Lord, Are There Few That Be Saved?

    While working during His earthly ministry, Jesus was asked a question that might have crossed your mind at some time.  “Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved…” (Luke 13:23)?  It has been the concern of many whether or not they will get to Heaven.  The answer that Jesus gave is not one that many will like to hear, but nonetheless it is truth.  “…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).

          Now before we go too much further into this article, it might be good to remind us that the one who asked Jesus such a question was of Israelite background.  This is important because the Israelite/Jewish people believed that just because they had Abraham as an ancestor, they were guaranteed salvation (Gen. 12:1-3; cf. Gal. 3).  Also, because the Israelites were “the chosen people” under the Law of Moses, this thought would have been nurtured even more.  I raise these points because according to Jesus, not even all of the Jews were going to have salvation.  That fact was explained when He said, “When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:  Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.  But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.  And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.  And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last” (Luke 13:25-30).

           Such teaching is plain and simple, yet many teach and believe just the opposite.  Not only do some believe that all who claim to be physical Israelite/Jewish descendants are going to be saved, but some even believe that most, if not all, of humanity will be saved!  Why do so many people blatantly refuse to accept the Lord’s teaching?  Some misapply Romans 11:26 to try and teach that each Jew is guaranteed salvation.  However, the context of that verse shows that for Jews to receive salvation, they, like the Gentiles, needed to repent so that they could “be grafted in” (Rom. 11:23-25).  Also, the majority of the Gentile world does not render obedience to the Gospel of Christ, so that means that most of them will be lost as well.  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:  for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16).  The fact is that, yes, few are going to be saved.

          If the fact that “God is love”, and that God is merciful and gracious, leads you to believe differently, then just remember Noah and his family.  At the time of the flood, humanity had swelled to a very large population.  For a period of one hundred twenty years, Noah preached to the people of his time (2 Pet. 2:5).  No doubt, questions arose about the construction and purpose of the ark.  So many people were warned about the coming judgment, yet Peter reveals something that might come as a shock.  It is recorded that “…few, that is, eight souls were saved by water” (1 Pet. 3:20).  That is right, “few”!  How many were “few”?  Eight human beings got on to the ark, wherein was salvation.  The overwhelming majority perished in the flood.  That serves as an example to us about Judgment Day!  Peter explained that if people today want to be saved, there is something that they must do.  It will allow them to be similar to Noah and his family.  “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 3:21).

          Seeing how most refuse to be baptized for the remission of their sins, then indeed, few will be saved.  To which category do you belong?  The majority that do not obey, or the few that will be saved?
~ Corey Barnette