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TEN THINGS THAT ARE NOT THE SAME AS BEING BORN AGAIN

Acts 10:1-2

At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.


1. Having a biblical, Christian, or a well respected name.


Having a Christian or biblical name is not the same as being born again. I’ve met many people who have biblical names and they feel it speaks of their Christianity. But that is far from the truth. A biblical name is just that. It does not infer unto a person salvation that comes from Jesus Christ. Cornelius was a powerful man who’s name was probably renown. He was a soldier in the Roman army. He must have been very well respected and the mention of his name may have brought reverence and respect from others to who he was. But he was not born again.


2. Being religious.


Whether you are a Catholic, Methodists, Pentecostal, or whatever denomination you are part of, claiming a sect or group and following a set of rules is not the same as being born again. To be religious simply means to adhere to a systematic set of rules and codes regarding a way of life or to be dedicated to a set of traditions that supposedly stems from a deity. It is not too far from someone who is a moralist. Cornelius was religious but he was not born again. He obeyed the rules of religion such as giving and prayer but he was not a Christian. If he was, the Holy Spirit would not have spoken to Peter to go and bring him salvation. There are many people who hold to the clues of religion because of their upbringing. But that is not the same as being born again.


3. Coming from a religious family.


Being from a religious family is not the same as being born again. Cornelius’s family was devout but it did not mean that he was born again.


4. Having a fear of God.


There are many people who fear God but they are not born again. The fear God enough to give r elect to Christians but they themselves are not saved and they do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus is not their savior. This is common amongst many politicians who have respect for the Christian God and respect the Church but they themselves do no believe in Jesus. Having a respect for God is not the same as being born again. That fear of God must rather lead you to salvation in Jesus Christ. You must accept Jesus as your Lord and personal savior as a result of your fear of God.


5. Being a generous giver and giving gifts to the poor.


Cornelius was a generous giver but he was not born again. If giving was the same as being born again the what happens to those who are unable to give? Don’t be deceived by great philanthropic works by people? You must still preach to them the message of salvation whenever you have the opportunity to. Being a generous giver is not the same as being born again.


6. Praying to God regularly.


Prayer is a mark of devotion across many religions but it is not the sign of being born again; rather is must be the fruit of salvation and a personal relationship with God. The fact that a person prays does not mean they have accepted Jesus as their Lord and personal savior. People can pray to many different gods. Muslims pray, Buddhists pray, Catholics pray, Scientologist pray, Christians pray, most (if not all) religions pray! Who are you praying to and what is your relationship with the one whom you are praying to? Even unbelievers pray before a job interview or an opportunity, etc. Simply being a prayerful person is not the same as being born again. If so then it was not necessary to send Peter to Cornelius’s house to preach to Cornelius about salvation.


Even fasting also! Fasting will never save you. Cornelius must have fasted also but he was not saved!


7. Having supernatural encounters and supernatural experiences.


Acts 10:3-6

One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”

Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.

The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”


Having supernatural encounters and supernatural experiences is not the same as being born again. Rather it is to draw you to salvation in Jesus Christ as it did here in the above passage for Cornelius. Cornelius was instructed in his vision to send men to go and bring a man called Peter. Peter in turn preached salvation to Cornelius. You can see that Cornelius had been genuinely trying to pursue God just as the Apostle Paul also thought he was doing. But both had missed it despite their genuine. But God gives grace to the humble! And as a result, the Lord steered both men in the right direction. Your supernatural experiences and encounters must lead you to inquire about Jesus Christ and turn to salvation in Him. If not you are no different from people in new age who also experience supernatural things but are NOT saved.


8. Being a moralist, righteous, and a just person is also not the same as being born again.


Acts 10:22

And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.


9. Having a good reputation.


Acts 10:22

And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.


Paul had such a reputation when he went around murdering the saints. Your reputation will not save you in the presence of God. Our righteousness is as filthy rags before the Lord. The fact that everyone who knows you thins well of you means nothing to God. He is no respect or of persons. The blood of Jesus must wash you too!


10. Hearing preaching and encouraging sermons.


Acts 10:22

And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.


It’s not enough for you to hear the words of a man of God. Yu must respond to it and give your life to Jesus Christ. Many people love to listen to men of God who preach encouraging and motivational sermons to make them feel good. But it’s not the same as being born again. The principles of Christianity works whether you are saved or not. Principles on frugality, love, humility, diligence, etc does not require you to be born again before they work for you. A principle is a law that works regardless of who is activating it. You must be born again. You must give your life to Jesus Christ and have Him alone as your Lord and savior! You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve God and something else. I know people who love the sermons of Joel Osteen and even TD Jakes, but they are not born again. Is the God of Joel Osteen and TD Jakes your God? Such people love to be motivated and “feel” good but no commitment to the true God of heaven.


Romans 10:9-10

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

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