“Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:7 (ESV)
J S I T Y, T W B M J I H O O S W R T O N N R P. W N N R. LUKE 15:7
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Heaven rejoices in the broken repentance of the sinner, not in the boastful pride of the righteous. Jesus makes a point to lay out examples of this truth time and time again throughout His ministry. One of the greatest that comes to mind is the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14) which sums up like this: There was a religious man and a sinner, praying in a church. The religious man was standing tall with arms raised and singing his praises aloud. This was a man that many would have looked up to as living the model life, a man who could “do no wrong”, but through his belief in his own perfection he made the greatest error of all, believing he had no need for a savior. We see this man, arms raised to his savior, but arms crossed to his sinful neighbor. He begins to thank God aloud that he is not like the sinful man next to him and finishes by listing off his righteous deeds, attempting to prove himself worthy. (Through his prayer, he reveals who he believes his savior to be. Himself.) But then Jesus gives us a look into the prayer of the sinner, who beating his chest, face down, with tears and snot in the sand, says ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” The tax-collector would walk home that day justified, knowing that he was in desperate need of it. But the righteous man would walk home un-justified, yet self deceived, falsely believing he was.
Luke 18:14: “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
"The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints."
Heaven sings along with the praises of redeemed sinners. The sinner rejoices greatly in the reward of salvation because he knows that he doesn’t deserve it. He boasts in knowing Christ because it is the greatest underserved privilege of his life. But the “righteous” person rejoices only in himself, because he believes he deserve a reward for his labor, making the greatest mistake of mankind.
As it has been said before, there are two types of people in hell; the sinner who believes they’re so good they don’t need salvation, and the sinner who believes they’re so bad that they can’t have it. If this is true, then there is only one in heaven. The the sinner who knows his desperate need for salvation, believes in the one who offers it, and rejoices in knowing Christ as the greatest gift and privilege of their lives. So, we are all sinners. There is the sinner who admits he’s utterly broken and falls on his knees in repentance, and the sinner who believes that he’s righteous and stands tall looking down in judgment on those who are on their knees...There is not the righteous AND the sinner, only the sinner and the self deceived. The most important question in your life is this; which will you be? Because Jesus came for the one on their knees..