Marvel not that I said to you, you must be born again - John 3:7
I would like you to picture Jesus as a guest speaker in a modern day church. He is talking about the need for people to be born again, just as He said to Nicodemus. “Truly truly, I say to you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
After His teaching, Jesus steps down from the pulpit and is swiftly approached by the irate pastor of the church who tells the Lord angrily, “How dare you come in here and insult my people by telling them they must be born again!”
It would seem an outrageous thing for a pastor to confront the Lord in that manner for speaking God’s Word to the people; yet, this is exactly what one pastor said to a guest speaker who was merely teaching what Jesus had taught.
The apostle Paul said that there would be a falling away from the faith in these latter days, and I don’t think you could get a more blatant example of apostasy in action then what transpired in that particular church. Someone said that when the church is in apostasy the truth becomes heretical, therefore the Biblical concept of being born again becomes a heresy to the apostate mind.
The church today is filled with what I call “imposter pastors.” These are phony expositors of their own philosophies who distort the truth of God’s Word and ban the corrective influence of God’s Holy Spirit from the rusting gates of their artificial religion.
I personally have zero tolerance for these imposters, who need to be rebuked for rebuking the truth. Their pulpits are a counterfeit shame, their cathedrals are prisons for the hapless souls who have been deceived into thinking that all they need to get into heaven is a smile and a dime in the offering plate.
Jesus didn’t hesitate to call the apostate religious leadership of His day “a generation of vipers” destined for hell (Matthew 23:33). He deliberately exposed them before the people in order to warn the souls who were being deceived by those religious imposters.
I return to my mental picture of Jesus standing before that irate imposter pastor, and I can imagine the Lord looking at this one with the same fire in His eyes He must have had as He addressed those Pharisees who also attacked His teaching. I can imagine Him speaking slowly, and calmly the words of correction that pastor desperately needs to hear. I listen to the Lord say to this one, “You are a venomous, monstrous snake, a follower of Satan and a heinous corruptor of God’s church. Unless you repent, you will not escape the damnation of hell you refuse to acknowledge exists. I do not lie. Your future is a cold, icy outer darkness (Matthew 22:13) and an eternity of fiery regret.
You are a vile distorter of the Cross, how dare you continue to deceive those whom I gave My life to save? You are a worker of iniquity, a blind leader leading the blind into the empty ditch of your own deceptions.
You have received the bread of the Word of God and have rejected it. Now your church is filled with the vomit of that rejection (Isaiah 28:8) and the stench of it reaches into heaven. Your acceptance of what God has deemed as abominations in His Word into His sanctuaries will cast you and your followers into the tribulation you have earned by chasing after your own twisted agendas. Repent while you still have the time.”
Here Jesus pauses in His rebuke and I watch as His eyes fill with tears. The fire in His eyes is also a reflection of His passionate love for this one who has so blatantly rejected the truth that would set him free; for love without correction is no love at all.
I hear Jesus saying sadly through His tears, “And you will not come to Me that you might have life” (John 5:40).
Then He turns, still weeping, and leaves a stunned and fuming pastor in His wake.
God does not lie, yet men do. Guard your ears from false doctrine. Children, you must be born again.
Copyright 2015 by H.D. Shively