“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'”John 3:3
That word brings back all types of memories for a preacher, from the first funeral of the youngest person, or the suicides, or the teenagers, or that of your closest friends… even your spouse. There is ever that deep feeling of loss, although you feel confident of what the Scriptures say, and you rest in the display of their faith in Christ and readiness demonstrated toward their home-going.
You retrace the first sin of Adam and Eve in the perfect environment of Eden. There is the gripping realization that if it had not been them it could have quite possibly been you. You find yourself saying, “Oh Adam!” It is hardly out of your thought process when you think: “Oh Ted!” God recorded for us many details of men following that “fall” and the newsmakers of our day use the “police blotter” of the news to confirm it is ever increasing. We somehow seem to think that such an encounter would never be our experience; if we have sinned, and we have, according to Scripture, we think it not as reprehensible to God as what another has committed. But God sees sin as a violation of His holiness. Un-confessed… it remains un-forgiven. Romans 3 thru 6 are excellent Scriptures on the subject.
God also brought to our focus that sin is so repulsive to Him that every man has an appointment with death. (Hebrews 9:27) The average would be in the neighborhood of seventy years. (Psalm 90:10) Even then, the fall in the Eden experience of Adam and Eve, and the inherent sin that remains, still remain in effect. That is why Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:3, 5, “You must be born again.”
While I am aware that death is a grim reality for mankind, it is also a blessing for the Christian, and in the “thus saith the Lord”, it remains an exciting exiting into Heaven and the presence of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.