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"Born Again" - When?
by Wayne Blank
"For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin ... For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing ... O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:14,18,24 KJV)
Our being physical, or rather, our being physical beings, is the reason that we are all sooner or later going to die:
"it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27 KJV)
Our being physical is the reason that the dead are dead (see also What Happens When You Die?):
"the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing" (Ecclesiastes 9:5 KJV).
"that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit"
Death, from the perspective of humans, has two God-designed and God-intended purposes:
(1) the first death ("it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" quoted above) is the means to store all who have lived, without their having any sense of the passage of time ("the dead know not any thing" quoted above) until the time of their resurrections together.
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." (Revelation 20:6 KJV)
(2) the second death is the means to obliterate all of those who are later judged to be hopelessly wicked:
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works ... This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:12,14-15 KJV)
When Jesus Christ made His famous "born again" teaching to Nicodemus, He wasn't talking about "born again" merely as a professed state of mind in physical people; He was talking about an actual deliverance from being physical - the same as Paul was describing in the verses quoted above when he said "deliver me from the body of this death."
As Jesus Christ plainly said, "that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." Physical people claiming to be "born again" is like a caterpillar claiming to be a butterfly - caterpillars can become butterflies, but caterpillars are not butterflies.
"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."
Those of the first resurrection, which will occur at the time of The Return Of Jesus Christ (see also "To Meet The Lord In The Air"), will be to spirit (see the Fact Finder question below) - they will then be truly "born again" in the way that Jesus Christ described to Nicodemus.
Those of the second resurrection, which will occur about 1,000 years after the return of Christ (again, see the Fact Finder question below), will not be "born again" even then when they are resurrected because their resurrection will be physical. They will then face judgment from which they will either be obliterated in the lake of fire (which could not happen if they were not physical), which is the second death, or if they are judged worthy, as were all of those in the first resurrection (their judgment was before their resurrection, otherwise they would not have been resurrected as spirit in the first resurrection, see the Fact Finder question below), they will then be transformed to spirit, and then they too will be truly "born again" as Jesus Christ described to Nicodemus, just like those in the first resurrection.
Fact Finder: Why will those in the first resurrection be resurrected as immortal spirit beings while those in the second resurrection be resurrected as physical beings as they were before?