An article, which you can read below, speaks about being Born Again. This article jumped out at me simply because I and other Catholics are bombarded with this statement – “Are you born again”.
At first, I couldn’t understand what they were talking about – what does that mean? I checked Scripture and there is a Scripture Passage that talks about being born again–but I don’t understand how they are interpreting this passage to what they are saying. They say if you are born again you have accepted Christ. I have to admit, this really kind of irks the heck out of me when they ask this. It just seems so demeaning, irresponsible and judgmental to assume that even though we love God and follow Him they still think we haven’t accepted Christ into our lives. What do you have to do to accept Christ I wonder? They tell me,” just ask Him, Then you will be saved.” Now, this too is overly simplified and erroneous.
It seems to me three very important themes throughout Scripture are being forgotten. One- Repentance of one’s sins; second- Loving one another; and third – doing the will of God. Anyone can say, Lord, I love you, I accept you into my life, then turn around and commit sinful deeds without ever repenting. The good thief who died on the cross repented at the last moment, and that is what got him into heaven.. And, “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand”, were the words of John the Baptist, a very important Prophet who was preparing the way for Jesus. If I love God, pray, obey His commandments, try my very best to work on being Christ-like, and repent daily of my sinful ways I would say I have accepted Christ into my life—wouldn’t you?
All Christians must stop judging each other. We must treat each other with love and respect and stop this nonsense. I am not going to give up my faith for anyone or anything. I have great respect and love for my non-catholic friends and I believe, for the most part, they respect me and my beliefs as well. But, there are far too many out there who simply do not have any respect for other peoples beliefs – They are like the Pharisees who have no love in their hearts.
Without love we will not get into heaven. A heathen would stand a greater chance of entering heaven than a self-righteous Christian who has no love in his heart.
Did the Lord not say:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,* but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day,o ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’
Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you.* Depart from me, you evildoers.’ (Matthew 7:21-23)
The True Meaning of ‘Born Again’ Isn’t What You Think
Most of us have heard the phrase ‘born again Christian.’ It is usually employed by evangelical Christians to refer to those who are viewed as authentically Christian—usually defined as involved as making some sort of personal commitment to Christ.
This definition isn’t actually too far off the mark. But ‘born again’ actually has meaning both a more specific and also deeper meaning than this when considered in its context. In case you didn’t know, the phrase comes from John 3, where it is sometimes also translated as ‘from above’ instead of ‘again.’ Here is some of the important context:
Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?” Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit (John 3:1-6; NABRE). Read rest of article here.
I also want to share a special testimony – life after death experienced by an African Priest.
Father Jose’s Life After Death Experience
by FR. JOSE MANIYANGAT | JULY 28, 2016
On Sunday April 14, 1985, the Feast of the Divine Mercy, I was going to celebrate Mass at a mission church in the north part of Kerala, and I had a fatal accident. I was riding a motorcycle when I was hit head-on by a jeep driven by a man who was intoxicated after a Hindu festival. I was rushed to a hospital about 35 miles away. On the way my soul came out from my body and I experienced death. Immediately I met my Guardian angel. I saw my body and the people who were carrying me to the hospital. I heard them crying and praying for me. At this time my angel told me: “I am going to take you to Heaven, the Lord wants to meet you and talk with you.” He also said that on the way he wanted to show me hell and purgatory. Entire article here.