So Few Are Going to Heaven
By David J. Stewart
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." —Matthew 7:13,14
Matthew 7:13-14 is one of the saddest Scripture passages in the Bible. We hear so much rhetoric nowadays from the sinful world about everyone being a child of God. In sharp contrast, the Word of God plainly states that so FEW people are going to Heaven. I sincerely doubt if even one-percent of the people in this world are truly born-again believers.
One of the most interesting commentaries I've ever read on Matthew 7:13-14 are the following words by the mighty man of God and Bible teacher—Pastor J. Vernon McGee...
The picture which is given here is not that of a choice between a broad white way with lots of fun and a narrow, dark, uninviting alley. Actually, He is giving a picture of a funnel. If you enter the funnel at the broad end, it keeps narrowing down until you come to death, destruction, and hell. But you can enter the funnel at the narrow part. That’s where Christ is—He is the way, the truth, and the life. He says, "… I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). And the longer you walk with Him, the wider it gets. Remember that in Ezekiel’s prophecy (chap. 47) there was a river flowing out from the throne of God which began as a little stream and widened out until it became a great river. That pictures the life of a child of God—it gets better every day. This is what our Lord was talking about.
SOURCE: Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee; CD ROM; http://www.logos.com
What a beautiful illustration of life. Which end of the funnel are you entering at?
There Are Few Saved
As Jesus was teaching, one of His disciples asked Him a very strange question...
"Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." —Luke 13:23-24
I can't help but ask the same question today...
"Lord, are there few that be saved?"
Someone came to Jesus and wanted to know if "few" people were saved. It's interesting that the person didn't ask if "many" people were saved. Evidently the person had been listening to Jesus' preaching and became convinced that few people were really saved. From my own study of the Scriptures, I would certainly have to doubt the salvation of 99% of the population. John 14:6 is adamant that the ONLY way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ... "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." A lot of people have a problem with this Biblical Truth. There are 1,000,000,000 Catholics in this world who believe that The Virgin Mary can save them by way of reciting the Rosary, who trust in their own self-righteousness and rely upon the Catholic Church to save them. There are 1,000,000,000 Muslims in this world who deny that Jesus is the Christ, or that He ever died on a cross. There are 1,000,000,000 Hindus just in India alone who deny that Jesus is the Christ, the only way to Heaven. There are hundreds-of-millions of atheists in China. So far we've eliminated over half the world's population from entering in at the strait gate. This is tragic! Yes, sad but true, there are FEW that be saved. With all the New Age philosophies circulating today, and literally thousands of false religions plaguing the world, should it be surprising that Jesus said in Luke 18:8... "Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"
Why There Are Few Saved
Carefully notice that Jesus said MANY people will seek to enter Heaven, but will not be able. Most of the people in the world today want to go to Heaven, i.e., to go to a better place; but they love their sin too much to come to Christ for salvation... "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." The truth is that a person DOESN'T have to forsake their sins to be saved. So then why don't more people want to be saved? It's because people know that becoming a Christian means God will expect changes in their life afterwards. It is love for sin that prevents men from coming to Jesus Christ for salvation.
I recently witnessed to a Catholic man. He said he believed in God and loved the church. However, when I asked him if he had ever been born-again, he literally said, "I'm not ready for that." I said what do you mean? He said, "I love the women in my life and am not willing to stop my sinning." I explained to him that he didn't have to forsake his sins to be saved, because eternal life is a FREE GIFT from God (Romans 4:5; 5:15; 6:23). He said I know that, but after I get saved God will expect me to live right and I don't want to be a hypocrite. I marvelled at his honesty and position. He refused to get saved. He is literally going to burn in Hellfire for all eternity because he loves his sins and thus, wants nothing to do with Jesus Christ "...lest his deeds should be reproved" —John 3:20.
Certainly, some lost sinners are misled to believe that they cannot be saved unless they forsake their sins. This is not true. The Bible plainly states in Romans 4:5... "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."
Other false prophets teach that a person must be "willing" to make changes after they are saved, or else they cannot be saved to begin with. Again, this is a lie of the Devil. The Catholic gentleman that I just shared with you could have been saved if he wanted to, even if he had no intentions of making lifestyle changes after he was saved; BUT he knew that God would expect some changes if he became a Christian. You see, God doesn't require you to forsake your sins or make lifestyle changes to receive His gift of eternal life; BUT, after you become a Christian He certainly wants you to obey His Word because you are now His child (Romans 3:31; 12:1,2). We must differentiate between the ROOT of one's faith, and the FRUIT of one's faith.
Another reason why many people won't get saved is because of love for tradition. In Mark 7:7,9 Jesus warned... "Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men... And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." We read in Romans 10:3,4... "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." How much clearer could the Word of God be?
The Two Foundations
Here again are the words of the man of God, Pastor J. Vernon McGee...If you have come to Christ, He is the foundation—"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 3:11). When you are resting on Christ, you can build on that foundation. By yielding to the Holy Spirit, you can build a life which the Bible likens to gold, silver, and precious stones.
The Two Foundations
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock [Matt. 7:24–25].
But there is another kind of building—
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it [Matt. 7:26–27].
What is that sand? It is human goodness and human effort. It is the old weakness of the flesh. My friend, I say to you that you need something better than the flesh has to offer.
All the self-righteousness in the world never saved anybody. Good works cannot save you. Church membership cannot save you. Water baptism cannot save you. Only by faith in Jesus alone as your Savior can you be saved, "Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust..." (Psalm 40:4). "And he [Abram] believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness" (Genesis 15:6). Won't you come to Jesus now to receive the forgiveness of sins? You can be saved right now, simply by coming to the cross as a guilty sinner, and placing your faith in the blood of Jesus Christ to wash away your sins and save you (1st Peter 1:18,19).