You must be born again
One of the prerequisites of making heaven at the end of this life is that you must be born again. Unfortunately, many people, including Christians, do not have good understanding of what being born again is all about. They misconstrue the mind of God and thus assume that whoever that goes to Church or bears the name like John, Martha, Peter, Mary, etc, can make heaven. But our Lord Jesus Christ categorically states that unless a person is born again, he/she cannot see the Kingdom of God.
It doesn’t matter what he believes or where he belongs. This means that if you are a pastor, bishop, pope, deacon, etc and you are not born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.
Jn 3:3 says, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Our Lord Jesus infers that for one to qualify for admission to heaven, he must be prepared to have the grace of God in his life, for nothing short of the regenerating change would bring him to heaven. He must be one, who has demonstrated to have gotten a mind that is rendered to Christ alone. He must be one who has demonstrated his love and total submission to Christ in the open, for without that though he may answer a Christian but yet not born again.
Born again is what makes a difference in Christianity. And that is what Christ requires, that is the distinction, which He designs to make among the faithful. That’s why Peter was asked to advance his profession to be fishers of men. That is what Jesus meant when He said, “my meat is to do the will of Him that sent me.” It is not by conformity to certain religious observations and customs that a man is to be accepted in heaven. Neither is it by status, wealth, beauty nor intellect, but the grand question is, whether he is born again or not.
John 3:1-3 says, “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews, a member of the great Sanhedrim, a senator, a man of authority in Jerusalem, a friend of Jesus, who believed that Jesus came from God, but he never wanted the chief priest and other members of the Sanhedrim to know he had anything to do with Christ. That was why he limited his visit to Christ only in the night. He was afraid, or ashamed to be seen with Christ. But he was conscious of the eternal abode of his soul and wanted to know where his soul will rest after this world.
In response, Jesus told him that if he had identified with Him in the open, all the members of Sanhedrim, the chief priest and the commons would have been converted. If he had publicly associated with Him, the citizens of Jerusalem would have been influenced to repent. But he chose to relate with Jesus secretly thereby jeopardising the souls of the Jews. And until he confessed openly that Christ is the Lord, the salvation of his soul would remain in danger. Jesus told him to be born again, that is, he had to identify openly by preaching to the people about what he believed.