“Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mat 18:3-4), “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein” (Mar 10:15). Children are impressionable, open-minded, and receptive—they’re teachable. Adults, on the other hand, many times are adamant, obstinate, and set in their ways. But Jesus the Savior said that if we won’t humble ourselves as a little child, we won’t be entering the kingdom—we won’t be saved.
Children are like a tabula rasa or blank slate in that they don’t know much but are very open and responsive to learning. The downfall, of course, is when they’re taught wrong which can be very difficult for them to ever unlearn later. And the way it is with children is similarly how it is with salvation. We’ve been taught so much false doctrine that’s keeping us blinded from the truth that we must lay aside or put on the table all our assumptions and beliefs, then approach the Scriptures as objectively as possible in search of the truth. We must become as little children. And that’s what I did after being a Trinitarian for 25 years. I started over as a child.
Our enemy doesn’t just want to keep us from the truth but wants us bound with false doctrine and beliefs to such a degree that if the truth ever does come to our hearing, we’ll turn our ears away from it and even fight against it. Thus, the agenda of all religions and cults—to get us bound with error so that we’ll perish. All religions consider themselves the truth while all others are false, and Trinitarianism—Catholic and Protestant—is no different. It’s simply false religion no better than Jehovah’s Witness, Mormonism, Unitarianism, Buddhism, and Islam. All keep people bound in stubbornness to false beliefs so that they won’t hear the truth. The only hope is to be converted back to a child as a blank slate eager to hear the truth, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children.”
The wretched condition of God’s people throughout their history is that they would become hardened and stubborn so that they wouldn’t listen to God: “look not unto the stubbornness of this people, nor to their wickedness, nor to their sin” (Deu 9:27); “they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way” (Jdg 2:19); “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1Sa 15:23); “Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God” (2Ki 17:14); “But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments” (Neh 9:16); “And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation” (Psa 78:8); “Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers” (Jer 7:26); “they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words” (Jer 19:15).
The writer of Hebrews quoted this same statement from Psalm 95 three times, “To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Heb 3:7-8,15, 4:7). When we become hardened and set in our beliefs, we won’t listen even to Jesus Himself! We won’t hear His voice yet we’ll eagerly hear the voices of preachers teaching us contrary to what Jesus taught. In His ministry on earth, He said “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Mat 13:9), “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Mar 4:9). And from His position at the right hand of God, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Rev 2:7,11,17,29, 3:6,13,22).
Pharaoh kept hardening his own heart until eventually he crossed a point of no return where God began hardening his heart as He had foretold, “And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart” (Exo 7:3), “And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh” (Exo 9:12). When there was respite or a period of relief from the plagues, Pharaoh gained false confidence and became hardened again, “But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said” (Exo 8:15). Likewise, when all is going well, we become hardened. It’s when the “plagues” of life come that we become desperate. But unlike Pharaoh, we don’t want to keep hardening ourselves to the point that we can never return.
Many years ago I had a family member who didn’t start seeking God until she was diagnosed with cancer and died just 10 months later. Once we’re desperate and short on time to find the truth, we’ll discover that it’s difficult to find. Although the Scriptures are everywhere, even on our phones in our pockets, false teachers are also everywhere bent on making sure we won’t find the truth in the Scriptures. Their sermons and books give us a certain amount of truth to be enticing but also a false view of God and His Son, and a false gospel message to ensure we’ll perish. Please don’t wait until desperation. Be converted as a little child now and hear His voice.