The majority of mankind will be saved – will you be among them?
It is not uncommon to hear the depressing and unbiblical doctrine that only a minority of the human family will arrive in heaven. It is also common to hear the ungodly say that they do not want to go to heaven, which is another but related topic, and they can hardly complain that God will not force them into heaven against their will. If they view Christianity as exclusive, they need to recall that they exclude themselves.
Various biblical texts are wrongly used to support this unbiblical idea that the Lord Jesus Christ will save only a minority of mankind:
- Jesus was asked: “Are there few that be saved?” Lk 13:23. Jesus replied with neither Yes nor No to this, but that many would be too late, out of complacency, and to make sure that you are not among them. He did not say ‘a majority’ would be too late, but ‘many’.
- Jesus said: “Narrow is the way which leads to life, and few there be that find it” Mat 7:14. However, Jesus did not say that there will always be few. There were few in His day, and there may be few in your locality, but it is not and will not always be so. During the biblical Millennium, when there will be good and widespread preaching of the Gospel, many will believe in Jesus Christ as Saviour. In the meanwhile, it is not so.
- “A remnant shall be saved” Rom 9:27. Paul wrote this in the context of there being many unbelieving Jews in his day. It will not always be so. Paul was dealing with the relatively small number of Jews in his day who believed in Jesus as the Messiah by showing that it was predicted by Old Testament Scripture that even in the worst of times there would be a remnant of believers. This is not a comment on the whole number of the saved.
- Jesus said: “Fear not, little flock” Lk 12:32. The disciples were a little flock in Christ’s day, but He went on to say, “it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” The little flock is a term of endearment in their trying circumstances and it is not a comment on the whole number of the saved.
- Jesus said: “When the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?” Lk 18:8. This is commonly misinterpreted to mean that the world will get worse and worse and so the Christian church will always be in the minority. Rather, Jesus is speaking about the international apostasy at the end of the world after the Millennium – see Rev 20:7-8 – so that Jesus will then come quickly on the last day Jn 6:39,40,44,54 and Jn 12:48 to judge mankind. So Lk 18:8 is not a comment on the whole number of the saved.
The Bible teaches the opposite of this depressing doctrine.
- Believers inherit a kingdom Lk 12:32, whereas the devil and his hordes are consigned to a pit Rev 20:3 and then a lake of fire Rev 20:10 and Mat 25:41. “In My Father’s house are many mansions” Jn 14:2.
- There is an innumerable number of saved human beings already in heaven Rev 7:9.
- Even the majority of angels are on Christ’s side Rev 12:4.
- World population is growing exponentially and there have been more human beings living on Earth in the 20th century than in all previous centuries put together. In the Millennium Rev 20:2-7, the kingdoms of this world will “become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” Rev 11:15. This lengthy Millennium will be more than enough time for the Lord’s people to outnumber the ungodly who have lived thus far upon Earth.
- It is possible and even probable that untold numbers of babies miscarrying in the womb, and infants dying in infancy, have arrived in heaven. See Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s sermon on 2Kings 4:26, who supports this view (we can forgive him for his two unbiblical comments against infant baptism). A more definitive treatment of the subject is The Theology of Infant Salvation by R. A. Webb, 1907, reprinted by Sprinkle, 1981.
- Jesus will have the majority at last: “And He is the head of the body, the church: Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence” Col 1:18. Jesus will not be beaten by the devil and his hordes. Jesus is a winner, not a loser. “None of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled” Jn 17:12.
The ungodly will find themselves belonging to a minority of losers, on the wrong side of history, and on the wrong side of eternity, to their everlasting shame and dismay, while the godly will inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world Mat 25:34.
The ungodly are hazarding this gift of eternal life through their supercilious unbelief. Jesus challenges them: “If I say the truth, why do you not believe Me?” Jn 8:46. In other words, Jesus invites them to examine themselves and to look at themselves in the mirror.
3 Sep 2017: Too good to be true.
28 Jul 2018: God’s gift.
9 Apr 2021: the ungodly slander of Christian doctrine has been promoted by Scots poet Robert Burns in Holy Willie’s Prayer which says “Sends ane to Heaven an’ ten to Hell, A’ for Thy glory.” Not many, who hear this line quoted, realise that Burns put it into the mouth of a hypocrit, and they therefore misunderstand it as his criticism of Scottish Calvinism instead of its being the opinion of a person of Burns’ acquaintance. However, by mistake or design, this slander against biblical Christianity persists and it is perpetuated every time the line is quoted without explanation, and usually with this pejorative sense and force. Such people fall under Jesus’ condemnation of those who hinder people entering the kingdom of God Lk 11:52.
13 Nov 2021: I came across this miserable message masquerading as the Gospel of Christ. It is a message by a Tridentine Roman Catholic priest of ten years’ practice, a Vatican Council II critic, about how few people will be saved even among Roman Catholics, drawing upon the opinions of earlier teachers rather than by exegeting Scripture. It is useful for the number of home truths exposed about Roman Catholic teaching. It took him two sermons to even begin to reach his subject, after majoring on the opinions of Roman Catholic teachers and there being no salvation outside Roman Catholicism. “It is sufficient for me to quote the fathers and doctors and saints of the church.” Really? Some would rather listen to Jesus in the Gospels. After 26 minutes he begins with Roman Catholic saint Leonard’s opinions of a few texts of Scripture. Within four minutes he finished with his biblical explanation from Leo and moved on to more opinions from revered teachers in the past and told us some fanciful stories. After 33 minutes he quoted one text Mk 16:16 from Jesus and quickly moved away from Scripture to the Roman Catholic rosary, the Roman Catholic mass and especially the doctrine of being “good enough” or “worthy” to get into heaven, which he correctly contrasted with “thinking like Protestants”. “You’ve got to pray well,” he said. In closing he quoted 1Pe 4:18 which says nothing about the number being saved but the difficulty even Jesus had in saving His people. This is no Gospel – ‘good news’ – but bad news and certainly not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, this miserable doctrine is not confined to traditional Roman Catholics but it is held and promoted by others also, using some rationalistic exegesis. Biblical exegesis is the need of the hour. The good thing is that if one Googles “majority of mankind saved” my own blogpost appears first in Google’s list, ahead of this miserable Roman Catholic one, although mine has had five less years to be consulted.