A short time after we moved into our new home in Bellemeade there was a knock on the door. Two young men neatly dressed and bibles in hand greeted me with big smiles and good wishes. Their opening statement was, “Do you know that only one hundred and forty four thousand people are going to make it into heaven?” They claimed that only members of their true church would be saved.
As a preacher for over four decades I have heard that question before and recognized the brand of church they represented. I was in a very good mood that day and decided to play along. I invited them in to discuss the scripture from the seventh chapter of Revelation that they miss-quoted. I asked them to read me all of chapter seven and I listened with interest as they read aloud.
My first question was, “Which tribe do you belong too?” They were not ready for that question and asked what I meant. I pointed out that the 144,000 people were all Hebrews, twelve thousand from each tribe. Since they claimed to be part of the 144,000 which tribe did they claim? They did not have an answer for that one.
I then quoted verse nine back to them about the great multitude that no one could count from every nation and said, “I am in that crowd.” They left the house and no one from their church has ever knocked on my door since.
I was in an even better mood for the rest of the day.