How many will be saved?

From BelieveTheSign

William Branham often contradicts his own statements, and the subject of how many people will be saved was a good example of the wild contradictions that are found in his teachings.

What does the Bible say?

All men may be saved, since abundant provision has been made to that end, and under this view we must approach even the worst sinner; but which, and how many, will be saved, is a question of the future which God only knows. [1]:

Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.[2]

Jesus gave a very practical turn to the question which had been asked in mere curiosity - "will just a few people be saved?". It is not important to know exactly how many will be saved; it is for each who hears the gospel to place himself in that number, now and at any cost. It is not enough that one lives in a Christian land, and in a religious home, and possesses knowledge of saving truth; each must repent and accept Christ for himself. The sad truth is that many who have the largest religious opportunities are the furthest from salvation: “There are last who shall be first, and there are first who shall be last.”[3]

Someone asked him, “Sir, will just a few people be saved?” Jesus answered them, “Do your best to go in through the narrow door; because many people will surely try to go in but will not be able. The master of the house will get up and close the door; then when you stand outside and begin to knock on the door and say, ‘Open the door for us, sir!’ he will answer you, ‘I don’t know where you come from!’ Then you will answer, ‘We ate and drank with you; you taught in our town!’ But he will say again, ‘I don’t know where you come from. Get away from me, all you wicked people!’ How you will cry and grind your teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, while you are thrown out! People will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down at the feast in the Kingdom of God. Then those who are now last will be first, and those who are now first will be last.” [4]

The question about how many will be saved sends us to the question of ultimate and final salvation. Interestingly, Jesus refuses to answer this question directly; he will not give statistics and figures to satisfy mere human inquisitiveness. What he gives is a stern warning, not least because in the setting of his journey to Jerusalem ‘being saved’ is not simply a matter of ultimate destination after death, but the more immediate and pressing question of the crisis that hangs over the nation.[5]

All that the Father has given Me shall come to Me; whoever comes to Me I will never cast out".[6]

What did William Branham teach?

William Branham taught that millions of his converts would be in heaven but he also taught that it would only be a very few people.

It's easy to see why there is so much confusion in the message. This is why people are taught to "only believe" it. If they tried to deduce a coherent message and stick to that, they would be completely out of material.

Millions would be saved

1960:

I seen those beautiful women standing there, all grabbing me and screaming, "My precious, darling brother."
Seen those man with that shaggy hair around their neck here, running, grabbing me, and saying, "Our darling brother."
And I thought, "What does this mean?"
He said, "They're your people."
I said, "My people? There couldn't be that many Branhams; there's millions..."
He said, "They're your converts." Hallelujah. "They are your converts.[7]

1965:

Well, I could feel them. They was just like that. See? And they... I said, "Well, you have..." Oh, yes, they have a body. Just not a myth, it's a body. We know one another. They all knowed me, were hugging me, millions of them.
And I said, "Well, I want to see Him Who brought me here." It said, "You can't see Him now, you have to wait."
I said, "Why did you put me on... up here?" Said, "You were a leader in life."
And I said, "Do You mean all them's Branhams?" He said, "No! That's your converts to Christ." See?[8]


Only a handful would be saved

1959:

I was speaking here a few days ago upon this Scripture, "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, and but few there'll be that will find it." And a young man who was riding with me in a car, said, "How many would you say would be saved in this generation?"
I said, "Eight or ten."
"Oh," he said, "Don't say that, brother."
I'll say, "I'll lengthen it to fifty, and that's as many as I can go."
He said, "Fifty people?"
I said, "Jesus said when He was on earth, 'As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the coming of the Son of man.' Days of Noah, there was eight souls saved."[9]

1962:

As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of man, wherein eight souls were saved. Uh-huh. How many come out of Sodom? Uh-huh. See what I mean? I doubt being a handful. See?[10]

1964:

Church glares of this day, Jesus said, are very deceiving, "almost the Elected if it were possible." Just the Elected! "But as it was in the days of Noah, when eight souls were saved, so shall it be in the Coming of the Son of man." Very, very few will be saved at that time.[11]


Footnotes

  1. John Peter Lange et al., A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Romans (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008), 189.
  2. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ro 5:18–19.
  3. Charles R. Erdman, The Gospel of Luke: An Exposition (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1921), 134–135.
  4. American Bible Society, The Holy Bible: The Good News Translation, 2nd ed. (New York: American Bible Society, 1992), Lk 13:23–30.
  5. Tom Wright, Luke for Everyone (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2004), 169.
  6. John 6:37 ESV
  7. 60-0522E ADOPTION.4_ JEFFERSONVILLE.IN AD.PT.4 SUNDAY
  8. GOD'S.ONLY.PROVIDED.PLACE.OF.WORSHIP_ SHP.LA 65-1128M
  9. 59-0403 LIVING. DYING.BURIED.RISING.COMING_ LOS.ANGELES.CA
  10. BLASPHEMOUS.NAMES_ JEFF.IN V-3 N-21 SUNDAY_ 62-1104M
  11. TURN.ON.THE.LIGHT_ PHOENIX.AZ V-22 N-3 SATURDAY_ 64-0125


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