Is Heaven a Crowded Place?

Is Heaven a crowded place? I ask the question with mixed feelings. I am an introvert and do not like crowded places. On the other hand, as a Christian and knowing how great a place Heaven is, I desire that everyone ends up in Heaven. God desires everyone to be in Heaven.

If God desires it, then does everyone get into Heaven, making it a crowded place?

It seems like more and more people think everyone gets into Heaven. We even have a name for the idea, “universalism.” Jesus does indeed come to save all. Jesus tells us that his mission is to save everything the Father gives him in John 6:37-40. However, verse 40 specifically says, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him [on] the last day.

I bolded “and believes in him” to indicate that getting into Heaven requires us to “believe.” Believe is a verb. Thus, to believe requires action. It is not enough to say we believe. We need to live it.

Jesus himself tells us this when He says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” If we want to get into Heaven, we need to live good moral lives as God teaches us not just as a legal code but with love (see my presentation, Are They Rules or a Way of Life?).

Jesus addressed various questions concerning who gets into Heaven.

In Matthew 19:16-30, someone asks Jesus, “what good must I do to inherit life.” This is not an easy thing to accomplish. In verse 24, Jesus says, “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Then, in Matthew 19:25, the disciples ask Jesus, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus responds, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” We cannot save ourselves but we must shed our earthly baggage of sin and material things if we want to get into Heaven (cf. Luke 23:22-30).

Some of those who think everyone gets into Heaven, think Satan is not real and that there is no Hell. Satan is real and he wants to keep us out of Heaven.

How do we know Satan is real? In the gospels, Jesus refers to Satan thirteen times. Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, and Luke 4:1-12 all speak of Satan tempting Jesus. In Matthew 13:22-32, Jesus speaks of the evil powers.

Does God desire that everyone gets into Heaven? Without a doubt yes! However, He gives us free will. It is our choice. We cannot save ourselves but we do have a choice to make. We must make a choose between good and evil. If we choose good, Jesus will save us from our sins and we will enter Heaven.

If we choose evil over good, Hell is real. However, does anyone really choose evil? I hope not. However, the devil is cunning. He makes evil things look good. When we fall into the devil’s trap and recognize our sins, we are called to repentance. We turn it over to Jesus who makes Heaven possible for us.

So, how crowded is Heaven? I don’t know but I hope to get there someday to see. We know that all who are canonized saints are Heaven. May we follow their example.

What about Hell? The Church does not declare anyone to be in Hell. Is Hell a crowded place? I don’t know and I don’t want to find out!

Do you choose good or evil? If you choose good, then ask the Holy Spirit to help you live a moral life, keeping God’s commandments. Jesus prepares a place for you in his Father’s house (John 14:1-6) for all who follow him as “the way and the truth and the life.” If you choose evil, know there are consequences, Hell is real (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1033-1038).


Fr. Jeff

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