I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. ~Luke 15:7
Heaven is a kingdom of perpetual happiness and rejoicing. There is rejoicing because our Lord is worshipped continuously. There is rejoicing because there is no sin in Heaven. It is a place of literal, eternal bliss. It is a place of rejoicing every time a sinner repents of his sin and, by faith, accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. This morning, let us examine when Heaven’s bells ring.
We see the scorn.
A number of publicans and sinners drew near to hear Jesus preach. These were people that the religious elite despised and excluded from their circles. These people knew that their lifestyles and practices were sinful. They drew near because they wanted forgiveness and God to change them. The Pharisees and scribes murmured and were critical of Jesus for inviting these people into His presence. God is not pleased with self-righteous behavior that will not reach the souls of those who are desperately in need of our Lord.
We see the sinner.
Jesus uses a simile to show the Pharisees the problem with their heart. He speaks of a man who has a flock of sheep and loses one of them. That man knows that the sheep is in serious peril if he does not go after it and rescue it. This lost sheep is a picture of the sinner. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.” A sinner’s nature is to wander and get lost. A sinner’s nature is to be disobedient and do his own thing, apart from God. He is lost and in peril.
We see the soulwinner.
Jesus asked, “What man of you…?” If it is our sheep that is lost, we will go after it at all cost and do what we can to reach it. As soulwinners, we must pursue after lost sinners with zeal and passion. We must realize that we are racing against time in trying to rescue the sinner, lest he die and perish for all eternity. Soulwinners must also be burdened and persistent. Jesus said, “What man of you [will] go after that which is lost, until he find it?” Like our Saviour, we must go to seek and to save that which is lost.
We see the salvation.
The lost sheep is found! It is rescued from danger. The man carries it home on his shoulders. This finding is precious to him. When a sinner gets saved, we must be sure we have strong influence in the new believer’s life to make sure he gets off to a right start. He needs the guidance and influence of the soulwinner to keep him on the right path. He needs to know that home is the local church, where he will be fed spiritually.
We see the celebration.
There is the rejoicing of the soulwinner. There is the rejoicing of family and friends! The soulwinner calls his family and friends together to introduce the one who has been found and to share the good news. Jesus drives home the principle of finding that which is lost by emphasizing that there is more joy in Heaven over one sinner that repents of his sin than over ninety-nine which have already repented. Heaven is rejoicing every time someone gets saved! There is the rejoicing of our Lord, the angels in Heaven, and all who have preceded us up there. There is also continuous joy down here on earth! Paul referred to those he led to Christ as “my joy and crown.” Heaven’s bells are ringing when a sinner gets saved. Don’t get crusty and complacent: go after sinners until they are found!
Have a rejoicing God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Thessalonians 1-5