Continuing with the missions theme, this week our Pastor reminded us of the value of a soul--it causes rejoicing in heaven when just one sinner comes home! What a thought! Of the 6 billion people on the earth, when just one of them repents, heaven is stirred to rejoicing!
Our text was Luke 15:1-10
Jesus was not afraid of sinners
Too many times Christians avoid sinners because they are afraid that sinners will somehow influence them in the wrong way. That is ridiculous. "Greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world." Jesus went to the sinner.
Now Jesus wasn't hanging out at the local bars or the End Zone, he went to people's homes to minister to them. He didn't care that the religious leaders of His day didn't like the company he kept. (Now we are not to hang with professing Christians living in sin. The Bible is plain concerning that, but we are to hang with the unconverted for the purpose of relationship and a chance to speak to them of Christ. 1 Cor. 5:10-11. In 1 Cor. 5:1, the guy was kicked out of the church because of unrepentance and it was right to do that. He was denied fellowship with other believer's. The isolation brought him around and he was fully restored.)
In order to reach someone, you do not have to be like them. You just have to be like Christ. He is what draws them to Himself. You don't have to be a punk to reach the punks. You don't have to be a prostitute to reach a prostitute. You don't even have to be young to reach the young. Jesus said if He would be lifted up (if people would see Him), He would draw them unto Himself.
There are only two kinds of people--Sinners and Saints
In verse 7, the righteous (just) are defined as those who need no repentance. The have received victory over sin. Sin is the exception, not the norm. They live Godly, not in continual repentance. Living holy is possible!
In 1Jn. 2:29, we learn that the righteous practice righteousness. There is a righteousness that is imputed at the cross, after our sins have been washed away. This is a positional righteousness--right standing before God in Christ. But then, almost simultaneously we are reborn, made holy at rebirth. We are then not just imputed righteousness, but we ARE made righteous. Then we will conduct ourselves in a holy manner. It's not duty, it's just natural. A dog barks, because it is a dog. It's who he is. All of our actions come from our heart, i.e. you do what you are. If you sin continually, you are a sinner. If you live righteously you are righteous.
As Christians we love because it is our nature to love. It's not a burden. Heaviness is a sign that we have not been saved. We should examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith.