- Virginia Brown
How Many People Will Be Saved?
At the end of time, will God save a lot of people or only a small group?
The passage that seems to address this question is Matt 7:13–14. Jesus states that “many” enter through the gate of destruction, and only a “few” enter through the gate of life. This would seem to indicate that most of mankind, the “many,” will not be saved. Only a “few,” in comparison to the “many,” will be saved. I’m not persuaded that Jesus speaks here of the total amount of people who will be saved and who will not be saved. For example, I don’t believe that Jesus addresses in this passage the eternal outcome of the millions (billions?) of people who die in utero.
There are other passages that indicate that a unenumerable multitude will be saved. Revelation 7:9 reads, “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages.” That’s a lot of people! Also, Rom 11:26 says, “All Israel will be saved.” I’m not sure exactly what Paul means here, but “All Israel” seems to entail a lot of people. One other passage, Ex 20:5–6, says the Lord’s justice extends to “the third and forth generation,” but his steadfast love extends to “thousands of those who love” Him. In this passage, the Lord’s love envelopes a larger group of people than His wrath does.
At the end of the day, we do not know how many will be saved. The Bible does not give us a number. The secret things belong to the Lord (Deut 29:29). We know that Jesus is the only way of salvation (Acts 4:12), but only God knows the number of his elect (Luke 18:7). Praise His holy name!