Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H


Only a Few Will Go to Jesus' Heaven

The Bible, the book God supposedly wrote, says that most people will go to the place of torment that never ends when they die and there is nothing they can do about it once they get there.

Some say today that Hell is empty or near-empty. This does not fit St Paul's fear that having a clear conscience like him has nothing at all to do with showing you are right with God and acquitted for sins.   You could have sins you do not see or maybe you do not see that your repentance is fake.  Paul feared being a reject. 

Paul says he aims to be all to all men to save some of them.  Not all will be saved even if Paul preaches to all.

They say the Devil is there but nobody else but if you read Revelation 20:10 and 20:15 it is clear that people were found to have their names absent from the book of life and thus were thrown into Hell. Jesus said in Matthew 10:28 that you must not fear those who can kill your body but the one who can kill your body and soul in Hell. The word apollumi means ruin or lose but not necessarily extinction. In 2 Peter 3:6-9 it refers to the earth being wrecked by the flood. That did not mean annihilation or anything like that.
Most people will be damned forever for their sins. This is hardly surprising when the book of Ecclesiastes says that laughing (2:1) and everything we do below the sun is pointless and just vanity (1:2). Vanity is a sin. The book does not mean that all human works are useless – even sin has its uses - it means that they are nothing to be proud of in the final analysis for there is no real goodness in them just pride. Even the humble person must be proud of his humility.
The teaching of holiness has been abandoned by virtually the entire Christian Church. Holy means separate – keeping away from what or whoever is unclean and doing it for God. In the Jewish law, the Jews were commanded to avoid unclean things no matter what. Jesus in Mark 7 said that a man was made unclean by his intentions and his will. So you are not to have anything to do with sinners. But we all do. We go to weddings of unrepentant people who lived in sin first.

It is not surprising that the Bible says that the vast majority of our works are sinful (Romans 3) and makes no distinction between sins that deserve eternal punishing and those that don’t. Roman Catholicism has made such a distinction but it is arbitrary and not in the Bible. The Bible against Catholicism says that all sin merits the endless agonies of Hell. Thus the Catholic Church is a dangerous form of Christianity in Bible eyes. Also, the Bible says that nobody is perfectly righteous at any moment in this life and all sin at some level (1 John 1:8). And it says that if you sin all your works will be sins until you repent even if they are good works (James 3:9,12).

Paul said that many will receive the salvation won by Jesus (Romans 5:15,19). But many can mean anything. If salvation is very unlikely and a thousand make it that is many. Its as many as can be expected. He didn’t say most and he didn’t say all. That is very important. We must not forget that Paul didn’t have that many converts at that time and he was ready for the second coming any minute. His many must be understood in that context. He chose to use that word for he didn’t know what else to use. It was the most neutral word he could use. Did he mean that many of his converts would be saved? Then it follows that a small number would be saved.
Romans 8 says that anybody who has the spirit of God is a son of God. This means Christians for there is no hint that it can be any other kind of people. And the real Christians are as uncommon as papal offspring. There are millions of Christian denominations and every one claims to have the correct Christian faith and that every other group is in error. When Paul said that even Christians will not be saved from sin and death if Jesus has not risen he is saying that sincerity is no good at all and people have to have the right gospel to be saved meaning that salvation is only for a handful.

Once when he was asked if only a few would be saved, Jesus replied that people have to strive to get into Heaven and to squeeze through the narrow door.
And someone said to Him, "Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?" And He said to them, "Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. "Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, 'Lord, open up to us!' then He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know where you are from.'" See Luke 13:23-25.

Incidentally, some want the narrow door or narrow gate to refer to a gate in Jerusalem that you could pass through with some effort. None of the relevant texts hint at an actual gate in Jerusalem - see Matthew 19:24, Mark 10:25, and Luke 18:25.   Mark 10:32 tells us that when the gate was mentioned Jesus and his hearers were not in Jerusalem but they were going there.  The eye of the needle referring to a real gate to make a point is just a fantasy.  Read Legends of the New Testament: 40 Common Misconceptions, 63.  It would destroy Jesus teaching that anybody who is wealthy cannot enter Heaven.  The apostles understood him to be saying nobody can go in for everybody has some kind of property and in a sense is wealthy.  Jesus validated their interpretation but was clear that it cannot happen unless God makes it possible.  Only a person who is clearly unconcerned about material things and such people are very rare will be saved as long as they say God helps them to prefer him.
Back to when the disciples asked Jesus if a few would be saved, Jesus did not say straight out that only a few can expect to be saved. But when he started talking about the need for a struggle and to get in through a narrow door yes was written all over it. Clearly, a no would have been too blunt. He was softening the blow of the bad news. So all do not go to Heaven, namely, those who don’t strive. He did say then that only a few go to Heaven. When anybody asks you if your pub can hold many punters and you tell them that they need to do something hard to get in it is obvious that you are indicating that it does not. Jesus was doing the same thing here.
It is laughable that some argue that 99 out of hundred would be few to Jesus who wants all to be saved – meaning that not many doesn’t mean not many here (page 288, Handbook of Christian Apologetics). But when Jesus was on such a serious subject he was hardly likely to be unclear and childish. Also, he had to be careful how he spoke to laypeople. If he had been talking to himself saying so few will be saved we might believe the laughable interpretation of this but when he said it to others who would have taken him to mean few in the real sense that is what he meant. Parables were for making his teaching clearer not vaguer. So in the worldview of Jesus, only a few go to Heaven so the rest must suffer forever. If sincerity could save most would be saved. The question sets the context. He was asked how many people on earth then would be saved. The answer to be an answer follows the context.

The fewer get to Heaven then the harder you have to strive to get to Heaven.  Thus those teachers telling you that its unlikely even the worst sinner will be damned are telling you not to try.  Jesus was clear that the standard was high and brutal which shows that living up to it is so hard that it takes huge striving.  The strive fits into the gospel message that God's way is far from easy.
Jesus was also saying that those who battle to get into Heaven and fail are really trying. Thus sincerity is not enough to get you into Heaven.
The gospels tell us about a rich young man who would not turn to Jesus because Jesus asked him to give his wealth to the poor. Jesus then said that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. The apostles then objected that nobody could be saved if that was the case. Then Jesus replied that it was impossible with men but not with God. Only God could save them. The apostles meant that everybody was rich in the sense that they had material things they would not give up for anybody even God. Jesus does not disagree with them but actually agrees when he says only God can help them. This tells us that only those who make outstanding and unnatural sacrifices will be saved. And it is a miracle of God that enables them to do this. Those who claim to be saved and do not have not been really saved. The saved will be less less less than a tiny minority.

Today, nearly everybody in the West and Europe is rich. The rich never valued money because it was just money but because of the opportunities it gave them. Today even many of the so-called poor have more opportunities than had the rich of Jesus’ day who he condemned for their wealth.
Jesus is also saying that the rich man could not come to him. The rich man was too weak to do what Jesus asked and still Jesus said he was unfit for Heaven. This undermines the Christian doctrine that Jesus preached an understanding God. It would take time for God to change him but Jesus still condemns him for he approves of all God does and God has rejected him. If the rich man was strong then it would not be impossible for him to be saved without much help from God.

In Matthew 7:13, Jesus says the road to life is difficult and rough while the road to everlasting torture is wide and smooth.
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it."

The road to Hell is easy and wide. This is hardly an encouraging doctrine. Jesus said that few find the way to Heaven meaning that sincere but mistaken faith is not enough for most would enter for most sincerely believe. One has to know and believe what he taught. If the sincerely wrong will not be saved then most people will not be saved.
Do not forget that Jesus said that to his own holy disciples! He warned them to fear not death but him who could destroy body and soul in Hell (Matthew 10:28). Jesus was clear in Luke 12 that a parable warning what will happen if you are not ready for Jesus coming back was addressed to the disciples. Peter had asked him if the parable was meant for them too.
Jesus' references to his generation being an evil and adulterous one hint that few were considered fit for Heaven.

Jesus said that the last will be first and first last implies that many are called to be first and few are chosen for only the last called make it for anybody that is a follower of God for long falls away and that is why the last get saved.
Jesus and the New Testament warn a lot about God's eternal judgement. If you die estranged from God, he punishes you for it in Hell forever and your chance of repentance is permanently taken from you. Liberal Christians say they see no biblical reason to hold that any human being goes to Hell. So is Jesus and the New Testament just using Hell to try and scare us into obeying God and being good? That would show he was no saint so the Christians reject that thought. They say, "You know your friend will not go over the cliff. Yet you might warn him to be careful. Jesus constantly warning us about Hell does not mean any of us will go there only that we can go." If you keep going on about the cliff it would show there is a real chance he might fall over. Jesus went into Hell overdrive.

It is said that Jesus said we must not judge – judge means hating people for the wrong they have done. He said the judgement you give is what you will get back obviously from God for many notorious judgers get away with it on the earthly level. It is said to be judgmental to worry about how many people will go to Hell or to ask if it will be the majority. If it is then when Jesus said few are saved and the gate to Hell is wide he meant it.  He told the men who the Church considers to be his apostles and saints that even for them they must struggle to find the narrow way to salvation.  If they had problems what about everybody else?  We all judge and given what Jesus said about judgers few will get to Heaven!
The chance of being abducted by aliens then seems to be a bigger chance than Hell if the liberals are right. We don't worry about the aliens so why worry about Hell? The doctrine takes away any motivation for following Christianity. There is no point in saying, "I will follow the Christian religion in case I follow another and end up in Hell."
And the Christian is only rationalising that Jesus is not trying to induce fear for the sake of manipulating. There is no proof that they are right. If they were honest they would simply say, "We cannot know if Jesus was trying to scare us with Hell or not."
The Book of Revelation, Chapter 7, states that 144,000 men will be saved or sealed as the slaves of God. Seals are final so they are servants of God forever. The angels sealed and took these servants of God from the earth. They pick members of the Israelite tribes only. Christians say it can’t mean Jews only so it is a symbol. But it could for anybody could have Jewish blood in them for the Bible says the Jews were scattered.
Paul said that we are all Jews – spiritually – if we keep true to Christ. God could rig it that this exact number could be saved too. He did stranger things after all and it is Bible doctrine that you cannot be saved unless God gives you the gift of faith. Applying this interpretation to Revelation 7 however is stretched. It seems to mean that 12,000 will be taken from every tribe in Israel. The spiritual Jews are Jews in the sense that they are descended from Abraham. Paul regarded the children of Israel as Jews in another sense and did not say that a spiritual Jew is a son of Israel (Galatians 3:29). So a Jew as in son of Israel is a genetic Jew and a spiritual Jew is a son of Abraham - a Jew in a broad sense.
It could mean then that if we are talking about Christianity, there are people who belong to Jewish tribes perhaps without knowing it and God will save 144,000 of them in total.
But if it is Jews then when God chooses so few of his chosen people for salvation things will not be any more encouraging for the rest of us. The 144,000 sang a new song that nobody else could learn. This means they were singing of their salvation and nobody else was allowed to sing this hymn.
After the 144,000 are mentioned the scriptures mention a great numberless crowd praising God. Some think the 144,000 is symbolic and refers to the same crowd (page 175, The Book of Revelation for Dummies). This is wrong for why use such confusing symbolism and how can a numbered crowd symbolise an innumerable crowd?

So God chooses 144,000 Jews who have to be spotless virgins.
There is no evidence that the 144,000 is to be taken figuratively. Even if it is, it still indicates that the number of the finally saved is tiny.
Some say as the 144,000 includes Israel's tribes but as Dan and Ephraim is left out the reference is symbolic. So the 144,000 is figurative for the tribe of Dan has been left out but it is there by implication for it says all the tribes and it is omitted from explicit mention probably because Dan was the black sheep tribe (page 432, Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties).
Bible scholars agree that the figure could be literal (page 433, ibid). The view that the idea that only 144,000 will be accepted by God is elitist and contradicts the assertions of Galatians 3:28,29; Colossians 3:11 about there being no elitism with God is a common view. But it is wrong. The Bible says that all who really want to come to God will come.
Revelation also says that they will be virgins or parthenoi probably in view that they will comprise the Church which will be the bride of the lamb of God and a virgin for Christ – their not being real virgins being a different issue though to me it is still a hint that virgins are preferred for they could have been called chaste not virgins and chastity does not rule out sex but only illicit sex. Since God forgives sexual sin it is possible that the virgins are not physically virgins but are virgins in God’s eyes because he forgave them.

The 144,000 are Jewish Christians because it seems that it is only Jerusalem where God is praised (Revelation 11:13).
There are twenty-four elders with the 144,000 but the elders could be angels or the Old Testament prophets who were saved.
Then after the 144,000, Christians say they read about a great crowd of innumerable saints being safe in Heaven and free from suffering and worshipping God all the time in his temple in Heaven. This appears to be a different group from the 144,000.

The crowd is made up of people who suffered intensely for their faith in Christ. What Revelation tells us about them is that they wore white robes and carried palm branches and praised God and the Lamb and the author says that a member of the Heavenly Sanhedrin told him they came through the persecution and made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb. They stand before the Throne of God in his Temple and they hunger no more and they thirst no more. And the sun or heat doesn’t smite them for the Lamb will be their shepherd and will guide them to springs of water that give life and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
They might stand before God and use his Temple but that doesn’t mean they are saved. The passage doesn’t say they have any more contact with God than any living person can have. If they are saved then why do they still need the Lamb to guide them to the waters of salvation? They are protected by God. They can dirty their robes again for it is only if their robes keep white that the Lamb can guide them. The reference to the sun and heat not smiting them is similar to the promise of the psalm that if you do the will of God the sun and the moon will not harm you. It’s not to be taken too literally. Nothing in Revelation hints that the number of the saved will be high. On the contrary it hints that the number will be very low.
The message is that God has given the grace of saving faith only to Jewish virgins and to some Gentiles who have suffered intensely for him which indicates that only those who live incredibly holy lives have received the grace of faith and will go to Heaven. Only unique people will be saved which implies that this is not many when you think of how many people have come and gone and are still here on the earth.
There is no reason to suppose that the 144,000 and the great crowd refer to something that is yet to come. That would leave it possible to insist that the references to them do not indicate that the number of the saved will be small for the great tribulation and the disasters and earthquakes that they will see on earth have been happening bit by bit since Revelation was written. Before the 144,000 was mentioned we were told that the Lamb opened the fifth seal in Heaven to the pleadings of a crowd in Heaven who had been martyred and wanted him to take revenge for them and they were told to wait until more martyrs would come to join them at the foot of God’s altar in Heaven. So the great crowd is being made up even now.

Revelation says that anybody who misrepresents the book will be lost implying that the saved will be those who understand it perfectly by the power of God (22). Thus, the book means it when it says salvation is just for a few. Verses that speak of the almost total depravity of the world serve to underline that (eg, 16:10, 11).

The Church says we do not know how high the rate of everlasting damnations is. We have to assume that it is very high to be on the safe side. It is better to die of fear than to suffer in Hell forever or risk Hell. This means that it is wise to murder anybody who draws others into sin. Humanists should be murdered for trying to draw Christians into the so-called sin of apostasy or disbelief. It is a sin to let the people who are a stumbling block to God’s people live. The doctrine of the Christian Church is responsible for the burning to death at the stake and torturing of heretics which both the Catholic and Protestants considered noble activities not too long ago. Those who won’t kill are hypocrites and those who do are nutters. Thus, the argument that it is worse not to believe in Hell is completely exploded. If most believers in Hell won’t become full fanatics that is only because their faith is too weak so they are no argument for the safety of the doctrine.
Jesus said that his yoke was easy and his burden light and the First Epistle of John tells us that the commandments are not difficult. From this it would suggest that most people should be saved. How can it be reconciled with the statements of primitive Christianity that only few can be saved? By holding that correct and orthodox faith is necessary for salvation. Few people are orthodox. Protestants hold that everybody is trapped in sin until they turn to Christ in faith. “In the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed, a righteousness that comes by faith from beginning to end, just as it is written, “The just one will live by faith” (Romans 1:17). Luther reasoned that since the righteousness of God condemns the sinner, how does this have a righteousness that doesn’t condemn? The answer for him was that faith was entire self-abandonment to God, you abandon yourself because you can do nothing to save yourself and the work is all his. He saves you and you believe as a result. You are clothed with righteousness in his sight like a robe but in yourself you are still unrighteous.  Few understand salvation by faith alone without good works and the Roman Catholic Church rejects it as heresy so few will have any hope of being saved.
The Roman Catholic Church has officially and infallibly decreed against the Reformers at the Council of Trent that nobody can know beyond any peradventure of a doubt that they will enter Heaven when they die (Canon 30, Session 6, Justification) which tells us that mortal sin must be extremely common and every person commits it a lot and may only think that he is right with God now and be proved wrong at the judgment after his death.
Christianity has sometimes suppressed or ignored the doctrine of salvation for a handful for it is bad for business and her schemes to court popularity. But the fact remains the tradition of the Church and the scriptures teach that it is the correct view.

Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
4 “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’
5 “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.
13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

Comment - The context of many are invited but few are chosen is damnation and salvation. The man without the wedding garment is thrown out and tied up and there is weeping and gnashing of teeth where he goes. This is a symbolic reference to eternal damnation. It may be said that the text speaks of the banquet being full of people so we cannot take the few too literally. It might be said to mean that even if everybody barring one is saved this is still too few - somebody is lost.

Some say that what proves Jesus meant few in the poetic sense is that he speaks of one man being thrown out. But he said that the guests were not chosen and they were many. The man has nothing to do with the meaning of many are invited but few are chosen because he is in the story to illustrate the point that that fake guests will not be tolerated. He shows what would have happened to the people who were invited if they had went to the wedding for they were not genuine about celebrating the wedding. The man is mentioned to show that not being chosen means terrible punishment. The story stops there so we can assume that others were thrown out too though they are not mentioned.

Few of the chosen were left out of the invited.

Elsewhere Jesus says that even those who are fit for Heaven are still in grave danger of damnation. He indicates that they will be saved by the skin of their teeth. Few will be saved if that is the case.  "If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened." Matthew 24:22. 

"For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." Matthew 24:24.

Jesus told a centurion that he never seen faith like his in the whole of Israel implying that the Jews were not great believers in religion despite their religious activities.  Faith is necessary for salvation.


The Fourth Book of Ezra 8 was used by the gospellers to word what Jesus said and it is clear that few literally have any real hope.

God's message is, The most High hath made this world for many, but the world to come for few.

I will tell thee a similitude, Esdras; As when thou askest the earth, it shall say unto thee, that it giveth much mould whereof earthen vessels are made, but little dust that gold cometh of: even so is the course of this present world.

There be many created, but few shall be saved.

So answered I and said, Swallow then down, O my soul, understanding, and devour wisdom.

For thou hast agreed to give ear, and art willing to prophesy: for thou hast no longer space than only to live.  And that he is of great mercy, for he multiplieth more and more mercies to them that are present, and that are past, and also to them which are to come.

For if he shall not multiply his mercies, the world would not continue with them that inherit therein.

And he pardoneth; for if he did not so of his goodness, that they which have committed iniquities might be eased of them, the ten thousandth part of men should not remain living.

And being judge, if he should not forgive them that are cured with his word, and put out the multitude of contentions,

There should be very few left peradventure in an innumerable multitude.

Jesus was validating that text and remember this book is apocryphal but the New Testament says that such texts do have some true material.  The letter of Jude used similar works. 

The Bible evidence is that most people will be damned. 
APOLOGETICS AND CATHOLIC DOCTRINE, Most Rev M Sheehan DD, M H Gill & Son, Dublin, 1954
APOLOGETICS FOR THE PULPIT, Aloysius Roche, Burns Oates & Washbourne LTD, London, 1950
ENCHIRIDION SYMBOLORUM ET DEFINITIONUM, Heinrich Joseph Denzinger, Edited by A Schonmetzer, Barcelona, 1963
‘GOD, THAT’S NOT FAIR!’ Dick Dowsett, [OMF Books, Overseas Missionary Fellowship, Belmont, The Vine, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3TZ] Kent, 1982
HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS, Peter Kreeft & Ronald Tacelli, Monarch, East Sussex, 1994
HAVE WE TO FEAR A DEVIL? Fred Pearce, The Christadelphian Office, Birmingham
HEAVEN AND HELL Dudley Fifield, Christadelphian Publishing Office, Birmingham
HELL – WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT IT, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1945
JEHOVAH OF THE WATCH-TOWER, Walter Martin and Norman Klann, Bethany House, Minnesota, 1974
LIFE IN CHRIST, PART 3, Fergal McGrath SJ, MH Gill and Son Ltd, Dublin, 1960
RADIO REPLIES VOL 1, Frs Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1938
REASON AND BELIEF, Bland Blanschard, George Allen & and Unwin Ltd, London, 1974
REVELATION ITS GRAND CLIMAX AT HAND! Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1988
THE BIBLE TELLS US SO, R B Kuiper, The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1978
THE BOOK OF REVELATION FOR DUMMIES, Larry R Helyer, PhD, Richard Wagner, Wiley Publishing Inc., Indiana, 2008
THE DEVIL, THE GREAT DECEIVER Peter Watkins, The Christadelphian Birmingham, 1992
THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF BIBLE DIFFICULTIES, Gleason W Archer, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1982
THE FOUR MAJOR CULTS, AA Hoekema, Paternoster Press, Carlisle, 1992
THE KINDNESS OF GOD, EJ Cuskelly MSC, Mercier Press, Cork, 1965
THE LIFE OF ALL LIVING, Fulton J Sheen, Image Books, New York, 1979
THE REAL DEVIL, Alan Hayward, Christadelphian Bible Mission, Birmingham
THE REALITY OF HELL, St Alphonsus Liguori, Augustine Publishing Company, Devon, 1988
THE SERMONS OF ST ALPHONSUS LIGOURI, St Alphonsus Ligouri, TAN, Illinois, 1982
THE TRUTH ABOUT HELL, Dawn Bible Students, East Rutherford, NJ
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT HELL? Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1986
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HEAVEN?, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1988
WHY DOES GOD? Domenico Grasso SJ, St Paul Publications, Bucks, 1970