"A wise man attacks the city of the mighty, and pulls down the strongholds in which they trust."
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Heaven Is For Real . . . But For Whom?
By George W. Sarris
The tremendous success of Heaven Is For Real! – first as a book and now as a major motion picture – shows that people are very interested in what happens after they . . . and those they love . . . die.
The book is currently #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List and has been on the list for 181 weeks. For those of us who are mathematically challenged, that’s one week short of 3 ½ years! The film premiered at #2 a month ago, and finished #4 at the box office last weekend.
Coupled with that is the success of another book about a near-death experience – Proof of Heaven – which is currently #3 on the Best Sellers List in its 80th week.
The question that naturally arises, however, is,
“If heaven is for real . . . who goes there?”
The books and the film suggest that there will be more people in heaven than a lot of us think. Are they right?
Who Will Ultimately Be There?
A couple of years ago, I conducted a brief, random survey of people sitting in front of the New York Public Library to find out what average people really think about who will eventually make it into heaven.
What was most surprising to me was that 74% of the Christians who took the survey thought that one-half or more of the total population of the world would eventually be in heaven – and only 19% believed that number would ultimately include 25% or less of all those God created!
One person actually put down two answers: 10% and 100% – the latter included the comment,“optimistic with hope that we all make it!”
What Do You Think?
Right now, the world population is estimated to be about 7 billion people. Of that number, about a third– or roughly 2.3 billion people– call themselves Christians in one way or another. That includes liberal and conservative Protestants, strict and not-so-strict Roman Catholics, members of a variety of Eastern Orthodox churches, and just about everyone you can think of who claims to follow Christ in some fashion.
Even if all those who say they are Christians really are true believers, that would mean that well over 4 billion people are currently outside the faith . . . some of whom are probably friends, relatives, co-workers and others who you love and care about.
God is loving . . . and very powerful! Is there any hope for all those people after they die?
People don’t get to heaven by majority vote. It’s only through the finished work of Jesus Christ that anyone gets through heaven’s doors.
But how wide are those doors . . . really?
If you would like to take the survey, click here. There are only six questions and it’s completely anonymous. Ask your friends on Facebook and Twitter to take the survey, too!