Ellen G. White Writings

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Lift Him Up, Page 212

Joy Over One Sinner That Repenteth, July 17

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 15:7.

Jesus, the Son of the Highest, is combating the powers of Satan, who is laying every possible device whereby he may counteract the work of God. The prize for which the powers of light and darkness are contending is the soul of man. The Good Shepherd is seeking His sheep, and what self-denial, what hardships, what privations He endures! The undershepherds know something of the stern conflict, but little in comparison to what is endured by the Shepherd of the sheep. With what compassion, what sorrow, what persistence, He seeks the lost! How few realize what desperate efforts are put forth by Satan to defeat the Shepherd's purpose. When the Shepherd at last finds His lost sheep, He gathers it in His arms with rejoicing, and bears it back to the fold on His shoulders. And the harps of heaven are touched, and an anthem of rejoicing is sung over the ransom of the wandering and lost sheep. “Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance.” ...

The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost. A lost sheep never finds its way back to the fold of itself. If it is not sought for and saved by the watchful shepherd, it wanders until it perishes. What a representation of the Saviour is this! Unless Jesus, the Good Shepherd, had come to seek and to save the wandering, we should have perished. The Pharisees had taught that none but the Jewish nation would be saved, and they treated all other nationalities with contempt. But Jesus attracted the attention of those that the Pharisees despised, and He treated them with consideration and courtesy....

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This love on behalf of man, expressed in the gift of His only-begotten Son, called forth from Satan the most intense hatred, both toward the Giver and toward the priceless Gift. Satan had represented the Father to the world in a false light, and by this great Gift his representations were proved untrue, for here was love without a parallel, proving that man was to be redeemed by an inconceivable cost. Satan had tried to obliterate the image of God in man in order that as God looked upon him in his wretchedness, in his perverseness, in his degradation, He might be induced to give him up as hopelessly lost. But the Lord gave His only begotten Son in order that the most sinful, the most degraded, need not perish, but, by believing on Jesus Christ, may be reclaimed, regenerated, and restored to the image of God, and thus have eternal life (The Signs of the Times, November 20, 1893).

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