Who Are the Children of God ?
The notion that all of humanity are the "Children of God" is a popularly held belief. It is the "ecumenical" viewpoint wherein no religion or denomination is excluded from claiming that they are among "ALL of God's children." This in harmony with Universalist theology. It has also been declared by the now pope, Pope Francis 1.
I find that this is the current understanding of those in most mainline Christian churches. The universalists uphold the comforting belief that man is essentially good and that a wise, all-compassionate God will certainly acknowlege that their best human efforts will grant them an eternal heavenly reward based on their motivation and actions. This seems only fair and reasonable in most of our minds. The view that all are children of God also allows the belief that "all paths lead to God" a tenant of Buddhism.
We can turn to Jesus' words to reconcile to the reality, There is "a broad path that leads to destruction, by which many go.. " Jesus spoke of a narrow path. This narrow path involved Jesus of Nazareth himself, where is the one access point, the door. He said, "No one comes to the 'Father' but through me." This was and is the pathway that brings offense and causes many to stumble.
should we start to state of the case that the children of God are a particular
and a limited breed?
"Our Father Who Art in Heaven.. "
familiar prayer memorized by most Christians begins with this declaration.
We give it little thought because it has lost any kind of meaning since
we have learned to pray it countless times by 'wrote.' We never contemplate
the profound implications that it had to those who originally heard it
declared the first time by the Messiah himself. Remember in the days that
Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth, ministered on earth. The Jewish authorities
held that G-d had no son. Neither Jeshua, a jewish rabbi, nor any of his
followers would ever presume to make such a brash statement. The same
position is held by Islam today. It is emblazoned upon their mosque, the
dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
I have heard many Christian leaders actually go so far as to call Yeshua's disciples "Christians" in the time of his earthly ministry. They were not Christians, they were disciples, followers of Yeshua of Nazareth, who they believed him to be the promised King of Israel. Even after Pentecost the disciples of Jesus identified themselves as being followers of "the way" of their Messiah. The birth of the church age at Pentecost transformed the spiritual nature of the disciples into "sons (daughters) of G-d. Christians were not named such until much later in Antioch Syria. Likewise, followers of Moses it has been taught by some denominations were Christians.
identity of Jesus as the "son of God" was first revealed to
Peter by the revelation of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 16:16) Thereafter
the disciples believed that Jesus was truly the Messiah and the
Son of the Living God. They would have carried and affirmed this
belief for the duration of their days with him. Nevertheless they were
never quite sure of what it meant that he had a destiny to die in Jerusalem
to fulfill his Father's will.
30:4 An Old Testament Statement Testifying of G-d's Son
Jesus' Parable of the Wheat and the Tares; a Proof Text That We Are Not All God's Children.
Matthew 13: 36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The above passage indicates that those who we presume to be Christians sitting next to us in a church setting may be among the tares. Another who may be a faithful church attender of another denomination may likewise be among the tares that of unregenerated humanity. It would likewise apply to any other faith who attend a synagogue, temple, or mosque. The appearance of goodness or good and righteous standing in a non Christian setting, are not likely to be accounted among those who God has called and redeemed. Only God has this knowledge. Sorry the Bible does not teach the equality of all religions.
Who is it that determines whether or not we qualify for the title of God's children? God know those who are his own. This will become abundantly clear when the final harvest occurs at the end of the age. We who have been "born from above" have this witness that we are the children of God. From the viewpoint of a casual observer believers are not distinquishable from unbelievers. Churches and cults imagine themselves to be in the category of confidence in their righteous standing; that they are the elect and beloved of God. But have they had their names written in the "Book of Life?" Have they been "born again?" The Gospel of Grace declares that this status may be received as a free gift. It is not awarded because of religious works or righteous deeds. Only God initiates this entire transaction by supernatural power. He answers those who cry out of a sincere heart. Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved! (Joel 2:32) 32 "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: (saved) for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call."
Why Jesus Taught in Parables
Matthew 13: 10 "And the disciples came,
and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered
and said unto them, Because it is given unto
you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is
not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and
he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be
taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables:
because they seeing, see not; and hearing, they hear not, neither do they
Proof Texts from the Gospel of John
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
In John, the first chapter,
we find that those who receive him (Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah) those who
will receive, he gives the Power
John 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
John 14.6 - - Jesus
saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me. It is the Father in heaven who makes the decision
about those who will be drawn forth or "chosen" for the title
of Son of God.
John the apostle writes in his 1 John:3 Johns first Epistle:3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
continues to clarify the identifying traits of those who are God's children
and the children of the devil later in the same chapter:
Worldly Christians it seems, are far more engaged in pursuit of worldly rewards, name, fame, power, recognition, and acquisition of things. They have set their hearts (the seat of affections) upon things of this world that perish, and not things which are eternal / heavenly. John has exhorted against this pitfall, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15)
Some have debated the
reality of Good vs. Evil. The Bible makes it clear; there are some
human beings who are Evil and some who are Good. The good news is that
we can change that status once we realize the truth about our fallen nature.
Ephesians 2:v3 explains:
Christ has redeemed us. We are redeemed from
the curse of the law, Christ having been made a curse on our behalf. (Galatians
The consequences of not receiving our Savior
Redeemer: John 3:16 to 3:18 The offer of redemption is made clear in these