Summary: Heaven celebrates the salvation of even one sinner. Let us understand the heart of God for the lost, treasure every person and experience the joy of reaching the lost for Christ.
[Read Luke 15:1-10]
In Luke 15, Jesus tells 3 stories.
* Each story speaks of something lost and then found. A lost sheep. A lost coin. And a lost son.
* And at the end of each one, Jesus describes a party, a celebration.
* The shepherd throws the party for the lost-now-found sheep.
* The housewife throws a party because of the lost-now-found coin.
* And the father throws a party in honour of his lost-now-found son.
Three parables, each ends with a party. Three stories, each with the appearance of the same word – rejoice.
* Regarding the shepherd who found the lost sheep, Jesus says, “When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” (15:5 NAS) and he calls together his friends and neighbours and says, “Rejoice with me…”
* When the housewife finds her lost coin, she calls her friends and neighbours together and says, “Rejoice with me…” (15:9 NAS)
* And the father of the prodigal son explains to the reluctant older brother, “we had to celebrate and rejoice…” (15:32 NAS)
Jesus says “there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (15:10)
* The point is clear. Heaven is most happy when the lost are found.
* Charles Spurgeon says, “Christ is not glorified because He was born in a manger but because He is born in a broken heart.”
How do we explain such a joy? Why such a hoo-ha over this?
* We are not talking about a whole nation of people or even a city of souls.
* We are talking about the joy over one person.
* Jesus says (15:7) “there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
Imagine this. You went home one night and the family was there, and they burst into cheers because it was your birthday.
* You were in class, and the teacher suddenly paused his teaching and greeted you, and the whole class burst into a birthday song. The principal walked in to congratulate you.
* You step into the hall and the whole church, the congregation of 130 people sang you the birthday song. And there was this huge cake with lighted candles in the middle of the room.
How do you feel? Overwhelmed, and you may feel it’s a little overdone. It isn’t that necessary. How could one person create that much excitement?
* But that’s what Jesus wants us to see – the hosts of angels (1000s or 10,000s) celebrate the salvation of one soul.
Most of the time actually, we feel average, or even neglected and unnoticed. Who bothers about me, anyway?
* According to this passage, God is. Heaven is. [Don’t let the devil fool you!]
* When one person turns from sin to God, he makes a tremendous impact on the unseen world. Heaven pauses for a celebration.
You see, heaven throws no party over our other achievements.
* When we graduate from school or open our business or closes a deal, as far as we know.
* But the angels celebrate over the salvation of one soul. One is good reason to call for a party and great rejoicing.
It is a BIG deal. You are, and I am. And everyone is.
* Do we share that same perspective? Do we share such enthusiasm today? I ask myself.
* When I hear of a soul saved, do I drop everything and celebrate for a moment?
* Well, I may be happy, but I cannot say I am always as overwhelmed as heaven is.
* There are some who may even echo the elder brother’s sentiment – “So what’s the big deal?”
Why do Jesus and His angels rejoice over ONE repenting sinner? Can they see something we can’t? Do they know something we don’t?
* Yes, I think so. They SAW about heaven, and they SAW about hell.
* The angels have first-hand knowledge. They see, hear and feel the glorious presence of God and the shining beauty of Christ in heaven. They tasted it, literally. Nothing is comparable.
* And they know the horror of hell, where God isn’t there. (The parable of the rich man and Lazarus give us such a hint.) Imagine a place void of any good sense, no kindness, no comfort, no love, no hope, no music but sounds of perpetual weeping, pain, despair, and moaning. No wonder they were so excited seeing someone crossing over!
The angels also KNOW something else – they saw the love of the Father.
* It is not just a love of a Creator for His creation. It is more significant than that. It is a love of a father for His child. The heart of God is a Father’s heart.