28 December 2010

What did Jesus (not) say about... the eternal destination of most people?

by Dan Phillips

"Barring something extraordinary, odds are most people will end up in Heaven. Nothing to get worked up about."

Dan Phillips's signature

33 comments:

Thomas Louw said...

Tried to press the panic button, didn't work.
Even if most ended up in heaven, you have to panic about the rest.
Not withstanding that the Bible teaches the something else.

Tom Chantry said...

Considering the debt of grateful obedience owed by every creature to such a gloriously kind Creator, something extraordinary would be for those creatures to violate the reasonable and benevolent laws which He has given them. The problem is that with the fall of mankind not only into wickedness but simultaneously into foolishness, that extraordinary thing has become the most ordinary thing in this world: sin - the wages of which are everlasting death.

Mark Lussier said...

Of course we musn't forget about John 3:16 ;)

donsands said...

God loves sinners so much, that even though you hate Him, He will take you to heaven with Him, even though you would hate everything about heaven.

Gary said...

Gird your loins! Here comes the extraordinary!

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

Yeah, but WHICH most, and where is the list posted to make sure my name is on it?

Strong Tower said...

Recycle!

David Regier said...

Well, considering that most people have the idea that heaven is where they essentially get to sin fully and without restraint, who knows?

Frank Turk said...

Can't wait for tomorrow's two-part posts. This is a lovely bookend on this side, and DJP's post of Thursday will do the same on the other side.

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

It's almost like whoever said this has the idea that people go into some kind of whirly contraption when they die and just kind of hang on until they either fly into heaven or hell by some kind of random sorting. That's the most terrifying thing I've ever thought in my whole life - your eternal fate is left to nothing more than chance. How sad. Gracious Christ is replaced by Blind and Unconcerned Chance - works don't even factor in! Sad, sad, and scary.

Me said...

I agree with Tom Chantry. I think the Scriptures teach as much. There just isn't going to be as many people as we think.

lee n. field said...

"Narrow is the way that leads to life..."

Me said...

I agree with Tom Chantry because I think that the Bible teaches as much. I think there just isn't going to be as many people in Heaven as we would like to think. Sorry to rip off the rose-colored glasses!

Craig said...

50 words exactly: It’s my first comment, and I really respectfully disagree. UNLESS the “extraordinary thing” has happened – and negates the scale of right and wrong, on which most may be on the right side, but not perfect. Only a living belief in “the extraordinary thing” makes us perfect. No?

DJP said...

It's the post that is 50 words or less, not the comments. They're not limited.

That being the case -- would you mind re-wording? I'm not sure I follow you.

If you're unclear on the purpose of these posts, click on the WDJ(N)S tag and read the first comment under the first post in this series. It's also short.

(c:

Mike Riccardi said...

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. ... So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

Mike Westfall said...

But wait... Doesn't "all" mean ALL?

DJP said...

Not all the time.

(c;

Steve Scott said...

Mike Riccardi quoted:

"So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous..."

Sounds like being "left behind" is actually preferable.

cliff walling said...

NOT!

Charlie said...

Yes I agree, Steve Scott. "Left behind" definitely is preferable.

From everything combined that Jesus has said in the bible, along with how hard it is to walk the narrow road, I can only conclude that there will be way more who take the broad road and way less who take the narrow road.

And nobody in the whole bible spoke of Hell more than Jesus, (so it's laughable when folks try to portray Jesus as only speaking of love love love all the time. He made warnings often that there is judgement now, and to come. and He would be the one doing the judging).

John 3:18 - "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:19 - "And this is the judgement, that the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil.

I find this amazing. That Jesus has already said some people don't even have to wait till they die to find out whether they will go to heaven or hell. He tells us right there that for those who don't believe on Him, they have already been judged in real-time.

mittelstadt said...

It all has to do with your being a pretty good person who doesn't kick cats, votes on the right party's line and sends his grey-haired old grandma a birthday present once in a while. Right?
Or maybe there's more to it than that.

Dave .... said...

But according to some, "where you go when you die", is not the most important thing in the "gospel" (quotes and no CAP, intentional). So, why panic? ... unless they're wrong.

Brad Gilbert said...

I read the last book in the "Chronicles of Narnia" (couldn't wait for the movie to come out!) and that is pretty much what I learned from CS Lewis - everything directed to any god is really directed toward God, so we will all get in...

RealityCheck said...

When I read this post I couldn’t help but think about an exchange that took place a while back between Todd Friel (Wretchedradio) and Doug Pagitt (Emergent Church Pastor).

For those of you, who haven’t heard these before, make sure your jaw isn’t hovering over anything sharp or pointy as you listen, or you might get injured.

Part 1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0isqLRhClo&feature=&p=6D01EDE2D549850B&index=0&playnext=1

Part 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfY-i2iXxQ0&playnext=1&list=PL6D01EDE2D549850B&index=1

Andrew said...

I am not sure here. Jesus most definitely said few would enter the narrow gate. I believe those who profess self-righteousness and judge others before working out their own salvation through fear and trembling are at highest risk of blindly stumbling down the broad road to destruction. I also do not abide in once saved always saved either. Salvation is a daily struggle against our own flesh that
seeks above all to get its will and the result is the destruction of our Spirit. I pray as a sinner at the mercy of Jesus' saving grace daily for His devine direction and for His forgiveness for being so blind and deaf to the Spirit. If Paul was the chief of sinners, how much more do I need Grace? I am not even worthy to touch the strap of Paul's sandal much less gaze upon the feet of my crucified Lord. Thank you, Jesus for saving this wretch.

Andrew Perriman said...

I wonder if it can be shown that Jesus had anything to say about the eternal destination of anyone other than the Jews of his own generation, and even then the word "eternal" is rather dubious. I look forward to reading more on the subject.

Craig said...

Dan,

I apologize so much. I got it all so wrong. My first comment on your blog and I did this. I am so sorry. How did I miss that? It's brilliant. And, of course, I totally agree. Totally.

I really am sorry I didn't read close enough.

Thanks for being nice about this.

And the response in 50 words - that was just kind of an "homage" thing.

God Bless

DJP said...

No worries at all, Craig.

It just means you need to keep commenting until you get the hang of it.

(c:

Halcyon said...

Is it just me or are these some of the most bizarre comments ever seen on this blog? Not being critical; I actually think they're funny.

Maybe my head cold is getting to me. 8^P

Frank Turk said...

Andrew Perriman--

Derek Webb will not be interviewed or interview me on the topic of this post. I offer you the opportunity either to be interviewed on the topic you propose, or to interview me on this subject or a subject related to it of you choice.

The interview would be audio only, and would be published at this site without edits.

Your topic is a critical one, and I would love to talk about it.

Frank Turk said...

Andrew (no last name):

You said:

[QUOTE]
Jesus most definitely said few would enter the narrow gate. I believe those who profess self-righteousness and judge others before working out their own salvation through fear and trembling are at highest risk of blindly stumbling down the broad road to destruction. I also do not abide in once saved always saved either.
[QUOTE]

It's funny that "few" in that passage is always interpreted "the few like me". What if Jesus means "few" here as in "the one guy who will be perfect, and not all the people who are trying to be perfect -- especially the hypocrites who are glad they are not like that publican over there". What if Jesus is the Way? That changes the problem significantly.

That said, it's also funny that you think "judge others" is right out when your sentence itself judges others. There's something wrong with a theology which cannot be spoken without condemning itself.

And finally, "one saved always saved" is antinomian and neglects that faith and repentance go hand in hand. Those who are saved act like people who are saved, and Scripture is clear that those who are saved will have trials but will persevere to the end.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mike Westfall said...

That's awesome, Frank. I had never considered that the "few" would be as few as one. I have never heard anybody before use that verse with that understanding of it.