With this article I want to begin taking a look at common misconceptions about Christianity, taking the myths and seeing them in the light of the Word of God.
I recently read a statement that claimed someone who is not born again may still be saved, and referred to the following scripture in support of the idea.
Revelation 7:9-10, "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."
It was explained that after the Apostle John heard the number of those who would be born again and be with Jesus in Heaven, that the numberless multitude were the people that were saved even though they had not been Born Again.
Unfortunately, this is based on an incomplete reading of the preceding scripture.
In the scripture referred to as supporting this theory, where the text says 'after this', one needs to look at the previous verses to see what happened earlier. In this case, Revelation 7:2-8 is the text describing the things that took place before the 'after this' of (Revelation 7:9-10). This is not simply counting the number that would be born again. Instead, it is clearly stated that the angel of the Lord is sent to seal twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. Among other places, the saved are referred to in Revelation 5:11 where their number is given as "ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands". In Revelation 7:9 where the number is described in such a way as to make it beyond mere human comprehension, and in Revelation 20:4, where the number of them is not mentioned.
As for the question of 'Does a person really have to be born again?", We have Jesus' own words, and He makes it very clear that it IS mandatory:
John 3:3, "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
In a nutshell: If you are not born again, you do NOT see the kingdom of God! Period.
Being 'born again' is really what being 'Saved' is all about. . . We are reborn, made new in The Anointed One and His Anointing. We go from being "Just an old sinner", to being the righteousness of God:
2Corinthians 5:21, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
It is the rebirth of our entire being. Our minds are renewed, we remove the old (carnal) man and put on the new (spiritual) man. We are in every way made new.