According to the teaching of a heresy I have heard, the new birth of a Christian doesn’t take place on this earth. They say that we are only conceived here, but we will be born again only in the kingdom of heaven. Let’s see what Scripture says in this regard.
The new birth is the condition to enter into the Kingdom of heaven
Here’s a case from the Bible which reveals the truth:
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3:1-5)(NASB)
If the new birth is a condition to enter into the Kingdom of heaven, it must take place before, that is now, when we still live on this earth. And beware, the Bible does not say that our spiritual conceiving is a condition to enter into the kingdom of heaven, but our new birth.
The verb tense
Another important and strong argument is that often, when it speaks about the new birth, the tense of the verb is the past. Let me show you below the following verses from the I Epistle of John that refers to the new birth:
No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (1 John 3:9)(NASB)
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7)(NASB)
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith. (1 John 5:1-4)(NASB)
We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. (1 John 5:18-19)(NASB)
In all the biblical passages quoted above the past tense is used for the verb.
The verb tense in Greek
After a discussion with the followers of this heretical teaching and after they had no answer to give to the arguments presented above, I received a message, where they tried to draw my attention to the Greek form of the verb translated “born” into English in the passages from above. I was surprised that they made reference to Greek, since during our previous discussion they could not find in the Bible the texts to which they were making reference. Anyway, let us see the form of the verb in Greek.
Almost in all verses mentioned in 1 John in the Greek New Testament is used the word gege,nnhta... Grammatical form of the verb is indicative, perfect passive, singular, the third person, indicating a completed action in the past. So, the new birth took place in the past of the Christians to which reference is made.
Study the Scriptures and beware of any doctrine that is strange and hostile to God’s Word. Seek to be born again, if you have not done it before.
Translated by Felicia Rotaru