Heaven Coach

How To Get To Heaven

Will Only A Few Achieve Heaven and If So Why

February 15, 2011 By: alanpg Category: Uncategorized

only a few

Humankind makes an assumption thinking most people will be in heaven. As men and women see things in our very enabling world this would make sense. The most fundamental principle from the bible is that God’s ways are higher and that there are things that seem right to man but are foolish. Therefore, what does God say about this question. First, we know God desires none to be lost but also we know God is perfectly just. The net result is that God declares few will be saved.

Matthew 7:13,14

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

How does God know? God knows all things. Since He knows; why do we have to go through this life-test? Well, the reason He knows is because people made choices, including yourself and the results are known. Of course, this is difficult to understand because God created us in a “time world” where there is a past, present and future. God sees all these things just like you and I might see a book with the past, present and future all seen together. In fact, I cannot explain such phenomena very well but God is not in any way limited by time. God however can limit Himself and did so by allowing men to have a free will – did not control man. He also limits Himself in that He cannot lie – all things He says will come to pass. Therefore, in God we have the one and only dependable source of things beyond this life. God is the only source of how to be successful in this life and conversely how to fail. God repeatedly makes this clear and in fact THIS IS THE TEST! Will you believe God or will you believe man? The route to believing God, discovering His truth is not a flash of lightening but a gradual, careful study / life experience that brings you to understand God and His purpose. This is God’s way for mankind, finding the truth and living it. All your reasons for this being a poor way to decide eternity are no more than your personal belief, usually related to pride. God can perfectly handle all your concerns and be perfectly fair but that fairness is relative to HIS purpose.

So back to the question,
Why will so few achieve heaven?

In Matthew 7.13,14 (see verses above) God provides the very basic reasons, namely:
1) because the road to destruction is broad, lots of choices in life and we know it is easy to have a short term view to obtain all we can and fill our lives with self-indulgence – that is, it is all about ME
2) because the road to heaven is narrow – it is narrowed by God compared to your way and in addition God says it is difficult

So, on this basis alone we can envision why there will be just a few.
We are going to do a “deep-dive” into why only a few and we will start with the individual problem of sin. When we get done you may be surprised there will be anyone in heaven. Yet understand, YOU CAN ACHIEVE HEAVEN and all the difficulty is really tied up in your pride, your lack of humility, and your weakness associated with choosing to live for now instead of living for God and eternity. It is not complex to get to heaven but involves Difficult Choices. Even those choices become easy as you grow in the knowledge of God.

Heaven Coach wants to help you to make the right choices and the following may help:
1) There is a test and it is challenging but you can be in the few and we will describe how the few can be many without contradicting God’s knowledge that there will indeed be few.
2) Next, we will expose some global versus individual reasons why there are a few.
3) And finally, how the knowledge of the “global problem” can help our understanding of how things WENT TERRIBLY WRONG and that can substantially help us to increase the few.

Individual Chooses To Sin
The Ultimate Reason For Failure

God indicates the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of heaven and He mentions some things He hates. How many people fall into these categories?

1 Corinthians 6:9,10

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

God provides a list of things He hates and I would not think such individuals would be acceptable for the kingdom of heaven.

Proverbs 6:16-19

16 These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

Below is another list of unacceptable actions from Revelation 21.8 and it includes some additional categories including “all liars.”

Revelation 21:8

8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

God has never accepted false god’s or idols and that is equivalent to accepting false doctrine, false religions. Look at God’s plan and realize it does not include any of the religions of men. Muslims, Mormons, Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, Hindu’s, Atheists and all the others will not find any acceptability with God and thus not acquire heaven. We understand there are selfish and greedy men/women in the world, for example in the world of finances and politics. We need to be “calibrated” to understand that religious leaders throughout history have been selfish and greedy and delivered deceit at times to their advantage. We now live with doctrine sometimes well constructed to be believable. We also know people make honest mistakes and usually because they did not follow the rules or just were not thorough. This happens routinely and we all experience such carelessness and at times it is very costly. In religion there are also many mistakes made because of carelessness, incompetence and a lack of diligence. So here we are and we believe what people have taught who came before us, maybe good people but maybe not. The point is God oversaw the delivery of His word but that oversight happened in the first century as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit. There is no oversight for the people past the first century and if they teach differently as Paul indicated (Galatians 1.6-9) you will not be getting the truth! Again, you have a choice and God’s plan is working perfectly – you will follow God or you will follow man!

Galatians 1:6-9

6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

One might say that these sins, these allegiances can all be forgiven and that is true but how many living those things are going to change, how many will die before they can change? How many are willing to repent of those things and that requires completely giving up that sin and God who grants forgiveness knows if indeed you have repented. After all, we are all sinners and some will seek truth and obey God’s requirements and live faithfully but many, most dig such a deep hole for themselves that they tend to go deeper into sin instead of turning around. Indeed, many will die in their sins and FEW will attain heaven. There are no second chances despite men’s invention of different second chance schemes.

There will also be few because even God’s children, “by obedience to the faith” may also fall and God points this out in:

1 Peter 4:17,18

17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
18 Now
“ If the righteous one is scarcely saved,
Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

God’s expectations for His children are very high since they have been given the responsibility to bring the Gospel to the world while living in a Godly manner. Some will fail and God’s anger in this regard will be just as costly as those that did not Obey The Gospel.

The World and the World of Religion
Provide People Alternatives To Truth

James 4.4 could not be more specific and dramatic in pointing out the difference between the worldly life and the Godly life.

James 4:4

4 ….. Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

It was true then and it is true today. The reason is, there is a world or worldly way of living and it is not aligned with God’s way. Going deeper, the reason relates to God’s purpose which is associated to mankind’s eternal success versus the typical purpose of mankind to achieve gain in this life. Another way God revealed this principle to mankind was to indicate that indeed where you lay up treasures is how you really value the world versus value heaven.

Matthew 6:19-21

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Turning The FEW Into Many More By:

1) Clearly Exposing The Deceit
2) Your Desire For The Truth

1) Clearly Exposing Deceit – How did all the modern (post 1st century) religions come into being?

The background of how all these religions proliferated is complicated and happened very gradually. Of course, the falling away was predicted and before the end of the first century it began. The prime religions of the world and their origins are discussed in, “What Is Life All About?” This is a good place to start since an in-depth study of any one of these religions could take a lifetime. Fortunately, only a short study of their origins is sufficient to expose them as fraudulent, that is, not related to God. There is only one reasonable religion and it is easy to validate and amazingly the more you study the greater will be your conviction. Considering the eternal effects of religious error, I cannot think of anything more damaging to mankind than the assumed validity of men’s religions. The root cause for the existence of these religions is very much like the root cause of sin. Pride, self-interest, jealously, power, lust, carelessness in handling the word of God are some of the things that are in the background creation of men’s religions.

An example of a new religion – Martin Luther

Martin Luther seeing the corruption of the Catholic Church searched for answers in scripture. Yet, he held on to much of the Catholic doctrine. In his fervor to find a deeper true meaning for life and what God required he stumbled onto some verses and declared salvation was by faith only. Many variations and false doctrines resulted from this conclusion. Eventually, many began to believe in a mere mental acceptance of Jesus as the savior and this became the once and for all time requirement for heaven. Martin Luther was careless and not thorough in coming to the “faith only” conclusion. The concept was liked by men/women and over the centuries millions have embraced the idea. If Martin Luther had studied scripture more closely and kept an open mind after discovering faith was quite different than taught by Catholicism he might have progressed to the truth. It seems he did not realize that Catholicism never had any association with God but was simply the most successful of all those who had fallen away from the truth. He never correctly defined the Process To Heaven. Instead, he and many of his followers/successors developed considerable false doctrines associated with Luther’s prime error. Luther missed many other essential aspects of the doctrine of Christ including a correct understanding of the church. He choose to develop a hybrid version of “his new knowledge and Roman Catholicism.”
As usual there is something at the beginning that is exciting (in this case Faith Only salvation), that people want to tell others about – but is it the truth? The thing to remember about these “inventors of religion, of religious doctrine” is that they are men and women. God in His care for the truth purposely did not leave men the right to create or change what He accurately delivered. Otherwise, we would have what we have today hundreds of different religions and doctrines.
So, the process of exposing deceit as part of getting to the truth and achieving heaven may require you to overturn some heavy stones. The stones may be some well established religions and some men and women who are held very highly within those groups. It might be Martin Luther as above, or Joseph Smith, or Mohammed, or hundreds of others over history. The thing that makes it a new religion is how it varies from what was delivered as doctrine during the first century. In those days, certain men were led by the Holy Spirit into all truth. If there is no variation from the doctrine of Christ as delivered at that time then there is not a new religion – it is just the word of God.
Additional material regarding how post 1st century religions came into existence can be found by reading, “Islam / Mormonism From The Same Pattern.”
Additional material on faith can be found by “clicking” Faith.

2) Your Desire For The Truth

The “modern” world is not godly but growing in agnosticism and atheism. The idea of religion or religious truth is something for which many do not choose to associate. These people believe truth exists in humanism and whatever truth there may be is of man’s discovery. Their position is so rigid that they will not entertain the possibility of God or at most take an agnostic view.
In the parable of the sower only one of the four grounds on which the seed fell survived until the end. As Jesus explains the parable we see that the seed is the word of God. The seed is spread and the soil represents the hearts of men and women. In 3/4 of the hearts the message does not survive until death but is rejected sometimes very quickly and sometimes after a period of time. Of course, this in no way means 1/4 of those who hear the gospel will endure to the end. Maybe the good soil (heart) represents less than 1% of those who hear the truth. There is every reason to believe that there will be but a few but also every reason to believe that any person can achieve heaven. Below is the parable of the sower and God is very consistent with His emphasis – namely His word. In the entire bible you will not find men given the authority to make the rules in relation to spiritual basics – they just do not know the mind of God. God must reveal things to man of a spiritual nature and that includes everything – worship, salvation, the church and so-on. The seed planted in good hearts is God’s way to save people.

Luke 8:4-15

4 And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable:
5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it.
6 Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it.
8 But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
9 Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?”
10 And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that
‘ Seeing they may not see,
And hearing they may not understand.’

11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.
14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.
15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.

Is there one thing that is the root cause
Resulting in so few succeeding in life?

If I had to select one thing keeping people from achieving success (heaven), I would say it was related to God’s word. God’s word is His means of communicating with man but mankind has mocked it and changed it. Good men like Martin Luther handled it carelessly. Evil men started their own religions but often used the scriptures to gain some validity. Other men seeing the corruption, confusion and evil of the “bible related religions” simply rejected all of them and created more humanistic guidelines for life. Sadly, these later originators of “religion” never understood that God also rejected those who used His word incorrectly and will suffer the consequences for doing so.
There are many people who see God in creation and see God as the God of the bible but for some reason do not trust God to have delivered His truth. God’s oversight of His word is nonetheless just as certain as every detail of creation – God’s Oversight Of Truth. All things have in the past, or will in the future come to pass exactly as God has revealed in His word.

You and others can achieve heaven but you need a love of the truth and that will begin to change your view of life. If you search for truth trying to find confirmation of what you already believe you will very likely not be successful. When you UNDERSTAND GOD you will see how He has no tolerance for those who change the word He delivered. The reason is very straightforward – souls will be lost as a result of false teaching and His Son’s sacrifice will not be realized to the extent possible. It is serious business to teach about things related to God. When you look at the seven things God hates (Proverbs 16.16-19 quoted above) you will see four of those seven things are related to false teaching / lies or misrepresenting.

Summary – Why Only A Few?

How many love God with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their strength, and with all their mind, and love their neighbor as themselves?

How many are willing to sacrifice their lives for God – give up the things of this life?

How many are willing to study to gain better understanding of God?

How many are willing to preach the word?

How many are willing to reject the things they have been taught by family, friends if needed?

How many take a casual attitude toward religious matters?

How many are willing to forgive others even in the most difficult of matters?

How many have the strength of character to do the right thing even if tremendously unpopular with your family, friends, and peers?

How many understand that God’s word will come to pass, every single thing and live and act with the sense of urgency and assurance that His word demands?

How many know that God is not a respecter of persons and understand what that means to their chances for heaven? This means that you will not achieve heaven in some special way different than any other person but all will be judged according to the same rulebook – the scriptures.

Life is serious business and LIFE IS NOT ABOUT THIS LIFE! Life is about the soul and God has devised the perfect test and revealed all you need to know to be successful. The choice is yours and it will be difficult in most cases. How badly do you want heaven? In the questions above – can you see how there will only be a few?
Can you see how the world trivializes the spiritual, trivializes morality, mocks scripture and praises humanism? As God says, the enemy is the world because ultimately, eternally the world pulls people in the wrong direction.

I mentioned there was a way for you to be in the few. Read some of the pages at this website for help but always understand truth lies in God’s word which was so carefully delivered for this purpose.

I mentioned that the few could be many in a way consistent with God’s revelation that there will only be a few. Few is a non-precise mathematical term and if we look at the world population from the beginning of time we arrive at a total of about 100 billion people to this day. Currently the world population is about 6.8 billion people. It is very easy to believe in view of the religious error, selfishness, greed, pride and general immorality that few in the past achieved heaven. Today, these same things exist and it appears to be even worse with increasing immorality and disrespect for God. Nonetheless, people desire heaven and if the message (truth) gets to good hearts many more of the 6.8 billion could be successful. Yet, no matter how well we do with the existing 6.8 billion people the net will still be a few. But the fields are white for harvest as Jesus said in:

John 4:35

35 Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!

No one knows when God will end His test with mankind but we should think in terms of being prepared. You may or may not have been “much in this life” as people count success but none of that matters. You need to be great in God’s eyes and you can do that and add one to the few. If you do this it will be the result of understanding the importance of the soul. Now, you can begin to make a real difference carrying on the mission of Jesus to seek and save the lost.

Exposing error of the major religions in view of the truth could go a long way towards increasing the few. The ones that might be open to the truth are a group of people who understand the Bible is the word of God. This group known generally as protestants have many different beliefs and different names. They could be good candidates. The tremendous deceit of Islam and Mormonism is easily demonstrated and thus many could move from those errors. Catholicism is a contributing factor to the origin of many of the man-made religions and by getting people to understand how that occurred, truth becomes more obvious. Catholics themselves have perhaps the most sophisticated, complicated man-made religion on the planet. Yet, Catholicism is the easiest of all man-made religions to show as false. Much of the religious deception occurred hundreds of years ago going back to the 1st century. These errors are the foundation for many religions. If we focus for a moment on Catholicism and Protestantism and realize the rules were made by men and not God you can understand how these early errors occurred. There is a particular set of errors associated with these religions that has been so damaging of themselves but also proliferating many other unfortunate beliefs. That history and its consequences is easily exposed.
In the background of all this happening will be the church which is the body of Christ growing and becoming aggressive in relation to its only mission – evangelism. The church of the Lord is authorized to do three things and one is evangelism but the other two support the prime mission, namely benevolence of the Lord’s people and edification of the Lord’s people. The mission of the Lord’s church is the same as Jesus stated about His mission – to seek and save the lost!
So, the few could become many more, and still be a few. Heaven rejoices with each new soul!

Another Reason There Will Only Be A Few

Emotions Direct Our Decision-Making
Logic, Reason, Common Sense, Facts Receive Lesser Weight

People hold on to the most ridiculous of beliefs because they have an emotional attachment and in religion this is even more exaggerated. You can offer every possible argument and all reasonable and consistent with God’s purpose. Yet, even though the arguments are overwhelming many will not change because of their emotional attachment to some other belief. Sometimes it is emotional because you have taken a known stand on this point, sometimes because the family has always believed this way, and very often it is that you (or someone you know) had some emotional experience associated with this teaching. God wants you to rely on His word and not on the teachings of men or on some emotional experience and certainly not on the pride you have in some group or doctrine.

Final Thought:
Will Only A Few Achieve Heaven and If So Why?

You, the reader have some responsibility for the few. Primarily for your own soul – God does not want to lose you, He does not want any to be lost. You can help in your own situation and there will be one less soul lost and you will be highly blessed to have succeeded in life. Now, assuming you are going to search, find and obey the truth, and live faithfully you might be responsible for others being successful. Paul in his devotion to the gospel traveled the known world and converted many and so could you. Bible history is full of people who believed they could not do well representing God, and one of the early ones was Moses. You might positively impact your family, friends, acquaintances and others. One thing you should know is that you must stand on your own two feet – no one can do this for you and you cannot do this for anyone else.
It is sobering information and not what you may have wanted to know. Yet, on the other hand it is the thing you most need to know.
The bad news: few will make heaven
The good news: you can be in heaven and help others to be successful also

Matthew 20:16

16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.

4 Comments to “Will Only A Few Achieve Heaven and If So Why”

  1. Theodore A. Jones says:

    “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Rom. 2:13 What law is he referencing? The one that has been added when the law was changed. See Heb 7:12.
    Theodore A. Jones

    • Theodore,
      He is referencing the old law, but this statement is more universal, that is the law from God whether in the old or new covenant requires obedience. If one lived under the old law, obedience was expected. In the new covenant one must obey the doctrine of Christ. In Hebrews 5.8,9 we see that Jesus is the author of salvation to all those who obey him.
      Thanks for the question, keep questioning

      • Paul is not referencing the written code.

        • Anonymous
          If you are referring to Galatians 1.6-9
          6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
          The you would be correct, because it was not yet written just as when Jesus taught something it was not yet recorded, but it would be. The Holy Spirit would by means of inspiration be certain the things of God would be written – it was God’s way.
          2 Peter 1.20
          20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

          It would be the scriptures recorded that would follow and only God could do such a thing accurately.

          Thanks for your comment.


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