Will anyone be Saved?
Will only a few be saved? It’s your choice.
A= Heaven, B= Hell, C= I don’t care. It probably doesn’t exist anyway.
So it’s like a lottery is it? If I choose C, I don’t bother playing, If I choose B, I’ll do as I d--mn well please but if I choose A, I’ve got things to do. We’d all like to hear that everyone is saved because, you know, God is love and he wouldn’t be so mean as to send people to Hell. Because He is a a God of love we can just keep going along with business as usual. But that doesn’t seem exactly fair either because there are always those who do more than expected and those who do as little as they can get away with. So if everyone is saved it doesn’t matter what you do unless you are really, really bad. And if there was no payoff at all then why would anyone try being better than they are? Can’t earn our way to heaven!
So Jesus says the way into the kingdom is a narrow gate! Now it’s going to take some effort to be in the right position to get through the gate so there is some motivation there to put in some effort. Pushing and shoving is not allowed and gate crashers are thrown out! But the truth is that no one is assured of salvation. No one deserves salvation and no one can earn salvation. Only through Jesus’ death and resurrection is it possible for anyone to be saved but even that is no guarantee. It isn’t even so much about how good you are or the good you have done. It’s about love. He who loves much does everything out of love not for a reward. If all you do is for personal gain you aren’t choosing plan A.
What then is required to enter into eternal glory? First salvation itself is a gift and only those who follow the Way of Jesus will make their way through the narrow door. His way is one of love for all, no exceptions, prayer, penance and the sacraments. If we love Him we love all his children and will gladly serve all, even the most repulsive. But, we all sin and need to repent. To say I have no sin is pride. That is one of the biggest sins. We have free will and do choose to do wrong at times or to speak unkindly, but God has given us an out in the sacrament of confession. We all must get on our knees and admit our lack of love toward others. It’s not complicated to be a follower of Christ. Live humbly, simply, love justice and mercy said the prophet Micah.
There is always that old, tired objection that if God is so loving and forgiving why would he send anyone to Hell?! He doesn’t! We choose our own destiny! We send ourselves to Hell by the way we live. It’s that simple. Don’t blame anyone, especially God. God doesn’t force us to love him anymore than couples in prearranged marriages can be forced to love one another. Love is always a choice. Love is a free gift, undeserved. It’s that simple.
It’s easy to love people who are like us and who like what we like and not so easy to love or even be polite to the bum on a park bench, or the gal flaunting her wealth, nor interfering relatives. Then there are those folks in the next cubicle who make gross noises or use too much cologne. Ornery children, people who don’t speak English etc. can all get on one’s nerves but this is where true love is shown in kindness and respect. To get through that narrow gate just shave off pride and be merciful to all. But for the grace of God, that one is YOU.