"You Must Be Born Again"
Jesus had a night time conversation with a fellow Jew named Nicodemus who was a Pharisee (priest) and ruler of the Jews. Nicodemus had come to Jesus at night because he was afraid of the peer pressure (and you thought that was only for children) he would face for visiting a prophet who was not accepted by the "in crowd". This fear was well founded because if his crowd called you a false prophet there was a good chance you would get stoned, no not that kind of stoned, stoned as in dead. Nicodemus began to speak but before he could ask a question Jesus answered the question of all questions. He said that unless a person was born again, they could not see the kingdom of Heaven. Ol Nicodemus didn't get it and who could blame him. That was a strange statement to say the least, in fact a lot of preachers now days still have a problem with it. See if you get right down to it God the Father wants to have a relationship with you. While going to church and singing in the choir are fine ways to serve god, Jesus said you must be born in the family to see or even comprehend the kingdom of heaven. No second hand, through the pastor or priest, relationship will do. If you are still reading this some of you probably have at least two questions right about now. How does one get born again (exactly what Nicodemus asked) and how do I know when it has happened to me. As for the first question, you pray. Now i have heard a lot of formula prayers and no two are the same so it isn't like some incantation or magic spell. While the words may differ the idea is the same, you come clean with God. Come on you know you've done some bad things in your life, that's why you fear death, and EVERYBODY fears death until it leads to life. You have a pretty good idea that God is out there somewhere keeping a list. What you may not know is no matter how hard you try not to, it is your nature to do selfish things and really that is what all sin is rooted in, self above all. In fact this drive to serve self is so strong that many people ride it to an early death through self destruction. That's (in my opinion) the reason God hates sin so much, it destroys. The Good News is that the Father sent His Son Jesus to rescue us from ourselves. He came and lived a perfect life, brought us the words of life right from the Father. He showed us what was possible to those who would believe and then, though because he hadn't sinned He could have lived forever like He was, He willingly gave up His life here to pay our sin debt. When you believe that God will forgive you based on the Blood of Jesus, and realize you need Him to, then ask Him to without trying to pull a fast one on Him (hey He's God, He knows whether you mean it or not!) you will be born again. If you don't really believe it but want to know more, ask Him, talk to Him , He can hear you and will help you.
For the second question "how do i know it happened to me" i cannot say for others but for me something changed in me. Though i have sinned since then, more than i'd like to say, i never felt comfortable doing it since that day. To this day i could take you to the very spot it happened. A lot of people remember the date it happened and while i don't, i wish i did, it is one of those events that you do not forget. There is a good reason for this, once this has happened to you, you become a totally new creation. You begin to comprehend a lot of the whys of life, the more attention you pay the more answers you get, don't listen and you won't learn. When this first happened to me the first thing i started doing was praying, but it was not a fearful help me type of praying, it was more like a Father / son talk, which it was and is. You may not realize it at first, it took me years and lots of studying the Bible, but when you accept that Jesus died so you could live and invite Him into your life, the very essence of your being will change, you will become a new creation.