Author: Ron Graham
The Second Time
—A tract from the 1950s
¶“1There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2He came to Jesus by night. He said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that you do, unless God is with him.’
¶3Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you that unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’
¶4Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, unless a man is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be surprised that I said you must be born again.’” (John 3:1-7).
1 Being born a second time
SOME CANNOT UNDERSTAND these words, "You must be born again", just as Nicodemus did not understand the manner of this birth, but thought he should need to go again into his mother's womb to be born the second time. Many think this new birth is of the flesh and believe they will be reincarnated upon this earth to live another life and die again and again. But God says, "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).
WHEN YOU WERE BORN the first time, you were taken from your mother's womb and brought into the world as earthly born. But this does not happen when you are born the second time. You live only once in a body like this; but to live for ever in the “After a while” you must be born again, while ever you live, for when death comes, it is too late and there is only torment and wailing and fire and the anger of God waiting for you (Matthew 13: 41-43). But while you live you can be born again, else Jesus would never have said, "Do not wonder that I said you must be born again."
SO DO NOT WONDER, and be lost, but rather turn, and know the way, and be born the second time. "Unless a man is born again," said Jesus, "he cannot see the kingdom of God." Now you ask the question, "What is that kingdom?" It is the kingdom of which Paul wrote when he said, "He has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has transferred us into the kingdom of his dear Son." (Colossians 1:13).
THE KINGDOM IS the one that is entered when a person comes out of the power, or kingdom of darkness: when Satan is no longer the King. There are two kingdoms, one is of darkness, the other is of Heaven and Christ is the King. These are not like earthly kingdoms, they are spiritual kingdoms. You are a citizen of some earthly kingdom, and you are also a citizen of a spiritual kingdom. Are you a subject of Satan in the power of darkness, or are you a subject of Christ in His kingdom? Now, remember, Jesus said that you cannot be in this heavenly kingdom, no, you cannot even see it, unless you are born again.
YOU HAVE SINNED and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Do you agree? Then you are a subject of Satan and in the kingdom of darkness and you will not want to stay that way. You must be born again. But you ask, “How? What must I do?” "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a man is born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5).
2 The way to be reborn
TO ENTER THE KINGDOM of Heaven and have Jesus as your King, you must be born of water and the Spirit. You are not flesh and blood alone. Being born a second time concerns the soul. Your earthly body will not live for ever, but you may —if you are born again while you are in this world. The kingdom of Heaven which you shall enter when you are born of water and of the Spirit is a kingdom that will last for all eternity (2Peter 1: 11). In the book of Hebrews it is called, "A kingdom that cannot be moved." (Hebrews 12:28).
IF YOU BELIEVE the words, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life," (John 3:16) then the way of salvation is yours to follow. Don't be ashamed to believe, but rather confess that you believe Jesus is the Christ and can be your King. These are Bible commands that you must obey before you can be born the second time, "born of water and the Spirit." Then again, the Bible says: "Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out" (Acts 3:19).
Repent means to turn and change, which you must do —turning from the kingdom of darkness and forsaking your allegiance to Satan. Do you want Satan as your king, or rather Christ? When you have believed Christ, and want to be a subject of His kingdom, when you have confessed that you believe (Romans 10: 9-10), and when you have turned to God, then you may be born of water and of the Spirit. "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).
WHEN YOU ARE BAPTIZED and the water covers you, then you are "buried" with Christ. As you come up out of the water you begin to "walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:3-5). Did you read that? “NEWNESS OF LIFE!” You are "born of water" and you receive the Spirit —God's gift to you. He is your Comforter and keeps you in the way through the Bible, which is His word. If you remain in that way all the days of your life, you will be in God's kingdom for all eternity.
3 Will you be born again?
When you are born again, you will be saved and God will add you to His church (Acts 2:47 KJV). You will then wear the name Christian (Acts 11:26).
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come;
And let him who hears say, Come;
And let him who is thirsty come;
And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22: 17).
Jesus died for you, friend, but His blood shed on the cross can save only those who are born “THE SECOND TIME”. Have you been born again?
❖ A YOUNG CHRISTIAN TRACT published in the late 1950s by a group of young Christians in the interest of spreading New Testament Christianity in Australia and throughout the world. The original text has undergone some minor editing in this web version.