How many shall be saved? "Few" or "many?&quot

Discussion in 'The Gospels & Acts' started by Puritan Sailor, Mar 1, 2004.

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  1. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and [b:cf91d0f049]few[/b:cf91d0f049] there be that find it.

    Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for [b:cf91d0f049]many[/b:cf91d0f049].

    So which is it?? Few or many? Matthew says few shall be saved. Mark says many shall be saved. How do we reconcile these points?
     
  2. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

    There will be "many" of us redeemed (as many as the stars, right?), but the number will be "few" in light of all of mankind that has ever lived.

    Phillip

    [Edited on 3-1-04 by pastorway]
     
  3. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:3f0b954a08][i:3f0b954a08]Originally posted by pastorway[/i:3f0b954a08]
    There will be "many" of us redeemed (as many as the stars, right?), but the number will be "few" in light of all of mankind that has ever lived.
    [/quote:3f0b954a08]
    That seems a good harmony to me. Thanks.
     
  4. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

    :bouncing:
     
  5. Jie-Huli

    Jie-Huli Puritan Board Freshman

    I agree with Pastorway's answer. But recently I was reading the book [i:86311dbe35]The Doctrine of Endless Punishment[/i:86311dbe35] by the 19th Century Presbyterian W.G.T. Shedd (published by Banner of Truth), and though this book is a good defense of eternal punishment in hell, I was surprised by an insinuation in one chapter that in the end there will probably be more people in Heaven than in hell; that hell will just be a tiny blip in the whole of eternity.

    Unfortunately I do not have the book in front of me at the moment, but in the footnote the author had quotes of Edwards, Calvin, Hodge, and others, all implying that at last the number of people saved may be much greater than the number damned; one of the theologians quoted (I cannot remember his name now) even said that the figure might be as high as 10 saved for every 1 damned.

    This does not seem to me at all feasible in regard to either the Scripture's teaching or visible reality, but I wonder if anyone knows any more about why these theologians might have thought this?
     
  6. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    [quote:bfa9c5c62c][i:bfa9c5c62c]Originally posted by Jie-Huli[/i:bfa9c5c62c]
    I agree with Pastorway's answer. But recently I was reading the book [i:bfa9c5c62c]The Doctrine of Endless Punishment[/i:bfa9c5c62c] by the 19th Century Presbyterian W.G.T. Shedd (published by Banner of Truth), and though this book is a good defense of eternal punishment in hell, I was surprised by an insinuation in one chapter that in the end there will probably be more people in Heaven than in hell; that hell will just be a tiny blip in the whole of eternity.

    Unfortunately I do not have the book in front of me at the moment, but in the footnote the author had quotes of Edwards, Calvin, Hodge, and others, all implying that at last the number of people saved may be much greater than the number damned; one of the theologians quoted (I cannot remember his name now) even said that the figure might be as high as 10 saved for every 1 damned.

    This does not seem to me at all feasible in regard to either the Scripture's teaching or visible reality, but I wonder if anyone knows any more about why these theologians might have thought this? [/quote:bfa9c5c62c]

    Loraine Boettner actually said close to the same thing in his otherwise wonderful book, [i:bfa9c5c62c]The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination[/i:bfa9c5c62c]. He is a strong postmillennialist, and it comes out at a few points throughout the book. When he is talking about how he believes God is going to "Christianize" the world during the millennium, he then makes the huge leap in logic that because of that, the great majority of humanity will probably be saved in the end (although he doesn't go as far as the 10 to 1 ratio). So with Boettner anyway, his reason for believing that is due to an inconsistent application of his postmillennialism. Might Shedd also be a postmillennialist?

    Chris
     
  7. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:b0c9e160e3][i:b0c9e160e3]Originally posted by Jie-Huli[/i:b0c9e160e3]
    This does not seem to me at all feasible in regard to either the Scripture's teaching or visible reality, but I wonder if anyone knows any more about why these theologians might have thought this? [/quote:b0c9e160e3]
    Blue is right, it's bcause they were all post mil. It also gave them a response to Arminian objections to predestination of only a few.
     
  8. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    St. Anselm thought that redeemed humanity would replace the reprobate angels, so I guess if [i:7c924348fe]x[/i:7c924348fe] = saved humanity then 3[i:7c924348fe]x[/i:7c924348fe] would equal the original number of angels.

    So how many can stand on the head of a pin?:biggrin:
     
  9. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    [quote:c7f8c33898][i:c7f8c33898]Originally posted by turmeric[/i:c7f8c33898]
    St. Anselm thought that redeemed humanity would replace the reprobate angels, so I guess if [i:c7f8c33898]x[/i:c7f8c33898] = saved humanity then 3[i:c7f8c33898]x[/i:c7f8c33898] would equal the original number of angels.

    So how many can stand on the head of a pin?:biggrin: [/quote:c7f8c33898]
    Which Anselm? Milan or Canterbury?
     
  10. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    [quote:34da6a962e]Originally posted by puritansailor
    Which Anselm? Milan or Canterbury? [/quote:34da6a962e]

    My bad. Canterbury.
     
  11. Optimus

    Optimus Puritan Board Freshman

    question

    Do the optimistic amils believe in more in heaven than hell?

    I myself have alway thought that htere would be more in hell, but i know someone who is an optimistic amil and says otherwise.
     
  12. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I don't know how people who think there will be more in Heaven than in Hell can square that belief with verses like Matthew 7:14. To me, it seems that such people wouldn't really have [i:d0618c769c]any[/i:d0618c769c] way to interpret that verse.

    Chris
     
  13. A.J.A.

    A.J.A. Puritan Board Freshman

    I suppose whether the majority will be saved or damned depends on whether those who die as infants are elect. I've read that most pregnacies end in very early miscarriages, before the woman even knows she's pregant.

    If, as I believe, they are elect, than the few making it to Heaven would be a comparative few of those of us who were born.
     
  14. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    [quote:acf03541bc][i:acf03541bc]Originally posted by A.J.A.[/i:acf03541bc]
    I suppose whether the majority will be saved or damned depends on whether those who die as infants are elect. I've read that most pregnacies end in very early miscarriages, before the woman even knows she's pregant.

    If, as I believe, they are elect, than the few making it to Heaven would be a comparative few of those of us who were born. [/quote:acf03541bc]

    I personally disagree with the belief that all who die in infancy are elect, but I agree that if one believes they are, then that person would have to understand the "few" that are saved as meaning "few" of those of us that are born.

    Chris
     
  15. sundoulos

    sundoulos Puritan Board Freshman

    I believe both statements are true. If ten million people were to gain eternal life that would be many, would it not? Yet compared to the great numbers of the lost it would be few.

    Jesus didn't say "most," but "many." Many is relative and takes its meaning from a particular perspective.

    Do you not agree that there will be many saints in heaven?
     
  16. knight4christ8

    knight4christ8 Puritan Board Freshman

    The main arguement that draws me to investigate postmil more

    the fact that Christ will accomplish His work through the Spirit in man. Just as Adam failed, Christ has and will succeed. Christ gave the Spirit to man and the Spirit in man is to accomplish the dominion for Christ that Adam failed to do himself. Christ's dominion is displayed now, but in one sense it is not. It is in the physical nature of the world. Good overcoming evil. Evil being brought under Christ's feet (Scripture does speak of this in a futuristic sense).
    The postmil interpretation of verses like Matt. 7:14 holds that Christ is speaking of the world at His present time. I do not know exactly what I think of this but I will not do as most and just pawn it off. It deserves attn. I am not sure where I stand but the work of the Spirit and Christ does seem to be more glorified in a postmil's view of scripture.

    Knight
     
  17. Optimus

    Optimus Puritan Board Freshman

    why im not post mill......

    Christ said His kingdom is not of this world..........:wr50:
     
  18. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor

    According to Revelation 21 New Jerusalem is 3000 square miles so how many people can we fit in there? :p
     
  19. Optimus

    Optimus Puritan Board Freshman

    many

    :bouncy:
     
  20. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    [quote:5952ec3c4e][i:5952ec3c4e]Originally posted by knight4christ8[/i:5952ec3c4e]
    the fact that Christ will accomplish His work through the Spirit in man. Just as Adam failed, Christ has and will succeed. Christ gave the Spirit to man and the Spirit in man is to accomplish the dominion for Christ that Adam failed to do himself. Christ's dominion is displayed now, but in one sense it is not. It is in the physical nature of the world. Good overcoming evil. Evil being brought under Christ's feet (Scripture does speak of this in a futuristic sense).
    The postmil interpretation of verses like Matt. 7:14 holds that Christ is speaking of the world at His present time. I do not know exactly what I think of this but I will not do as most and just pawn it off. It deserves attn. I am not sure where I stand but the work of the Spirit and Christ does seem to be more glorified in a postmil's view of scripture.

    Knight [/quote:5952ec3c4e]

    While I haven't yet done a study of eschatology and don't know where I stand, I disagree that the work of Christ and the Spirit is more glorified in the postmillenial view. The power and efficacy of God's work to save and transform is the same regardless of one's eschatology--postmillennialism simply holds that God uses that work to save a greater number of people at the end of the world. Furthermore, to say that the majority of people will be in heaven eventually is an inconsistent application of postmillennialism, since the "millennium" in which postmillennialists believe God will "Christianize" the world is most likely still only a fraction of earth's entire history, and thus the "Christianization" of the world for that time period implies nothing about the final ratio of elect to reprobate.

    Again, I don't believe potmillennialism is false (since I haven't yet studied eschatology), I just think that to say either that it means the majority will be saved in the end or to say it glorifies God's saving work more are both inconsistent applications of it.

    Chris
     
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