Are There Few Saved?
by Brian Price 9/12/2010

"23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
24 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 imagine that such a question as this actually grieved the Lord to answer. It's a very difficult question to answer, simply because the answer is so hard to deal with, even for a Christian. Many of us want to believe that everyone goes to heaven. Every funeral in the United States is conducted in such a way that you would think that anyone who dies is actually is heaven. But in reality, many people who die go to hell. What an awful tragedy!

I remember coming upon one website a few years back that taught that hell is not forever. The creator of that website taught that everyone who goes to hell only goes there temporarily. Unfortunately, this is not what the Bible actually teaches. This man gave so many people false hope. It's kind of like what the Catholic Church has done in its teachings of purgatory. They make the people believe that their sufferings in the afterlife will only be temporary. Again, there is not a single solitary verse in the Bible that mentions anything about temporal suffering in hell, nor does it mention such a place as purgatory!

There's over 700,000 thousand words in the King James Bible, and not a single one of those words has PURGATORY in it. In fact, the only time when one gets out of hell is when that person goes to stand before God in the judgment, which we Baptists like to call the Great White Throne of Judgment.

"And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works." - Revelation 20:13
Needless to say, when this man in Luke chapter 13 came to Jesus and asked him this most harrowing question, the Lord's answer was just as harrowing (distressing). Basically, the Lord said that many are going to be lost. Few will be saved.

The apostle Paul wrote a lot about this subject in the book of Romans. Obviously, we can tell from his words that the subject of salvation greatly thrilled him, but probably more often than not, it greatly grieved him. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church once told a story about his father on his death bed. He said that on his father's death bed, he was saying, "Just one more soul! Just one more soul for Jesus!" I am quoting this from my memory, so please do not use this as 'gospel' so-to-speak.

But can you imagine the anguish this man must have had throughout his life? Knowing that everyone around him was going to hell, and there was literally nothing he could do about it! I mean, granted, we can preach the gospel until we are blue in the face, but unless one BELIEVES the gospel, then there is really nothing we as human beings can do. And really, ones unbelief makes God practically powerless to save his soul. If you do not believe God, how can you be saved?

It grieves me to pieces knowing that friends and family members are all going to hell. What can I do about it?

"1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh..." - Romans 9:1-3
Paul literally said he wish he could be cursed from God in order for his people to be saved and go to heaven. Literally, he wished he could go to hell for them. But there was nothing more he could do! He preached the gospel. And not only him, but several thousand other Christians preached the gospel to the Jewish people. Not everyone was going to be saved. But WHY?

Brother, the only explanation I can give as a human being, as a Christian, is simply because of unbelief and love of sin. People love their sin, and they don't want to give it up completely. I mean, look at what Jesus said to the people of Jerusalem who rejected his salvation:

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" - Matthew 23:37
Luke records the Lord this way:
"41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation." -
Luke 19:41-44
Jesus wept over Jerusalem because he came to them "...meek, and having salvation (Zechariah 9:9)," and yet they still rejected him and crucified him! The same is true today in people's treatment of Jesus. I remember leaving a gospel tract out in a bathroom, and it had a picture of Jesus on the front. A few hours later, I returned to the same bathroom only to find this particular tract in the toilet. What is wrong with people?
"28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?"
- Hebrews 10:28-29
My friend, many are lost because of sin. There's no other reason. Many want to blame God for this terrible tragedy. God doesn't send people to hell. People send people to hell. That's just like saying it's the teacher's fault for you getting an 'F' in the class. Well hang on now. If the teacher did everything she could to help you get an 'A' in the class and you just refused to do the homework, who is really to blame? The teacher or you? Likewise, let us not blame God for our own mistakes.

"Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?" - Ezekiel 18:23
Think about that guy who I just mentioned who threw the gospel tract in the toilet. God says in the Bible that he clearly does not want this man to perish. That's why he sent me to lay that gospel tract out to tell him about God's forgiveness! But if this man wants to throw Jesus away like that, who can help him? That's his choice.

My brethren, I wish above all things that all men would be saved. I can't tell you how many tears I have cried in secret to God begging him to save the souls of men. I cannot tell you how much it kills me to think that so many are going to hell. But Christian, I want you to know that your labour and my labour is not in vain in the Lord. There is hope.

"9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb....
13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." -
Revelation 7:9-10, 13-14
When we look at the end, we see that there is such a multitude that will be in heaven, which no man shall be able to number. And when we read the next chapter in Revelation, John describes an army that numbers two hundred thousand, thousand. And if you do the math, that is 200,000,000 (two hundred million). And if someone was able to number that multitude (the evil army), just think how one won't be able to number the multitude in heaven. So we can see that obviously this multitude in heaven must far outnumber that army mentioned in scripture.

Dr. Paul Chappell has said that according to the World Evangelical Encyclopedia, approximately 43 million Christians have become martyrs. Over fifty percent of those martyrs have come within the last century alone. More than two hundred million Christians face persecution everyday, sixty percent of whom are children. And every day over three hundred people are killed for their faith in Jesus Christ. These statistics do not include Christians over the centuries who died in peace.

So you can only imagine that the gospel was not sent forth into all the world in vain. Some will be saved! Even some of the visitors to this site are going to be saved. It's all about the effort we put into praying to God for souls, and then actually preaching the gospel to them.

"But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." - 2 Corinthians 9:6

The more seeds you sow, the more results you are going to see. Take for example Jack Chick. He was a normal guy who just saw that people were not responding to your typical gospel tract. He noticed that people were not interested in them because there were too many words, and not enough pictures. So he came up with this great idea to make gospel tracts that contain cartoons. For one, it captured the attention of any reader, and two, it contained a clear and concise gospel message. And you look now years later at his work, and millions have heard the gospel because of his hard work. Granted, glory to God for putting the idea into his heart, but still. Jack Chick was still a faithful servant. And you too can make a difference.

Just stay around long enough on this earth and you might realize how many people you have influenced for Jesus. My pastor used to say that there is no greater power that you can possess than the power of influence.

It's true. The Bible says that we are the epistle of Christ, known and read by all men (2 Cor. 3:2-3). Or as some others have said, you may be the only Bible someone may ever read. But nonetheless, if you do nothing else in this world but witness to your children, and they get saved, then by golly, that's a job well done in my book. A friend of mine once told me of a pastor who said that we ought to win our families first, then our communities, and then the world. I agree.

But whatever you decide, just go preach. Few will be saved, but that's better than none.