For most people, their family ties are important. They spend a lot of time and money carefully tracing their genealogy and are proud of the results! Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with this (I have been very interested in my own ancestry), but we must realize its place in our lives.
Paul was a man whose heritage meant nothing. He wrote, “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless” (Philippians 3:4-6). Paul was at the top of his career. He was “brought up at the feet of Gamaliel” (Acts 22:3), but on the road to Damascus, he found out that his life was pointing in the wrong direction. He knew that the Old Law meant nothing any longer (Ephesians 2:13-16; Colossians 2:13-15).
A lot of people will never obey the gospel because they are afraid of not seeing their parents in heaven. This is truly unfortunate. Many see through the error of Catholicism or denominationalism, yet their heritage holds them back. Paul said goodbye to his past and looked toward his future. Philippians 3:13-14 says, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Will you have the strength to let go?