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RCL2 - The Joy of Reconciliation

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The people in Boston have experienced a roller-coaster week for emotions. For the last 36 hours, Boston has been euphoric.

Their joy is understandable, but it is nothing compared to the joy in heaven when men are reconciled to God.

LAST WEEK: (See previous message by clicking on my name above)

God is the AUTHOR of reconciliation:

•18a – God reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ.

•19a – In Christ He was reconciling – not imputing their trespasses

•21 – He made Him to be sin for us so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him

God made man because He desired an object for His affection.

He loves you as any Father should.

God made man to love Him back.

Man’s supreme purpose: To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Genuine love must be tested.

“Why did God put that tree there?” “Why did God allow the devil?”

Love that is real is truer than any temptation we face.

God made a choice: Man’s failure deserves rejection.

Man’s failure requires sacrifice. John 3:16

God shares the distress that we do when something precious to us is lost. Jesus describes this in three stories:

•A shepherd loses one of his one hundred sheep

•A wife loses one of her ten coins

•A father loses one of this two sons

The application of these stories comes from Luke 15:1-2.

•The parables that appear were designed to reveal the real wickedness of the self-righteous complainers.

•If they had a heart for God, they would be doing what Jesus was doing – Luke 19:10.

(This should rebuke self-serving Christians)

Joy in heaven results from one action: Luke 15:7, 10

If you are a born-again child of God, there was a day when heaven exploded with joy.

For me, that was when I, at the age of nine, realized in my own bedroom that I was a lost sinner in need of a Savior. The prayer was not fancy – it was real.

•What I did not see was what was happening in Heaven.

•God was celebrating and calling upon His angels to join Him in the joy. One who was dead was now alive. One who was lost was now found.

•God wants to hold up your name in celebration today. But it can only happen if two facts become real.*

I. A Lost Person Must Be Found – Luke 15:24

A. Joy of finding something that you thought you lost for good

B. God has been looking for you long before you have been looking for Him.

The Coin had no idea that it was missing

The sheep did not realize it was separated from the flock – without a shepherd

Have you ever known a child to wander off in a store and not sense that he is lost to his parent?

There are many people today who are just as clueless as these.

They are content to live without God

They believe that God is just as disinterested in them as they are in Him

C. God has not given up on you, yet.

Why are you in God’s house today?

He is speaking through His word today

People today are looking for “seeker-friendly” churches

God is the true seeker!

D. It is easy to narrowly apply this passage to those who have never been redeemed

Context would suggest that only wicked people are lost.

However, in both cases, the lost item had at one time been in the possession of the seeker

In the final story, we discover that ‘self-righteous people’ can also be ‘lost’

Do you sometimes feel “lost” to God?

His words are nothing but print on a page

Your prayers get no higher than the ceiling

You fear what you cannot control

E. God has found you

If you were a coin or a sheep, the story would be over.

“Happily ever after”

In the story of the son, there is no indication that the father engages in a man-hunt (parallel is broken).

The father probably knew:

The new address

The senseless waste

The despising attitude

The misery of the pig pen

You are not as ‘lost’ as you imagine – Psalm 139:1-12

However, there is no rejoicing until …

II. A Dead Person Must Be Revived – Luke 15:24

A. The third story enables us to understand the connection to repentance.

Luke 15:6-7, 9-10

People have souls.

It is not enough to be located – one must be transformed

B. The means of transformation is faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

It is not enough to be sorry for your sin

The sin debt had to be settled

C. The method of transformation is repentance

Some have tried to make repentance an Old Testament concept

Mark 1:1, 15

Acts 2:38; 11:18; 17:30; 26:19-20

(Churches called to repent in Rev 2, 3) Rev 9:20-21

2Peter 3:9

D. Repentance means I stop …

I stop demanding that God do things MY way

I stop running away from His presence

I stop living as if His grace does not matter

I stop making excuses for my sin

I stop comparing myself to others hoping God will grade on a curve

I stop trying to make the most of a bad situation

E. Repentance means I start …

I start looking at my world through God’s eyes

It is empty

It is temporary

It is cruel

It is getting worse

I start recognizing the Wisdom of God

I start recognizing the Compassion of God

I start recognizing the Longsuffering of God

F. Repentance means I change …

I change the way I think about transgression

I change the way I think about God

I change the way I think about my way

G. Repentance means I rise up and go

H. Repentance means Heaven is overjoyed

For First Message click on {The Author of Reconciliation}
For Next Message click on {What Does Being Reconciled Mean?}

For other messages and illustrations click on {Pastor B's Archives}

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