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HOW MANY PEOPLE SAVE THEIR SOULS?
A Study of The Gospels
Scripture Textbooks for Catholic Schools
Burns Oates & Washbourne
Jesus was about to go up to Jerusalem for the last time, there to die as the Saviour of the world, when a man asked Him whether the number of the saved would be small. (The Jews thought that all Israelites would be saved, provided they remained true sons of Abraham.) Jesus did not give a direct answer (for the number of the saved is one of God's secrets), but He repeated His teaching given in the Sermon on the Kingdom, namely that the gate into heaven is narrow, and many who think they are on the right road are mistaken (He seems to be speaking of the Jews of His time) Then he pictured heaven as a banquet (a familiar symbol among the Jews), with Himself as the host. Many guests are admitted, but others come, to find the door locked. These knock and call out; "Lord, open to us", The host replies that He does not know them. They declare that they have eaten and drunk with Him and listened to His preaching in their streets. (Obviously these are contemporaries of our Lord.) But they are told to go away: "I know you not, Depart from Me, ye workers of iniquity".
Then Jesus foretold that while Gentiles shall enter heaven, many Jews will fail to gain admittance. The great patriarchs will be there―Abraham, Isaac and Jacob―and all the prophets. Seeing these inside and themselves outside, the unbelieving Jews of His day will gnash their teeth. They will also see a long procession of Gentiles, coming from north, south, east and west, and entering into heaven to take their places before the throne of God. Comparing these Gentiles with the Jews, Jesus said; "Behold, they that are last shall be first, and they that are first shall be last".
Continued tomorrow - Herod seeks to Kill Jesus