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Is There Spiritual Safety in Numbers?

safety in numbers

If you visit one of our South African game reserves you may be exposed to the stark brutality of the food chain in action. I’ve seen zebra, wildebeest, and even a giraffe, harangued into fatigue, pulled to the ground and torn to shreds by lions.

Nature, red in tooth and claw,” as Tennyson said. When you see a herd of impala grazing, you get a distinct feeling that they are just some predator’s meal waiting to happen.

Imagine a young buck learning the facts of life from his dad: “Son, we antelope are totally harmless, we munch on grass all day, we can’t crouch down or hide in any way, oh and we are made of meat. Lions are built for speed and strength, they have fangs, claws, and camouflage, and eat only meat. Any questions?”

“Yeah. How do we survive?”

There is only one hole: find safety in numbers. Lions, leopards, and other predators tend to catch and eat one antelope every few days. So if the prey huddle together in a herd and then scatter, they only have to be faster than the others in the herd to survive.

There is safety in numbers.

Some people treat their spiritual lives the same way. They think, “God is holy and just and he hates sin, will punish it forever in Hell, but I don’t need to be perfectly holy, just holier than most of the people I’m with. If I belong to a world religion consisting of millions of adherents, then God can’t possibly disregard that religion. There is safety in numbers.”

But Jesus disabuses us of that misconception…

3 False Assurances Many People Have That They Will Be Saved

1. Awareness Of The Gospel

And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. (Luke 13:23-24)

This man wanted to know how many people go to heaven and Jesus doesn’t say “Don’t worry, most people get to heaven, so you only have to beat the axe-murderers and Satanists.” No, he says…“Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

Yikes. Only those who strive (or “agonize” from the Greek) get to heaven?

But then Jesus goes further. He says there are even people who want to get in who won’t!

Pretty shocking! Doesn’t the Bible teach whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life?

Notice that Jesus uses two different words to describe similar actions with two very different attitudes.

 Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

Both types of people desire to enter the narrow door to salvation, but the one wants to enter with an agonizing, blood-earnest striving, while the other wants to enter with a casual seeking.

It’s the difference between a browser who merely flips through books for sale and the determined shopper who knows exactly which hardcover he wants and won’t let the shop assistant rest until he has located it.