It may be the opinion of many Bible Scholars or other Bible Readers that the sinners in hell will be more in numbers than saints in heaven, with their common knowledge of what they see around and as the Bible also says that (Luke 13: 23-30) “Are there few that be saved? In the 29th. Verse Jesus replied that there will be people from East, West, North and South (and not only from Israel but from other nations too) who will inherit the kingdom of God. The answer of Jesus is not few but many, at the same time not all or not 100%. If the general feeling is true, that the saved people are few, then the Salvation Plan brought by the Lord Jesus Christ is of less fruitful. On the other hand, the devil may claim that his efforts yielded him much that the hell is filled with numerous souls of sinners. Many will not accept the claim of the devil as Jesus is God and His power and wisdom is far more superior to the devil and yet they do not have an answer to the question. But if we study the Bible with the help of the Holy Ghost and the Grace of Christ which gives us the right knowledge and revelation, we can find the correct answer to the question.
First of all, we must understand the Salvation Plan of God. God created Adam and Eve with eternal life and kept them in the Garden of Eden with a commandment not to eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil and to eat all other fruits including the fruit of life, because God wants an obedient people. The devil deceived Eve and made them to eat the forbidden fruit and made them disobedient to the commandment of God and thereby made them sinners. Thus sin entered the world of mankind through disobedience of one man. As man multiplied and filled the earth, the sin also multiplied and filled the earth. As the wages of sin is death the sinners will inherit hell and not heaven or paradise. When Adam and Eve came out of Garden of Eden, they were in the dispensation of conscience. So those walked obeying their conscience were judged righteous by God, and they inherit paradise when they die and the trespassers of their conscience become sinners and inherit hell at their death. But these two places are temporary and the souls of the people need to face White Throne Judgment, or Judgment seat of Christ, (2Corin.5:10), finally and receive the final reward or punishment and the punished people will inherit Lake of Fire which was created for the devil and his angels, and the temporary hell and death will be cast into the Lake of Fire which is the second death. (Rev.20: 11-15) Similarly for the righteous, God created New Heaven and New Earth, from the beginning of the world. (John 14: 2) (Matt. 25:31-41) (Rev. 20: 11-15). The dispensations are changing as the Time changes and maturity of man grows to new height. They are Dispensation of Conscience, Dispensation of Law, Dispensation of Grace etc. (Gen. 2: 16,17, 3:19), (Romans 2:15, 6:23), (I John 1:17, 3:4) The righteous people will inherit their reward in Heaven, leaving the paradise. (Dan. 12:13) These things reveal the Righteousness of God. But the Love of God draws another line of love and compassion without affecting the Righteousness of God. Also in the Salvation Plan of God there are two aspects namely General and Hidden Plans. The General Plan is visible or easily understood by many. But the Hidden Plan was kept hidden and revealed only in the Last Days.
The Love of God is mentioned in (John 3:16) that God so loved the world and gave His Only Son as a sin offering to save mankind that whosoever believes His Son will receive Eternal Life. Adam disobeyed God’s commandment and became sinner and Jesus obeyed His Father till the end or death on the cross, and became righteous. Adam was punished in the flesh for his disobedience and sinful deeds, and Jesus was not rewarded in the flesh for His obedience and righteous deeds. That reward was given to the fallen mankind to receive Eternal Life, as a free gift to them that believe on Jesus. (Gen. 3: 16-19) (Romans 6:23) (Heb. 9;22), (John 1:12) (I John 1: 7-9, 5: 11-12) On the earth Jesus the righteous died for the unrighteous and sinners. But what happened in heaven during the crucifixion of Jesus? (Heb. 9:14) says that Jesus was the Lamb offered to God as sin offering for mankind, and the Holy Spirit was the Priest offering the sacrifice on the Altar of the Tabernacle in heaven, The Sin Offering was offered to God the Father and He accepted the offering and sanctioned the purpose of the Sin Offering and Pardoned the sins of the whole mankind. So in obedience to the Gospel many believe on Jesus, confess their sins and become righteous and receive Eternal Life, without being punished as the punishment was born by Jesus Christ, as a Sin Offering. Well it sounds good and joyous. This is the General Plan of Salvation. Here some exceptions are found. Jesus said that all sin and blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven. Also the selfish people who are not compassionate on others who are suffering, will inherit hell, like rich man in the parable told by Jesus. (Lk. 16: 19-23) (Matt. 25:41-45) Also among Believers, many who commit sins of spiritual significance referred in (Rev. 21:8) will inherit Lake of Fire and Brimstone, which include evil workers or evil servants of God. (Phil. 3:2) But what about others who did not hear the Gospel? Or what about them who lived prior to the atonement of Jesus on the cross? God is righteous to save them too. But how and when? This is the Hidden Salvation, which will be discussed at the end.
So the Love of God drew a line between Sin and Judgment, by transferring the judgment on Jesus who became a Sin Offering and delivered the sinners who believed the Salvation Plan of God and obeyed His commandments of Salvation.
Now we need to find that how fruitful is the Salvation Plan? Those who believed the Gospel and obeyed His commandments are certainly few. That means those who did not believe the gospel and did not obey His commandments are certainly much more. So it appears that the saints in Heaven are less than Sinners in Hell. But whether this appearance is True or a Mirage? To understand this, we need to understand the Hidden Plan of Salvation.
The Hidden Plan of Salvation of God is as follows. The key words of the correct answer are mentioned in (I Peter 3: 18-20 and 4:6). God loved man and decided to save him and the whole mankind as man did not became sinner of his own but was deceived by the devil. (Eph. 1:10,11) Here it is mentioned that in the dispensation of the fullness of times, all things in Christ will be gathered. So, Christ has to come to the world to save mankind in an appropriate time. So we understand that Jesus was born in Bethlehem 2016 years before from now or about 4000 years from Adam. Adam to Noah was ten generations having a span of 1556 years after Adam became a sinner, assuming that he lived in Garden of Eden without sin for about 100 years. Pl. refer Genesis 5 and 6 chapters for the span of period. So the disobedient and wicked people up to the time of Noah’s flood were in hell for about 3444 years, suffering the agony of burning in fire and horrible thirst. (Luke 16: 23, 24) About the disobedient people lived during the time of Noah we read as the very God of all patient and long suffering was grieved in the heart for creating man on the earth due to the violence of man and the very imaginations of man was wicked. (Gen.6: 5-7) But though God punished them for their wickedness, in their body on the earth by destroying them by flood, and punishing their soul in Temporary Hell, and on completion of their punishment period, of 3444 years or about 3000 years for our rough calculation, Jesus Christ with full compassion and love went down to the hell or to a particular portion of hell where souls of people, up to Noah’s time, whose punishment period is over, went and met them as a Saviour and redeemer. They were not knowing about Jesus Christ, or His Sacrifice on the cross for them also, but we assume that they saw the vision of crucifixion of Jesus, and they believed the Gospel preached by Jesus to them and confessed their sins to get forgiveness. (I Jn. 1:9) Will any in hell could say to Jesus as now people say to the preaching of the Gospel, that I will hear your message later, or please give me some time, that I will think it over and come to you? They have no choice but to accept the Salvation offer due to the grave situation in hell. They believed on Jesus and confessed their sins and received pardon, and their names must be written in the Book of Life. They were made righteous and Jesus took them along with paradise from below to heaven above, a new place for the Paradise, and the hell in which they were suffering became EMPTY. (Eph. 4: 8-10) (Psa. 68: 18-20)
Now hell remains below the earth and paradise went to heaven above. In (I Sam.28: 7-15) we read that King Saul made Prophet Samuel to come out of paradise to counsel him through sorcery, because the hell and the paradise were together in depth of the earth. But Jesus took paradise to heaven when He rose up on the third day of His death.
Now we need to understand about souls of people other than Noah’s period in hell. Whether they too will get a chance or compassion as the people in hell of Noah’s Flood Period? We expect and believe a similar compassion of God towards others in hell too. To understand this the following chart will help.
In (Luke 3: 23-38) we read about the Genealogy from Adam to Noah (10 Generations), Sham the son of Noah to Jesus Christ, (66 Generations). These 66 Generations to be divided to 3 splits to cater to the period of about 3000 years, from Noah to Jesus, amounting 1000 years per split, as the period from Adam to Noah, the generations were only ten, but the span of years was more than 1000 years as the people lived in that period ware longer. At the same time, the people in the later years will be more due to their short life span. Pl. refer chart B. Sham to Moses is about 1000 years, as Juda’s brother was Levi and Juda’s great grand- son Aram’s period was equivalent to Levi’s great grand-son Moses. After Moses and Joshua, (Joshua lived 110 years) the Period of Judges began and it amounts to 400 years. Then period of kings began and their period was 430 years, followed by captivity by Babylon Empire by 70 years, totaling about 1000 years. From returning from Babylon to Jesus was again about 1000 years. But the number of generations lived in those later years were certainly more as their life span was less.
Jesus came into the world in the appointed time of 4000 years from Adam and in AD 34 He went to hell to preach the Gospel and redeem the lost in hell of Noah’s period, (Temporary punishment place) who completed their punishment period of about 3000 years, and that portion of hell became EMPTY. Here it is observed as the First became the Last and the Last became the First. The meaning is Noah’s period souls were redeemed first when compared to Adam’s period of souls who were redeemed Last or after a period of overstay in hell about 1000 years. The redeemed souls were made righteous by the blood of Jesus and went to Paradise and will rest till the White Throne Judgment. It is assumed and believed that in like manner Jesus could redeem other lost souls in other parts of hell after their punishment period was accomplished. If God has any other plan of Redemption, He would reveal it in due time.
Accordingly, Jesus went to another portion of hell in around AD 1000 to redeem people from Shem’s period to Moses’s period, and that portion of hell became EMPTY, and the souls went to Paradise. Similarly, Jesus redeemed in about AD 2000 the souls of people from Joshua’s period to period of returning from Babylon by the people of Judea, and that portion of hell became EMPTY, and the souls went to Paradise. Similarly, to redeem the souls of the people from period of returning from Babylon to Jesus’s period on earth, He would go to hell at the end of Millennial Kingdom as the seventh thousand years from Adam need to be the Millennial Reign by Jesus and His saints on the earth. Other two more redemptions for the souls from hell would be, for people lived up to AD 1000 and AD 2000 or beginning of the Millennial Kingdom, which will be accomplished after the Millennial Reign. Here we need to understand that only during Noah’s time, the people were in one group or one regionalized nation. After the flood, the people were made to move all over the world and all such people need to be redeemed, though it is narrated in this text about genealogies of Adam to Jesus, but we need to co relate the other regions of the world in parallel with the Israeli Genealogies.
The New Testament people from Jesus to AD 1000 would be redeemed by Jesus in AD 4000 or 1000 years after Millennial Reign. Similarly, the New Testament People from AD 1001 to AD 2000 would be redeemed in AD 5000. (We need to understand here that people of Millennial Reign did not commit any sin as the prompter of sin the devil was bound and kept locked in bottomless pit. (Rev. 20:1,2) Here we need to understand about the Millennial Reign. Millennial Reign will start after the Public Advent of Jesus landing on Mount Olives, and the Armageddon war would be fought immediately with devil, Anti-Christ, and the False prophet and their army. (Rev. 16: 12-16, 19: 11-21) At the end of Armageddon war the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet will be cast into the Lake of Fire alive, and their army would be destroyed by Jesus. At this time the judgment on Great Babylon spiritually understood as the bride of Anti-Christ or the Church of Anti-Christ would take place. (Rev. 17: 1-18, & 18: 1-24) Then Jesus would renew everything and the Millennial Reign would begin. This kingdom is called the kingdom of the righteous, and Jesus, His Bride or Victorious New Testament saints, the Tribulation Period Martyrs, the General Martyrs and the Old Testament saints (FIVE GROUPS) would be the Rulers in their Resurrected bodies, and the Subjects would be of Two Groups. One group is the 144000 Israelites (only men) who were sealed on their fore heads by an angel of God, who are righteous, (Rev. 7: 2-8) and the other group is the people of the world who received the mark of the Anti-Christ on their bodies but they are the remaining people who did not take part in the Armageddon war, who are sinners. These two groups of people or the righteous and the sinners in their mortal bodies will enter the Millennial Reign and enjoy all the blessings of the righteous rule of Jesus and His saints. The sinners will multiply and fill the earth for 1000 years without any sin as the prompter of sin the devil is bound in the bottomless pit. Here the 144000 Israelites and the children of the sinners who did not take part in the Gog Magog war were without sin will inherit paradise during the Millennial Reign, on their death. But the others born during the Millennial Reign and deceived by the devil, who join the devil for Gog and Magog war, will be punished in hell. But the sinful people who received the mark of the Anti-Christ on their bodies will inherit Lake of Fire, when they die. (Rev.14: 9-11) At the end of Millennial Reign, the devil would be freed and he will gather the people of Gog and Magog from four corners of the earth by deception and will fight against Jesus and Jesus will destroy them with fire from above. The devil would be cast into the Lake of Fire forever and the army of devil which are the people of Gog and Magog also would be destroyed and sent to hell. (Rev. 19: 20,21) These people may be redeemed as they saw Jesus and worshipped Him and enjoyed all blessings of Him in His rule but they were deceived by the devil when the devil approached them for war against Jesus they joined the devil and fought against Jesus, but they had no opportunity to grow in sin, unlike Adam and Eve. Their category can be compared to Adam and Eve. They were enjoying the blessings of God in the Garden of Eden but the devil deceived them to sin against God and they became sinners and increased in sinful life, and God redeemed them in the appointed time.
At the end of the Millennial Reign, the redemption of the New Testament people (sinners) and the people joined with the devil and fought against Jesus (who became sinners) would take place in AD 4000 and AD 5000. After this the White Throne Judgment will take place. (Rev. 20: 11-15) Here two groups of people will be judged by Jesus. They are saints and sinners. The saints (sheep) would inherit New Earth and the sinners (goats) would inherit Lake of Fire. (Matt. 25: 31-46) Who are these saints? And who are these sinners? In (Rev. 20: 5,6) we read that the rest of the dead did not resurrect when the five groups resurrected and took part in the millennial Reign. The five groups are Jesus, His Bride the New Testament victorious saints, the Tribulation Martyrs, the General Martyrs and the Old Testament saints. In these five groups Jesus was resurrected on the third day after His death, the New Testament Victorious saints will be raptured at the secret coming of Christ. The other two types of martyrs and the Old Testament saints will resurrect for the Millennial Reign. All these people are righteous, they feared God and obeyed Him by keeping His commandments, and went to paradise or the presence of God after their death. So they are blessed and they resurrect for the Millennial Reign and will be priests and rulers in the Millennial Reign. (Rev. 20: 4-6) The General Martyrs and the Tribulation Period Martyrs also resurrect for the Millennial Reign. The victorious New Testament saints are of two groups, the one is the dead in Christ who will resurrect and the other group are the living saints who will transform at the secret coming of Christ, and will be in the mid heaven, and it is the Marriage of the Lamb. The other two groups resurrect after the Millennial Reign and at the White Throne Judgment, they are righteous and sinners or wicked. (Matt. 25; 31-46) (Rev. 20: 11-15) Why these righteous did not resurrect for the Millennial Reign? Here we understand that the righteous are not the righteous indeed, but redeemed from hell and their names were written in the book of life by the Hidden Salvation Plan of God, as the real righteous people were already resurrected for the Millennial Reign. These people were having sinful deeds due to devil’s prompting and good deeds and deeds of compassion as good human nature. So Jesus redeemed them even from hell. Jesus says to them, come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. It means that the New Earth was prepared from the foundation of the world for the righteous redeemed from hell. Because these righteous did not resurrect at the First Resurrection before the Millennial Kingdom. They resurrect after the Millennial Kingdom and for the trial at the White Throne Judgment. (Matt. 25: 31-34) The other group is wicked people and they were selfish and not compassionate on others suffering around, like the “Rich man and the Lazarus” parable. And among them may be some who blasphemed against the Holy Spirit which sin will not be forgiven. (Matt. 12:31) and the others are among the believers who commit spiritual sins or sins according to spiritual meaning e.g. one who hates his brother is a murderer. (I John 3:15) Love of the world is the enmity with God and one who loves the world is termed as adulterer and adulteress. (James 4:4) Such people will inherit Lake of Fire (Rev. 21:8) and as (Rev. 21:7) refers to the victorious people in the Church and the 8th. Verse speaks about the fallen people, in the Church, and among them the evil workers are also included. (Phil.3:2) So these wicked people will be sent to Lake of Fire and Brimstone which is created for devil and his angels. Here it is interesting to note that God created or recreated the heaven and the earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th. Day. Similarly, to redeem people from hell Jesus goes to hell 6 times, followed by the White Throne Judgment, followed by the Later Eternity where God is leaving His original place of dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto (I Tim. 6:16) and comes down to another location where He can live among men. (Rev. 21: 2,3) So it is assumed that the Hidden Salvation is explained in an effectual way and surely the Heaven will have more souls as Jesus said that people will come from East, West, South and North to Heaven. Here one more truth is to be explained is (Rev. 22:2) the leaves of the tree of life in New Jerusalem will be used for the healing of the Nations. One has to wonder healing in heaven? Or sickness in heaven? Yes, there is sickness and healing! But not cancer or tumor etc. But it is a spiritual sickness and spiritual healing! Especially the people redeemed through Hidden Salvation Plan did not have any growth in their spiritual life. It can happen to others too. By beholding the glory of one person the other may repeat may have jealous which is against the will of God, and that person may feel sick or his joy and peace may be affected etc. and the cure is available by taking the leaf of the tree of life. But the other fact is too important that the person who was redeemed from hell already underwent a burning experience and he will be more cautious about his life as he could see the people suffering in lake of fire and brimstone in other part of Eternity, which will give an alarm or warning! And people will grow in knowledge and in character in heaven as the days go by, and the Creator God is Heavenly Father, who will be happier to see the maximum people in various parts of heaven such as New Jerusalem, within which Zion, New Heaven and New Earth, enjoying His presence and growing in Divine knowledge and Divine character!
In (Eph. 1:10-11) we read that in the dispensation of fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are in earth; even in him: – the interpretation is that people in heaven and in earth, will be gathered together in Christ to God the Father in the dispensation of fullness of times. We know that Jesus came into the world to save sinners or redeem the fallen mankind. But what is it to gather the people in heaven too? Who are they in heaven but not came under the Salvation Plan of Jesus? It means that without Jesus the salvation or the righteousness obtained in various dispensations were imperfect. By offering animal sacrifice sins of Old Testament Period saints were covered and not forgiven, or the righteousness received by offering animal sacrifice is imperfect when compared to the real sacrifice of Jesus. Or the righteousness obtained or accepted by God was of lower standard due to the lower standard of life possible in their dispensation, but it cannot be continued in heaven for ever and the righteousness of Jesus need to be given to them all, and there by God accepts the higher standard of righteousness and holiness of Jesus in those who were in paradise prior to atonement of Jesus on the cross. So by the mercies of God the Father the people in paradise also will bow down their knees before Jesus and receive His salvation and righteousness. Or they are also brought into the Salvation Plan of Jesus and through Jesus they are gathered together to God the Father.
In (John 14: 2,3) Jesus told His disciples that He goes to heaven to prepare a place for them, and will come back on completion of that work to take them to that place. (Jn. 14:3) (Psa. 102: 15) It means that the New Testament saints are going to inherit a new place prepared after crucifixion and ascension of Jesus. This place is called New Jerusalem and within which located Zion, and this habitation is prepared by the divine natures of New Testament saints. (Eph. 2: 19-22) Here God dwells with His saints and there is no temple there but God the Father and the Lamb are the temple. But in New Heaven where the Old Testament saints and the Martyrs inherit, there is a temple of God and they worship God in the temple. (Rev. 7: 9-18, 11: 19, and 15: 2-8)
So, it is an open call to all the New Testament believers to desire for the higher place and higher glory in heaven by taking it by force as Jacob in Old Testament wrestled in prayer with the angel of God to receive a blessing and Jesus also told that the kingdom of God is taken by violence and force. But it needless to say that the humble only will be exalted and to become great in heaven one has to become the least on the earth. (Matt. 11:12, 18:4, 20: 26) (Lk.9:48) With a holy desire one has to sacrifice the greatness in this world to inherit the greatness in heaven, according to Jesus. So let us desire the greatness in heaven by a sacrificing greatness on the earth! Praise the Lord.