How Many Will Be Saved?

How Many Will Be Saved?

Many insist that there is a fixed and certain number of souls that will be able to live with God eternally. The number that most use is 144,000. How many does Scripture speak of as being saved? It will be of help to understand the use of a couple of phrases used in Scripture: “as many as …” and “all who ….”

Matthew 14:34-36

“As many as touched it were cured.” Jesus had been on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee. When He crossed back over, and the men of Gennesaret knew Him, they brought unto Him all that were sick and besought Him that they might only touch the border of his garment. And “as many as touched it were cured.” From this statement we learn the number who were made whole—“as many as” touched the border of his garment—no more, and no less.

John 1:11-12

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God.” Faith does not make one a child of God. It gives one the right to become a child of God. People may believe and still not be submissive to God’s will. “Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God” (John 12:42-43). Though these rulers believed on Christ, they were condemned because Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33). Even the demons believe, but they are still demons. “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder” (James 2:19).

The apostle Paul said that the Corinthians to whom he was writing had received the gospel (1Corinthians 15:1). How had they gone about receiving the gospel? The eighteenth chapter of Acts tells of the establishment of the church in Corinth and what the Corinthians did in receiving the gospel. “Many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized” (Acts 18:8). When people receive the gospel, they hear the gospel, believe the gospel, and are baptized in obedience to the gospel.

The exact number that have the right to become the children of God are as many as believe on his name—no more, and no less.

Acts 4:34-35

“For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.” The number making such gifts were as many as possessed lands or houses—no more, and no less. This shows their generosity and their willingness to meet the great emergency which had arisen in the Jerusalem church. This also shows the Lord’s way of supporting his work—not by schemes for raising money, but simply by giving on the part of the disciples of Christ.

Romans 8:14

“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” We are led by the Spirit of God when we are led by the truth declared by the Holy Spirit. Jesus said to his disciples, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come” (John 16:13). The number who are the sons of God are as many as are led by and are obedient to the word of God—no more, and no less.

Galatians 3:27

“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” In Christ is every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3). In Christ is man’s spiritual inheritance (Ephesians 1:11). In Christ, in His body, is salvation (Ephesians 5:23). The number, then, who are saved are as many as are baptized into Christ—no more, and no less. In the light of such scripture, foolish indeed is the man who rejects baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus, and who says that it is not essential to salvation. When the scripture plainly says that only as many as are baptized into Christ put on Christ, and can be in Christ, where is every spiritual blessing, why would anyone who wants to be saved deny the word of God?

Revelation 3:19

“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” Great and wonderful blessings are provided for those who take God at his word and do his will; but when a child of God errs from the way, the Father may show his love, not by blessing, but by chastening: “and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES” (Hebrews 12:5-6). Since afflictions can be an expression of God’s love, we are not to regard them with contempt, but with penitence and thanksgiving; knowing that they are visited upon us because of God’s love, and for our good. Paul said, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). The number loved by God are as many as He reproves and chastens.

These scriptures show that if you want to be a child of God, if you want to be saved, if you want to be under God’s tender care, you will have to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; and in your obedience, be baptized into Christ. Then, and only then, will you be in the number “as many as.” How many will be saved? “All” who follow God’s instruction. Are you one of them?