Many will say, “We’re all God’s Children” with the intended meaning that everyone on earth is God’s child. That’s not a true statement. While it is true that everyone (and everything) belongs to God (Psa 24:1), not everyone (all people) are His children.
Now don’t hear me wrong. God loves everyone with a love that is beyond our comprehension (Read A-Z Proof of Love that Never Fades). But just because God’s love is freely and lavishly given, it does not make all people His children.
In earthly relationships, being a child of a father indicates a standing in the father’s family. Therefore, being a part of God’s family indicates a special position, a significant standing, in a relationship with God. This is only received in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus. If one has not been saved by Jesus, then he does not belong to God’s family and is not a child of God. God is very specific about how one becomes part of His family.
“Born Again” into the Family of God
Just as a child becomes a part of an earthly family at birth, repentant sinners become a part of a spiritual family when they are born again (John 3:3-5). Only those who have repented and trusted in Christ’s finished work on the cross, for the payment of their sins, have been born again (regenerated) by God’s Spirit. When Jesus saves a repentant sinner and declares him justified, He sends His Spirit to indwell and seal the person (Col 1:27, Eph 4:30), thereby the person enters into the Kingdom of God, the family of God, and has a positional standing as a child of God.
John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God to those who believe in His name.
Gal 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Adopted into the Family of God
God gives us many illustrations to help us understand the spiritual union that we now enjoy with Him. In addition to being born again, we are also told that we are adopted into His family.
Rom 8:14-16 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God
Adoption into God’s family gives us both positional standing as a family member and also lavishes us with all the riches of Christ.
Rom 8:17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.
And “heirs according to the promise:”
Gal 3:29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
God Loves All People
There is no doubt that God loves His children. It is evidenced by His words, His actions, and His promises. God also loves the lost (Read Does God Love the Lost?). But that does not make them God’s children. And it does not mean they receive the gifts that a child of God receives. Only by being a child of God does one receive the full measure of HIs love and the extravagance of His gifts.
Children vs. Creation
Those who have not received Christ have no standing in God’s family. However, we must remember that they still are His creation. Adam was created in God’s image, but since the fall all people have been born in the image of Adam (fallen, sinful, and without the Holy Spirit Genesis 5:3, Read: What Does It Mean to Be Created in God’s Image?). It is only by rebirth in Christ that one is restored to the image of God (still in part, because our flesh is still sinful). God is the giver of life to all, and, while it is not accurate to say that everyone is God’s child, it is accurate to say that God loves all to whom He has given life.
The Bigger Question?
Recognizing that not all people are God’s children, we should ask ourselves, what are we doing to build the Kingdom of God by growing the family of God? Everyone, who is a child of God, should be diligent in sharing the saving grace of Jesus. Jesus is the only way to received forgiveness of sins, and be born again into the family of God.
On the night in which He was betrayed, Jesus prayed for His disciples and He prayed for us. He prayed for all who would become children of God and joint-heirs with Him. In praying, He gave us His mission to carry out in His absence:
John 17:18-21 “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them [His disciples] into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word [that would be us!]; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
“…that the world may believe that You sent Me.” That’s our “marching orders.” We are to share Jesus with the world—so they may believe.
Jesus Commissioned the Disciples
Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mark 16:16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
Jesus Commissioned Paul
Acts 26:16-18 “But rise and stand on your feet; for I [Jesus] have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”
Jesus Commissioned Us
The commission Jesus gave to the disciples and to Paul is the same commission for us. Just as the twelve and Paul were Jesus’ disciples to preach His gospel, we too are His disciples and we are to boldly speak His truths.
Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Rom 10:13-15 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
Acts 20:20-21 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph 6:19-20 …that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Joyful, Dutiful Mission
Let it be our duty and our joy to share Christ’s saving grace with people everywhere. Let it be our mission to help in building the family of God, by sharing the gospel with the lost. May our hearts be burdened for those who do not know Jesus and may we always be ready to tell them of the hope we have in Jesus.
2 Pet 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
1 Pet 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.
Share His saving grace with everyone you meet.
Read also: What does it mean to be a child of God?
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