God of the Few
We live in a world where the vast majority of people believe that when they die, they will go to a better place. You see it everywhere you look. Every time someone dies you hear comments like, “RIP, rest in peace,” or you will hear, “I know they are now looking down from heaven and watching over me, or God gained another star in the heavens, or God has another angel in heaven.” Be honest, how many times have you heard someone say about their loved one or friend who died, “Well, they are worse off now, separated from their creator, lost in darkness, and absent from life?”
I am not suggesting that we judge everyone who has died, rather I always take the stand that once a person dies, it is not up to us to make judgments about that person’s future eternal destiny. That is God’s jurisdiction. But God does have something to say about life after this life. What is made clear to us is all throughout history God always had a few that he could work with.
Look at God’s track record:
God scattered the vast number of mankind at the tower of Babel because they chose to serve themselves and other Gods. The true God took one man Abram from among them and he was found to be faithful and righteous because he believed.
God’s took Gideon’s army of 32,000 down to 300 and defeated the enemy.
God used Noah to save 8 people in an ark, while the rest of mankind mocked and rejected the salvation of God for 100 years.
The prophet Elijah thought he was the only God-fearing man left, but God surprised Elijah, God telling him that he had put aside a remnant of those that feared his name.
Only a small portion of the millions of Hebrews that God delivered from Egypt actually made it into the promise land.
Jesus had thousands of men and women who followed him, saw his miracles, listened to his teachings, but after 3 ½ years we are told there were only around 120 with him in the end.
In his teachings, Jesus’ time after time used the terms many and few. Many will come to me and say, Lord Lord, but I will say I never knew you. Many are invited but few are chosen.
Or how about the time when Jesus said, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’“Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you practice wrongdoing!’
These are only a few examples of God’s math compared to our math. So, outside of Atheists, why do the vast majority of mankind believe they are going to God, or a better place when they die?
I think it is because within each person God has placed eternity in their soul. It says this in Ecclesiastes chapter 3. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart.
We are born wanting to live not die. We want to live and live as long as possible. Deep inside we know or at least hope that there is something greater than ourselves and something outside of this short existence we have on planet earth. So, we are extremely optimistic about something beyond death. The truth is this. There is good reason to be optimistic. There is life both now and beyond our earthly existence, but it has a narrow requirement to enter.
Jesus said, Matthew 7:14:
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. There’s that word, “few” again.
Peter was so bold to say in the book of Acts, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” That name, that authority is Jesus the Lord.
The Apostle Paul writes, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
Paul said again in another place, If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
This is not talking about a belief in God, there are many that have that. God is seeking living faith that declares openly before all, that your life is now under new ownership. You are ruled by Jesus as Lord, and you follow him. You are knowing Jesus and just as important as you knowing Jesus is that he knows you.
A person who is born of God has faith that comes alive in their daily life, governed and powered by love for God as Father and Jesus as the rule of their daily life. This isn’t dead faith, being saved and baptized back when you were 13 and now you live your life by your own lusts and desires. No, this is living faith, faith that produces newness of life that everyone can see. Obvious fruit that honors God and resembles Jesus, the one you follow. By God’s gracious gift and your sincere faith in Jesus as Lord, you know, and everyone around you knows, that you possess a blessed assurance that you have eternal life. You know that you know you are saved from the power of sin and death, and you eagerly long for the return of your savior, Jesus Christ.
Yes friends, God has sent you an invitation – now will you be a part of the few that choose to believe and live?
Something to think about…