ARE WE BORN AGAIN NOW OR AT THE RESURRECTION?
Eric Snow Sermonette for 12-23-00, Ann Arbor
Consider now, are the following statements true?:
A fertilized ovum—an embryo—is not a born human person. In the same manner the Spirit-begotten human is not, yet, a spirit person or being, as Jesus said he shall be when born again. . . . It is necessary to make this explanation, at this point, because the popular deception of a deceived traditional “Christianity” is to claim that when one “receives Christ”—“accepts Christ”—“professes Christ”—or first receives God’s Holy Spirit to dwell in him, that he is already “born again.”
Mr. Armstrong wrote these words. Was he right to deny that Christians are born again now, but we have to wait the resurrection to be born again? Are we only begotten or conceived now, but born then?
S.P.S. Today we’re going to look at a few key texts that show Christians are only begotten now, but have to wait for Jesus’ return and the resurrection to be born again.
Key change when occurred in Dec. 1990/Jan. 1991 since was the foundation for future changes on the God Family doctrine and what the kingdom of God was. Arguably the changes before were mostly right (cosmetics, healing, interracial healing) but mostly wrong afterwards (God is a Trinity, kingdom of God here now, Sabbath and OT law abolished, etc.)
Key Greek word in dispute is “gennao.” Is ambiguous, can be translated either “born” or “begotten.” “Begotten” old, obsolete word for conceived, refers to father’s role in conception.
Because in other texts “gennao” can be translated either way, the central passage in this dispute is John 3:3-8.
Notice that Jesus in vs. 4, 6 ties the kingdom of God to being born again. When does the kingdom of God come? That can’t be proven now due to limited time, but it only comes at the time Jesus returns, when all Christians are resurrected (or those alive then are translated).
V.5 shows the word “gennao” can’t be conceived because of what Nicodemus was saying. (Vs. one person’s way of evading this passage).
V. 6: The hardest text to evade. Even when accepted change, had to admit not literal. If born of the flesh, you become flesh, then if born of the spirit, must be spirit, as has been observed.
V. 8: Describes the invisible saints, analogy between wind and us as spirit beings, the word in Greek means both “wind” and “spirit.”
I Cor. 15:46-50
Context concerns bodily composition!
Logic concerning the kingdom of God tied to being born again, the two are inseparable by implication. THIS IS CENTRAL TO PROVING THIS OLD DOCTRINE OF OURS.
John 3:3 You can’t “see” the kingdom of God until born again.
John 3:5 You can’t “enter” the kingdom of God until born of the Spirit.
I Cor. 15:50 Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
We’re still in the flesh now. Therefore, we aren’t in the kingdom of God now. Since we’re in the church, but not in the kingdom of God, the church can’t be the kingdom of God.
Furthermore, unless somebody wants to argue a time gap separates being in the kingdom of God and being born again, we aren’t born again until the resurrection either. (If think when we’re converted we enter the church, which is the kingdom of God, we can’t have such a time gap anyway).
Acts 13:33 Ties the resurrection to being born of the Spirit.
Rom. 8:29 Rev. 1:5, Col. 1:18 First born among many brethren, from dead, not about preeminence only.
[John 3:3 Duality issue when compared to Matt. 13:11, 13, 16. I Pet. 2:2 Analogy of being newborn babes now, different from that above]