If there are actually more saved than lost people in All of history, either history is going to be a lot longer than we expect, or to date we Christians really have no idea what we are talking about.My response:
There's another possibility. I'm sure it will be controversial, but I'll throw it out there anyway. The reason there will be more saved than unsaved is that those who die in infancy are saved.Cent's response:
What follows is taken from a message I heard from Phil Johnson. He said that the reason he thinks there will be more people in heaven is because he thinks all infants who die are elect. I won't try to replicate all of the support he provides for his position (you can find that by pulling up his message from GraceLife at http://www.gracechurch.org/minis...p? ministry_id=9 ), but I would like to highlight a couple of points.
*Infants are not saved because they are innocent, because it's clear from Scripture that they aren't. But it is conceivable that they are saved by God's grace--just like all men are saved by God's grace.
*Infants may actually be spared by dying, because they don't have to come into a sin-cursed world and deal with sinning willfully themselves.
*Calvinism is superior to an Arminian understanding in this regard, because if a man must choose, how can any infants be saved.
*If this is so, why doesn't the Bible deal with this explicitly? This is a key point, and one on which many of my own doubts rested. But his answer to this question proved to be the lynchpin (in my mind) for the whole argument. It is both logical and Biblical. Knowing man's great propensity for evil, God chose purposely not to reveal this part of His plan, because humans would twist it into some sort of sick "sacrificial evangelism," where children would be killed precisely because they would go to heaven.
Now think about this for a minute. Haven't you heard this exact argument from some who are pro-abortion? If infants are automatically saved, why would we want to stop abortion? The answer is because it is an abomination to God and to His character, and He would never want to have something like this done in His name (I'm paraphrasing here, and Phil, please forgive me if I'm not as precise as I should be on this point).
Now I recognize that it's tricky to make an argument like this when the Bible is not explicit (which is why I'm glad I'm just picking up the threads of the tapestry woven by PJ). Is it possible this what's written above is incorrect--that God would choose to deal with infants in a different way? Absolutely!
But I ask you, as you read the Bible, and as you observe God's character--how He cares for the poor and the oppressed; how He cares for the helpless; how He cares for the honor of His name--what greater picture of a loving, gracious God could there be than to extend His grace to those little ones in a special way? I'm not trying to be pie-in-the-sky or borderline universalist here; I'm saying that infants are really a picture of all of us--we were all that helpless, and without God's intervention in our lives we would also be hopeless.
Is it reasonable to conclude that a God like that might have in His redemptive plan a part that would include these helpless ones? Does it take away from God to believe this? I don't think so--PRECISELY BECAUSE THEY ARE STILL SAVED BY GOD'S GRACE.
I hope to have 5 minutes to scrape together something about this before the weekend.
Now when he came back, he had decided to write the post linked above, and not to write about the subject, for the reasons he mentions (both in the post, and in the comments there). Unfortunately, even his non-post has generated loads of comments, which have required responses. And all because of me.
My original purpose was simply to present a possibility, not to argue dogmatically for a certain view (I might do that in the future, but not now). I presented some highlights of the argument that were most convincing to me, not the whole argument, all with the goal of simply saying it's possible that there are more saved people than lost people.
So Cent, I'm sorry, and to make it up to you, I'm putting this post up for all who might wish to discuss further. Come over to my blog--I am interested in discussing.