Years ago in the fire and brimstone era of the Church, we got the idea that hardly anyone went to heaven. Most people hoped to just slip into the back door of purgatory. Nowadays, we get the idea that everyone goes to heaven. Some people even say there is no hell, or if there is, no one's there but Judas, Hitler, and Jack the Ripper.
What does Jesus say? In answer to the question about whether few would be saved, Jesus replied: "Try to come in through the narrow door. Many, I tell you, will try to enter and be unable" (Lk 13:24). Jesus also said: "The invited are many, the elect are few" (Mt 22:14).
It seems unbiblical and presumptuous to think that almost everyone accepts Jesus as Lord and goes to heaven. On the other hand, it is not part of our heavenly Father's plan that even one person be lost (Mt 18:14), for He wants all to be saved (1 Tm 2:4). If God had His way, all would be saved and go to heaven.
Therefore, we should be confident but not presumptuous about our eternal life with Jesus. "Be solicitous to make your call and election permanent, brothers; surely those who do so will never be lost. On the contrary, your entry into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for" (2 Pt 1:10-11).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from August 1, 2010 through September 30, 2010.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2010.