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How to Get to Heaven from Mount Morris

The Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Illustration - Three men backpacking through the wilderness
1st man prayed for strength
2nd man prayed for strength and the tools
3rd man prayed for wisdom
John 3:1–21 NIV
1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” 3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” 4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” 9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. 10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
John mentions “Born again” 5x’s in 10 verses
John 2:24–25 NLT
24 But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. 25 No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.
“Born again” =
In the next several chapters of John, Jesus enters into a number of conversations in which He instantly understands the heart of individuals from very different backgrounds and needs.
Born - we don’t do anything in the birth process
Nicodemus (3:1-15)
Samaritan woman (4:1-26)
Gentile official (4:43-53)
The man at the pool of Bethesda (5:1-15)
We all come from different backgrounds but we’re all on the same journey!
In this message i’d like to give you 4 directional signs on “How to Get to Heaven from Mount Morris”

1. Believe in The Lord Jesus Christ

John 3:1–2 NIV
1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
John 3:1-2
Background on Nicodemus
Upper class, conservative in beliefs
Pharisee (difference between them and Sadducees)
Member of the Sanhedrin (Jewish ruling council, 70 members)
Note the contrast between the Jewish leaders who approached Jesus in the temple () with Nicodemus.
James 2:19 NIV
19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
You can be very spiritual and not have the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 2:14 NIV
14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

2. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior

John 3:3–8 NIV
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” 4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Jesus’ answer - “Nicodemus, you’re not going to understand my answer but I’m going to explain why you’re not going to understand”
John mentions “Born again” 5x’s in 10 verses
“Born again” = (Greek - Anothen) Born from above
“How can someone be born when they are old?” = This can be interpreted two ways. (1) Physical birth (Jesus was advocating something that was physically impossible) or (2) “How can a man whose habits and ways of thinking have been fixed by age expect to change radically?” (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary)
“How can a man whose habits and ways of thinking have been fixed by age expect to change radically?”
Ezekiel 36:25–27 NIV
25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
Ezekiel 36:
The Bible mentions the “Heart” over 900 x’s

You don’t just need to be a better you, you need to be a new you!

3. Grow in Your Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

John 3:9–15 NIV
9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. 10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
“How can this be?” - Not a statement or a critical question, rather, it is a plea for direction. Nicodemus wanted to know how this experience could be his. Nothing in Judaism he knew offered anything like this.
“We speak” - Jesus is God (speaking on behalf of God)
Moses lifting up the bronze snake on a pole ()

4. Testify About His Grace

John 3:16–21 NIV
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
This last section many believe is John’s commentary (testimony) on Jesus’ teaching.
Paul reminds Titus ...
Titus 3:1–8 NIV
1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone. 3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
Titus 3:1-
Closing
Benjamin Franklin who was well known as an inventor was also well know for corresponding with famous people all over the world. This was a letter he recieved from the great British Preacher George Whitefield …
“I find that you grow more and more famous in the learned world,” Whitefield wrote. “As you have made such progress in investigating the mysteries of electricity, I now humbly urge you to give diligent heed to the mystery of the new birth. It is a most important and interesting study and, when mastered, will richly repay you for your pains.”
Excerpt From: Warren W. Wiersbe. “Be Alive”
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