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In the Villages: How Many Will Be Saved?

Dr. Ray Pritchard
Dr. Ray Pritchard

“Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, ‘Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?’” (Luke 13:22-23).

We never tire of this question, do we?

The last presidential election raised the question once again:
“Is so-and-so a ’real’ Christian?”

You can fill in the “so-and-so” yourself because the question has been asked about every candidate. But as Jesus’ reply makes clear, the issue is less “Will so-and-so be in heaven?” but “Will I be in heaven?” Before we get too focused on the salvation of certain public figures (a laudable concern, to be sure), first take a look at the man in the mirror. That’s what Jesus means when he says, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door” (v. 24). Before I get so judgmental about anyone else, let me make sure I have responded in saving faith to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

The door of salvation will not be open forever, and many religious types will find themselves left out on the Last Day (vv. 25-28). But there is some very good news here also. Many will come to Christ from all parts of the earth. Verse 29 anticipates the vast crowd from every tribe and every nation that will one day stand before the Lamb (Revelation 7:9). The “last” who will be first (v. 30) are those who today seem to be very unlikely candidates for salvation, and the “first” who will be last are those self-satisfied religionists who think their religion somehow substitutes for a genuine knowledge of Christ.

I was once asked if I believed that only members of the church I pastored were going to heaven. I responded no, I didn’t believe that, and anyway, “I’m in sales, not administration.” That line always gets a good laugh, but I think it is also good theology. Let’s be careful about passing final judgment on who will and won’t be in heaven.

God can take care of that himself.

Be sure you have trusted Christ as your Lord and Savior.
And remember that God’s family is much bigger than we imagine.

Father, we thank you that your heart encompasses the whole world. Thank you for making a way through your Son for anyone to be saved anywhere, any time. Amen. 

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Originally published March 12, 2015.

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