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Sunday, January 31, 1999

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4th Sunday Ordinary Time

Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12-13
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Psalm 146
Matthew 5:1-12

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the population of hell is <u>?</u>

"I will leave as a remnant in your midst a people humble and lowly." —Zephaniah 3:12

The Lord promises that a remnant will survive. He says: "Many are called; few are chosen" (Mt 22:14, our transl). Jesus warns that many are choosing to travel the road to damnation, but few find the road that leads to life (Mt 7:13-14).

These revelations so boggle our minds that we just shut down and refuse to think about them. Many people, including Christians, have a hard time believing in hell — everlasting separation from God and the resulting punishment and pain. Even those who respect human freedom enough to admit the reality of hell don't imagine that very many people actually will go there. For instance, of those you know who have died, how many do you think are in hell? Probably not many. The Lord, however, seems to indicate the possibility that many are in hell and only a remnant, a minority, is sheltered on the day of His anger (Zep 2:3).

Take God's word seriously, but don't be afraid. We are in extreme danger, but we have a Savior, Jesus. He is our only Hope, but He is the only Hope we need. Trust Jesus.

Prayer:  Jesus, I give my life to You.

Promise:  "How blest are the poor in spirit: the reign of God is theirs." —Mt 5:3

Praise:  Praise You, risen Jesus, ascended, enthroned, and glorified! Heaven and earth are full of Your glory.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our pamphlet, The Beatitudes.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, June 11, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 20, 1998