Something has been bothering me for quite a while. I know that eventually everyone will die. It seems to me that the important question is will they all go to heaven?
Most everyone has a vague hope and longing that somehow he or she will make it to heaven. It is not surprising that people think this way, because there are so many widespread doctrines that encourage people to just be good—to do the best they can—and surely they will make it to heaven. Some even believe and teach that everyone will go to heaven, but this is just not true. Heaven is reserved only for those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. This in and of itself will exclude many.
Jesus clearly warned the people in His day, “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.
Jesus also made it very clear that there would be many who would come to Him in the judgment, pleading for entrance, but who would be closed out. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Verses 21–23.
Ultimately, there will be only a small number saved of all that have lived on this earth. This teaching of a remnant is found all through Scripture. In every age, there have been only a small number of people who were approved of God. In the days of Noah, only his immediate family was saved. This was indeed a remnant of all the people who were in the world at that time. In the days of Lot, we find a similar situation. Jesus used both of these individuals as reference points for His people of what it will be like in the last days before He comes to take the redeemed to heaven.
The Bible makes it very clear that only those who are surrendered and completely given over to God’s will are going to be with Him in the kingdom of heaven. It then becomes very important for us to know what God’s will is—not just guess at it or hope for the best. If we have the opportunity to know but do not put forth any effort to bring it together in our minds, then the loss of our souls will be our own fault.
The truth of the matter is that nearly all people will die without ever surrendering their lives to Jesus Christ Who died in their place for their sins. This, of course, is the reason why gospel workers are so intense about getting this message out to all people everywhere. To surrender self to Jesus is one of the most important things a person can do in his or her entire life. This is the only thing that gives true meaning to life here and in the hereafter.
Pastor Mike Baugher is Associate Speaker for Steps to Life Ministry. If you have a question you would like Pastor Mike to answer, e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail it to: LandMarks, Steps to Life Ministry, P.O. Box 782828, Wichita, KS 67278.