For children, in order to stay out of trouble, you “must” obey your parents. Want to avoid summer school? You “must” continue to learn and devote yourself to completing assignments on time. If you want to play baseball for a league, you “must” register by the deadline set by those in charge.
For teenagers, the “must” do not cease. If you want to be on time, you “must” get out of bed when the alarm sounds. Want to drive a car? Then you “must” have a driver’s permit or a driver’s license. Funny thing about a car – if you want it to move, you “must” feed it gas and check the oil occasionally.
For adults, we understand far too well the “must” of life. Every April the Federal Government really expects all wage earning American citizens to file their taxes. If money is owed, each of us “must” pay our share. When it comes to driving an automobile, we “must” have some level of insurance or else the police have the responsibility to warn or ticket us. If we want to keep our jobs, we “must” perform at a level that satisfies the boss.
Needless to say, there are many more “must” than can be discussed in this one article. However, of all the illustrations we could come up with, there is none more important to “true life” than the “must” when it comes to being born again. In John chapter 3, Jesus speaking to Nicodemus said, “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.” (v. 7) Within the context, He’s talking about one being born into a spiritual life, which can only happen when the Spirit, working through the Scriptures, instructs and the obedient follower repents and is baptized – raised to walk in a new life (Romans 6:4). Thus Jesus draws a distinction between the fleshly birth and the spiritual birth.
In our world today, most would not hesitate when it comes to the “must” of life? Disobey parents and consequences will follow. Forget to put gas in the car, and the long walk home will help serve as a reminder. Pretend the government doesn’t want the tax money and your future will look pretty cold. Why is it that there are some, perhaps even some reading this article, who will balk at the “must” explained by Jesus in John chapter three? If you want to enter into the kingdom of God, then you “must” pay attention to this “must”.