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How Many Will Be Saved?

Dr. Ray Pritchard
Dr. Ray Pritchard
2014 4 Feb

I can think of only four ways to answer the question raised in the title of this sermon: 

1. Everyone will be saved.
2. No one will be saved.
3 Some will be saved, some will be lost.

4. There is no way to know.

In recent years answer # 1 has become increasingly popular. The people who say that everyone will eventually be saved point to the grace and mercy of God, which they believe will ultimately triumph in the end, guaranteeing that even those who reject Christ in this life will share in eternal glory. This strikes a chord with many people who cannot bear the thought of anyone going to hell.
Answer # 2 suggests that in the end, no one will be saved because there is no such thing as salvation. If there is no God, there can be no heaven, no hell, and thus no salvation for anyone.
Answer # 3 is certainly correct as far as it goes. The most popular verse in the Bible, John 3:16, points to the two destinations, when it declares that those who believe “will not perish but have everlasting life.” So there you have it:
Some will perish.
Some will have everlasting life.
John 5:28-29 says it another way when it speaks of some who are raised to “life” and others who are raised to “judgment.”
Answer # 4 gives us another perspective by supposing that no one can know who is saved and who is lost. That is certainly a correct answer when viewed from this life. We do not know with final certainty how many people will end up with eternal life.
The question could be framed this way:
How many people does God intend to save out of the great mass of humanity?
Will it be only a few?
Will it be a vast number?
Is there any way to answer that question?
Whenever we come to a question like this, we need to go back to the Bible for the answer. So that’s where we will begin.

You can read the rest of the message online.

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