One thing I've been thinking about for the past couple of years is how we use the phrase "child of God." I seem to often run into a liturgy where it is implied that every created human being is a child of God.
I know that this is a nice-sounding thing to say about someone, but I don't see it supported in the Bible. From what I can tell a child of God is one who is adopted into the family of God through faith in Christ. This more limited view of who is a child of God and who is not seems to be what is suggested by John 1:10-13:
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
From what I can tell, this passage seems to suggest that being named as a child of God is a "right" that is actually withheld from anyone who does not believe in/receive Jesus, and graciously granted to those who do receive him.
I know that someone of a different theological persuasion may argue that it is unkind, arrogant, or uncharitable to say that only those who have received Jesus are children of God and in the family of God.
I have a friend who says that we are all morally obligated to yearn for universalism to be true. I think we should yearn for everyone to become a child of God and be saved. But in the meantime I cannot buy into a Christian faith that is not built upon the truth that is laid out in the Bible, which seems to me to clearly say that a "child of God" is someone who has believed in/received Jesus.
Other Scriptures that seem to support this view would be Romans 8, Galatians 3:26; 4:6.