What really is a genuine born again Christian?
Most “born again” Christians are mass produced, a result of commercialized evangelism and church recruitment systems. Churches aim at being full-packed with members, or being the biggest church, or being instant mega churches, and hasten Gospel sharing using instant evangelism formulas that oversimplify salvation. A quick-fix or some sort of salvation for idiots book. Just ask forgiveness and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and wham! You’re a Christian! Then join the church and be active.
It’s been producing rotten churches that sprout everywhere, at every corner, and even big showy cathedrals (but often snobbing each other). You see them in stiff competition side by side on the same street or area, each bringing a different version of the Gospel but using the same Name, Jesus Christ. Today, you see showbiz folks whose marriages fail, families disintegrate (but glamorized on TV), and showbiz sexy female stars who wear dresses that show half their breasts in public, claim they’re born again.
I saw a male showbiz guy do a sexy commercial—half naked with pants worn too low his sex organ almost showed—claiming to be born again. Many pastors also circuitously endorse marriage annulment, saying after you get your annulment legit you may marry somebody else because it's allowed by human laws. And how many Christian weddings happen where the bride has already had sex prior to marriage, or gotten pregnant, or even had an abortion? How about pastors in sexual immorality? These happen due to lack of insight about being God’s flesh on earth—being a genuine born again.
The above sorts of “Christian churches” propagate worldwide and they say they’re preaching the Gospel all over the world so that few countries in the world are left unevangelized. Most surveys like this are utterly inaccurate because born again Christianity like the above doesn’t count in God’s eyes. Probably only 3 to 5 percent of churches in the world is genuine born again Christian—real God’s flesh on earth.
So, what is genuine born again?
First, evangelism should never be in haste. We should not waste time but neither should we be in a frenzied hurry—especially in a commercialized way. Lots of evangelism programs are really founded on the-more-members-the-more-tithes agendum. Dress up an electric post or fire hydrant to look human and capable of giving tithes and offering and they’re gonna share the Gospel to it.
A genuine born again lives a commitment—a covenant with God—never to go back to worldliness again, in any form. It’s like Jesus calling the first disciples and the latter “immediately leaving everything and following Jesus.” Genuine born again is always, and permanently linked to, carrying the Jesus cross. Salvation is free. But after getting saved there’s a cross to carry immediately.
It’s not a gradual growth to holy living—it’s being a new creation NOW! And progressing in ever-increasing glory onward. And that cross, though light, costs life. It’s total life surrender. TOTAL. And this is something they do not stress in evangelism—they’re just after a person’s (or a victim’s) “yes” to their gospel, which sometimes has become another gospel. Without carrying that cross you cannot follow Jesus. And if you cannot follow Jesus—who is the only Way—you will never end up in heaven—even if you have asked forgiveness and "accepted" Jesus. Most Gospel presentations today are half-truths and half cooked, designed solely for denominational expansionism.
In a commercialized church recruitment (evangelism), you are always urged to attend church activities and programs. That’s their only way of growing spiritually. Thus, you see them faithfully attending church (or more accurately, going to their church buildings) and wear their Sunday best there. They say without this church attendance, you’d die. And then they support that with Hebrews 10.25 on not neglecting fellowship. But actually, what they want from you is your church attendance—so they can report something plausible in their church assemblies—and your additional offering—because more attendance means more offerings.
Tithes and offerings are needed, but it’s wicked having them as incentives for evangelism. Or, evangelizing people just because you want more people packed in your church. Some evangelical Christians even hate seeing their members or other people attend other evangelical churches. The concept of Jesus’ prayer for unity for all true believers should be made a major part in presenting the Gospel to people. By God’s grace, I tell people that after being born again they should be part of the one universal spiritual church of Jesus, and this is not just something you profess to believe in—it’s something you should live out daily. Be part of it now! Look for a church serious about Jesus’ John 17 prayer—that all believers be completely one as the Father and Son are one. No denominationalism. Look for Jesus' glorious Church, no less.
Being born again and then becoming denominational is tantamount to the Israelites leaving Egypt and yet still cherishing Egypt in their hearts. They will never cross their Jordan and reach their Promised Land—no matter how spiritual or formal they look or how “sound” their doctrines are. They’ll die in the wilderness while still being active and devoted in church—or no matter how often they schedule revival meetings. Anything that goes contrary to God’s will is bound to self-destruct. Yes, it will look like it flourishes and is so, so blessed, but they are really white-washed tombs; white outside but nothing but death inside.
I’ve seen ministers faithful to their denominations unwittingly offer their sons and daughters “in fire” to a denominational Molech figuratively. Their children end up rebellious or with rotten spiritual lives and characters or spoiled or with rotten marriages or families. The sins of the fathers are punished to the third and fourth generations of those who hate God and do not follow his Word.
Many say I can never grow mega churches with this born again or ministry concept. Well, so be it. It’s not how big or grand or glamorous but how faithful to what God wants. If I disciple faithfully only 4 or 5 people in my lifetime (and that's what God assigns me), that’s all I need. I don’t care about mega churches or magnificent church buildings. I want to see Jesus’ glorious church, without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish.