Born once, die twice; born twice, die once
Recently I heard a Thai evangelist explain the gospel with this introduction, “If you are born once, you will die twice, but if you are born twice you will die only once.” After giving a summary of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus in John 3, the evangelist started to make comparisons found in that chapter with the changes that take place in the life cycle of a butterfly. He said, “A ugly, crawling caterpillar is born from an egg and immediately begins to destroy vegetation. The caterpillar then enters a kind of “death” in a self-made coffin called a chrysalis where he seemingly lies lifeless for weeks. Then through the process of metamorphosis this “dead” caterpillar is transformed and “born again” as it emerges from his tomb as a gorgeous butterfly. Of course, after a few weeks that butterfly will also die. The evangelist then went on to explain how all men are born once into this world as sinners and although physically alive they exist within a cocoon of spiritual darkness and death and eventually face permanent death just like every butterfly: born once but will die twice. Then using the positive analogy of the butterfly, the evangelist went on to say that although all mankind starts out like a caterpillar, it is possible to experience a complete metamorphosis spiritually by becoming “born again” through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and what He accomplished on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. The person who places his trust in Jesus is changed internally and receives eternal life and although he or she may die physically, God has promised that there is a day coming when that person will be changed into a glorious form which will never die: born twice, but die once.