Someone asked, “I said the sinner’s prayer, but how do I know if I’m really born again?” That’s an excellent question. I’ve got good news and bad news for you. Let’s go with the bad news first.
Nowhere in the five narrative books of the New Testament (narration of the events as they actually occurred) is anyone ever, EVER, led in a “sinner’s prayer”. NOT ONE TIME!!! Look it up for yourself. You will never see Jesus, Peter, John, Philip, Paul ever tell someone, “Now say this after me”. This is a religious exercise that has no basis in scripture. Look it up for yourself. This was invented by religious leaders in an attempt to make their religious meetings have big numbers. The Muslims do the same thing. Here is the “infidel’s prayer” (sinner’s prayer) to become a Muslim. “Ash hadu alla ilaha illa Allah, wa ash hadu anna Mohammadan abduhu wa resuluhu. This means I testify and witness that there is no god worthy of being worshipped other than Allah and that Mohammad is His Messenger. You must say it and believe it”. Does this sound familiar? That’s the thing about religion, it’s just a bunch of words. As long as you say something that’s as good as actually doing it. It’s interesting Jesus didn’t just talk about going to the cross, HE ACTUALLY DID WHAT HE SAID HE WOULD DO. Jesus IS NOT a religious person. He is real.
It is the by-product of lazy, uninformed, professional ministers. If what I just said made you mad, good. That’s nothing compared to what I’m going to say. First off, there are very dedicated men and women, called of God (sorry Calvinists), to be in the five-fold ministry. They lay down everything, comfort, a social life, even family to pour out their lives in service to Jesus. Chances are we will never know their names here. But He does. On the other hand, the majority of professional ministers in America should go get real jobs where they are actually making a difference. It is rare to go to any church and hear real solutions to our very real problems from the pulpit. When is the last time you heard a minister teaching people how to pray and believe God and get out of debt? When is the last time you heard a minister teaching people to use the Word of God to stay free from sickness and disease?
Here’s the good news. The most concrete evidence that you have been born again is simply this, are you different now then you were before you prayed that prayer? Did you repent? Repent means to stop doing your own thing. It is the first message JESUS preached in Matthew 4:17 & Mark 1:14. It is the very first word that came out of Peter’s mouth on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:38. The term “Lord” simply means He’s your boss, not you. You stop living for yourself and start living for Him. That does not mean you aren’t going to mess up. Trust me you will! But when you do, you simply ask Him to forgive you and the person you’ve hurt (if another person is involved). Look at 1 John 1:9, Matthew 18:21-22 and Luke 17:3-4. The very next thing you should do according to the New Testament is to be baptized “fully immersed” in water in the name of JESUS. Look at Acts 2:38, Acts 8:12-13 Acts 9:18, Acts 10:48 and Acts 19:5. Only in western cultures do we have such a low regard for starting a lifelong relationship with Almighty God through the Lord JESUS. We put more thought and effort into purchasing a car than we do starting our relationship with JESUS. And American society reflects this, as does the church in America.
I can’t over emphasize how important it is for you to be baptized. Again repent means to stop doing your own thing. If JESUS is not my boss, he’s not my Lord. I can say He is all I want to, but if I don’t live like He is, I’m a hypocrite. Look at Matthew 7:21-23 and Luke 6:46. If JESUS was baptized in water, and all the people who made Him their Lord were immediately baptized in water, where do we get off acting like it is no big deal?
The real way to tell if you have been born again is, are you different than you used to be? When someone is truly born again, they automatically follow the first two commandments which are Matthew 22:37-38 “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” If you hate people, for any reason, you’ll just go down into the water a “dry” hater and come up a “wet” hater. Or in other words, you’ll go down into the water a snake and come up a water moccasin, or just a wet snake.
JESUS DOES NOT HATE ANY PERSON FOR ANY REASON. And He proved it by being beat to a bloody pulp and then nailed to a cross. On a personal note, from time to time I ask myself this question, “Do I hate anybody”? Just something to think about.
So, are you born again? I don’t know. Are you?
I hope this answers your question.
With Love, Cincinnati Christian
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