Who Will Be Saved?
"Few people will be saved in heaven." Who would make such a statement? Does that sound like the opinion of some narrow-minded bigot, perhaps some preacher who believes that everyone who doesn't agree with him on every point is going to be lost?
The question of who will be saved is a religious minefield. The "politically correct" answer is to affirm that nearly everyone except the worst serial killers will sweep through the gates of heaven. ...After all, salvation is by grace! Sometimes the question "who will be saved" is actually used to put others on the defensive. If one answers that some people are going to be condemned to eternal torment, the questioner pounces with glee. "See there, you have a mean and cruel spirit; you would send people who disagree with you to hell." Of course, the truth is that no man has the power to send another man to eternal punishment.
Few people will be saved. It was Jesus who said it, not some narrow-minded bigot. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus said, "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14).
Jesus' answer to the question "who will be saved" is not very popular today. In the modern way of thinking, if you disagree with another person's behavior, you may be accused of being a bigot or hating that person. Does anyone believe that Jesus hates sinners because He spoke out against sin? The apostle John wrote that we know what love is because Jesus laid down His life for us (1 John 3:16). He "tasted death" for every man (Hebrews 2:9). The point of asking the question "who will be saved" is not to exclude anyone, but to encourage more people to strive to enter the narrow gate (Luke 13:24)!
Unfortunately, there will be some surprised people on the day of final judgment, partially because they have been led to believe by religious leaders that practically any "road" leads to heaven (see John 14:6 for the divine answer to that falsehood). Jesus taught that it is possible to be very "religious," and yet be rejected by God on that day of judgment (Matthew 7:21-23). In fact, He made it quite plain that the determining factor is not "religiosity," but obedience to the will of our heavenly Father! The claim to belong to Christ without actually following His commands is empty (Luke 6:46). Although salvation is by grace, man cannot be saved in rebellion to God.
Contrary to the teaching of some, the number of saved people will NOT be small because God chose to make it that way (2 Peter 3:9). The reason is that there are few who are willing to submit to the conditions of salvation.