What Is The Value of ONE Lost Soul Saved (Forgiven) Who Has Repented?
(By: Norm Rasmussen)
EVER INCREASING joy in heaven, for starters!
In explaining Luke 15:7 in the next paragraph, Jesus gives us a HUGE clue as to how important it is to GOD that a lost soul gets rescued from NOT having to pay the penalty for their sins, which will be eternal separation from God (Hell):
Jesus speaking: "I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-night self-righteous persons who see no need for repentance."
Jesus speaking again in Luke 15:10 to reemphasize our need for repentance to even MAKE it to heaven: "Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
This needs to be made perfectly clear, before moving on. The ONLY people who will make it to heaven are the forgiven -- former sinners from earth forgiven by God of their sins before they died.
So what is God talking about when He speaks of our need of "repenting"? Repent means to turn around and move in a different direction - to change the way we think -- to think differently - to change your mind. If we have rejected or diminished the importance of what Jesus accomplished for us by taking our punishment on the cross so we can be freed from the penalty of our sins (which is spiritual death), God wants us changing our mind about it. That's the starting part of repentance, and THE MOST IMPORTANT PART (because none of us know when our heart will stop beating).
Ultimately - if we are given time before dying, God wants us changing the way we are acting - behaving ... but it is not possible to change the way we are acting for any length of time without our willingness to surrender more and more to His will and correctly believing. To correctly believe, we must begin to understand what the Holy Spirit has to say about Truth. So He's ultimately telling us in holy scripture that without our actively desiring, pursuing and allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal HIS wisely understood - wisely applied Truth about what we are to be believing about spiritual matters, there will be little to no lasting Christ-like change in our lives.
CINO's demonstrate little to no Christ-like devoted change in their lives. CINO means: Christian In Name Only. James spoke of CINO's in the Bible. It's safe to say that C.I.N.O's have never become born again - spiritually reborn by the Holy Spirit -- as addressed in John Chapter 3.
When things go well for CINO's ... "Christianity" is fine. When things don't go so fine ... God reveals to both angels and others who know them personally the depth (more likely shallowness thereof) of their devotion to Jesus Christ ... which IS Truth.
[Sidebar: Let's be very merciful and compassionate to Christians going through trials. Trials serve a two-fold purpose. Trials reveal the depth of one's devotion to Jesus Christ, but they also are God's means of birthing more Godly CHARACTER in true Christian believers. Some of the most devoted people to Jesus Christ suffer the most (various means and degrees of demonic persecution), and the rewards they will be given in eternity for holding up underneath those trials cannot possibly be imagined on this side of eternity].
Demons know enough about Truth and tremble, because among other things ... they know that their final excruciating painful judgment awaits them. They also know that the One Satan wanted crucified on the cross is the very One who will pronounce their final judgment. Self-righteous people have little to no clue why demons so fearfully tremble at Truth, and most could really care less. They are imprisoned (blinded) in their thinking because they have chosen to believe Satan's lies, rather than making it their number one goal in life to find out what they Holy Spirit wants them believing about Truth - then doing something pleasing to Jesus Christ about it.
Here is what Satan wants people believing about spiritual truth. "Truth is RELATIVE!" Meaning? "Your definition may be right for you, but it's not right for me. My definition is a little different. (Or perhaps a great deal different)."
I think I'm okay with God by saying that I believe there are various degrees of self-righteousness. One size doesn't necessarily fit all, so we must be careful in our discernment of this matter.
Ultra or extreme self-righteous folk don't care what the Holy Spirit things about Truth. They have bought Satan's lies and are quite pleased with them. At the deepest-core part of every self-righteous person, they ultimately demand their right to be their OWN judge (yet aren't usually consciously aware of it) ... just like Satan and a third of the angels that fell with him from heaven were inwardly desiring prior to being kicked out of heaven. Some created beings like the glory they believe it can bring them by being their own judge, as Satan currently does. Others like being their own judge because they don't like anyone correcting them for their actions. Ultimately, they don't want to have to pay any consequences for their actions. At the heart of every rebel of God is SELF. Self-rule. Self-justification. "Me - I - and My. My OWN self-made set of spiritual beliefs. I make the rules." The big "I" demanding to be established above God Himself.
You may or may not realize this, but most of the religious leaders (Pharisees and Sadducees) Jesus dealt with in His day were proudly (pridefully) self-righteous. In fact, they were so SURE their spiritual beliefs were so correct that they demanded Jesus be crucified and done away with! Jesus was exposing more and more of their spiritual darkness - spiritual deception - and it was becoming too much of a threat to them and ultimately Satan's evil influence operating through them.
The religious leads of Jesus' day -- those who did not repent before they died by placing their trust in Jesus Christ as the long promised Messiah to the Jews to save them from their sins - the Holy Spirit would say were "Wolves in sheep's clothing", which are more present today in number than when Jesus was on this planet. I believe it's safe to say that they have grown to become much more sophisticated in deceiving people than ever before, which is why Jesus warned us to be on guard of growing spiritual deception right up until His return back to earth.
Thus self-righteous people conclude there is no need for them to have to repent of their self-righteous mind-set. At best, they might admit repentance might be useful to others ... but not for them personally. Religious self-righteous people love to debate and even argue about the Holy Spirit but have little desire to PLEASE the Holy Spirit. God has been known to "thump" self-righteous people over the head to wake them up (Thank You Lord!), so there's always hope for these folks. The Apostle Paul got "thumped" on the Damascus road. Perhaps a better way to say it is: "A Divine awakening". And sometimes before the divine awakening can happen, God has to execute a "Divine SHAKING" in us. It requires God to give must of us rebellious, wayward sinners a "Divine shaking - sometimes in stages" ... usually through pain of various kinds ... before we are willing to listen to Truth, and then submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Of course, there are those who were taught biblical Truth when they were young and demonstrated the willingness to seriously OBEY Truth. You might be one of those, bless and thank God for your heartfelt desire to please God.
Self-righteous people are those who will have chosen to reject what Jesus Christ accomplished for humanity by His painfully dying on the cross, and will take their chances on the Judgment Day that God will be merciful to them based on their own merits - or their own self-righteousness, in other words. Yet Jesus died for self-righteous people, (which we all ARE to one degree or another, until we repent). Thus until a self-righteous person dies, they TOO can repent.
Most self-righteous people believe it disgusting that anyone would judge them for not being an 'okay spiritual person'.
Most self-righteous people secretly believe that Christians who keep hammering away at our need to repent and obey the Bible are just weak-minded, fearful creatures who need a 'spiritual crutch', and/or "aren't quite playing with a full deck."
Some self-righteous folk even would say: 'Weak-minded bigoted religious nuts who have no clue!'
Regarding righteousness: It is written in God's Word that ALL of our self-righteousness is as filthy rags to God.
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; (Isaiah 64:6 KJV)
Many self-righteous people would ban all Bibles over just that one scripture passage. 'What an insult! Disgusting! Poor, inaccurate translation for sure!'
What Jesus Christ accomplished for self-righteous people on the cross was to not only take fully penalty for dying for all their sins, God miraculously imputed lost sinners saved from their sins by God's grace with the very righteousness of Christ. Now that is MIND BOGGLING!
Check this out: He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
And check out what the Apostle Paul had to say in Philippians 3:8-9 about his own self-righteousness and about the imputed righteousness of GOD available to all lost sinners who will reach out and accept freely the imputed righteousness of Christ Jesus (One of the three eternal persons of the Godhead, you realize):
But indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, (Trying to obey God's Old Covenant 10 commandment laws, in other words, to be acceptable to God [Which no one can or could keep perfectly anyway!]) but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
Saying all this another way to try to help the reader understand, God could say it this way: 'No one is righteous (self-righteous) enough to stand in My presence and be acceptable to Me through eternity. Sin has caused you to be unholy - unrighteous - and you MUST be holy and righteous as I am holy and righteous to be with Me in heaven for eternity. But no problem! I'll give you MY holiness, MY righteousness! That comes totally FREE -- I give it to you FREE of charge when you believe that Jesus Christ My Son paid full price for ALL your sins on the cross when He didn't have to, and the sacrifice He made is the ONLY way your sins against Me and others can be eternally forgiven.'
The wisest thing a person can do is admit they are sinners to the core, and that they need a Savior to pay the price to God the Father for their sins so their sins can not only be forgiven now - but they also won't be held against them on the Judgment Day. Here's the Good News! JESUS DID IT!
Getting back to Luke 15:7, the reality of the matter is that the ONLY people in heaven with God are those who admitted to themselves and God that they needed God's forgiveness for their sins, and they made a sure decision that the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross was the ONLY way to have their sins forgiven, as the Bible records. Upon doing so, they also met God's demand 'To be holy as He is holy.'
And their reward for doing so? God has promised to give forgiven born again Christians a new body, a glorified body like Jesus was given after He resurrected. They are going to need one! Otherwise, they would not be able to experience the endless joy to the fullest throughout eternity that awaits them. has also promised them that they will reign with Him. If that wasn't a big deal to God, He wouldn't grant them the honor.
God has not told us in the Bible - those who have made Jesus Christ their Savior and Lord - in any detail what He plans to do with us throughout eternity, or allow us to do (reigning) and experience, but has simply left us with this marvelous, mind-boggling promise:
Eye has not seen, nor ear has heard, and no mind has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
What is the value, the potential - of one lost repentant sinner redeemed by the shed blood of Jesus Christ? IT CANNOT BE POSSIBLY IMAGINED!
Or answering it this way: ANYTHING HE WANTS!
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.
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Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-20 is our assurance)