Joy in Heaven Over One Who is Repentant
The Pharisees and the scribes grumbled because Jesus received tax collectors and irreligious Jews. (Luke 15 vv 1-32)
Is there a difference between persons? Let us compare two young men. One young man grows up in the church, gets a college education, a respectable job in the community, has a wife, and children who all attend the church. The second young man did not grow up in the church, his occupation is not respectable, he has had multiple live in girlfriends with children from each. Which of these two young men need to come near and hear Jesus? The answer is both, “for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith.” (Rom. 3:22b-25a) Jesus said that there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine persons who need no repentance. A man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus. By the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. (Gal. 2:16)
Now of these two young men, the first has an advantage that the second does not have. It is the same advantage that the first century religious Jew had over the gentile. (Rom 3:2) The regular church attending young man has the opportunity to hear the word of God preached, where as the second young man does not. In this section of scripture, Jesus tells the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son to drive home the point that we should be willing to go to the socially not respectable and irreligious with the word of God. We should also be willing to receive them in our congregation with open arms. All pretenses should be dropped.