Jesus was very emphatic when He made this statement. He left no room for any ifs, ands, or buts. He was saying that if we do not accomplish this in life, nothing else will do. You simply will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3
When Jesus was here on earth he taught that there were many things that were important for us to do or accomplish in order for us to be allowed to enter the kingdom of heaven, but there were two things that were imperative, and if we would not do them, there was no way we would see heaven.
Long before Jesus came to this earth Solomon said: "I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in." 1 Kings 3:7 When Solomon acknowledged this to God, God in turn gave him what he had asked for and more.
What is it about a little child that is so important that except we become like one, we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven? Surely having the fruit of the Spirit in our lives is as important or more important than being like a little child?
So, I ask again, what is so important about becoming like a little child, that in not doing so, would keep one out of heaven?
To begin with, let's analyze what a little child is like. First, Jesus didn't say child, but little child, I believe He meant one under two years old.
1. They can't get a job and earn a living.
The list could go on and on, but I hope you get the point. They are pretty helpless and totally dependent on adults to take care of their needs.
Are you beginning to see the picture? Little children are helpless, hopeless, and powerless to take care of themselves and provide for their own needs. If you remove all outside support they will not survive for very long. Their lives will cease.
Jesus said "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3), teaching that until we understand and acknowledge (to be converted) that of ourselves we are as helpless, hopeless, powerless as a little child to live lives that are worthy of entering heaven. We must be totally dependent on Him for absolutely everything, spiritually and physically, as a little child is dependent on its parent. Matthew 6:31-34. If we are not living like this we will not enter heaven.
Even Jesus, when he was here as a man (our example), was completely dependent on his Father for everything. He said: "The Son can do nothing of himself." John 5:19. "Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things." John 8:28. Jesus was totally dependent on God just as we are to be totally dependent on Him.
Think about it. If God had not given us life at conception, would we exist? What if He didn't keep our hearts beating? If He had not created this earth and all that is in it, where would we be? Where did our talents and abilities come from? We have absolutely nothing that we have not been given. 1 Corinthians 4:7. There will be no self sufficient people in heaven.
2 Timothy 2:15