Have you ever been to a sawmill and seen the workers create planks of wood? I have, and I've found it fascinating.
They cut down a big tree that may have bumps and knots on it, and it may be a little crooked, but when they're finished, you would never know its imperfections.
They lay it on that cradle, run it through, and cut off one side of that log. Then they bring it back, turn it, and run it through again to cut off another side. They repeat this process until the log is perfectly square. If you stand and look at it, it looks perfectly straight. But if you go and look at the end of it, the heart is still crooked.
That’s the way it is with some individuals. They have reformed their behaviors outwardly, but inwardly they have not had a change of heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" Reformation is just not enough. We need regeneration.
If a man is an alcoholic, for example, and he quits drinking without getting saved, all that means is that he will go to hell sober. He still has to be saved. The problem is not on the outside primarily; the problem is on the inside.
John 3:3 says, "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."
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