Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

11/14/2018

Randall Caselman

 

From Heaven's Perspective

 

  Luke chapter fifteen contains three Jesus Parables; earthly stories with a heavenly meaning; earthly stories with a spiritual application.

 

  Suppose you had a hundred sheep and one became lost. Do you not leave the ninety-nine in the pasture and go searching for the lost until it is found? Then rejoice when the lost is restored?

 

  Suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp and search the house, carefully sweeping the floor, looking for the lost coin until it is found. When it's retrieved, she calls friends and neighbors to come rejoice with her.

 

  A man has two sons, one demands his inheritance and loses himself in lustful extravagance in a pig-pen lifestyle. When he comes to his right mind and returns home, the Father is accepting, forgiving, restoring him to his rightful place as a son.

 

  How can we read these Jesus narratives without taking note of the lessons heaven would have us learn?

 

  1) Humanity is lost. We are lost! God created a perfect world, paradise. Sin intervened. Evil and chaos resulted. Mankind's heart became immoral and violent. Paul put it in these words: "All have sinned, there is none righteous, no not one."

 

  2) Even though lost, we still have worth to God. Like sheep, coins, sons, we have worth. Every soul has value! Each individual matters - Really matters. It was Jesus who said: "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies, yet not one is forgotten by God." Here it is church, sparrows may have no value on earth, but they do in heaven!! Regardless of who or what we are, we each have worth to God!

 

  3) Our worth is demonstrated by God's searching love, His redemption, the price paid for our atonement, our sin pardon. "God so loved the world, that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." 

 

  4) There is a time of rejoicing. If we rejoice in finding lost sheep, coins, and sons, consider how much more the rejoicing in heaven over a lost soul restored to its rightful relationship to our Father God. "I tell you 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."

 

  The entire Bible is about: The lostness of humanity, that we have worth in God's eyes, His showering us with mercy and grace through His Son, and that genuine Biblical repentance causes heaven to rejoice. Here it is church: Genuine New Testament evangelism demands that we share in God's concern for lost souls, that we search, and rejoice in repentance - Amen?

 

—Randall Caselman