How many are going to be saved?



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  • How many are going to be saved?

    Need your insight about two versus that Jesus says during HIs stay on Earth. I do not think I fully understand what they mean because it seems as though they say two complete different things. Appears to be a contradiction, but I know it is just my poor understanding.

    "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Mt 7:13-14

    I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Mt 8: 11-12

  • #2
    The first scripture is about path choice. To choose the narrow path, filled with joy and willingness to do so, I edge along the difficult path given us by Christ. No longer consumed with the lusts of the world, money, position, prestige, possessions... they are merely survival requirements, not to be our passions. We separate ourselves from those who have no love for Christ as best friends (2 Cor. 6:14-18)... that comes natural if we truly pursue Christ. We no longer are slaves to our flesh, rather we bring our body into submission to the Holy Spirit, for we house his presence. We no longer get drunk, we no longer use people, we no longer are predators for sexual conquest, we do not feel comfortable about lying, we do not steal, we do not speak evil of others in gossip... and on it goes. All these aversions are naturally instilled within us when the Holy Spirit dwells. He makes us uncomfortable with the old ways. The narrow path is the very fine line we have to consider and submit too, but is natural to fulfill IF we remain in his Spirit by submissive obedience.

    The other verse is talking about those people who choose to walk the narrow path, and now they are in eternity, sharing the same space as the famous prophets who lived before us. We will recognize those who choose the narrow path in Christ and fellowship with them all with equal access. There will be no distinction of educated and uneducated, pastor and congregation, but we will walk freely among each another. The saints will come from every land, and share the same glory. The phrase "east and the west" commonly used in Jewish literature means the farthest reach in both directions.

    "But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness:
    there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
    He's pointing out that, while Jews ("children of the kingdom") will reject him, Gentiles will come from all parts of the world to acknowledge Jesus as Messiah. Isaiah had prophesied that the millennium will consist of Jews and Gentiles alike (Isaiah 55-56), a prophetic doctrine that the Jewish leaders weren't too happy with.

    Not well written commentary, because I am in a hurry. Hope this helps


    • #3
      Sorry to be splitting hairs by my prior questions ot those two versus.

      It saddens me that so few of people will come to know Jesus "The narrow gate". Makes me want to desperately share the gospel. Why do I deserve to be one of the lucky ones, who has heard the truth and accepted it? I am so thankful that God did not give up on me and continues not to give up on me to spare me from a reality that I can not even come close to imagining.


      • #4
        Great questions.

        When you read the sower of the seed in Matthew 13, some fell on the path and was eaten by birds (birds often represents evil or Satan in Hebrew literature, Doves represent light or holiness), some fell in the weeds or thorns as said in some translations (cares of world choked out truth), some fell upon the rocky places that prospered only for a time (hearts hardened due to the love of sin) and some on fertile soil (souls seeking for truth). That is a loose equation, only 25% of the seed (Gospel) sowed (shared) found a place to grow (hearts open to received). The rest died away or failed to germinate (75% of what was sown). This is a generalized expected return of the gospel... only a small percentage will respond. However, we are not to be tally keepers, but passionately adamant to share the gospel, because those who have ears will hear.

        And yes, that statement "Why do I deserve to be one of the lucky ones" is partially what Grace is about. Charles Haddon Spurgeon spoke of it often, so did Billy Sunday and Dwight L. Moody. It is the mystery of Grace, that many are called but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14). Predestination as it is called, would tell us that from the foundations of the earth, the Creator knew already who would hear and who would not. The Calvinist would say, "preach the gospel to awaken the elect... for they are predestined to be found." I am not exactly persuaded by many of the Calvinist views. However, we are to be willing tools in the Masters hands to this end, to share the gospel with all to harvest the few. Again, it is profound Grace that God would use a reconstituted fallen man to share the gospel with other fallen men. That the Father would use the very vessels that are objects of wrath to share good news with those who are also condemned.

        As the disciples asked, "Then who shall be saved?" and Christ said "What is impossible with men is possible with God. For with God all things are possible. Peter began to say to Him, Lo, we have left all and followed You. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall leave what is his own, parents, and brethren, and possessions, for My sake and the Gospel's, shall receive an hundred-fold now in this world, lands, and possessions, and house, and brethren, with persecutions; and in the world to come is life everlasting. But many that are first shall be last, and the last first.” (Mark 10:27 and Luke 18:27) If we forego our passions to the world, we shall discover the riches hidden in the Spirit, ONLY to be realized and found by those who fully yield, not before... after. Always sacrifice first, then realization.

        We should pray as the Saints before us, "Place within us a passion, a Holy Spirit fire that motivates and opens our eyes to see the nature of our condition as God sees it. That God would purge from us the desire for worldly pleasures and acquisitions, only to pursue those things that amount to eternity. Teach us to understand what it is to be militant for a Kingdom for which eye cannot see. Build us up in the faith so that the essence of the Spirit within fully overshadows the persuasions of the world." Amen


        • #5
          The Parable of the Sower clarifies this misconception of followers who fall away and apostacize - the seed upon hard, rocky and thorny soil are NOT saved -- only the seed upon the toiled fertile soil is saved. Those who fall away were NEVER saved to begin with. Scripture says so! Thus we shall know them by their fruits - if the fruit is rotten and they eventually deny Christ and follow cults and demons ===> they are of their father the devil and were never internally changed (circumcised within) by the Lord God. "A stranger they will NOT follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice. My sheep hear My voice and they will NOT follow another."


          • #6
            Those Who Fall Away Were Never Saved

            Comment on, "Those who fall away were NEVER saved to begin with."

            Personally, I am not of the OSAS camp, and am cautious about developing a formula that assures me that the person who is of the stones or weeds did not have a salvation encounter through Christ. I have known men and women of my 50+ years who did in fact dedicate a large portion of their life with genuine fruit, who fell away toward the end part of their journey. The Apostle Paul was keenly aware of this possibility, where he wrote Timothy celebrating not that the Lord had kept him in the faith, but that he had not fallen away by personal choice. "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" 2 Timothy 4:7. He was excited and triumphant that he had not been disqualified by any distractions. Paul again points out how a person can lose the eternal prize who lacks personal effort, "I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified" 1 Corinthians 9:27.

            While salvation is by grace alone, we have to “choose” to bring ourselves into submission. Where the Lord never subverts our free wills - we have the ability to choose otherwise. Redemption is wholly a work of God, and not a responsibility or effort on our part. "Not according to works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us" Titus 3:5. However, the Word of God always points to the responsibility of man; indeed it must, for no morally intelligent creature can be other than responsible. Grace and redemption may introduce principles and facts which modify the operation of the principle, but the principle remains the same.

            There is no greater passage to warn believers than Hebrews 6:4-6 "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." While this passage comes under three different interpretations, they each lean in the direction of exegetical bias. I hold to the interpretation that says such a person knew God through Christ, they entered in the beloved, they had genuine communion with God, but had fallen away into perilous sin. Their hearts were so hardened, that they no longer continued on the narrow path. We can find a warning in context, earlier in Hebrews toward this end, "Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." Hebrews 3:12-13. The sundry passages and warnings found in the book of Hebrews are for believers, not unbelievers.

            James 5:19-20 further establishes the danger of falling away from the faith, "My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death." This passage is in reference to a believer who has turned from the narrow way, but was restored by intercession. That believer having fallen into sin was saved from the dire path of death by restoration.

            When working on my dissertation back in the 80's, I typed (before computers) a paper and found over 40 "ifs" in Scriptures that places a condition on blessing and attainments of the faith. For example, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples." John 8:31. That is a conditional statement. "If you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel." Colossians 1:23 Again, conditional, "if" we continue. We can start the race well, but not finish, true believers included. Many scriptures make it abundantly clear that salvation is eternal (John 10:27-29; Romans 8:35, 38-39; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:4-5), and Hebrews 6:4-6 confirms that doctrine. Eternal assurance is never questioned. However, we can wander and do well to not to be as Lucifer, who became exalted in self-assurance and fell away from the Lord's glory suddenly and without remedy.


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