Getting to the Issue
We are all going to the same place, we are just taking different roads." How familiar and trite! The Lord Jesus did not blind Nicodemus with such a false hope. He came right to the point: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (v. 3). You can be sure His words were gracious but plain.
Someone asked a farmer on a road, "Is this the best way to the city?" He answered, "It's the only way." Jesus said plainly, "I am the way" (John 14:6). A soul winner must have this conviction. Writing one's name on a church roll will not write it in the Lamb's book of life.
The Lord Jesus spent time in cordialities in Nicodemus' case. He did not correct Nicodemus' statements about Himself, although, to be sure, He is more than "a teacher come from God." Neither did He become sidetracked on Pharisaism. There is real danger in trying to make people see their errors before they see the "light of the glorious gospel of Christ" (II
Corinthians 4:4). You cannot show a blind man a dirty spot on the wall. Avoid, if possible, doctrinal differences, but always present the way of salvation.
Notice how the Lord Jesus directed the conversation to the desired end. A soul winner must cultivate this art lest he be detoured and become discouraged in witnessing. This is one real advantage of a planned presentation of the gospel. Salesmen know exactly what they are going to say. Are not the children of this world wiser, in this respect, than the children of light? When we keep our hearts right with the Lord, the presentation will not be mechanical; for the truths will stir our own hearts as we present Christ and the gospel. Graciously we must dominate the conversation, for we have something others desperately need to hear.
An important lesson is never to take a short cut. How easily the Lord could have surmised as some do that since Nicodemus came seeking he was ready and just hurriedly told him to "call upon the Lord" or "pray the sinner's prayer." He told him clearly how to be born again, which we will see in the next lesson.
The issues are too great! Take nothing for granted but be sure each person knows what he is doing.