Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Many 'Christians' will be left out of heaven

I am coming to the regretful conclusion that there will be few going in the rapture and few who will enter heaven. I'm including professing Christians in this group. I believe this because the scriptures tell us repeatedly…if we only care to look.

In Luke 18:8 the Lord asks, “When the Son of Man is revealed, will He find faith upon the earth?

We don’t know how many will be taken by the Lord but the bible provides some indications as to proportions. Jesus’ questions about finding faith in Luke 18:8 is the end of a discourse that began in Luke 17:22, concerning His Second Coming. In verse 26 the Lord said: “And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man.” In verse 28-29 He noted, “It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.”

Often scholars interpret the Days of Lot and the Days of Noah as the spiritual condition of the people on the earth when He comes. I believe this is proper. However, less often looked at, are the numbers.

Prior to Sodom’s judgment (where Lot lived), Abraham contended for the city in Genesis 18:23-32. Sodom is stated to be a “city,” having a “gate,” and people came “from every quarter.” In other words, Sodom wasn’t a village nor was it small. A lot of people lived there. God was about to destroy the city for its iniquity. Abraham asked God a series of questions and ended with: ‘If there were ten righteous people in the city, would God destroy it?’ And God said if there were ten He would not. In Genesis 19:24 that God rained fire and brimstone upon the city, destroying it, so God did not find ten righteous people. We know from scripture that only four left Sodom, Lot, his wife, and their two daughters. And Lot’s wife escaped the city with her husband but still lost her life in the same judgment for disobedience. Three righteous from among an entire city is a small fraction.

Jesus also reminds us of the days of Noah. We know from 2 Peter 2:5 that only 8 people were on the whole earth were found to be righteous and spared from the flood. The rest of the world was left behind to die in judgment. Eight people is a very small fraction.

Of the two million who wandered in the wilderness, only two made it to Canaan - Joshua and Caleb. Two.

Eight, four, two… In these next verses the bible does not state hard numbers but Jesus does indicate general amounts through His use of the contrasting words ‘many’ and ‘few.’ “Many will come to Me in that day saying, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:21-23. This idea of hell-bound faithful is carried further, when Jesus says that lukewarm Christians, neither cold nor hot, will be spit from His mouth in disgust. (Revelation 3:16.)

The few and the many is found in Matthew and also in Revelation. Jesus again: "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Mt 7:13-14.

In Revelation, preparation for judgment “books” were opened, and also the Lamb’s “Book” of Life was opened. Books, plural, are opened to name the damned, but those found in the Lamb’s book of Life are few enough to be listed in only one book, singular. (Rev 20:12-13)

It seems obvious to me that not all who profess Christ will be taken into His arms at either the Rapture or during His Day. Though there will be a grat number who turn tothe Lord during the Tribulation, in the end, the number who enter heaven compared tot he number of all who ever lived, is small. Few.

Only God knows the heart of a man (1 Samuel 16:7) and therefore only God knows the quality of faith inside that heart. However, the scriptures indicate clearly that the proportions of those who think they are going to heaven are many, those who think their profession of Jesus' name, or their faithful heart will be enough to earn them eternal life are many, yet the Lord states flatly that there are in fact few. This "few" includes Christians, as in those who were false Christians and those who were lukewarm Christians. Many profess Christ...few of those actually possess Him.

I am in no way intimating that once a person is saved, they can lose their position in Christ. I am alerting us to the notion that many who think they are on the path to heaven, Christians included, are in truth ... not on the narrow path. Though many profess, few go through the gate. Today is the day to search your heart and fall upon Him through sincere repentance of your sins. Do not assume you are saved just because you said a prayer or perform in a tradition or church attendance or some other means except repentance through grace. Repent, and know it!

Further Reading:

A Believer's Assurance: A Practical Guide to Victory Over Doubt

Saved or Self-Deceived, part 1


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Dear Reader, As of yesterday I have published 4000 essays at the End Time. My goal has been to share thoughts on the three general topics ...