September 2016: How Many Are Saved And How Many Go to Hell ?
How Many Are Saved? And How Many Go to Hell?
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)
We shall consider three points that people make.
The first point is that few adult "Christians" go to heaven.
The second is that all adult "Christians" can go to heaven.
And the last point is a brief discussion of the infallible means of making sure you are one of the few, the humble, the true Christians.
“So shall the last be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.” (Matthew 20:16)
Saint Alphonsus expresses the common opinion that the majority of adult Catholics damn themselves to Hell. He follows Scripture, the Fathers of the Church and the Saints in expressing this opinion.
In the past century and a half some have tried to minimize this and even proclaim that the majority of people go to heaven. And yes, we are talking about Catholics, several of whom are well loved for their writings, who have reached the conclusion that the majority are saved.
However, there is a major problem with thinking that the majority are saved. It causes us to relax, as if we do not need to do as much in order to be saved. In fact, it is easy to adopt ideas that are more likely to be found amongst those in hell, than in the saints in heaven.
“Wherefore, brethren, labour the more, that by good works you may make sure your calling and election.” (II Peter 1:10)
If we believe that few are saved, then we will strive harder to be amongst that few. Let us look at this from two angles. Let us say we decide that the majority are saved, and take a lax view of life. At the end of the world we find out, we are wrong and find out we did not do enough to be saved. Do we want to take a chance on eternal misery? Now let us say, we believe few are saved, and we do a great deal to make sure we are one of those few. Now at the day of judgment we find out that actually far more are saved than we thought. Should we be unhappy that we did more and now have more glory in heaven? Those who are unhappy about this are those who want to be just as worldly as they can be, and yet go to heaven. As the saying goes, they want to have their cake and eat it to. And even the world tells us this is crazy.
“And the king went in to see the guests: and he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment. And he saith to him: Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? But he was silent. Then the king said to the waiters: Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:11-14)
We can all have the wedding garment of sanctifying grace. God provides us all of the grace we need and the opportunities we need to save our own souls. If we don't save our soul, it is our own fault.
“Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (I Timothy 2:4)
And so God wills that all of us go to heaven. Then the question is, do we will it, because God will not drag us kicking and screaming into heaven against our will? The answer is no,
We have to give our heart to God asking Him to change what the heart wants.
For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to his good will. (Philippians 2:13)
It is our duty to open our hearts to Almighty God, so that He can work in them. We find this easy, if we will pray the Our Father sincerely, especially: “Thy will be done.”
And I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh. (Ezechiel/Ezeckiel 36:26)
It is easy for us to harden our hearts. And this brings on a condition of spiritual heart disease. And this disease is eternally deadly. This is why we pray that God will remove our hard heart and replace it with a heart of flesh that is loving and can be molded by Almighty God as He wills.
If you love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
This is the first step on the road to heaven. If we can search the Scriptures, we can find the truth. Read and live by the Sermon on the Mount and the other sayings of Jesus. Study what the Church teaches us through the basic catechism. God's law is not hard to understand. We try to complicate it, because we want to find a loophole to justify our pet sin. And this is why few are saved. It is time to accept the truth as it is and live by it. Christianity is a way of life.
Afterwards, Jesus findeth him in the temple, and saith to him: Behold thou art made whole: sin no more, lest some worse thing happen to thee. (John 5:14)
And Jesus advised the woman taken in adultery: “Go, and now sin no more.” (John 8:11) Very simple, give up sin.
(Jeremias/Jeremiah 12:11) laments: “They have laid it waste, and it hath mourned for me. With desolation is all the land made desolate; because there is none that considereth in the heart.”
Considering in the heart and soul is mental prayer, and it is so easy that even a child can do it. Saint Alphonsus quotes Jeremias and then proposes that all who meditate, that is consider in the heart, save their souls. He states that we will either give up sin or we will give up prayer. We can consider mental prayer as a form of heaven insurance. If we persevere until the end of the world in mental prayer, we shall be saved. The end of the world for us is that day on which the world ends in regard to us, the day of our death.