Whoever Believes in Him should not Perish - Author Ronald Nelson
The Bible Meditation:
John, 3: 1- 17; (1)There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. (2) This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, Rabbi, we know you are a Teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with Him. (3) Jesus answered and said to him, most assuredly I say to you, unless one is Born-Again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. (4) Nicodemus said to Him, 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) Jesus answered, most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God, (6) That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of spirit is Spirit. (7) Do not marvel that I said to you you must be born again. (8) The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the spirit. (9) Nicodemus answered and said to Him, how can these things be? (10) Jesus answered and said to him, are you the teacher of Israel and you do not know these things?
(11) Most assuredly I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen and you do not receive Our Witness. (12) If I have told you Earthly things and you do not believe how will you believe if I tell you Heavenly things? (13) No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is the Son of man who is in heaven. (14) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, (15) that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (16) For God so loved the world that He gave his only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."
The Encouraging Word;
During this week's church service, the pastor's message was on John, chapter 3 verse 1 through 17. As I listened quite intently, as I always do, this message hit me as one that really needs to be read and explained to all who will listen. I believe that this chapter in John is perhaps the most, or at least one of the most important chapters that we should know and understand. First of all, let me ask you this, when was the last time you heard a teaching on John 3 from the pastor at your church? My guess would be probably never, and here's why I say that. If this chapter gets taught on in your Denominational Church, why then, would you believe that you can be saved by works. This chapter in the Bible makes it very clear how one can be saved, and it never mentions works. If they still teach saved by works after reading this message, then they are misrepresenting the Word of God.
We start out this verse with a man called Nicodemus, John, 3: 2-3; "There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, 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."
As it states, Nicodemus was a Pharisee, and if you know anything about the Pharisees of that day, you would know that they despised Jesus and wanted him killed. Nicodemus was also part of the Sanhedrin which were the elite group of Pharisees, That is why Nicodemus had to visit Jesus by night, so the meeting could be in secret. Now listen to how Jesus responds to Nicodemus in the following verse,
John, 3: 3; "Most assuredly I say to you, unless one is Born-Again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God."
Notice, Jesus cut right to the chase, no beating around the bush. He didn't say, first you have to do good works and then you must be born-again, no, you must be born-again to see the kingdom of God, and then good works will automatically follow, if it is a true conversion. For those of you that might not know what the Kingdom of God refers to, it is Heaven. If you are not born-again, you will not enter Heaven no matter what your pastor or priest may say to you. Read what it says, pretty simple if you ask me. Here is Nicodemus's reply, which would be a natural response in those days.
John, 3: 4-8; "Nicodemus said to Him, how can a man be born when he is old, can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Then you hear Jesus say one more time, "Jesus answered, most assuredly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God, that which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of Spirit is Spirit, do not marvel that I said to you" and here He says for a third time, "You must be born-again. The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes, so is everyone who is born of the spirit."
Jesus says three times in this chapter alone that we must be born-again to enter the Kingdom of God. We are all born of water when we enter this world, and this is not speaking of infant baptism, which by the way, is not supported anywhere in the Bible in any way, shape, or form. As we migrate through life, we will all eventually have to make the decision to either receive Jesus Christ or reject Jesus Christ, it's got to be one or the other, because if you don't receive Him, then you do reject Him, no sitting on the fence on this one. Those that make the choice to receive Jesus Christ and accept the Holy Spirit into their hearts are those that become born-again just as the scriptures say. And here's a good time to quote the following truth. Now listen to this and hopefully it makes sense to you.
"If you were born once, you die twice, if you are born twice, you die once."
See, we all have an appointment with death, so barring the rapture, we will all die once. Those that deny Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will die a second death, which will happen at the "White Throne Judgment" where all those that reject Jesus Christ will get thrown into the "Lake of Burning Fire" for all eternity. Those that are born twice (the Born-Again Believers) will not stand before Jesus at the "White Throne Judgment" and will not suffer the second death. They will go on to inherit the promises of God to live with Him for all eternity.
Then we read John, 3: 9-10; "Nicodemus said to Him, how can these things be? Jesus answered and said to him, are you the teacher of Israel and you do not know these things."
See, Jesus is holding Nicodemus accountable to know these things, just as He will hold us accountable to know the things that we should know. But herein lies the problem, we are not being taught this doctrine in the mainline denominations of today for the most part, so the only way for you to know the truth is to read the Bible for yourself. You will be held accountable to know what the Bible teaches, not what organized religion teaches. In a lot of cases what religions teach you, are often quite contrary to what the Bible teaches. While Jesus was here on Earth, He did not teach religion, He taught the true and inerrant Word of God right from the scriptures. In other words, He taught the Gospel. If He would have taught any religion, it would have been Judaism, and what did He say to the religious hierarchy of his day?
John, 8: 44-47; and He's saying this to the religious leaders. "You are of your father the devil and the desires of your father you want to do, He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it, but because I tell you truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts Me of sin, and if I tell you the truth why do you not believe me? He, who is of God, hears God's Words, therefore you do not hear because you are not of God,"
He is saying this to the religious of the religious, those who practice the law and live by the law almost to perfection. The law does not save. Are you starting to get the picture? I hope so!
Then we continue with John, 3: 11-13; "Most assuredly I (Jesus) say to you, we speak of what We know and testify what We have seen and you do not receive Our Witness. If I told you Earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you Heavenly things? No one has ascended to Heaven, but He who came down from Heaven, that is the Son of Man who is in the Heaven."
Notice Jesus says, "We" speak of what "We" know and testify of what "We" have seen and you do not receive "Our" Witness. He is speaking of the Trinity when He uses the pronouns "WE" and "OUR". I really doubt it if many people really catch that. These three verses alone are concrete evidence of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. See what you miss if you don't actually get into the Bible. Jesus is saying in these three verses' to Nicodemus, what makes him, (Nicodemus) think he can understand Heavenly things when he can't even understand the things that are right in front of his eyes. Once again, this applies to most of us. How can we understand Heavenly things when we can't even understand what is happening right before our eyes. God is speaking to us these days through Bible prophecy and very few people are listening. In order to understand what is happening in our world today, you need to be born-again into the Holy Spirit. Once you become born-again, the scriptures of the Bible will be revealed to you like never before. They will be so clear, that you will wonder why they never made sense before.
Now we get to the climax of this chapter. John, 3: 14-17; "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have eternal life." And now we read what is perhaps the most well-known verse in the Bible, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten 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 the world, but that the world through Him, might be saved."
To understand verse 14, we need to go to Numbers, 21: 8; where it says, "Then the Lord said to Moses, make a fiery Serpent and set it on the pole and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live."
Let me explain what this is all about. When the Hebrews were in the wilderness, they started getting discouraged and started to speak out against God and Moses. Because of their grumbling, God sent them fiery serpents and they bit the Hebrew people and many began to die. It was then that the people said, "We have sinned and spoken against the Lord." They asked Moses to pray that the Lord take away the serpents from them. So Moses prayed, and then we read in:
Numbers, 21: 8-9; "Then the Lord said to Moses, make a fiery Serpent and set it on a pole and it shall be that everyone who is bitten when he looks at it, shall live. So Moses made a bronze Serpent and put it on a pole and so it was, if the serpent bit anyone, they would look up at the bronze Serpent and they would live."
Notice, God did not take away the serpents, He just provided a way for them to be saved after they were bitten. Now we go back to John, 3: 14; where Jesus says to Nicodemus, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so, must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
Jesus Is telling Nicodemus that He (Jesus) will be lifted up (and that's on the cross) and all who look upon Him will be saved. Notice once again, Jesus does not take sin and evil out of our lives, but he does provide a way for us to be saved from all the evil in the world. And notice it says, those that look up to Him will be saved, does it say, those that look up to Him, and then do good works will be saved? No, you won't find that anywhere in the scriptures and I emphasize that a lot, because too many people think that good works is going to get them to heaven, it doesn't work that way. All those that did not look up at the serpent died. The same will happen to those that do not look up to Jesus Christ for salvation. Again, very simple! The serpent is a symbol of sin and bronze is a symbol of sin covered. The only way for them to be saved was to look upon the serpent and the only way for us to be saved is to look up to Jesus Christ. Again, quite simple if you ask me. It's right there in the scriptures. It's God's Word.
Now, I need to explain something that I'm sure is confusing to many when it comes to good works. This teaching is not saying that we should not do good works, it's just saying that good works will not save us. You might say, okay, so if I receive Jesus Christ, then I can sin all I want. Let me put it this way, if you truly believe on Jesus Christ and receive the Holy Spirit into your life, are you really going to live a sinful lifestyle. If you do, then your commitment to Christianity is in vain, you aren't saved nor were you ever saved, it was just lip service. If your affirmation of Faith was sincere, you will not by any means live in sin anymore. Sure, we all sin, but if you are born-again you will not live a sinful lifestyle.
We read this interesting verse in James, 2: 14-17; "What good is it my brothers, if someone says he has Faith, but does not have works, can that Faith save him. If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in Daily food and one of you say to them, "go in peace, be warmed and filled without giving them the things needed for the body what good is that" So also Faith by itself, if it does not have good work,s it's dead."
This verse has been taken so out of context by so many churches of today. If you truly have faith, you will have good works, it will be automatic, but if you have good works that doesn't mean you have faith, so again, you are putting the carriage before the horse when you look at good works first and then think you can get to heaven without the faith. To put this as simple as I can, you need to be born-again, to be saved and if it is a true conversion, then good works will follow you the rest of your days. They just go together. If you do not become born-again, all the good works that you could ever think of doing will not save you. There is going to be a lot of good people in hell because they didn't receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, good works does not save you.
Let me share with you the following verse written by the Apostle Paul, 1 Corinthians, 15: 1-2; "Now brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the Gospel I preached to you, which you received, and on which you have taken your stand by this gospel, you are saved if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you, otherwise you have believed in vain." That is scary. We can actually believe in vain. We can say we believe even when we don't, but God knows, God knows the heart, so we're not going to fool Him.
Let me end by saying this, I don't usually spend a whole message on one chapter of the Bible but I felt this particular chapter is the Cornerstone of Christianity and we all need to know and understand it. John, 3: 1-21. Read it and study it. If you belong to a church that doesn't teach the truth of John 3, then you need to read it yourself over and over again until Holy Spirit reaches you with the truth and understanding, it is far too important that we understand these verses. If you know nothing else, understanding these verses can lead you to Salvation through Jesus Christ if you believe, but again, you have to accept it as truth.
Let me confirm one more thing and this is important. I am not a pastor or preacher, but God has called me to share His word to all those that want to know the truth. I don't teach religion nor did Jesus Christ. I teach the Word of God as it is written and as it is meant to be understood. I will be held accountable for what I teach, but I am certain that the Holy Spirit indwells in me when I am speaking God's Word.
I would love to continue with this teaching because there's so much in this chapter, but what I want, is for all of those that listen to this video to please read John, 3: 1-17; over and over again until it sinks in. Once you truly understand this chapter in John, a lot of other scriptures of the Bible will begin to make a lot more sense to you. Do you want to go to heaven or not, it's your choice, so get into the Bible and hear what scriptures say to you. You will not get the whole truth from behind the pulpits of America for the most part, you will get a watered-down version just as it says in the end days, the apostasy of the true teaching. Sure, you will get some feel-good messages that'll tickle your ears, but you will not be taught the truth of salvation. Read the Bible, line it up with what you were being taught in your denominational Church, you'll be shocked. I was, I went to a denominational Church until I was 40 years old, and I learned very little if anything at all. What I learned was leading me to the "Lake of Burning Fire" until God banged me upside the head and said, read the Bible, and The Holy Spirit started to interpret it to me. It became very clear. And then I was very disappointed at what I had learning in the other church. They taught me that if I believed in God and was good I would go to heaven, that is a lie from the pit of hell.
I'll share one more verse with you that shuts the door on what I was taught.
James 2:19; "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!" So much for going to heaven because you believe in God. Even the demons believe—and tremble!" Do you think the demons are going to heaven? "They believe!"
So, it's your choice, and it's my job to share with you the truth of the Scriptures, it is up to you to search the scriptures for yourself to see if what I am teaching you is indeed, the truth. You will be held accountable for what you believe. If you have been lied to your whole life and do not search the scriptures for the truth, you will not have an excuse when you stand before Jesus Christ at the "White Throne Judgment." He gave us eyes to see and ears to hear and minds to understand, let's put our God-given gifts to work and use them for his glory. God loves us and wants nothing more than for all of us to join him in heaven, but it is our choice as to what we choose. Hopefully you take this message to heart and hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to you. When I sit in front of my computer, I truly believe the Holy Spirit is revealing to me what He wants me to say. You can either believe that or don't, But again, truth is truth, so may God bless you in all you do and take care!