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For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
(John 3:17)
Carol Tullar was working alone one Friday morning at Bobby McGee's Restaurant, a popular, rather swinging dinner spot which features salad selections in a large bathtub filled with ice. Carol heard the doorbell ring and went to see who was there. Recognizing one of the regular janitors, she opened the door. Carol tells about it, saying, "I unlocked the door and started back to my office, noticing out of the corner of my eye that he was following me. Suddenly, he ordered me to open the company safe. Fear gripped me," says Carol, adding, "and for the first time in years, I began to pray desperately."

Suddenly Carol had a gnawing fear in the pit of her stomach, "I'm going to be assaulted," she thought. She was right, but the nightmare had only begun. After she was raped, the janitor pointed a gun at her head and pulled the trigger twice. She says, "I was immediately faced with death and... I knew I was not ready." Still conscious she crawled to a phone to summon help, and then to her horror the assailant turned back and fired three more slugs into her head. At that point, Carol says, "I still held onto hope of surviving."

Carol survived almost unbelievable odds. Doctors removed four of the five bullets lodged in her brain, three on one side and one on the other. Her doctors call her recovery "a medical miracle," but she knows who is responsible for the real miracle. When she recovered Carol enrolled in Bible School preparing to live the rest of her life far differently than she would have had she not faced death with the uncertain prospect of what lay five minutes into eternity.

Nobody thinks much of life after death as long as things are going well this side of eternity, but Carol learned in an instant that the time to be ready to die is before you face that prospect, not as you stare death in the face. Dan Plies, a hospital chaplain, says that every person should face the issue of every eventuality before he faces the hospital. But is that really possible?

Is it possible that you can be sure about what would happen in the event that the janitor, who went crazy, pulled the trigger and you find yourself knocking on the door of God's heaven? Lots of people think that if you do your best, if you pay your debts, are kind to old ladies and don't kick the dog... if you give a little bit here and there, that when you knock on heaven's gate, they will immediately recognize you and say, "Come right on in."

Don't count on it for a minute! The world's foremost authority on situations such as I've just described, Jesus Christ, said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God!" (John 3:3). The words were directed to a man who was a good man. He had all the qualifications of being voted a super dad, but Jesus left him on the outside looking in unless he was born again.

Jesus said that to have eternal life you have to be born twice—natural birth, and supernatural birth. "Sounds a little spooky," you may be thinking. Not really. Spiritual rebirth is the result of inviting Jesus Christ into your life as a living person. The Bible says, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John.3:16). Can a person know that he is born again? How? And what do you do to make sure? See the next article for answers.

Resource reading: John 1:1-14

Copyright © Guidelines International Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Harold J. Sala
Web site: Guidelines International Ministries
Speaker, author and Bible teacher, Dr. Harold Sala founded Guidelines in 1963 and has served at its helm since its inception. Pioneering the five-minute commentary in Christian radio, Dr. Sala’s daily “Guidelines-A Five Minute Commentary on Living” is broadcast in 49 of the 50 states and is heard the world over in a variety of languages. Sala, who holds a Ph.D. in biblical text, has authored over 55 books published in 19 languages. He speaks and teaches frequently at conferences, seminars, and churches worldwide. Residing in Mission Viejo, California, Harold and his wife, Darlene, have three adult children and eight well-loved grandchildren.

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