Many people today assume that most "good people" are going to heaven and that most of those whom God created will be there in eternity. Many have even asked me about the number of people who are going to actually enter into God's kingdom or come out of the great tribulation? Obviously, we have no idea what that "exact number" will be but; does God's Word give us come solid clues how small/few it will be?
Jesus told us that FEW will gain eternal life, NOT many. (See Matthew 7) You have to consider that FEW (when there are billions that have lived over time) simply means few of those who have lived. You need to realize that few, out of say 20 billion who have lived over history, could still be a big number yet, it is few.
(Example: only 1% of 1 billion humans is..... 1 million people)
In the book of Revelation, we read about a great multitude from many nations of people who enter heaven. Many people have assumed it is like billions of people but; is it that really the case?
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
We all understand the word "great" can mean big, many or large and it could also mean of great importance or great standing as well. But what about the word.... multitude?
In the Greek the word is ochlos.... and it means a throng, a class of people, a company of people, a crowd or a flock.
If we put these two together we can assume it simply means a group of many people. But how many is many? The only clue we have is right from that area of scripture.
Many people have run to verse 9 and twisted it to say, oh it will be most all people like billions and billions, but we have to challenge that notion.
Notice words in the verse that say; which no man could number
Question:Could you count this many people if you had to? Of course not. The phrase, it was a number no man could number, just means it was a large group of people, a crowd or mass of humans.
If we look at the Old Testament we see VERY few escaping God's wrath and the New Testament it is NOT all that much better.
Example: only 8 get on the ark, 3 get out of Sodom and only 2 Israelites entered into the Holy land out of 600,000 men. (that is like under 2000 people coming out of 330 million souls in America...think about that!) Jesus had only 120 people in His upper room body after 3 years of ministry.
Note: See part 1 and part 2 articles on FEW at this link that will open your eyes to how few, this few really is HERE.
It appears obvious that per Jesus Christ, the biblical history of those actually saved in the past and the description in Revelation 7:9 of a great multitude no man could number,it is settled. We should NOT be looking for billions of souls but a FEW "out of" those billions that have ever lived. This best matches the biblical narrative and that is what we need to aim at.
To be clear, we have no idea how many will enter into eternal life in the end. We can say the evidence is, not many will; but few. We know that we are focused on ourselves just striving (Luke 13:24) to make sure we do, anyone around us, anyone with us and those within ear shot of our preaching of the gospel WILL hopefully enter in, all for God's glory! No matter the number it will be a glorious day to get to heaven with the Father.
Will you be one of those who make it to heaven? The fruit you may get there is, are you living holy and biblical for Jesus today as proof you even know Him?
You can only get there via Christ, by repenting and obey the gospel to indeed one day enter in, see that HERE.