Being the analytical sort, I have always figured that Heaven will surely be way overcrowded!! I mean, think of the world population today and then throw in all the previous generations! Even if Christians are the only ones going there—based on John 14:6 which says “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’”—there are still loads of folks called Christians who have died over the centuries! So I always thought it sounded like standing room only in Heaven!
Now maybe you are going to reply with the old rhetorical question of “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” but I’m not talking about angels here. I’m talking about resurrected human beings living in resurrected bodies on a resurrected earth. And I’m pretty sure that takes real, physical space. So back to the original worry. Will there be space for everyone?
Typically, I assure myself that Jesus is fully capable of “preparing a place” for each of us, so no need to worry about space. After all, the new earth is part of the new universe, so maybe we’ll spread out and live amongst the stars! Although lately, I have started to wonder how many of us Christians are really going to make it to the new earth. Maybe not as many as I once thought.
Why this sudden pessimism in the eternal fate of Christians? The big reason: just look at the mess we are in! Today, there are over two billion Christians, which makes Christianity the largest religion in the world. But despite this advantage in raw numbers, how often do we see real Christian values being lived out in the world? Love thy neighbor? Be generous, kind, and forgiving? Live a lifestyle of discipleship and service?
Seems like many of us Christians aren’t really acting very Christian on Monday through Saturday! But we’re saved, right? So we get to go to heaven no matter what we do, right? I know we have been taught that “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” But as a wise pastor also once told me, good works are not necessary to save us, but once we truly surrender to Jesus and the Holy Spirit is guiding us, we are equipped to live differently. Good works will then naturally flow from that.
Once we truly surrender to Jesus and the Holy Spirit is guiding us, we are equipped to live differently.
Does the world today see good works flowing from two billion Christians? Well I guess I can’t speak for what is going on in the whole world, but in my little corner of it, it sure seems like more of a trickle than a flow! Sure doesn’t seem like all who claim to be Christians are really living that way. Not trying to preach at you…I’m just thinking, Heaven may not be as crowded as I once thought.