Sunday, September 11, 2016

Who are forgiven? How many?

We do not know.

When Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” he replied, “Strive to enter” (Luke 13:23-24). He did not give us statistics about others, only directions for ourselves.

Whatever their number, the forgiven and saved are always far too “few” for divine love. To the Good Shepherd, 99 of 100 sheep saved was too “few,” and he spent all day searching for the one that was lost (Luke 15). God revealed to us his infinitely merciful character, which we need to know, but not the comparative population statistics of Heaven and Hell, which we do not need to know.

We do know that “Everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:8). Clearly Christ is speaking of forgiveness and salvation here, not of worldly goods. Not all who seek wealth or health or fame find it, but all who seek God with a sincere and honest heart find him, whether in this life or the next. We do not know what proportion of mankind truly seeks God in the depths of their hearts, because we do not know the hearts of men; but we do know what proportion of those who do seek God find him and his forgiveness (100 percent!), because we know the heart of God (Ephesians 3:14-19).
~Peter Kreeft

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