It is (too) often said that the angels in heaven rejoice when a sinner is converted.
Maybe they do…though it is hard for me to think so since the Word says they don’t/can’t understand the gospel fully.
What Luke records is this:
Lu 15.7 “I tell you, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who don’t need repentance.”
Luke 15.10 “I tell you, in the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.”
And in the following verses the dad of the prodigal runs to meet him (because he was watching for him) and initiates the party that follows.
Look again at 15.10 – “…there is joy in the presence of God’s angels…
It is GOD who rejoices!
Zeph 3.17 “The LORD your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will be quiet in his love. He will delight in you with singing.”
Yeah, maybe the angels join in; but it is our heavenly Father who rejoices. (I’ll let die hard calvinists and armenians debate about why would He rejoice over something He causes and knows will happen 🙂
There is nothing as fleeting as the moment of conviction.
“No one comes to the Son except the Father draws him”
“Today is the day of salvation”
The devil and his legions care not if a lost person thinks “Someday I’ll come to salvation; someday I’ll repent; someday I’ll investigate the claims of the gospel”
Too many are like Felix in Acts 24:
22 Since Felix was well informed about the Way, he adjourned the hearing, saying, “When Lysias the commander comes down, I will decide your case.” 23 He ordered that the centurion keep Paul under guard, though he could have some freedom, and that he should not prevent any of his friends from meeting his needs.
24 Several days later, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and listened to him on the subject of faith in Christ Jesus. 25 Now as he spoke about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix became afraid and replied, “Leave for now, but when I have an opportunity I’ll call for you.” 26 At the same time he was also hoping that Paul would offer him money.[d] So he sent for him quite often and conversed with him.
27After two years had passed, Porcius Festus succeeded Felix, and because Felix wanted to do the Jews a favor, he left Paul in prison.”
You are going through a cafeteria line…you take a big portion of mac and cheese, accept a burger, but pass on the salad and the mushroom soup. After all, you are there to take what you want.
You can’t do that with Jesus. You can’t take a big portion of “Jesus the Savior” or “Jesus the friend of sinners” or, gag, “Jesus my homeboy.”
You can’t divide a person, even when the person is a Person.
Read this from Acts 16:
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the jail were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 When the jailer woke up and saw the doors of the prison standing open, he drew his sword and was going to kill himself, since he thought the prisoners had escaped.
28 But Paul called out in a loud voice, “Don’t harm yourself, because we’re all here!”
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He escorted them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him along with everyone in his house.”
The Holy Spirit had Luke pen “Lord Jesus,” not “Savior Jesus,” not “Jesus.”
We are responsible for what we know.
When I was converted in a Texas jail cell, I had just been introduced to the gospel. I was 26, and had never been in church except for weddings and funerals. I had no idea who Jesus was other than a curse word.
When I trusted Christ I did not know there was a trinity. I didn’t know the difference between a charismaniac and a king-jimmie-only baptist. I did not know about a concept called “Lordship Salvation,” nor of Zane Hodges etc rebuke of that concept.
All I knew is that I was in a hopeless condition, not because of drugs; but because of sin. I obeyed the Spirit’s tugging by surrendering to the fact that I wasn’t the boss, God is, was, and always will be the Boss.
There was no repeat after me prayer; there was no altar call. There was a lost sinner and an incredibly loving God.
In a sense, I was “all in.”
Ephesians 2.8,9 are wonderful, true verses.
So is Ephesians 2.10.
We are created for “good works.”
Grace works. Faith works.
If there ain’t no fruit, it’s because there is no shoot; because there is no root.
When you share the gospel (you are, are you not?); don’t simply describe the love and sacrifice of Jesus.
Don’t just offer a chance to “accept Jesus as your Savior and ask Him into your heart.”
Reading the Word can spoil a lot of “evangelism” trainings and “evangelism” methodology (music softly playing, blood and guts story, every head bowed….)
In reading the Gospels you find that Jesus always made it easier to say “no than to say “yes.”