god's heart for the lost
"We had to celebrate and rejoice! This brother of yours was dead, and has come back to life. He was lost, and is found." —Luke 15:32
There is "more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent" (Lk 15:7). We rejoice over a sinner's repentance because this is so important to Jesus and, therefore, to us.
"You can depend on this as worthy of full acceptance: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Tm 1:15). Jesus so wants sinners to return to Him that He died on the cross to make this possible. Jesus will leave ninety-nine sheep in the desert and go in search of the one lost sheep (Lk 15:4). Jesus has done and will do almost anything to lead sinners to repentance.
As Jesus' followers, we Christians should be preoccupied with leading sinners to repent. The Lord even gives us extra incentive to do this by promising: "Remember this: the person who brings a sinner back from his way will save his soul from death and cancel a multitude of sins" (Jas 5:20).
To lead someone to repentance we must:
- repent ourselves. "Remove the plank from your own eye first; then you will see clearly to take the speck from your brother's eye" (Mt 7:5).
- intercede. Some demons do "not leave but by prayer and fasting" (Mt 17:21 NAB).
- "profess the truth in love" (Eph 4:15). Love people enough to tell them they and you need to repent.
Lead someone back to Jesus and make heaven rejoice.
Prayer: Father, this Lent, may I lead some of Your children back to You.
Promise: He "will again have compassion on us, treading underfoot our guilt." —Mi 7:19
Praise: Anthony invited a co-worker to Confession.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, September 28, 2015
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.