The New Birth—What Is Its Purpose?
MANY believe that one needs to be born again to receive eternal salvation. Note, though, what Jesus himself said about the purpose of the new birth. He stated: “Unless anyone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) Thus, one needs to be born again in order to enter into God’s Kingdom, not in order to receive salvation. ‘But,’ some may say, ‘are not these two expressions—entering the Kingdom and receiving salvation—referring to the same reward?’ No, they are not. To understand the difference, let us consider first the meaning of the expression “kingdom of God.”
A kingdom is a form of government. So, then, the expression “kingdom of God” means “government of God.” The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ, the “son of man,” is the King of God’s Kingdom and that Christ has fellow rulers. (Daniel 7:1, 13, 14; Matthew 26:63, 64) Furthermore, a vision given to the apostle John disclosed that Christ’s fellow rulers are individuals chosen “out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” and will “rule as kings over the earth.” (Revelation 5:9, 10; 20:6) God’s Word further reveals that those who will rule as kings form a “little flock” of 144,000 individuals “who have been bought from the earth.”—Luke 12:32; Revelation 14:1, 3.
Where is the seat of God’s Kingdom? “The kingdom of God” is also called “the kingdom of the heavens,” which shows that Jesus and his fellow kings rule from heaven. (Luke 8:10; Matthew 13:11) Thus, God’s Kingdom is a heavenly government made up of Jesus Christ and a group of fellow rulers chosen from among mankind.
What, then, did Jesus mean when he stated that one must be born again to “enter into the kingdom of God”? He meant that one needs to be born again in order to become a ruler with Christ in heaven. Simply put, the purpose of the new birth is to prepare a limited group of humans for heavenly rulership.
Thus far, we have seen that the new birth is of great importance, is initiated by God, and is preparing a group of humans for rulership in heaven. But how does the new birth actually take place?
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The purpose of the new birth is to prepare a limited group of humans for heavenly rulership
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Jesus Christ and a group of fellow rulers chosen from mankind make up God’s Kingdom