Once upon a time, there was an old, repetitive preacher who thundered his favorite refrain Sunday after Sunday: “You must be born again!” On Christmas Eve, he cried, “You must be born again!” On Easter morning, he repeated, “You must be born again!” One day a courageous church member approached him. “Pastor,” he asked, “why do you always say I must be born again?” The preacher looked back and smiled, “Because, my friend, you must be born again.”
He was right. “Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again’” (John 3:3). In order to see the kingdom of God (i.e., to get into the place where Jesus rules as King), you must be born again. In order to be with Jesus, you must be given a new kind of life—a life under God’s authority, a life motivated by God’s love, and a life directed toward God’s glory.
Every biology student knows how people are born, but how can we be born again? James answers, “[God] chose to give us birth through the word of truth” (James 1:18). The reason we are so passionate about preaching, Bible reading, and sharing the message is because God uses the Word as “the seed” that gives people an entirely new kind of life in the kingdom of God. Take note of that truth because, as that old preacher said, “You must be born again!”