The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.Psalm 87:2
Oh how God loves the gates of Zion or Jerusalem! It is the entering in place of the city. It is the way of righteousness. It is the access point to all of God’s provision. All it takes is a decision by the part of the people that they want to be holy and righteous, for Zion is a holy city. Only those who decide to live a righteous life will be granted access to the city and all of God’s goodness.
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.John 10:7
Jesus says He is the door or He is the gate into the sheepfold. The sheep are Christ’s people, His redeemed ones. No one can enter into the gate of God’s blessings unless they go through Christ first. He is the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Christ. One must pick up his or her cross, deny himself and pass through the door into everlasting life. This is why God loves the gates of Zion so much. It represents an entering in, a decision to forsake all and to follow Jesus Christ.
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
Entering the gates of Zion for the first time brings great joy to heaven and all that live therein! It takes repentance. It takes a changing of ones mind from darkness to light, from wickedness to righteousness, from impurity to purity. No wonder heaven rejoices! It is a most momentous decision. It is a cause of rejoicing. It is a blessing to the heart and mind of God Himself. Oh how the Son rejoices when one enters into a relationship with God the Father through Him! God takes repentance seriously. It is an eternal commitment from God’s point of view. One can always backslide into a life of sin, but God considers holiness and righteousness to be an eternal way of life, both for Him and His Son and His Spirit and His holy angels and His holy people, the church.
It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.Luke 15:32
In the story of the prodigal son, there is likewise great rejoicing when the son comes to his senses and repents of his sin. So does God rejoice when a former Christian stops his life of sin, repents and goes and sins no more. Every time there is a turning and forsaking of sin God rejoices. Only let it be a sincere departure from sin. Repentance is not something to be trifled with. It’s a decision to go God’s way of holiness and righteousness. This is our very life.
So then we can see why there is greater joy over sinners that repent than over the righteous who no longer need to repent. Let us have the heart of the Father and the heart of Jesus, who love when sinners turn from a heart of stone to a righteous heart of love. Let us witness and share the love of Christ with the lost world. Most will reject it, but some will come to the love of Christ and be reborn into a new creation. Old things will pass away and all things will become new. What rejoicing there will be in heaven because of our work of love in bringing a new convert into the kingdom of God. It brings a smile of joy to the face of God. Let us never forget our holy calling to be witnesses of the Truth, God’s Word! They will know the truth and the truth will set them free, forevermore! Amen.