You must be born again
We need a rebirth. Unless you are born again, you cannot enter the kingdom of God. It doesn't matter how long you have been a Christian or where you come from. If after all these, you don't have Christ, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
One qualification you need to enter the kingdom of heaven is to be born again. without that, you risk not entering it.
In our reading this morning, we heard about a gentleman called Nicodemus. He was a scholar and a pharisee. He had heard many teachings but because Jesus' teaching was exceptional, he humbled himself and went to Him in the night.
There were two schools of thought. The first one suggested that because he was afraid of his colleagues, he decided to go to Jesus in the night so that he would not be identified, but that wasn't the main reason. The truth was that, he applied wisdom. He found out that Jesus was always busy during the day because of the large crowd that followed him. In the night, He withdrew from the crowd and was alone.
Nicodemus was looking for something special from Jesus and so he applied wisdom and went to Jesus in the night so that nobody would disrupt them.
Nicodemus had a one on one session with Him and fulfilled his heart's desire. By going to Jesus and identifying himself with Him, his life was transformed. No matter who you are, what you have, or how the society sees you, if you will leave the crowd and come to Jesus, your life will never be the same.
Jesus will turn your life around and make it right. Even after that encounter with Christ, Nicodemus never stopped performing his duties as a Pharisee or a member of the Council. John 7:50-51, is about Nicodemus defending Jesus and his disciples before the Sahindrin. Beloved in the Lord, you can be a member of this church, if you don't identify yourself with Jesus, your life will never be perfect. I recommend Jesus to you today. We need not take anything for granted.
The second example was the man called Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector and a wealthy man. He was branded a sinner because he collected taxes for the government and because he was cheating them, they did not like him. In spite of these, his heart was yearning for Christ and sort after him. When Jesus was heading to Jerusalem through Jericho where Zacchaeus was, and knowing his limitations, he climbed a tree just to have a look at Jesus.
When your heart yearns for Christ, he will locate you. When Jesus got to the tree where Zacchaeus was, he stood under it, raised his eyes up and ordered him to come down. Jesus befriended him and he was never the same. Accept Jesus and live.