“There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:7
The repentance of one sinner brings great rejoicing in heaven. But who is the sinner? Don’t we all count ourselves better than our neighbour? Aren’t we all eager to find fault in others and commends our own actions?
And what is righteousness? Don’t we think that we are righteous because of our acts of righteousness that we do in front of others?
The truth is that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
We can’t walk blamelessly nor have we been called to walk blamelessly before the father; it’s the power of his presence that makes us worthy not to walk but to fall down in his awesome presence and stand in his strength. So do we have anything to boast about except the finished work on cross that has brought salvation and the message of reconciliation to mankind?
Reconciliation with God originates as a desire in the heart of a humble child of God who has found himself unworthy to stand before the Sovereign God. The intensity of the desire makes him seek the saviour who alone can take not just the burden of sin but the guilt associated with it. When the saviour comes into a life, he shakes everything with his powerful presence. The hidden rebellious nature finds no place to hide in the light of gospel. When a child of God becomes aware of his own flawed nature and in the humility of his heart, cries out before God to save him, something happens in his life.
Life may seem all the same on the surface but deep within the heart of believer an ocean of love, hope and peace flows that quenches his thirst. Having been satisfied with this life giving water, the child of God runs after for more the way a deer panteth for the streams of water. The more he fills himself, the more he desires to be filled and during the course of this life changing experience, God’s child finds himself being drawn closer to the source of life.
Heaven rejoices over such sinner who was and is not because of the saving grace that has reconciled him with God, the father.
It’s the acceptance of the saving grace that makes one worthy of heaven’s rejoicing. The one who considers himself righteous has no place to share in the happiness of heaven!