Jump Start # 3107
Matthew 7:14 “For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.”
Here is a thought: “How many do you think there will be in Heaven?” In our passage, Jesus says, “few.” We know in Revelation 7, the number who had washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb was so large that no one could count them. Thousands? Maybe a million? What about millions and millions?
Recently, I preached a lesson about abortion. I called it, “Joined to the living.” It’s on our website if you want to watch it. Since the 1973 Roe verse Wade decision, there has been 63 million abortions. The current rate is about one million abortions a year. Those aborted babies are discarded and forgotten. They are not buried in a cemetery with a headstone. No one visits the grave with flowers. Gone. Forgotten. Just like an appendix or gall bladder that you had taken out years and years ago. But Heaven hasn’t forgotten those souls. God uses the same Greek word to describe a baby inside the womb as well as a baby that has been born. No difference to God. The Bible doesn’t use the words fetus, embryo or tissue. God uses the word baby. The child has a soul. The child is a person. The baby has been aborted and destroyed. The baby never took a breath from our atmosphere. The baby never walked on this planet. The baby never saw the created world God made. Yet that soul, made by God, lives on in eternity. That precious soul of that aborted baby never sinned. That soul never wronged God. That soul never had to apologize. Pure. Sinless. Free from the pollution of Satan and our culture. And, now that the life has ended, the soul returns to God.
So, how many will be in Heaven? More than 63 million. Add to that number, the babies that Pharaoh killed. Add to that the babies that Herod killed. Add to that the number of righteous who have walked with Jesus. Add to that the faithful from Hebrews 11. Our number is increasing rapidly. Now imagine that massive wave of people bowing before the Lord and praising God with one voice. What a scene!
Now, some thoughts:
First, someone will ask, “how can an aborted baby” praise God when he is not developed and knows nothing? How can a ninety year old Christian, who has dementia, and does not even know his family, honor God? We ask these questions from an earthly perspective. In the presence of God, our souls will not be limited by our earthly perspective. How this will be, I do not know. It’s not mine to know. There is a soul and it’s pure and Heaven bound. That’s all that we need to rejoice about.
Second, as ugly and horrendous as abortion is, it is filling Heaven. It’s putting souls in Heaven that may not have been there, had they been allowed to live and grow up. They might have continued the cycle of not knowing God as their environment and surroundings around them encouraged them. Then, is abortion a good thing? No. Never. It’s against the nature of God. It’s against God’s design and purpose. Killing the innocent is never good. But as our Lord said, “Do not fear the one who can kill the body and do no more.” A pregnancy can be stopped, but a soul will live on. Only God can deal with the soul.
What a perspective change for me. I have always thought that there would be many in Heaven, but when I started putting that 63 million number to it, what a powerful and wonderful crowd that will be. The 63 million represents just America and just since 1973. What about worldwide? What about before 1973?
Third, as we think about who will be in Heaven, there will be some who have a story. Paul would be like that. His journeys. His sufferings. His trials. The early disciples would all have stories. But there would be some who have little or even no story. Yet, together, in the presence of God who made each of us, we will honor, rejoice and forever be safe. No more will there be someone trying to kill us, stop us, harm us or persecute us. Evil can’t reach Heaven. Safe in the arms of Jesus, what a wonderful thought that will be.
Fourth, when we think about who will be in Heaven, I think we might be surprised at who is there. You and I can be judgmental at times. We may not give someone a chance. We may not have much grace for some. But God does. We may have decided that a certain person doesn’t belong in Heaven. But that’s not our right to decide. That is the exclusive prerogative of God. There might be some who are surprise that you and I are there. God is righteous, merciful and loving. Those that are in Heaven have been invited by God and have accepted His grace through faith.
One of our hymns states, “Won’t it be wonderful there…” Oh, it surely will be. Don’t you wish we were there now!