In John chapter 3, Jesus encounters a man named Nicodemus. The incredible part of this story is that Nicodemus thought he was following God. He probably thought that his entire life. Let me set it up. Nicodemus was a scholar. He was a very intelligent man and had an aptitude for studying he was good at it. He not only was a Rabbi but also a Pharisee and on the Jewish ruling council. This is an impressive resume. All the while thinking he is following God when he isn't.
At some point He hears Jesus teach and listens to all the things said about him. Nicodemus asks for a meeting with Jesus at night. He cannot be seen by others or he could have lost his position. So in the late hours of the night so no one knows Nicodemus goes and meets with Jesus.
Nicodemus and his impressive resume are missing one thing: new birth. Nicodemus had done great things, but had never experienced new birth. Jesus taught him a simple truth "if you are born once you will die twice but if you are born twice you will die once". He struggled through the conversation to figure out what Jesus was meaning and what He was going to do about it.
If we are honest there are many going to church who are just like Nicodemus. They would affirm the fact they are following God, but when asked why you hear some interesting things. You begin to hear resumes quoted and achievements made and nothing about Savior who died for us. We leave the path of following Jesus when we put our trust in our accomplishments and not His. When we think we have done great things when it is Christ who has done the great thing. I wonder just how many who sit in a church on Sunday think they are following Jesus when they are not.
Nicodemus goes on and we learn he stands up for Jesus and then helps Joseph bury Jesus. There are some traditions which call him Saint Nicodemus and say he died for his faith in Christ. But we just don't know. If things changed it is because he left the religious path and started to follow Jesus.
What about you? Religious or Regenerated? You can't follow Jesus and be religious. When we are religious we leave the path of following Jesus and depend on our accomplishments to save us. Stop. Follow Jesus
Jesus Follower, Husband, Father, and Pastor and trying to keep those in the right order....