Monday, December 11, 2017

Advent 2017 #11: The Heavenly Rejoicing Party

Almost every week, someone at our church comes forward to publicly accept Christ and ask for baptism. Our pastor always reminds us, "The angels are rejoicing today." 

This morning, my mind wandered around that sentence for a while, and finally landed on the idea of throwing a Christmas party for the angels in heaven. It's a startling concept, but Jesus spoke very clearly about joy in heaven. 

"I tell you that in the same way, 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

The word translated as joy indicates great gladness. Of course, I don't know if they have a party or not, but we do know the angels celebrate the act of repentance and the right standing with God it brings.  

Ponder this with me for a bit. In that agonizing moment when we finally see ourselves as God sees us and our heart is broken over our sin, the angels take note. They listen carefully to see how we will respond. 

If our brokenness results in repentance of sin and turning to God, the angels are filled with joy. They celebrate. 

In my pondering, I wondered what would happen in heaven if a church-full of people decided to surrender their will to God's and repent of their sin. Imagine the rejoicing there would be if multiple men, women, and children went to the altar and sincerely repented. 

A rejoicing-party would spontaneously erupt in heaven. I can imagine Jesus laughing with delight. How wonderful would that be?

It sounds fanciful, I know. 

The Heavenly Rejoicing Party is, however, rooted in absolute truth. Jesus said angels rejoice when one sinner repents. Since none of us are righteous, and we all have sin for which repentance is due, we can all participate in this gifting. 

If more of us would repent and turn to Him with undivided hearts, there would be more rejoicing in heaven. 

This Christmas, I'm praying we'll give Jesus (and the angels) the gift of repentance. Let's do it together and repent until all the work of repentance is done. It's a gift that blesses both directions. We get clean hearts and heaven gets rejoicing. What's not to love about that?

"In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Luke 15:10 

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In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: #10 When Peace is Fleeting but Jesus is Still Our Joy

Here are the links to the other posts in this series: #9: God's Love Language


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