Denominationalism, or “Churchianity”, is not the same as being born again.
Being a member of one of the great denominamions of our day does not make you born-again Christian. You may be in the Lighthouse Church, but be an unbeliever. In the same way, you may be in the Methodist Church, but simply be a Methodist unbeliever.
The Catholic Church is a very powerful denomination, which I really respect. In my estimation, other churches are not as devoted and as charitable as the Catholic Church. When I was in medical school, I had the opportunity to learn first-hand labour about the Catholic Relief Services. They offer wonderful, social, medical, and relief services. God bless their hearts for all their efforts. However, it is my duty to inform all Catholics that they must be born again. Being part of your great denomination does not mean that you are born again. Sorry!
14. BEING A MORALIST
Being a moralist is not the same as being born again. There are some people who are very moral, but having good morals is not the same as being born again.
For instance, there are some people who would never break their marriage vows. I once spoke to an unbeliever, who belong to an occult group. He told me that he had been married for 17 years but had never been unfaithful to his wife, even though she could not have a child. This is a test many born-again Christians may not be able to pass. You would find that men would commonly divorce their barren wives in order to have a child. But listen, being such a moralist does no mean you are born again.
I congratulate you for your morality. I respect you for the fact that you never commit adultery or fornication. I am glad that you do not read pornography or chase prostitutes, but I must still inform you that you must be born again! Nicodemus was a moralist, tha is why he was so surprised when Jesus told him that he needed to be born again.
15. BEING PRINCIPLED
Being principled is not the same as being born again.
Some people are very principled and will not cheat you, even if they have the opportunity to do so. Sometimes in the examination situations, people cheat; but such principled people will not have any thing to do with it!
I have found it more difficult to bring to Christ someone who is principled, has good morals but who is not born again! Hard-core sinners are more aware that they need God.
A very principled person sees no reason why he must be saved. His excuse is often, “Why? I am a good person, why should I change?”
There are principled Doctors who are no even born again, who simply refuse to involve themselves in the practice of illegal abortion. To them, abortion is murder. Yet, even such principled Doctors need to be born again.
16. BEING RESPECTABLE
Being respectable is not the same as being born again.
Indeed, you may have appeared respectable for years. All your life you may have been singled out and given leadership responsibilities.
Perhaps, you are a person in authority now. You could be the President of a country,a parliamentarian, a Minister of State, a King, a Chief, a Headmaster or Headmistress. Such positions are held in high esteem. Do not be deceived. That respect accorded you does not mean you are born again.
Jesus says to the President, “Marvel not that I say unto thee, ye must be born again.”
17. BEING POPULAR
Being popular or famous is not the same as being born again.
I remember that in Achimota Secondary School, there was this particular boy who was extremely short. Whenever he walked in or out of any school gathering, there was a great uproar, as everybody cheered him on. He was a very popular guy but he still needed to be born again! You may be popular. People may hail you wherever you go, but you still need to be born again!
There are some popular politicians. In spite of their popularities they must be pleased with you. Yet, being liked is not the same as being born again.
18. OBEYING A NEW SET OF RULES
Being born again is not the same as obeying a new set of rules.
When you join a club, such as an Old Boys’ Association or a Keep Fit Club, you may be presented with a new set of rules, their guiding principles. My wife’s school, Wesley Girls’ High School, has as its motto: “Live pure, speak true, Right wrong and Follow the king”. This set of rules may be your guiding principle. Dear “old boy” and “old girl”, you still have to be born again.
There are also people who are rich in wise sayings. In Ghana, one of our popular wise sayings can be translated as “The animal without a tail is protected by God”. The deeper meaning of this is, “God takes care of the fatherless”. How wise and impressive this sounds!
Throughout your entire life you may be guided by these nice sounding phrases.
However, Jesus says to you, “Mavel not that I say unto thee, Ye must be born again.