A wealthy business man died. At his funeral, many people came to his widow and the rest of his family to express their sympathies.
Suddenly, a young man approached the widow with an unusual request.He said "Ma'am, I know you don't know me, but I was wondering if I could get in on your husband's inheritance."
The widow reacted, of course, with noticeable shock. The man saw this,and said "Ma'am,you don't understand. I'm a really good person. I do lots of good things, I'm very sincere, I even go to church. Doesn't that entitle me to some of his inheritance?"
"No," the widow replied, "to be part of the inheritance, you must be part of the family."
This little parable illustrates the attitude many people take toward God. Many ask; "But aren't we all part of God's family? Aren't we all children of God?" The answer to these questions may surprise some, but the truth is no, not everyone is a child of God. Jesus once told some very religious people "You are of your father the devil!" (John 8:44,see also 1 John 3:10.) All people are CREATIONS of God, but not all are CHILDREN of God. In order to be part of God's family, you must be adopted into it.
However, the good news is that anyone can be adopted into God's family. The invitation is given to all, to "whosoever will," but Jesus Himself realized that most people wouldn't take Him up on His offer (see Matthew 7:14.)
God makes it very clear that in order to be adopted into His family, you must do so through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus said "I am THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life, NO ONE comes to the Father BUT BY ME."(John 14:6)
"Yet TO ALL WHO RECEIVED HIM to THEM gave He the right to become sons of God."(John 1:12)
"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is NO OTHER NAME under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12)
"He who has the Son has life, he who does not have the Son does not have life"(1 John 5:12)
Jesus came into this world so that He could give His life to pay for our sin. Buddha couldn't do it, Mohammed couldn't do it, Lao Tzu couldn't do it. That is because they were only mortal men. Jesus was the unique Son of God. He lived the sinless life that we could never live, and died on the cross in our place to pay the price for our sin.
Have you ever told a lie, in all your life? Sure,we all have. Let's ask ourselves then, how many lies does one have to tell, to make him a liar? How many cars must he steal to make him a car thief? How many banks must he rob to make him a bank robber?
Exactly how serious is sin? Think of it this way: If someone commits a crime against an average person, then the criminal is deserving of punishment. However, how much more seriously will he be punished if the crime is against the President of the United States? Sin is a crime committed against the Supreme Power of the Universe! Sin is an eternal offense against an eternal God, so the penalty for sin is also eternal. To measure the seriousness of sin, just look at the price Jesus had to pay to redeem us from it!
Sin is more than just actions. Sin is a condition of the heart. What we do is an outgrowth of what we are. Since the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden, ALL human beings are born in a state of sin (Psalm 51:5;Romans 5:12.) Until a person is made a new creature in Christ, the rebellious, sinful nature remains.This is why God cannot allow unregenerate people into His Kingdom. In order for Heaven to be Heaven, there can never be the possibility of rebellion against God, His people, and His plans.
This is why religion, good deeds, doing your best, being sincere,etc. can never save anyone. These things deal only with the surface, when the real problem is with the heart, or nature, of a person. Through being Born Again, the person's nature is totally changed. He becomes a totally new creation. Sin's power over him is broken. That doesn't mean he won't sin, while he lives in his mortal body, he must still renew his mind and discipline his flesh, but it does mean that sin is no longer his nature.
It doesn't matter how far into sin you may be. God loves you, and wants you to be a part of His family. His love and power can transform your life forever. If you have never given your life to Jesus, why not today?