Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of July 20,2008

Luke 15:10
“Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Sorrow is in abundant supply in this world. Sorrow started with a simple act of disobedience. Eve likely thought that taking one bite of a piece of forbidden fruit shouldn’t hurt anyone. And if anyone was hurt it would be only herself. However, her action affected her husband who became the first man of sorrows. It affected her children since one of her children murdered his brother in a disagreement about religion. Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, every person born into this world is born to die. Instead of being born with an innocent nature that can enjoy God and that God can enjoy, we are born with a rebellious unbelieving nature that has to be changed by the new birth for us to have fellowship with God.

The second man of sorrows was Christ. He is the man who bore our griefs and carried our sorrows. He suffered great indignities in order to save us from eternal sorrow. His life was filled with rejection and it ended unjustly on a felon’s cross. He did right and was treated wrong. He has now been raised from the dead and is sitting at the Father’s right hand. He is offering himself to us as our Savior. Think of the sorrow He must feel when people scoff at the idea that He can save them.

Sorrow will be experienced beyond measure when people who reject Christ wake up in eternal burnings to find out that what God had said in the Bible was true. The concept of eternal eludes me. I cannot conceive of time that goes on forever. Yet the book of Revelation talks of those who will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20:10). Unending time is used to describe eternity. But that is just one of the things that makes eternal destruction so bad. Another will be the fact that many people in hell will know John 3:16. Many learned it as a child. Some have seen the Bible verse reference at ball games. Others have seen the text on walls in homes and in places of worship. Since the memory of people in hell seems to be intact according to Luke 16:25, I wonder what it will be like to remember that verse and to realize that it could have been the promise that saved them. I would think that the torment of knowing the Gospel and knowing that Christ died for them and realizing that they foolishly turned their back on the Lord, would be pain that would be almost unbearable.

On the other hand, there is great joy when a person finally gets by all the excuses, all the deceitful lies of Satan, all of the rebellion, and finally in simply trusting faith receives the Lord as Savior. There is no joy quite like seeing a convicted, lost, troubled individual understand and depend for the first time on the truth that Christ died for them. If we experience such joy when one person gets peace with God and a home in heaven, what must it mean to the heart of the Father and to the Lord Jesus Himself? Obviously angels rejoice when truth prevails and Satan is defeated. They were likely there when Satan rebelled and they know the consequences of sin. No doubt angels rejoice because they know that for one more person the sufferings of the Cross were not wasted.

I was recently at a camp where the Gospel was preached to children. We saw the happy faces of some who were able to say for the first time, “I understand. I know I am saved. Christ did die for me.” By trusting the promises of the Lord, they trusted the Lord. I hope everyone has the experience at some point in their lives of being involved with someone who has been delivered from the power of darkness in this way. There is no greater joy. There is no greater victory. There is no greater purpose in life than to see people pass from death to life (John 5:24).

It is no wonder that the angels rejoice.

Bruce Collins

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