DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Doesn’t the Bible say somewhere that the angels in heaven rejoice whenever someone turns to God? But why would they do that? Wouldn’t they already know that this person was going to repent? — C.L.
DEAR C.L.: You’re probably thinking of what Jesus said in two of his parables, which tell first about a sheep that was lost, and then about a coin that was lost (Luke 15:3-10). In both instances, something very valuable had been lost, and their owners searched diligently until they found it. And when they did, they not only rejoiced, but their friends and neighbors rejoiced also.
In a far greater way, Jesus said, we are infinitely valuable to God, and when we are lost and separated from him, he searches for us and does everything he possibly can to rescue us. And when we finally realize just how lost we are and turn to him in repentance and faith, he rejoices — and all heaven with him. Jesus said, “I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10).
Why do they rejoice? Not because they’re surprised, but because a great victory has been won! Someone has been snatched from the jaws of Satan and death and hell, so why wouldn’t all heaven rejoice? Jesus’ words remind us of just how valuable we are to God, and how much he yearns for us to be with him in heaven forever.
But Jesus’ words also remind us of what it cost God to make our salvation possible: the death of his son, Jesus Christ. Don’t delay, but turn to Christ in repentance and faith today. The Bible says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
Tribune Media Services 4/13