Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church says there are only two ways to get into a family. Either a person is born into it, or he or she can be adopted to it. Luckily, God allows both ways into His family.
"God does both for you! It's called being born again, and it's called being adopted into the family of God," he explains on his website.
Warren says in Roman law, which people followed in the New Testament, people could disown the child they birthed. However, they were forbidden from disowning any children they chose to adopt.
In the same way, those who are born again into God's family and has been adopted by Him can never be disowned whatever happens.
"You may ask, 'No matter what I do? Really?' No matter what you do!" says Warren. "That's good news!"
The fellowship may be broken, adds Warren, but once people join the family of God, then there's no escaping it. "Once you're born, you cannot be unborn. Once you are born again, you cannot be unborn again," he says. "We are the family of God. Church is not something you go to. Church is something you belong to."
"You're grafted into the vine and the tree of life. You're born again and adopted into the family of God. He's saying all these things. You're joined into the body of Christ," he adds.
A lot of people mistakenly think that Christianity is a belief system because there are beliefs involved, but Warren says things actually run deeper than that. Christianity is all about connection and belonging, and being a Christian means a person belongs to the family of God and the Body of Christ.
"The Bible says it's like being born into a family," he says. "And this was God's plan all along — to make you part of His family!"