What Does it Mean to Be Born Again?

In John 3:3, Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus replied, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"

What does it mean to be born again? You've probably heard this term your whole life. You may have even called yourself a "born again Christian." But have you considered what it means?

Everyone is born physically alive, but we are spiritually dead. As descendants of Adam, we have inherited his sin nature, separated from God. And the only way we can be right with God is to be born from above. We need the life of God in the soul of an otherwise dead man.

When you hear the gopel, that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and rose again from the grave, and you repent and put your faith in Jesus, He will raise your spirit from the dead and give you new life, a Spirit-filled life, that loves God and desires His will. And you are born again.

Ephesians 2:4-6 says, "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved, and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places."

"For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:22). In Him we are born "not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:13). So no longer live in your old dead ways, but according to the new birth you have been given, when we understand the text.

What Does the Bible Say About Conspiracy Theories?

Is the earth truly round, or maybe it's a big conspiracy by NASA and every other space agency in 9 different countries hiding for some reason that the earth is flat? Did man really walk on the moon, or maybe that's also a NASA conspiracy and the moon landing was staged?

Was 9/11 was a terrorist attack, or maybe it was a government conspiracy and the collapse of the World Trade Center was the result of controlled demolitions? Maybe area 51 is hiding aliens. Maybe Sandy Hook didn't happen. Maybe flouride is a communist plot. Maybe JFK was killed by the CIA. LBJ. The KGB. Maybe HAARP! Chemtrails! The Illuminati!

What should we believe is true and what is conspiracy? Well, in Isaiah chapter 8, God was about to send the Assyrians to conquer Israel for their rebellious ways. Everyone would be sent into confusion: Who's in league with whom? What side should we join? Should we fight or flee?

To those who were faithful, God said, "Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, Him you shall honor as holy. Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread" (Isaiah 8:11-12).

Peter would later reference these words when he said, "Suffer for righteousness' sake, and you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:14-15).

Do not obssess over manmade conspiracies. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" (Proverbs 1:7), when we understand the text.

Does the Bible Say the Earth is Flat?

Does the Bible say the earth is flat? No. (Do we really have to cover this topic?) Scoffers twist the Bible into saying the earth is flat. Now a growing number of professing Christians are doing it, too.

Flat earthers use 1 Samuel 2:8 and Psalm 75:3 which mention the pillars of the earth, and how God has "set the world upon them." But this is poetic, meaning that God has created all things and established them.

Flat earthers use Job 28:24 and Psalm 48:10 which refer to the ends of the earth. But this is symbolic for a great distance or all people. Acts 13:47 says the Lord has commanded us to "bring [the message of] salvation "to the ends of the earth."

Flat earthers use Isaiah 11:12 and Revelation 7:1 which speak of the four corners of the earth. Still symbolism, referring to something happening in all directions: north, south, east, and west.

The Bible doesn't explicitly say the earth is flat or round, although it does allude to its spherical shape. Job 26:7 says that God hangs the earth on nothing, and Isaiah 40:22 says He sits above the circle of the earth. If you think the Bible says the earth is flat, you put that in the text. You did not pull that from the text. Flat earth cosmology is derived from paganism, not Christianity.

Whatever you believe about the shape of the earth, it doesn't have any bearing on your salvation. "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). Nonetheless, the Bible says avoid irreverent, silly myths. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies, when we understand the text.

Is God's Love Reckless?

There's a popular Christian song entitled Reckless Love, sung by Cory Asbury of Bethel Church in Redding, CA. The first verse goes like this:
Before I spoke a word, you were singing over me
You have been so, so good to me
Before I took a breath, you breathed your life in me
You have been so, so kind to me
So far, or should I say so, so far, the song is alright. Psalm 139:4 says that "before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it altogether." Romans 2:4 says that God shows His kindness toward us to lead us to repentance. But then we get to the chorus, where he sings...
Oh the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Uh, what? The love of God is reckless? A word that means "without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action?" Not only is that an unbiblical description of God's love, the artist contradicted himself.

In the first verse, he sang, "Before I spoke a word and before I took a breath, you were good and kind to me." But then he sings that God's love is thoughtless and careless?

The Bible says that God chose His elect "before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace" (Ephesians 1:3-6).

That's not reckless. That's foreordained. Don't sing this reckless fluff. Praise God for who the Bible says He is, when we understand the text.

Are You a Pharisee?

Two people are having a spiritual or ethical discussion, one is a conservative Christian and the other more liberal. The conservative calls a popular teacher false, or says a culturally accepted behavior is sin, and points to what the Bible says.

The liberal responds by playing the Pharisee card. "You're so unloving and legalistic clinging to the Bible and your doctrines. You're a Pharisee!" Bam! The conservative is instantly discredited, and their arguments are invalid. But more than likely it's the other way around.

During the time of Jesus, Jewish communities were governed by the Sanhedrin, made up two factions known as the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Sadducees took a very literal interpretation of Scripture, to the extent that they denied the resurrection of the dead because they didn't believe it was in the Scriptures.

The Pharisees were more liberal with the Scriptures, and gave oral tradition equal authority to the written word of God. So you could say the Pharisees added to God's word while the Sadducees subtracted from it. Both were self-righteous and believed their works made them good.

If someone calls you a Pharisee for being faithful to Scripture, they do so in ignorance for the Pharisees weren't faithful to Scripture. Jesus said of them, "They honor God with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:8-9).

Jesus didn't call people who were faithful to His word Pharisees. He called them disciples. In John 8:31, He said, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free," when we understand the text.