NOT ALL CHRISTIANS ARE BORN AGAIN
by W. G. Guy
Wow, what a shocking title! How can such a thing be said? The key is to recognize what is of the flesh compared to that which is of the spirit.
John 3:3-7 – Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
The evidence is in the way Christians live which reveals those that are truly born-again as compared to those that profess to be Christians, but their lives do not show this to be a fact. Those who identify as Christian yet still live according to the dictates of the carnal fleshly nature do not have the Spirit of Christ in them.
Romans 8:5-9 – For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
This writer has ministerial experience with those who are true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord being born-again, as well as those who claim to be born-again but are not. I have led many people in the sinner’s prayer for salvation and known in my spirit that it was not a genuine experience for them as compared to others who I prayed with in which the experience was real. How can this be?
There are multiple reasons! One reason is that just because a person goes to a church they think they are Christian; but that does not make a person “born-again”. Another reason is that people call themselves Christians because they know about Jesus Christ, but they do not personally know Him as Savoir and Lord. They have head knowledge, but no heart experience; thus no true relationship with Christ. This is even true of some of those who preach in His name:
Matthew 7:21-23 – Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
There are many churches that do not preach the true gospel message that Jesus Christ was crucified, buried and rose again for the sins of all mankind, and requiring that this message is accepted by faith, and that they must repent of their sin. We need to recognize that there are two kinds of churches in the world; one that man is building, and the one that Jesus Christ said He would build.
Matthew 16:18 – And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock, (Peter’s statements), I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
The church man is building preaches all manner of doctrines with many various interpretations of scripture, and some that do not even use the Bible. Such churches reflect the character and nature of man and not Christ. The church Jesus is building reflects His character and nature, and results in changed lives where the people are conformed to the image of Jesus.
Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Galatians 4:19 – My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.
What many do not understand is the transformation that takes place in the true born-again believer.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
A repented, changed life is the evidence of the born-again experience. This changed life is then lived in faithfulness to Christ and God’s Word; conforming the believer to the image of Christ to be a witness to others, and as evidence of being a child of God.
This writer has observed that some people are intellectually manipulated to make an acknowledgment of Jesus Christ which means they have a “head knowledge” of salvation, but lack the true heart experience of salvation; thus they are not truly born-again. An example of how this occurs is in the application of an evangelizing program popular in the 1970’s known as Evangelism Explosion that this writer participated in.
This program was actually copied from the commercially established Master Salesmen’s Plan used commonly in the marketing industry. One of the lessons in this training program is titled, Handling Excuses and Overcoming Objections. In this lesson the participants are taught how to manipulate the target subject into making the decision you want them to make in order to close the deal. In Evangelism Explosion this results in an intellectual salvation; one that is done in the mind and not in the heart. It is the result of being convinced in the mind, but not convicted in the heart. I observed this occur too many times, and that the target person is not really born again but assumes that he is now a Christian. The proof is in how their life has changed – or lacking the evidence of repentance which means no change; thus, no true salvation or no born-again experience.
The result of manipulated salvations, and the doctrines presented in the church man has built, is many people calling themselves Christians who are not really born-again. There are preachers that refuse to preach against sin and the need for repentance. They preach what is called the “greasy grace” message, saying that God loves you just the way you are, and you have no need to change or repent. They do not recognize that Jesus died because of the way we are in order to bring about a total change from unrighteousness to righteousness.
I have heard preachers say that they refuse to preach a negative message, and the preaching on sin is a negative message. Therefore sin is not addressed in such a church; thus sin abounds in the people and they behave just like the rest of the world. These preachers say they will only preach a positive, uplifting or encouraging message; no warning of the consequences of sin in their church.
The founder of the Salvation Army, early in his ministry, declared that there was coming a time that churches will preach salvation without repentance. That time has come, and we need to understand that salvation without repentance changes nothing!
Thus we have a great number of so-called Christians who do not have a positive impact in the world for Christ and godliness, because they are not really true Christians. Instead we see in them a great deal of compromise with the world, conforming to the ways of the world. The apostle Paul predicted this would happen in the last days, and he said it nearly two thousand years ago.
1 Timothy 1:4 – Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
The following is a listing of what the apostle Paul foresaw as a condition in many churches in the last days due to the lack of preaching on sin and repentance.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 – This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Some may say that this is a condition in the world, not in a church. However, where else do you find “a form of godliness” but in a church; certainly not in the world. Why would such a condition exist in a church? Because they are denying the power thereof; meaning they do not preach on sin and the need for repentance that changes lives. Paul also instructs us on what to do with such a church: from such turn away – don’t listen to them.
Hopefully you now understand why not all Christians are “born-again”. Please make sure that you are not in this category of being a Christian that is not BORN-AGAIN!