"I remember reading of a man named Dr. R.B. Shattuck who put duck eggs under a brooding hen. Some very amusing things happened, as he related.
"He said that next to human beings, hens are the most easily hum-bugged creatures and that putting duck eggs under a hen is one of the biggest jokes on that farm. When the ducks are hatched it is a tragedy for the hen and a comedy for the bystanders. The ducklings go where they please, utterly indifferent to the hen's frantic clucking and cackling. They do not understand the hens' frantic utterings, and she does not know whether they are happy or suffering pain.
"They eat what she forbids and refuse what she offers. They never follow her; she is always following them trying to get them to do her bidding. They head for the nearest mud puddle and she almost has a nervous breakdown. When they become waterlogged and sticky with mud, they rub themselves against her to dry themselves off. It is a one-way relationship -- she is compelled to "moter" the ducks, but they never even approximate being her chicks. It is a sad situation to say the least.
"It is quite easy to see in all of this a parallel with many who call themselves children of God. They proclaim that God is their Father, but there is little resemblance and no obedience. God is bound to be their Father, but they need not be His children. There is no interest in the things of God and they have no heart to do the things He requires. As in the former case, something is radically wrong.
"While many have a smattering of Bible knowledge, they simply are not children of God. They have never experienced new birth. They have not been born of God; just as the ducks were not really born of the hen, these people were never fathered by God Himself.
"Peter tells us that the true child of God is a 'Partaker of the Divine Nature.' Is one a child of God when he cares not for the things of our heavenly Father? One may claim to be saved but if he is like the 'ducklings,' always seeking his own interests, his actions and desires reveal his true nature. Where there is no desire to meet regularly with the people of God, no interest in reading and keeping His Word, no heartfelt communication through prayer and fellowship, it is difficult to believe that God's life indeed resides there. 'If any man be in Christ, He is a New Creature: Old Things are passed away; behold, all things are become new' (2 Cor. 5:17). One who knows anything about the suffering and death of Christ, His resurrection for our justification, cannot be indifferent to His voice and concerns. Jesus said, 'My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me.'
"The Bible speaks of wheat and tares. The tares looked just like the wheat and it was only upon close examination that their true nature was discovered: there was no grain. The devil is a great deceiver and he has fooled many in our day. Multitudes have heard the Gospel, raised their hand, prayed a prayer and assumed that this was some magic formula for getting saved. Now, you may do these things from the heart and truly become a child of God, but it is equally true that one may go through the motions and remain a child of Satan.
"For hundreds of years men have tried to simulate a true cultured pearl. Many good imitations have been produced and multitudes have been fooled. But experts can now detect the real thing from a counterfeit through the use of X-rays, electro-magnets and other means. They can examine the 'heart' of the pearl. After all, salvation is a heart matter (not merely head). Rom. 10 says that he who believes in his heart shall be saved. God knows every heart. You cannot fool Him for one moment. 'You must be born again.' Are you? Is there any evidence? Or, are you claiming His name while running around totally oblivious to His will? Are you doing your own thing? I plead with you to stop and think about the reality of your Christian life. Jesus said many would come to Him in the Day of Judgment claiming to belong to him, but He will have to say, 'Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.' God loves you, He sent His Son to die for you, and He will truly save you if you will humbly call upon that name which is above every name. 'Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'"