Let me give you a profile and let’s see if you can identify this person:
- Respected in the community;
- Impeccable character, morals, and value system;
- Very religious, knows and loves the Bible, and attends church;
- Viewed as a successful and positive influencer of culture;
- Deep devotion to God and His commands;
- Possesses a high view of Jesus. Absolutely adores Jesus!
Who would be the person? Billy Graham? A Pastor? The kind of political leaders we need? Yourself? Here is the answer: This is the profile of the person who is most likely to miss heaven and experience eternity away from God. You may ask, how is that possible? If that doesn’t get someone into heaven then what does?
In John 3 we see a man just like this. A man that had it all together. A man whose life fits this profile perfectly but a man, who despite all of this, knew that something was missing. His name is Nicodemus.
Nicodemus was coming to Jesus in the night because something was not adding up. He was watching Jesus work and listening to His message and something wasn’t adding up. He came at night, maybe because he was fearful of others seeing him or maybe because he just couldn’t shake the burning question that was keeping him up at night. He couldn’t go on without getting his question answered! What question? It’s the question that many of you are asking.
The question is: “What’s missing in my life?” You also wonder, “Is what I’m doing enough?” Nicodemus was doing everything he knew to do and was accomplishing everything he thought would make him accepted by God and satisfied in His heart, but something was missing!
Some of you are asking the same question. You strive to be a good moral person, who reads the Bible, goes to church, others think well of you, you are hardworking and successful and you try to pray. You’re nailing it! This is the profile of the average person in East Texas to tell you the truth!
Others of you look at that profile and you are trying so hard but you feel you can never get there. Some of you have even given up because you failed too many times!
Some of you just say, “to heck with religion! I just want to live my life my way to find what satisfies me!” Yet, the question stioll is “What’s missing? Where will I spend eternity?” Listen to Jesus’ answer:
“Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3. Jesus’ answer was: “Nick, you are a good man, you have a lot going for you, you are religious but being religious is not enough. Nick what you need is to be born again!”
You see, all of us are born physically alive but spiritually dead. This simply means we are spiritually cut off from God, we are dead to Him. This was the consequence of sin when Adam ate the fruit. Adam died spiritually and so have the rest of us. We come into this world as people who are not just indifferent to God. but we have a nature that sins against him.
Listen, we were born this way. Psalm 51:5 says, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. We are born sinners and came out of the womb spiritually dead and we need to be made alive spiritually.” That’s what it means to be “born again” it’s to be given spiritual life!
The Prophet Ezekiel uses the metaphor of a heart transplant. Ezekiel 36:25-27 says “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”
The fundamental problem of humanity is not what’s on the outside but what is on the inside. We have a heart of stone, it’s hard, calloused, and dead because of sin. So what we need is a heart that is new and alive! It’s a heart that transforms us on the inside and then changes the outside. Nicodemus was great about His outer appearance but the problem was that He was dead on the inside.
In essence, Jesus is saying to Nicodemus, you have a religious heart but what you need is a resurrected heart!
Jesus died on Friday to pay our sin debt but on that first Easter morning, something miraculous happened, in that cold tomb something happened to the lifeless body of Jesus, His dead heart began to beat and life entered His body once again. And then the stone that held Him as a prisoner of death was rolled away. And now, because Jesus is alive, our spiritually dead hearts can once again start beating and we can have NEW LIFE! The stone of sin and death can be rolled away forever! What God demands as the only access to His Kingdom is a resurrected heart, and the only way to get a resurrected heart is by giving our self to the resurrected KING!