Church folks take a beating from the mainstream media, non-church members, and pretty much everyone else that denies the deity of Christ. One reason that church folks take a beating is because we are thought to be so judgmental toward others. We are accused of being intolerant when we stand firm with the teachings of The Bible and condemn sin. The Bible is extremely clear in that the road to Heaven is narrow and not everyone who cries out, “Oh Lord Lord,” will make the final cut so to speak. I suppose it could be argued that we are too judgmental if we were saying it on our own volition and not using God’s Word as the measuring stick. We are not to judge the person but their actions when their actions are against God’s purpose. There will be a judgment. But we are not the judges on record. During His earthly ministry, our Lord was questioned, mocked, and judged by the “religious” rulers. We will look at one such time and how Christ responded to the criticism. Jesus many times stated that He came to save the lost, the sick, the heavy burdened. Prior to following Christ’s example, there is no one found righteous. So the Christ came for all of us sinners. His love, the love of God Almighty is for those, all of us, who were lost without him. Think about the 3:16 of favorites. God so loved not just Billy, Ricky, Lucy, and Sue, but the world. He loved us all that He came to die for all of us, those who call on Him, and those who reject Him. I want to look at the parable of the Lost Sheep.
The Pharisees tried so many times to trick Jesus, get him to the point where He would say something wrong, and condemn His entire testimony. But you know, they never could, because God the Son, Christ is all powerful, all knowing, and He knew their harden hearts. Jesus at this time had healed a man on the Sabbath and the religious elect so to speak, the Pharisees, questioned His doing so on the holy day. Jesus responded in the parable.
"What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance"—Luke 15:4-7.
Here, Jesus brings it home and questions the religious leaders by asking, "What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?” Jesus confronted these men many times without confronting them directly. He often times posed questions to them when His actions were questioned. Who would just sit and wait if one of their sheep or other belonging went missing? Isn’t the one as important as the rest? We know that we are figuratively sheep to Christ’s shepherd. Again, Christ said many times that He came for the sick, the lost, not the ones who already followed the scriptures and knew the Truth.
Oh, what a glorious thing it is to call on Christ as our Savior. The angels rejoice when just one comes to Christ. After the one lost sheep is found, Christ said, “And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.” Do you think the sheep knows it is lost? More than likely not, but it knows the lost feeling of fear and being alone. All living creatures know fear. The sheep while being one of the dumbest animals in the world knows its master, its shepherd. It runs to him when called. That says a lot about us as the human race does it not? That’s off topic, but isn’t it something that we, the people, created by an Almighty Creator refuse to acknowledge Him? And “dumb” sheep rush to their masters knowing who protects them. Regardless of whether the sheep knows it is lost much like those who do not acknowledge Christ, it is still lost without the master around to protect it. The shepherd rejoices because he found the sheep. He says, “Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.” The shepherd left the 99 “found” sheep to save the one lost sheep.
The Bible teaches that The Lord does not want any to perish. That is why He has not returned yet. That day is coming sooner than our mortal minds can fathom by the way, but it shows why and how important each person is to The Lord. “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance."
My pastor often says that if you were the only person alive at the time, Jesus would have still hung on that cross for you. Because God so loved the world He created, the world that does not acknowledge Him, the world that is ruled by the prince of the air, Satan, He gave His only begotten Son, for all that believe in Him. He did this not to condemn the world, but to save it. If you are a Christian that just maybe has spent a little too much time “judging others” instead of the sin itself, remember that Jesus died for you and that person as well. If the person you are “judging” is not a Christian, you need to forget and forego your righteous attitude and tell them about Christ’s grace. Remember His words. “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." Thank you, God bless.