jayyou, that was very helpfull. Thank you :-) I appreciate the things you have brought up here and can see what you are saying.
My own impression is that the word translated [i]scarcely[/i] here, is in sense of [i]hardly[/i] or [i]with difficulty[/i], and not in the sense of few, or rare, as in number of(even though that may be true also). Put another way, I do not think this passage is suggesting there are few righteous people saved, but rather that the righteous are with difficulty, even great difficulty, saved.
Why [i]with difficulty[/i]? or how is it [i]with difficulty[/i]?
Difficult in what was required: a spotless and perfect Saviour, a lamb without blemish, so unique and special in his person, and there was no other like Him or adaquate for what was required. Difficult in that infinite God descended from infinite Heaven to lowly Earth to purchase salvation for us through humility, and suffering, and the shedding of blood.
Difficult in what opposes those who recieve it: the whole corrupt and evil system with rank upon rank of the fallen hosts, all set in opposistion and in unision set against those who journey towards Heaven. The world the flesh and the Devil all opposing us as we journey home.
Difficult in appropriating it: The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak and we are called upon to fight, to strive, to war, and to lay hold on eternal life.
I think of what the Lord Jesus said about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God, and how the scripture says the disciples were "astonished out of measure" becuase of this asking "Who then can be saved?" to which He replied to them
[b][color=660000]With men [i]it is[/i] impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.[/color][/b]
And I see the same before us here.
We may look at all these things which are against us, so great and many as they are, and we too may cry out "who then can be saved?"
To which I believe the scripture would reply:
If God [i]be[/i] for us, who [i]can be[/i] against us?
And that is just it, isn't it? Salvation is of the Lord. And if God were not for us, who then could be saved! Who else but God is able to look at such impossible circumstances and say
"with God all things are possbile"
And though there were a great and wide sea before us and an whole army of devils behind us, yet He could say to us
"Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD"
Thanks be to God, that though there were none to help, and none among the people, the sons of men that could uphold, yet He says
"I have laid help upon [i]one that is[/i] mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.
And also "...therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me"
And "The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations"
And "to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?"
The Lord Jesus Christ. Mighty to save!
I know brother, as for me, I need to trust Him, more.
Christopher Joel Dandrow