By Dr Hank Lindstrom
Today in Christianity a Madison Avenue approach is being used by many to market Jesus Christ to the unsaved world. Their favorite approach is to say that what you need is “a relationship with Jesus Christ.” The philosophy is that we are now dealing with the ‘baby-boomers.’ The ‘baby-boomers’ have experienced broken relationships during their lives. So, they say, the ‘baby-boomers are looking for a relationship? It is true that a person needs a relationship with Jesus Christ, but this is a consequence of being saved! It is like saying, “A person needs to go to heaven and not hell when he dies.” Going to heaven is a consequence of being saved. Therefore, to tell the lost that he needs a relationship or needs to go to heaven when he dies does not solve his problem. THESE CONSEQUENCES ONLY COME THROUGH TRUSTING CHRIST AS SAVIOUR!
A person must trust Jesus Christ as the One who died for their sins, was buried and rose again from the dead. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved (Acts 16:31).” Upon TRUSTING CHRIST AS SAVIOUR A PERSON IS BORN AGAIN AND DOES HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH CHRIST.
I believe that this approach IS NOT a good approach to witnessing to the lost because of the fact that people think of relationships in terms of human relationships. This means relationships can be broken and effort must be put forth to prevent broken relationships. Applying this concept to a relationship with Jesus Christ would make SALVATION BY WORKS and present a SALVATION THAT COULD BE LOST!
Also, using this approach causes confusion because the phrase ‘relationship with Jesus Christ’ is misused to inquire about the Christian life of the believer. Have you ever been asked, “How is your relationship with Jesus Christ?” My answer as a believer is “ETERNAL, PERMANENT, UNCHANGEABLE, COULDN’T GET BETTER, COULDN’T GET ANY WORSE, UNALTERABLE, ETC.” That question is probably asked to find out the condition of your Christian walk with the Lord. Are you in fellowship with the Lord? Your walk, fellowship, intimacy, etc with the Lord is changeable, but not your relationship.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Romans 1:16).” We need to present the GOSPEL when witnessing to the lost, because the GOSPEL is the power of God unto SALVATION. We need to present the death of Christ as the payment for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection!
The new birth is as real as the first birth. The Lord Jesus Christ said to Nicodemus, “that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:6).”
When a child is born into the world, a new life comes into existence. This life has a human nature that is sinful. It is therefore subject to death. This is the birth that Jesus called “the flesh” and the result of that birth is flesh. This life cannot change its nature. It is as the grass that withers, and as a flower that falls away (I Peter 1:24). To be saved does not mean that this life that is born of the flesh is reformed or changed. This cannot happen, for its nature cannot be changed. That is the condition that makes the new birth imperative. The only thing God can do with the flesh is to judge it, and judgment results in condemnation and execution (Romans 8:3, Galatians 2:19: Romans 6:6).
The new birth is a birth of the Spirit. It is to be “…born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13).” Peter says, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever (I Peter 1:23).” This seed not only lives forever, but it has also been revealed that it remains (I John 3:9) in the one who is born of God. Such a life must be eternal and that is what Jesus said it is (John 3:16). That life which is eternal cannot die. All who are born of incorruptible seed have an incorruptible nature and have eternal life. It is impossible for such to be lost for that would mean the corruption of the divine nature and the death of that which cannot die.
By the new birth, one who has already been born into the human race is born into the Spiritual realm, that is, the Kingdom of God. This is the only way to see or enter that realm (John 3:3,5).
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold all things are become new (II Corinthians 5:17).” This verse speaks of the old conditions, which existed for the unsaved man, as passed away, and behold, all brand new conditions exist for the saved man – the one who is born again.
When the new birth takes place many irreversible things take place. The Bible states that the one who is born again has:
1) Received everlasting life (John 3:16)
2) Been born again (I John 5:1)
3) Been born of incorruptible seed (I Peter 1:23)
4) This incorruptible seed remaining in him (I John 3:9)
5) Become a son of God (John 1:12)
6) Become a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17)
7) Been passed from death unto life (John 5:24)
8) Been exempted from future condemnation (John 5:24)
9) Been redeemed from under the law (Galatians 4:5)
10) Been redeemed from the curse of the law (Galatians 4:5)
11) Become dead to the law (Romans 7:4)
12) Received an eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12)
13) Been reconciled to God (II Corinthians 5:18)
14) Peace with God (Romans 5:1)
15) Been justified (Romans 5:1)
16) All trespasses forgiven him (Colossians 2:13)
17) Been delivered from the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13)
18) Been translated into the kingdom of the Son of God (Colossians 1:13)
19) Been perfected forever (Hebrews 10:14)
20) His sins no more remembered (Hebrews 10:17)
21) His sins removed as far as the East is from the West (Psalms 103:12)
22) Been made complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10)
23) Been accepted of God (Ephesians 1:6)
24) Been born of the Spirit of God (John 3:6)
25) Been baptized by the Spirit of God (I Corinthians 12:13)
26) Been indwelt by the Spirit of God (I Corinthians 6:19-20)
27) Been sealed with God’s Spirit (Ephesians 1:13)
28) Become the object of God’s love (Ephesians 2:4)
29) Become the object of God’s grace (Romans 6:14)
30) Become the object of God’s power (Ephesians 1:19)
31) Become the object of God’s faithfulness (I Corinthians 1:9)
32) Become a citizen of heaven (Ephesians 2:19; Philippians 3:20)
33) Been seated with Christ in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6)
34) Been already glorified (Romans 8:30)
35) Been given a home in heaven (John 14:1-3)
36) Been kept by the power of God (I Peter 1:5)
37) Been crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20)
38) Been buried with Christ (Romans 6:4)
39) Been resurrected with Christ (Ephesians 2:6)
All of the above plus many other things are true about one who has trusted Jesus Christ as his Saviour and has become born-again.
Not a single individual who has been born into the human race has been able to remove himself from it. Many have committed suicide, but all they have done is to shorten the days of their earthly existence. Their existence still continues on and on into the eternity of the future.
And yet some teach that one who has been saved can be lost. By analogy with the human race, this is impossible. A person cannot become unborn physically nor can he become unborn spiritually. No provision is given in the Word of God for one to become unborn. “That which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of Spirit is spirit (John 3:6).”
One only becomes born-again once. Nowhere does this imply that you become born-again, then unborn, then born-again, then unborn, and so on.
Once you trust Christ and are born-again all of the above list of things happen to you. If you could be unborn, all would have to be made void, but all of the above list are eternal and irreversible.
Jesus promised the believer, “…I will in no wise cast you out (John 6:37).” Also, Jesus said of those that are saved, “…I should lose nothing, but should raise it (them) up again at the last day (John 6:39).” Jesus promised that he would never lose a person who was saved.
If one person were ever lost after having been born-again, then Jesus would be a liar. Friend, that can never happen. (See Titus 1:2).
The only ground upon which God does anything for man is the gift of His Own Son. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE (John 3:16).”
What happened when you trusted Christ? At least 39 things happened that make it impossible for you to ever be lost! Praise the Lord!
THE RESULT IS THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST FOREVER!