Joy in the Presence of the Angels Luke 15 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Those of us who are saved know first hand about the joy of salvation. We know what it’s like to come out of the PITS OF SIN and to walk in the GLORIOUS LIBERTY and joy of eternal life through Jesus Christ. We know what it’s like to drop the CONTROL OF RELIGION by guilt and the FALSE HOPE that someday our good works would get us safely to heaven. We know what it’s like to have the JOY of real salvation and the assurance that we will no doubt be in heaven no matter what day we die.
But have you ever thought about salvation from the perspective of the angels? According to John, the angels don’t get to experience the joy of salvation first hand like we do, because they don’t get saved. They were not born of water like we were, they were created – so they can’t be saved. According to Peter, where it concerns salvation, the angels “desire to look into” these things. But that’s as close as they get.
Yet the Bible says there is joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner that repenteth. So, they get to experience the joy of salvation somehow. And the question is how? Well, to answer this question let’s go back to the life of Jesus Christ and see what the angels were doing when Jesus was here.
They heralded his birth – Praised God at his birth – “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace goodwill toward men.” Lk 2:14. Angels can’t procreate, so imagine their joy when God begot a Son.
They ministered to him in the wilderness – Matt 4:11, they were there to take care of him after the Spirit of God drove him to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Imagine their joy every time Jesus held off the devil by quoting scripture and their joy at finally being able to minister to his famished body after 40 days of fasting [just waiting for the moment to help him].
They were there to keep him in all his ways – Ps 91:11-12 “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” This is the verse the devil misquoted when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness. But this is how the angels took care of Jesus during his lifetime. There’s not a thing they wouldn’t have done for him at a moment’s notice.
So imagine their distress when this child of God was betrayed to be crucified – Matt 26:53, “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than TWELVE LEGIONS of angels?” They were chomping at the bit to wipe out everybody that was against him. Just look at what they can do:
- Two angels wiped out 4 entire cities in one morning – SODOM & GOMORRAH & Admah & Zeboim
- They nearly destroyed an ENTIRE COUNTRY with plagues – Ps 78:49, “He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.”
- One angel single-handedly killed 185,000 soldiers in one night to protect Hezekiah
- One angel single-handedly killed 70,000 Jews in three days because of David’s census
- Here Jesus said that God would have given him more than 12 LEGIONS OF ANGELS – a legion is a multitude [the devils said “for we are many”] ranging in number from 4000 – 6000, so 12 of those would be 48,000 – 72,000 angels – good night if one or two angels could do the stuff above, what would thousands of angels who had been taking care of Jesus have done if called into action?
Yet God didn’t let the angels get involved – imagine their anguish at having to watch the cruelty poured out on Jesus without being able to do a thing. They watched:
The lies, the spitting, the beating, the mocking “Hail, King of the Jews,” the compromise and cowardice of Pilate, the scourging, the shouting and accusations of the angry mob, the “if thou be the Son of God”, the shame – it didn’t make any sense to them.
Why was God allowing this to go on while they were just tearing heaven apart to get down here and stop this nonsense? At the cross they were helpless – they could have wiped out the whole bunch in a second and they wanted to – PETER WANTED TO – he drew a sword on Malcus and cut off his ear trying to cut off his head. He was so dejected at his helplessness and Jesus’ determination to die that he got mad at him and denied him.
None of them could understand it – all they wanted to do was blow up the world and get God’s Son out of that mess – that’s what angels do. When Jesus finally died, they groaned in such agony that the earth quaked.
After it was all over – heaven was adorned in BLACK CREPE for what seemed to be an eternity while the Son of God lay dead in a grave and his soul was in hell. Then came the request from God – get down there men, I have a job for you to do – what? – we have an announcement to make –
He’s not here he’s risen – Matt 28:2-6 – You never heard such a chorus in all of eternity. They shouted so loud, the earth quaked again. But this time out of JOY
Imagine their excitement as JESUS ASCENDED to heaven right after his resurrection
- And there with them in heaven was that old THIEF ON THE CROSS who testified to Jesus that he was the Lord and that he knew he would have a kingdom.
- When they saw all those OT SAINTS then there was joy. These guys could have never joined the heavenly chorus if it had not been for the death of Jesus – Glory!!
- The first time they saw a soul get saved then it all began to make sense
- when they saw those 3,000 SOULS AT PENTECOST, then it made sense to old Peter
- and then the 5,000 A FEW DAYS LATER (Acts 4:4)
- then the ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH and
- then CORNELIUS (no longer just to the Jews) and
- And YOU TODAY!!! Rejoicing over a soul that gets saved never wears out for the angels. Won’t you be the cause of their rejoicing today?
Remember how anxious they were to get the bad guys. Well, they get to AVENGE HIS DEATH WHEN HE RETURNS – and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Thes 1:7-8 – don’t be among that number – the angels have been waiting two thousand years to get back at those guys and they’ll not only get them but those who neglect to receive the salvation that Jesus wrought.
Be the cause of their joy not the vent for their wrath!! Get saved today!!