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Five Great Imperatives

Scriptures to read – John 3:7, Mark 13:10, Heb. 11:6, John 3:14, 2 Sam. 14: 14. There are five great imperatives in these verses. The word “must” places beyond doubt the imperative nature of the subject presented. Our meditation upon these five portions is both simple and solemn for those who are not saved.

Ye MUST Be Born Again, John 3:7

These words of our Lord clearly show that, in order to enter the kingdom of God, one must be born again. He was addressing the “ruler of the Jews” and His words were, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus, in his natural condition, and likewise all others, are outside of God’s kingdom. This is the first solemn lesson all must learn who would be saved.
Nicodemus then asked the question, “How can a man be born when he is old?” This reveals that he was thinking in terms of another natural birth. But the Lord showed him that this new birth is spiritual and is brought about only by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. “Marvel not”, said the Saviour, “Ye must be born again”. Many marvel still at this second birth, but these plain words of Christ place beyond doubt, the absolute need of the new birth. Let me pause and ask our readers, Have you experienced this new birth? If not, may you solemnly be awakened to see that you are outside not only of the Kingdom, but are in danger of being outside of heaven for all eternity, for Jesus said, “Ye must be born again”. Now let me point out three things that “must be” if any are to be born again.

The Son of Man MUST be Lifted Up, John 3:14

Before you could be born again, this event must take place. The new birth is the impartation of spiritual life, the possession of eternal life, a “passing from death unto life”, John 5:24. If any are to possess this eternal life, it is abundantly clear from John 3:14, it can only be on the grounds of the death of Christ. Entrance can only be possible through the lifting up of Christ upon the Cross. This was the great purpose of His advent into the world, to give life by the laying down of His own life. Thank God, He died for our sins, and, God’s claims having been met, He is risen, and thus the basis of the impartation of eternal life is laid at Calvary.

The Gospel MUST Be Preached, Mark 13:10

The reference here has primarily to do with God’s message in a future day, but the words are equally true of God’s message today. If one is to be born again, he must hear the glad news of the Gospel, for, “How shall they hear without a preacher?” In order that all may hear, God has raised up, fitted and sent His servants to preach the Gospel to every creature and to all the world. There is no other way to be saved except through the Tidings which the Gospel declares. The Lord’s servants have no other message for the world. The Gospel of God’s rich grace points to the finished work of Christ as the ground of salvation, the written Word of God as the assurance of salvation, the living and exalted Lord Jesus as the joy of salvation and, finally, the coming again of Christ as the Hope of salvation. What a glorious message the Gospel is, and, thank God, we are able to write it and tell it to you today. It is our prayer that it may reach some reader’s soul and that you will ponder over your need and of God’s provision to meet it.

The Sinner MUST Believe, Heb. 11:6

Here we have man’s responsibility. Those who desire to be born again must believe the good and reliable news of the Gospel. God has provided salvation, Christ has purchased it by His blood, the Gospel proclaims it far and near, but all is of no avail if the hearer fails to believe it. Note and read the following verses which underline this truth: John, chapter 3, verses 14, 15, 16, 18 and 36, and also chapter 5 and verse 24. The apostolic answer to the anxious soul’s question, “What must I do to be saved?” is “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”

Thus we see that a man must be born again to enter heaven, it must only be by the death of Christ made known in the preaching of the Gospel and the sinner who hears it must believe.

“The sinner who believes is free
Can say, “the Saviour died for me”,
Can point to the atoning blood
And say, “This made my peace with God.”

Have you, my dear unsaved reader, owned your need and simply
accepted God’s provision in Christ to meet your need? If not, why not today, as there is another solemn imperative to consider.

We MUST Die, 2 Sam. 14:14

This is true of us all, unless the Lord comes, in which case, those who have been born again will be “caught up” to meet the Lord, without dying.

Should death claim those who are believers before that day, all, without exception, will go to be with Christ in heaven. If not born again, if, for any reason, my reader should miss Christ and die an unbeliever, he will be damned (Mark 16:16), lift up the eyes in Hell in torments and finally and eternally perish in the awful lake which burneth with fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:8)

Should this paper fall from your hand and life be terminated, where would your soul be? It is heaven or hell, it is “turn or burn”, it is Christ or the world. Which will it be for you?