Friday, June 24, 2016

Encouragement: How many will be in heaven?

I've looked at the numbers and have been discouraged by the seeming few that will be in heaven. The proportions of saved to lost seems wide. All the world died in the flood...except for 8. All four cities of the plain were smote ...  only four people escaped ... and one of them turned out to be false. The road is broad and many are on it, while the path is narrow and few find it.

I've written about that proportion here

I'm looking at the numbers and they don't look good

and here

Many 'Christians' will be left out of heaven

I've also been discouraged by the lack of solid churches and the difficulty in finding them. Many of you have written to me about the same thing.

In listening to Justin Peters last night teach about child conversions, he said the encouraging regarding both topics. In his lesson he also named off a list of many solid churches he is personally familiar with.
It is easy to get discouraged when looking at the broad swathe of Christianity, and it is easy when we see so much heresy, so much compromise even from the supposedly good guys. It's rampant. But there are good churches out there God does have His people everywhere. They're not in the limelight, they're not in the spotlight.  ... There are good churches, it's just that they're in small places. They're hard to find, but they're out there.
He said this about numbers in heaven. I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one who gets discouraged. I'am also glad to know that I overlooked something. Children who have died will massively add to the number in heaven-
I believe that the best understanding of scripture holds that when a baby, toddler, young child dies, that little one goes to heaven. ... Have you ever thought about this? have you ever been discouraged at how few people go to heaven? When you look around the world, there's 7 billion people on this planet and I think it is safe to say that well under and only probably less than 1% of truly born again, there's a lot of people who say they're Christians but they're not. It can get kind of discouraging can't it? But you know what? Have you ever thought about how many hundreds of millions or billions of children have died? In a miscarriage, before they were even born? Or how many children have been killed in abortions? Or how many children have died at early ages? Do you know where all those young ones are? They're in heaven. There's going to be a lot of folks in heaven! It's going to be a busy place, with a lot of people in it! (Source)
In the lesson, Peters had previously explained from scripture why he and most others believe that infants, toddlers, and children will be in heaven. There was a biblical context for his statement.

In the United states alone, there have been 60 million abortions in the last 40 years. All those aborted children are in heaven. The worldwide infant mortality rate due to natural causes is also very high. It always has been.
The infant mortality rate (IMR) is the number of deaths of infants under one year old per 1,000 live births. This rate is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country. The infant mortality rate of the world is 49.4 according to the United Nations and 42.09 according to the CIA World Factbook. The under-5 mortality rate of the world is 73.7 according to the United Nations. (Source)
Praise the Lord, the numbers of departed children I'd overlooked when thinking of heaven massively increases the number that will be there. Bless the Lord, and bless the children waiting for us there (whatever age they will be upon heavenly entry).




4 comments :

  1. The idea of an age of accountability is a well-meaning, but sadly unscriptural belief. It denies the reality of all human beings inheriting Adam's sin. This includes the smallest babies.

    The teaching came because it's too frightening to think of one's little son or daughter going to hell. Once infant baptism had been thrown out, this was the substitute teaching given pastorally to comfort grieving parents.

    Depending on one's reading of the Scriptures, a case can be made that some children do have faith, even in the womb. This faith is a gift of God. So it is fully Biblical to hold that "God knows those that are his", and that some of those children who die at a young age are in heaven.

    At least this idea comforts me.

    It's a terrible thing for a parent to lose a child. May God be with all those who suffer in this way.

    Alec

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alec,

      I noted in the essay that the Pastor used scripture and said he provided a context for his assertion, which I also noted, most theologians accept. In the lesson, he also expressly stated that babies present in heaven does not deny the original sin. Did you take the time to listen before you commented?

      I sadly also notice you did not did not take the time to provide me or the readers with scripture to support your assertion that the doctrine is "unscriptural", nor that children in the womb have faith.

      Delete
  2. I know that I don't have the wisdom of Justin Peters, John Macarthur (whom I've heard in essence say the same thing) or you, but I must respectfully disagree. I believe scripture and the doctrine of election lead to a different conclusion. The "age of accountability" is a man-made (Roman Catholic) concept not to be found in scripture. Although we perceive children to be innocent, they are born with a sin nature, they don't grow into it, and are, therefore, guilty before God. God in His holiness does not overlook that sin nature due to age. As Dr. James White says, "There's no such thing as an innocent child." Scripture validates this in Romans 3:10 "There is none righteous, no, not one." We are all born dead spiritually and God chooses those whom He will make alive in Christ. I do not believe we can assume all children are among the elect. I would quote Chapter X, III of the Westminster Confession of Faith, which states, "Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth. So also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word."

    I state this, not to be disagreeable to you, but because I believe it to be the truth. When you understand the doctrine of election and the holiness and sovereignty of God, then you come to understand there are other hard doctrines to align your thinking with that don't seem logical to the human mind. But this is the real God who has stated that He has chosen "few" out of His creation. All the more reason to be grateful we're among them as we see apostasy exploding.

    This may seem harsh - I understand that - but I'm more interested in knowing God as He truly is, and I am convinced of this matter. Others may disagree (which makes no difference to me), but I believe it would be wise for Christians to consider this carefully and seek out the deep wisdom of God, which we must accept. We can rationalize all we want, but God's wisdom and purposes for His own glory stand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Sheryl,

      Thank you and I understand your points. I'd like to make a few in reply.

      I believe the doctrine of election and I'm fully aware of its tenets. Both Pastor Peters and Dr MacArthur are Calvinist yet both have shown that babies who die before declaring their belief in Jesus will be in heaven. Yet the belief that babies will be in heaven does not deny the doctrine of original sin. Neither pastor asserts that babies are innocent and neither pastor asserts that babies are free from original sin. They both affirm it, as do I. Yet the so-called age of accountability and the doctrine of original sin are not at odds.

      One difference is as Romans 1:18 says, the babies have *not* willfully suppressed the truth in unrighteousness.

      Once you have removed the stumbling block you are incorrectly assuming regarding the doctrine, it would free you to look at things in the way that is taught in the resources below and by Pastor Peters in the lesson.

      I do not believe the so called age of accountability was formed by man at the Catholic Church but it's actually is in scripture, alluded to anyway. Whatever the Catholics did with the doctrine afterwards is their business.

      Here are some resources for you

      This one outlines the points very well.
      Do babies and others incapable of professing faith in Christ automatically go to heaven?
      https://www.gty.org/resources/questions/QA101/do-babies-and-others-incapable-of-professing-faith-in-christ-automatically-go-to-heaven

      Longer sermon:

      Do babies and others incapable of professing faith in Christ automatically go to heaven?
      https://www.gty.org/resources/questions/QA101/do-babies-and-others-incapable-of-professing-faith-in-christ-automatically-go-to-heaven

      Sermon:
      The salvation of babies who die part 1
      https://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-242/the-salvation-of-babies-who-die-part-1

      Book: Safe in the arms of God.

      Delete