We usually use the word “much” as an adverb. It adds intensity to an action like we laugh too much, or the opposite, it doesn’t matter too much. In the days of the King James Bible the word much was also used as an adjective in the same way we use the word “many.” It appears 25 times in the KJV referring to people. When Joshua went out to go to battle he had armies that consisted of “much people” (Joshua 11:4). The NIV calls this a “huge army.” In the Gospels “much people” is now translated with the phrase “great crowds” or something like that. There are many more references like this. But the one I’m interested in this morning is from Revelation 19, and verse 1. It says that there will be heard a “great voice of much people…” who will be worshipping and praising God in heaven. The English Standard Version puts it all this way, “After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just…’”

Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.” Was Jesus telling us that there wouldn’t be very many people going to heaven? Although we don’t know how many people will be in heaven, Augustine speculated that it would be the same percentage as the angels who fell (one-third; see Rev. 12:9), but the Bible nowhere says this. Others take Jesus words in Matthew 7 to be teaching that only a small fraction of all the people who ever lived will be in heaven.

Some scholars argue that this takes the passage out of context. B. B. Warfield, for example, says that Jesus is referring to ‘the immediate and local response to Jesus’ message, not to the ultimate and universal statistics of heaven.” Geisler also argues, “Indeed, granting that all who die in infancy go to heaven, that life begins at conception, and that the mortality rate before the age of accountability down through the millennia has been roughly half of those conceived, it would seem to follow that there will be more people saved than lost. This is to say nothing of much of the world’s population since the time of Adam being still alive at this time; a great revival before Christ’s return could sweep even more souls into God’s kingdom.” Also, if we keep Augustine’s analogy there are two-thirds of faithful angels, there will also be two-thirds of all adult humans who will be saved. This is just speculation, but since we know that God does not “want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance,” we can be sure that there will “much people” to sing God’s praises along with the faithful angels.