heaven.
And the way we do this is to put our faith in Jesus and believe in Him. Jesus said, "everyone who believes in me will have eternal life" (John 3:15).
There's a story in the Bible about Moses and all the people that he took with him on a trip through the desert. Snakes started biting the people and the people would die.
God told Moses to create a snake out of bronze and put it up on a pole. Then if anyone got bitten by a snake, they should look up to the bronze snake on the pole and when they did, they would be healed. And that's just what happened.
So Jesus reminded Nicodemus about this story and said the same thing would happen for people who wanted to be saved from death on this planet. Jesus said he would be lifted up (and He was, on the cross), and when people look to Him and put their faith in Him, they would be saved, too, and get eternal life.
This is exactly how we can be born again and live forever in Heaven with God. Put our faith in Jesus, believe in Him, trust Him that He died for our sins so that we could be set free from death and have eternal life.
Do you want to be saved? Do you want to go to Heaven? Put your faith in Jesus.
One of Jesus followers, Paul, also told us in the Bible how to be saved:
When we say "Jesus is Lord" that means that we want Him to be our Lord, to be in control of our lives, like a master has control of a servant. Sometimes we do the wrong thing, instead of what God wants us to do. That's when we get into trouble. And that's why Jesus had to die on the cross - to pay the penalty for all the wrong things we've done.
So when we put our faith in Him, we're saying that we believe He died for the things we've done wrong, our sins, and that from now on we want to do the right things - whatever He wants us to do.
If you want to be saved, to be born again, to live with God forever in Heaven, then say this out loud, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. And the Bible says that you will be saved!
If you'd like to say that right now with me in a prayer to God, you can. God is looking at your heart more than the exact words, but here are some words that you might tell Him to express what YOU feel right now in YOUR heart. You can pray them with me if you want:
If you prayed that prayer with me just now, I'm so happy for you!! It's really the most exciting prayer in the world, because it can give you a whole new life, here on earth, and an eternal life with God. If you just prayed that prayer, I hope you'll let me know when you get to the bottom of the page.
If you're not sure you're ready to pray that prayer, I hope you'll read some more stories about Jesus, about how He died on the cross for our sins, about how much He loves you, and about how He'll come again one day. Then I hope you'll come back here and pray so you can know that you'll be with God forever.
P.S.- Have you ever seen an ambulance? Did you ever notice that they sometimes have a picture on it that looks like a snake wrapped around a pole or a cross?
That's the symbol of healing from the story of Moses in the desert - when people looked to the bronze snake, God healed them. And it's the same story Jesus used when He said if we look to Him and put our faith in Him, we'll be saved and live forever!
You know, some people think there are many ways to get to God and you don't have to believe in Jesus to go to Heaven. But Jesus himself said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6, NIV)
If you think Jesus is a good teacher and did great miracles, then it's worth considering carefully everything he said, including His statement that He is the only way to get to the Father, God.
One of Jesus' closest disciples, Peter, said:
Some people wonder why Christians think that believing in Jesus is the only way to Heaven. I'd like to think that there are other ways so that no one would perish (die and go to hell). But Jesus said there was no other way to God except to believe in Christ. God wants us to share this good news with others. I hope you will tell others about Jesus so they can go to Heaven, too.
If you prayed with me up above and put your faith in Jesus for the first time today so you can go to Heaven, I hope you'll click here to send me a note!!
CampFaith.org & CampFaith.net