All human beings were created with the image of God, but the image is overshadowed by sin. But not all human beings chose to repent and get restored back into the image of God. During the weekend, I was talking to a non-Christian friend of mine, I was warning her about the troubles that might potentially come up in her life because of her attitude, I quoted an example from the life of another girl I met in the past, who had been through very terrible accident and had lost the beauty of her face in the accident. Immediately my friend seated next to me responded saying that "But My God has always been very protective of me, He pulled me out of situations where I have been sinking." I immediately responded back to her saying that God has been kind and mercificul to the other girl as well.
When I sit back and think about the conversation I realized, I was also under similar assumption as my friend, that "God thinks I am special ", till I came into Christ. All of this illusion was shattered when I started reading the Bible. The first thing that I realized soon after I came into Christ is, I am not special, I am one among the millions of people who believe in Him. He treats all His children the same, no one is special to God, we are all the same creation, No human being is great in the eyes of God. To Him all His children are the same, and it is possible a non-believer today might change to a believer tomorrow and He might also become like me. Like how Jesus Christ said in the Parable of workers in a Vineyard (Mathew 20).
When I started reading the Bible, I was in fact shocked to realize, how far I am from what God has really planned for me, I am so sinful and unworthy to even think of God doing any favor for me. I am so thankful that He kept me alive in spite of my mistakes. I felt terrified of the wrath God has against the sinfulness and me, and my sinfulness is not just limited by the sins of my own acts, but also by the sin of Adam and Eve. There is no way I can call myself eligible from His love. It is only through Jesus Christ and through His blood on the cross, that my sins can be washed, I can no way stand in front of God, claiming my righteousness.
I am a dust, I am worthless, in front of Him, He is so mighty, I was shaking inside by the fact that I have been thinking so wrong and High about me, and Have been under the assumption that I am winning, while in reality I was loosing. I was assuming that God was happy with everything I am doing, but in reality I was doing what is not right in His eyes, I was facing so many issues because of the false faith I had, and the false God I was believing. When I look back I can say, It was all darkness, I had no clue of How God is and He expects from me, coming into Christ is an eye opener.
Walking in this dark world, being guided by the Holy Spirit and the light is so challenging. Imagine how terrible it was to walk in the darkness of the world, being lead by drakness. When my eyes opened I realized I was in a terrible condition, I was shocked to see where I was standing. Only Jesus Christ can Save me, I cannot save myself.
As a parent, I know that my child was more "special" to me than the 20 plus seven and eight year olds I taught. Did I care deeply for them? Did I care for them, help them, teach them and comfort them? Absolutely but I have to tell you they were not the same as my very own child. I was their teacher but I was his mother.
I understand what you are saying but I think perhaps a better word is exclusive. You see while all have not been born-again, I believe God desires that for all. No one has to be an "orphan" standing outside the gate. All are welcome to come and be "adopted" by God. The gift of salvation is not just for some but for all.