All of us hopefully want to go to heaven. We do not want to leave this question fuzzy or gray in our minds. God wants to make it clear. But, we must be open to the Holy Spirit to make it a reality. That requires humility, honesty and an openness to change (repentance).
All of us, of course, have been born the first time, we are human beings. But what about the second time? There must be a second time. The first time we were born was in the flesh as R.C. Sproul teaches in the video below. We celebrate our birthdays and rightfully so.
We are made in God’s image and likeness, we are a gift from God. However, we are born into Original Sin and since no sin is ever allowed into the kingdom of heaven, we need to remove the sin as the first step. There is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood according to the Bible taught in countless verses (Hebrews 9:22). All fall short of the glory of God, all have sinned, all will die in their sin unless they are born again (John 3:3).
Forgiveness begins with confession of the truth about our sin. If we confess our sin, God has promised to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
What a promise! Nothing fancy, nothing really mysterious, we must be honest with God and ask Him directly for forgiveness. That forgiveness is a gift provided by the Blood of Christ shed for us on the cross. By faith, we ask Christ to take our sins upon Himself for us.
We ask Him to pay for our sins in our place so we can be found not guilty. With our inner being delivered from sin, we are made holy so that the Holy Spirit can come into our spirit and bring new life, a second birth. Our first birth was a gift, we did nothing to create ourselves. We were born in the flesh with all the blessings that we see in a newborn baby. Eyes, ears, nose, throat, hands, feet, heart, head – a very amazing work of God through the seed of our father placed in our mother at the moment of conception.
The seed impregnates the egg and new life begins.
Now, let’s consider this fact. We are not only flesh, we are spirit. Our spirit is our identity at the root of our being. That spirit because of sin is dead. If it is not impregnated by the Seed of God, it will remain dead. But, God is in the business of creating eternal life in us so that if we ask God to come into our being and take up residence in us, He will do just that. He will come if we ask for forgiveness and give Him control of our lives. How do we know if we did this or did not do this? R.C. Sproul provides an excellent answer: we will see a changed life, we will see God in our attitude and our behavior. The change of our spirit from death to life is called regeneration, further explained in the video.
Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 1 Peter 1:17-23
The Word of God is living and active and powerful. The Word of God is the Imperishable Seed. The Word of God accepted into the human heart as a gift through the Holy Spirit causes eternal life to spring into being. Our first birth was all God and the second birth must be all God as well. We must surrender to God.
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:3-7
Jesus said that unless the seed falls into the ground and dies, it remains a single seed; the Seed of Christ produces many seeds (John 12:24). He died to produce His life in us who believe in Him. He died so that those who live would no longer live to please themselves but to please Him (2 Corinthians 5:15). When we accept Christ and are born again, we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). The old man (the flesh) surrenders to the new man (the spirit) as we live in obedience to the Holy Spirit who now lives in us.