Jesus shared three parables in Luke 15, to illustrate the plight of sinners and the cost of discipleship. The Pharisees and Scribes grumbled about Jesus’s habit of spending time with sinners. In his first parable, Jesus likened a sinner to a lost sheep. The concept was that, if any of them owned a hundred sheep and one of those sheep was lost, that a shepherd would leave the ninety nine and search for the one lost sheep. Once he found the lost sheep, he would call his neighbours to celebrate and rejoice for finding the sheep. Jesus told the audience, that in heaven, there us rejoicing over one soul who is saved, than for ninety nine who are already saved.
The second parable was of a woman who had ten coins and lost one coin. She would light a lamp and search her house diligently until she had found her lost coin. When she had found the coin, she also called her friends and neighbours to rejoice with her. The third parable was of a prodigal son who left his father’s home. He asked his father for his inheritance, spent it on reckless excesses and ended up broke and destitute. In an effort to sustain himself, he got a job with a farmer to care for pigs. Due to hunger, he ate the food reserved for the pigs to satisfy his appetite. At some point the son came to his senses and returned home to his father.
His father welcomed him home gladly and threw a party to celebrate his return. “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate” (Luke 15:24). In each of these three illustrations, Jesus demonstrated the father’s heart to those who are lost and dying. In each of the instances, there is mention of heaven rejoicing for the lost souls that were found. God created us in his own image and likeness, to serve him and to have relationship with him. Mankind was separated from God due to the fall of Adam. God did everything, including sending his only son to die on the cross, to redeem us back to himself.
Hell was created for the devil and his agents. The devil wishes to win as many souls as possible for hell and make them spend eternity with him in torment. We have a responsibility to point people towards God. As a wife or husband, the salvation of your spouse should be your primary responsibility. Whether or not your children spend eternity in heaven, should be a burden for parents. I do not want my greatest enemy to spend their eternity in hell. Our primary assignment is to lead lost souls to God and rescue the souls of others. Who have you led to Christ and who will be in heaven because of your witness?
“Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10).