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Joy in Heaven when There is Repentance

Sermon on 5 November 2023 by Paster Paul

Judah in the past

. one of the half-brothers of Joseph

. Judah and the other older brother hated Joseph and were jealous of him because the father Jacob loved Joseph more than the rest, and because of Joseph's dream

. Judah intended harm towards Joseph by proposing selling Joseph away

. Judah did not have a right lifestyle and relationship.

Judah (22 years after Joseph was sold)

. Judah and the older brothers regretted their actions towards Joseph

. Judah took personal responsibility to look after Benjamin, the blood brother of Joseph

. Judah lived his father Jacob and did not want him to be grieved to death

. Judah took courage to ask himself to be taken as slave instead of Benjamin

Judah (old)

. hated and was jealous of Joseph

. meant harm towards Joseph

. caused his father Jacob to be grieved

Judah (new)

. loved Benjamin dearly.

. protected Benjamin with his life

. thought about his father Jacob and understood his heart

The lost sheep

Luke 15:3-7

[3] So Jesus told them this story: [4] “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? [5] And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. [6] When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ [7] In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

The lost coin

Luke 15:8-10

[8] “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? [9] And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ [10] In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”

The lost son

Luke 15:11-32 NLT

[11] To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. [12] The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. [13] “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. [14] About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. [15] He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. [16] The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. [17] “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! [18] I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, [19] and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’ [20] “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. [21] His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ [22] “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. [23] And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, [24] for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. [25] “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, [26] and he asked one of the servants what was going on. [27] ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’ [28] “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, [29] but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. [30] Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’ [31] “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. [32] We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

The truth about repentance

. Repentance is needed because we have turned away from God.

. God is always seeking for those who truly repent.

. Repentance is the first message which John the Baptist and Jesus Christ preached when they started their ministries.

When there is true repentance

. Joy in heaven

. God and his angels rejoice.

. Restoration of our identity in God

. Relationship between God and us

. New life (old life was crucified)

. No condemnation

Self-check: Do I need to repent?

1. In our walk with God closer each day or further each day?

2. Do we become more like Christ or more like the world?

3. Do we walk in truth and in love or bear hatred towards one another?

4. Do we seek peace and unity or sow discord and division?

5. Do we pray to God more and read His word or turn towards worldly pleasure more?

6. Do we bear good testimony to glorify God or do we bring shame to His Name?

7. Do we hate sin or do we love living in sin?

Who needs to repent ?

1. The younger brother or the older brother in the parable of the lost son?

2. Non-Christians or Christians?

3. Others or me?

What is true repentance?

Psalms 51:10;17

[10] Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.

[17] The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

Acts 26:20

[20] I preached first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that all must repent of their sins and turn to God—and prove they have changed by the good things they do.

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