What does it mean to be born again? In today’s society where people can’t define what a woman is, it’s hard for the church to define what it means to be born again. There are many churches, even whole denominations, that don’t understand what it means to be a Christian. They do not know what it means to be born again.
All chief sinners know the very second they are born again. There is an instant experience with the Spirit of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. I was driving down the road the first week of May 1982, in Galveston, Texas. I was on my third escape from prison for armed robbery, among other crimes.
About a week or so prior to this, I had a spiritual experience in a drug house in Baytown, TX. I had this overwhelming sense that I was going to be a preacher! It was so real that I told all the drug addicts and they chuckled and laughed out loud. I didn’t fit the criteria of a preacher in those days. That was in the day that you knew instantly who a preacher was by how they talked, acted and dressed. It is hard to determine who a preacher is today. Like the word Christian, the word preacher can be defined by just about any lifestyle.
Even rank sinners, who blatantly disagree with the Bible are now called preachers, if they desire the title. They can live and look like the devil and be a preacher. It seems the church doesn’t care and dare not speak out about it. That would be called ‘being confrontational’ or a ‘bigot’ by the modern day culture. Most folks don’t know what it means to be born again because the church now has some preachers that are not born again themself.
I was born again in Galveston, while I was driving down the road on my way to commit a crime. I had a momma, daddy and many others praying for me. Suddenly the Spirit of God invaded the van I was driving like a mighty rushing wind! The Glory of God came down on me! I heard the words, “The devil has laid a trap for you and you are going to wind up dead and in hell if you don’t turn your life over to me right now!” It scared the Hell out of me! I was on my way to commit a crime. Thank God for people praying for me!
I cried out to God because I did not want to go to Hell. (I know a lot of people believe there is no Hell, but they are deceived by the devil). I just knew to receive Jesus as my Lord and I did. Instantly I was gloriously born again! Demons that controlled me left and the weight of all my sins rolled off of me and all things were new.
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them. (Hebrews 10:16)
The law of God was immediately written in my human spirit. I instantly knew what was right and wrong, and good and evil. I knew what sin was and I knew God did not approve of it. No one had to tell me. I know, many say there are no rules to keep today. To say there are no guidelines the Christian must keep today is a bunch of bunk, junk and hogwash!
Immediately, I knew that I needed to stop lying about who I was and turn myself into the police authorities. I told a police officer that had stopped on the roadside that I was on escape from prison. I was arrested and taken to the County Jail in Galveston, Texas. They asked me about other crimes I had committed, and I told them I was guilty. I had never told a police officer I was guilty of any crime before I was born again. I always lied, trying to get them to think I did not commit the crime.
I read and studied the Bible and prayed for hours and hours each day and loved it. The Holy Spirit, through my born again experience, enables me to live according to the Bible by His grace.
There are those today who do not know what it means to be born again. Many don’t know because they have never experienced it themself. The Bible clearly tells us how to be born again and what it means to be born again. The problem is, that those who don’t know could care less about what the Bible says unless it agrees with what they already believe or want to believe, and that is minimal.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
No, you can’t choose what you want to believe. It’s either all or none. The Bible is not a dinner buffet. You don’t get to choose what sounds good and leave the rest sitting there for someone else. It’s take all or none
During my time in prison, I have experienced things that agree completely with what the Bible says. While in prison I met Ted, who was in prison with life without parole. He committed some terrible crimes that I will not get into. I was led to tell Ted that Jesus loved him, died for Him, and wanted to save him, if he would only ask Him. Ted laughed at me and called me a “Bible Thumper,” among other things. This went on for some time.
One day, I was in the prison chapel talking to a few of my Christian convict friends. The chapel door opened and Ted walked in. We were all shocked and surprised, because we all knew about him. He walked right up to me and said, “Hey man, I want to receive this Jesus Christ so I can be saved.” There was no emotion in his voice and a blank look on his face so I thought he was trying to fool me. I said, “Ted, you are just playing a con game with me.” Ted said, “Look man, I am serious.” He had a sober, serious look on his face and I knew he meant it!
I read him Romans 10:8-10 and asked him if he believed what the Bible said about Jesus. He agreed and I led him in a simple prayer. During all of this, he showed no emotion. When we finished praying he said, “Praise God I am saved and forgiven of my sins.” He said that with no emotion either. He got off his knees, went to the back of the chapel and told the few guys there he was saved, then he walked out of the chapel.
Everyone in the chapel had to wonder if Ted really was saved because from what we had known, it sure didn’t seem like it. There was no tears, no emotion, nothing. Finally, after much debate, one of my uneducated, simple Christian friends said, “The Bible will prove whether he is born again or not!” He was a genius! Instead of guessing, he went to the source. He opened his Bible and began to read and quote scripture after scripture (found at the end of this article).
I was elected to go check on him down in his cell. When I got there I found him pulling out dirty magazines, tattoo needles, and all sorts of other satanic materials. He even told me that he got rid of his shank (homemade prison knife). Ted’s life agreed with the Bible. There was a change in his heart and in his lifestyle.
It’s not hard to determine what it means to be born again. All we have to do is look at what the Bible tells us. God is with us!
More information about this can be found in “What It Means To Be A Christian,” available at the RGM Store. www.rgmstore.me
Matthew 3:7-8, Matthew 7:18-21, Mark 7:20-23, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Galatians 5:19-21, Galatians 5:24-25, Ephesians 2:8-10, James 2:8-26, 1 John 3:8