Do You Have Your Passport?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God – John 3:5).
Everyone needs a passport to travel in this world and they also need a passport for the next world. A passport is a government document carried by a citizen traveling abroad, certifying identity and citizenship. In order to live abroad or in the United States one most proves his or her citizenship. Without the credentials, the individual will be deported, the same goes for the kingdom of God.
Everyone professing to be Christians or say they believe there is a God will not have access to heaven unless they have the credentials indicating they are citizens of heaven. Money, education, profession, or talent will not be enough to be given access to the kingdom of God. Many profess to be Christians and many say they believe in God, but their speech and the character are opposite of the character of the Father and Son as well as the Word of God indicating what a Christian life should consist of. Professing and confessing salvation without true repentance is hypocrisy.
True salvation brings about a change in the persons’ behavior and character. Things that one use to like prior to becoming a Christian will no longer be a desire to practice. Sin gratifies the natural man and its desires, but to be spiritually minded is to focus on the things that please God and one can only learn this by reading and studying the Word of God coupled with prayer. When we come to an understanding that we have sinned against God, we quickly repent.
Repentance represents regret or remorse over a past thought or action, but in its fullest sense, it is a term for a complete change of orientation involving a judgment upon the past and a deliberate redirection for the future. As such it is the subjective human experience involved in the conversion, known as “Born Again”.
Nicodemus who came to Jesus by night because he was afraid of the Jews was a Pharisee and a teacher and was a member of the Sanhedrin. Sanhedrin was a council in Jerusalem that functioned as the central judicial authority for Jews. The council’s members were drawn mainly from the leading priestly families and the religious instructors known as the “scribes” or “teachers of the law”. The Sanhedrin was composed of both (priestly) and Sadducees and (scribal). Both were religious but didn’t follow the instructions of the Bible. Nicodemus changed from being religious to wanting to know the truth of God’s laws and instructions.
The religious leaders knew the Word of God and they taught it, but they weren’t living according to what they were teaching. Like many Christians that quote Scripture, but don’t live according to what they are quoting. Jesus went directly to those who were professing to know God, He didn’t go to the sinner, but the religious people to bring them to the God they were talking about, but didn’t know.
Jesus instructed Nicodemus how to enter heaven, he needed a passport, and the passport was Jesus, the passport was being changed in his heart to no longer desire the pleasures of the world but be conformed to the Word of God (And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God – Romans 12:2). In order for the heart to be changed the mind must also be changed. What’s in the mind register in the heart and what’s in the heart becomes an action.
Because of our sinful nature, we have to check ourselves on a daily basis to see whether or not we have sinned in speech or actions and if so, repent and let not yourself be found in that situation or speech again. True Christianity is not practicing sin but stays from it as far as possible. Christians don’t place themselves in a predicament where sin is easily accessed! Stay prayerful, read and study the Word of God, and fast. Do these actions consistently and you will see yourself longing to please the Father and being submitted to His Word. Your obedience to the Word of God is the passport, pleasing Father makes you a candidate for heaven.