Ninety Nine is Not Enough!
“ All we like sheep have gone, we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 57:1)
“ As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one.” ( Rom. 3:10-12)
Note, EVERY sheep has gone astray. None are righteous. Do you think that includes you too?
“ What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost. (Matt. 18:12-14) Jesus is happy when He finds a single, lost UNRIGHTEOUS sheep.
In this parable, we find a mystery that ninety nine percent of the church does not know. After reading this article, you WILL know the mystery. May the Lord of all Graces and Mercies give you the strength of heart to accept this mystery into your heart. May you add your voice to that remnant of sheep who have been faithful to this glorious message throughout all the centuries in which most of the church has been in gross darkness.
Before we delve into this great mystery, let me ask you a couple simple questions. Consider: an unscrupulous man has a large flock of sheep for sale that you know were once part of your own flock that you loved dearly. This thief stole them but you could not prove it. So you decided to buy them back. After payment, the unscrupulous man decided he wasn't going to give you the whole flock, he was going to withhold a certain percentage. Tell me, what percent would you be happy with receiving back? One percent? Ten percent? Fifty percent? How about ninety nine percent? Surely, if the thief kept back only one percent, you would be content with that. No? You wouldn't be happy until you received everything you paid for?
Another scenario. A terrorist is holding a hundred hostages. The authorities convince the terrorist to release the one hundred hostages in exchange for one well-known person. Let's say you are that person. At the exchange, the terrorist decides he doesn't want to give up all the hostages. He wants to keep some of them. How many would be acceptable for him to keep according to your values? If he released all but one, would that be acceptable to you? Or would you insist all be released in exchange for you?
In a world filled with imperfections of all kinds and being quite imperfect ourselves, we human beings are usually content with things not being perfect – we usually settle for less than perfection. Generally, we do not like perfectionists. They usually cause us all kinds of trouble.
In this world a baseball hitter is considered a superstar if he hits better than three out of 10 times at bat.
The world's most well-known and respected Christian evangelist Billy Graham has reportedly preached to over 200 million people and once claimed that precisely 2,874,082 of them have stepped forward to "accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior" (11/15/93, Time magazine). After giving them the four spiritual laws and taking their names, his organization sends those cards to the various churches, cathedrals and synagogues who participated. (Yes, Billy Graham will send those raised Catholics back to the Roman Catholic Church and those raised Jewish back to the Synagogues.) Of those who came forward at his crusades, only a small fraction were found attending a church growing in their faith a year after their confession. Billy Graham is by far considered the most successful evangelist of modern times. Is Billy's record good enough for Jesus?
In the Church world, those in leadership, are also quite content with the idea of falling short of perfection. If one were to go to the leadership of the major Christian denominations and ask them what percentage of mankind will ultimately be in heaven the answers would vary greatly. First of all, most Church leaders would try to dodge the question. The more Fundamentalist ones would probably have the least number in heaven. Calvinists would tell you that only the elect will be in heaven which is typically seen as a small minority. Most of mankind, according to Calvinist/Reformed, was preordained to burn in Hell from the foundation of the world. God set it up that way according to them.
According to most Evangelicals, in order to go to heaven, one must be born again by placing their life into Jesus' hands in this lifetime. By default, all are automatically consigned to Hell, a place of everlasting tortures. A decision to accept Jesus Christ as Lord AND fruit proving the decision was from the heart and that one was obedient to God's word is a requirement most Christian leaders teach must accompany those who will go to heaven. Surveying world history the greatest part of mankind has not confessed Jesus as Lord with their heart. The majority of them never heard the name of Jesus, let alone believed on Him.
There are roughly a billion Roman Catholics in the world today. For most of its history, this Church has taught salvation was only within it; all other forms of Christianity and other religions brought a quick trip to “Dante's Inferno,” that is, Hell.
During the Reformation, the Protestants considered the Roman Catholic Church anti-Christ. Of course, the favor was returned by the Pope and His Cardinals who considered all the Protestant sects that abandoned the One True Church established by the apostles -- anathema, that is, cursed. Recently, the Roman Catholic Church has changed its mind on that. Some Protestants might actually make it through the Pearly Gates. The Catholics and Protestants are probably cozier with each other today than any time in Church history.
Considering the history of mankind and all the lands in this world, most of the world never joined the Roman Catholic Church. And many that did were forced into it at the point of a sword. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest of Christian denominations. Perhaps its leaders are proud of that accomplishment. One billion members going to heaven from this generation. (Of course most of them, according to Catholic teaching, will have to spend a lot of time in purgatory for all their sins before they are permitted entry.) Perhaps the present Pope is quite happy with such a great accomplishment…but for Jesus, is that enough?
Is Jesus as much of an imperfectionist as the leaders of all the denominations of Christianity are? Is he happy with their results? Or is His standard MUCH higher than the Churches' or our own?
According to Scripture, what was the purpose of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection?
God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:17)
And if anyone hears my words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world . (John 12:47)
Who comes down from heaven and gives Life to the world. (John 6:33)
The Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them. (Luke 9:56)
And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. (John 12:32)
As you have given Him authority over all flesh , that He should give eternal life to as many as you have given Him. (John 17:2)
The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. (John 3:35)
God, Who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things , through Whom also He made the worlds. (Hebrews 1:1,2)
His purpose is very clear: to reconcile all things back to His Father. (Col. 1:16-20)
Hmmm, save the world, draw all peoples, all things in his hands, heirs of all things…does that sound like a couple percent? Ten percent? Fifty percent? Ninety-nine percent? Based upon the above, it seems to me, that NINETY-NINE PERCENT IS NOT ENOUGH FOR JESUS!
What saith the Scriptures!:
Christ, to whom, in whom, and for whom are all things will reconcile all things unto God (Colossians 1:15-20). He makes all things new. (Rev. 21:5) Hence His work is the restitution of all things (Acts 3:21); He is Heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2); in Him not only all nations will be blessed (Galatians 3:8), but even every family of the earth will be blessed (Gen 12:32; 28:14); for the Father has given Him authority over all flesh, to give to whosoever was given to Him eternal life (John 17:2); and so all flesh shall see the salvation of God (Luke 3:6) since the Father has given all things into His hands. (John 3:35) Therefore, contrary to popular Christian opinion, we do not find billions in a Hell cursing God but we find every creature which is in heaven, and on earth, and UNDER the earth saying blessing and honour and glory and power be unto Him that sits upon the throne and unto the Lamb (Rev. 5:13). We find every knee of things in heaven and earth, and under the earth, bends to Him and every tongue confesses Him as their Lord (Philippians 2:10) and we know that no one can confess Jesus as Lord except by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3). As we can see, ninety nine is not enough!
For God, Whose counsel is immutable (Hebrews 6:17), Whose attitude towards His enemies is love unchanging (Luke 6:27-35), will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth (1 Timothy 2:4, KJV); and all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9); and has shut all up unto unbelief, in order that he may show mercy upon all (Romans 11:32); for (out) of Him, as Source, and unto (or into) Him, as End, are all things whatsoever (Romans 11:36); and He has, therefore, put all things into subjection under Christ's feet (Ephesians 1:22). As we can see, ninety nine is not enough!
And so we are assured that God will gather into one all things in Christ (Ephesians 1:10); and His grace comes upon all men unto justification of life (Romans 5:18). So Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands (John 13:3), promises by His Cross to draw (drag in the Greek) all men unto Himself (John 12:32). For having, as stated, received all things from the Father (John 3:35), all that was given come to Him shall come to Him and He will lose absolutely no one (John 6:37-39); but if any stray, He goes after that which is lost till He find it (Luke 15:4). Despite the fact that many of God's chosen and elect believe God's hand is too short to save (Isaiah 50:2) God's hand is not too short to save (Isaiah 59:1; 63:5). As we can see, ninety nine is not enough!
He comes in order that all men may believe (John 1:17); that the world, through Him, may be saved (John 3:17); His grace brings salvation to all men (Titus 2:11); for He takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29); gives His flesh for it's Life (John 6:51); and, because the gifts and calling of God are without Repentance (Romans 9:29), He gives life to the world (John 6:33); is the light of the world (John 8:12); is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world (1John 2:2); is the Savior of all men (1Timothy 4:10); destroys the works of the devil, not some of them only (1John 3:8); abolishes death (2 Timothy 1:10); puts all His enemies under His feet including death (1 Cor. 15:26), is manifest to put away sin (Hebrews 9:26); and thus subduing all things unto Himself (Philippians 3:21; the context clearly shows this subjection to be conformity to Himself); does not forget the dead, but takes the gospel to Hades (1Peter 3:19); of which He holds the keys (Revelation 1:18); for He is the same (Savior) for ever (Hebrews 13:8); thus even the dead are evangelized (1Peter 4:6). As we can see, ninety nine is not enough!
Thus all are made alive in Him (1Corinthians 15:22); for Christ finishes, completes His work (John 17:4; 19:30): restores all things (Acts 3:21); and there is no more curse (Revelation 22:2-3); for the creation is delivered from the bondage of corruption (Romans 8:21); and so comes the end when Christ delivers up the Kingdom to God, Who is then All in All because ALL God's enemies are defeated, the last enemy being death, NOT eternally alive being endlessly punished. (1Corinthians 15:24-28). As we can see, ninety nine is not enough!
Salvation is a gift from God, it is not of works lest anyone be found boasting (Eph 2:8) and that gift has been given to all men despite the fact that some of God's own people don't like such generous grace. ( Rom. 5:8; Matt. 5:1-16) As we can see, ninety nine is not enough!
We can be assured of all these wonderful and glorious things because nothing is too difficult for Him (Luke 1:37) and while many things are impossible with man, nothing is impossible with God. (Matt. 19:26) Furthermore, God is love (1 John 4:8), a love that love never fails (1 Cor. 13:8), a love that lays down His life for not only His own, but His enemies as well and commands His disciples to do likewise.. (Matt. 5:38-48) Therefore, for God to endlessly punish His enemies would make Him a hypocrite commanding less powerful and less loving human beings to do what He is not willing to do. (Matt. 23) As we can see, ninety nine is not enough!
There is nothing that can withstand His will and no plan of His can be thwarted. (Job 4:42) The Son came to save the world and not condemn it (Luke 5:59). Jesus asked the Father to forgive those who crucified Him (all of us) (Luke 23:34) The Father has laid the iniquity of us all upon the Lamb of God (Isaiah 53:6). Jesus died for all of us. (John 1:29) To punish us now would be double jeopardy. Indeed, we can enter into His peace, believing that it is indeed finished! (John 19:30) The gift of life has been given to everyone. ( Rom. 5:18) As we can see, ninety nine is not enough! Can YOU now see, that ninety nine is not enough!
Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, let all things be established:
“And I, If I am lifted up from the earth, will draw (helkuo, drag in the Greek), all mankind unto myself.” (John 12:32)
“Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard him and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” (John 4:42)
“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:14)
“This is a faithful saying and worthy of ALL acceptance. For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially those who believe. These things command and teach.” (1 Tim. 4:9-11)
As we can see, from these witnesses, NINETY NINE IS NOT ENOUGH!
Jesus said He finished the work and accomplished His purpose which was also the Fathers purpose…to be the Savior of the whole world…to reconcile everyone back to His Father and our Father! Not ninety nine percent -- 100 percent.
The early believers in Christ believed this glorious message. But then the Darkness came and plunged the Church into the Dark Ages filled with superstitions and traditions of men which make the word of God of no effect. (Matt. 15:6-9) Those humble souls who brought glory to the Savior of the World were soon killed or exiled by those who lusted for power. With this darkness, from Augustine and Constantine forward, it came gross distortions of the precious image of God. The glorious teaching of Universal Salvation gave way to teachings of corrupt imperfect men who invented teachings that conformed the Incorruptible Image of God to their own corruptible selves. The judgmentalism, racism, prejudice, superstitions, anger, hate and imperfections of their own beings were projected through their teachings and authority on to the image the Church would hold for hundreds of years even unto our day. The perfect image of God and His Christ suffer greatly throughout this time period. Obviously, we are still in this dark time period. The Church is still divided into tens of thousands of denominations and sects contradicting Jesus' and His apostles' command to be unified as One Body by His Love. The majority of the church still teaches that Jesus failed in His mission to save the world. It teaches that a few sheep saved and billions lost IS enough for God!
A few years back, I recall speaking with a Baptist minister who was beginning to see the light of Universal Salvation in his Bible. He went back to his Baptist church and preached a sermon entitled “Ninety-nine is not enough.” Of course, that ended his career as a Baptist minister. He is now a minister of Victorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. No walls, no denominationalism -- One Body with One Victorious Lord, Jesus Christ, Savior of the whole world.
This former Baptist minister has added his voice and light to the small remnant of sheep who have often suffered great persecution at the hands of their own brothers and sisters in Christ. There has been a Scarlet Cord of believers from the beginning of the Dark Ages through today who have kept this glorious light burning. Today that light is growing. Christians from all kinds of denominations are coming out and declaring this truth which is bringing light into the world. Will you add your light to this Eternal Light? Will you stand with the many thousands of believers in Jesus Christ who are trumpeting forth the glorious truth that “ NINETY-NINE IS NOT ENOUGH?! ”
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a RANSOM FOR ALL, to be testified in due time. (1 Tim. 2:1-6) It is time to testify to the truth and put away learned “traditions of men which have made the word of God of no effect.” (Matt. 15:6-9)
(I realize there are several passages of Scriptures contained in most leading selling Bible translations which seem to contradict this glorious message. I suggest the reader avail him/herself to the following resources that prove the original languages of the Bible did not contain the concept of a Hell of everlasting punishment. Furthermore, they prove the true teachings of the Bible state that Jesus Christ will indeed save all mankind.):
Bibles That Do Not Teach Eternal Punishment
Early Christian View of the Savior
The Origin and History of the Doctrine of Eternal Punishment
Universalism, the Prevailing Doctrine of the Early Church
Scholarly References Disproving Hell and Proving Universal Salvation Through Jesus Christ