(From the sermon entitled, “Ang mga Kapatid na Makakasama sa mga Nalabi upang Tumanggap ng Kaligtasan” for date September 28, 2014)
Only a few will be saved.
Even with the ancient Israelites, the holy nation of God, it was mentioned that only those who came back to the Lord will receive salvation. The Bible says, ““Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved.” (Romans 9:27; Isaiah 10:22)
Not all of the sons of Israel will be saved. Majority of them were alienated from God and from His commandments. They were like children who rebeled against their parent. They did not acknowledge God despite of what God had shown them. They committed a lot of iniquities against God (Isaiah 1:2-4).
The Bible mentions about the story of the vineyard. Israelites are a chosen people of God, and as the story goes, they are chosen grapes, and God took care of them really well. However, when the vineyard gave its fruits, they are very sour like forest grapes. Israel did the same to God. They showed bitterness and sourness despites God’s show of mercy and love (Isaiah 5:1-7). They became foolish in the sight of the almighty God. They became wise in doing wickedness, however, foolish in terms of following the commandments of God (Jeremiah 4:22).
However, not all really turned away from God. There were some who are considered as remnant, which will receive salvation. There were some who remained faithful to God until the end of their lives. Some of them even became martyrs of faith (Hebrews 11:35-38). This is a proof that God did not really turned away from His chose people, the Israel (Romans 11:1-4).
In Isaiah 1:9, we can read, “Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.” This is a prophecy of what would become of His people. The remnant talks about the seed, which is Christ. Galatians 3:16 says, “Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.”
And about Christ, what is the aforementioned number of those who will be saved?
Christ Himself says, only few will enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 7:13-14 says it all, ““Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
The gate or the door in other translation is His body, which is the church according to Colossians 1:24,18. Anyone who accepts Christ and became a member of His body or church will have a chance for salvation. However, it was said that only a few find it. This is the reason why Christ tells us, ““Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.” (Luke 13:24)
Many will look for the way of the truth, the way of salvation, the true church, unfortunately, only a few find it. There were some who are predestined long before who can come near Him, who has the chance to have a relationship with Him, who can serve Him (Ephesians 1:4) However, we can read in the Bible that those who were chosen are of no value and importance in this world, the foolishness of this world, the poor, for the reasons of making them rich in faith (1 Corinthians 1:26-29), and through this, arrogance in all people shall be removed and thus, we can prove that in all things, only the power and mercy of God reigns.
What are the traits of these people who are called and chosen to be saved?
Jesus says, “For many are, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14) This is a proof that not all who wanted to serve God shall be righteous for salvation. The Bible explains the traits of those who are worthy of God’s redemption. Many will be called, but only few will be chosen for salvation.
To assure us of victory or success, like soldiers and athletes, we need to show we are fighting our best fight. It is not enough that we serve God. It is not enough that we became members of His body. We need to serve God with all our heart, mind and soul. Apostle Paul says, “Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.” (2 Timothy 2:3-5)
Thus, we need lots of patience and perseverance to be able to make it. This is an important element to attain perfection and salvation.
Let us remember always that there is no victory without a battle. If we surrender we will not win and if we turn back, there will be no victory. If we really wanted to be be part of the kingdom of heaven and receive the eternal life, we need to stand firm until the end, fight a good fight, finish the race and keep the faith.