“In the same way, I tell you that there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous ones who do not need to repent.” Lk 15:7
There’s great joy in heaven for the 1 man who repents and comes to the Lord. Sure enough. But what about these other 99?
Why do the 99 not need to repent? The answer is simple. These are Christians who are repenting all of the time. These are Christians. They don’t need to be sought and found because they are walking in the light, always repenting, always forgiven, always rejoicing.
The 99 are people who always live with a good conscience. It doesn’t mean they are always sinless. But when they sin, they repent quickly, and they are forgiven. Their conscience is clean because God has made them clean. It is when we neglect our conscience that we shipwreck our faith, 1 Timothy 1:19. If you would be the 99 who don’t need to repent, then at all times take care of your conscience. Repent continually.
It’s hard work for the church to care enough to go out and reach that 1 that needs to repent. It takes courage and love to reach them. But who is going to reach the 1 who needs to repent? The 99. The 99 are the most humble, repentant people in the world. They are not exalting themselves above sinners. They already know their sinfulness and their need for God’s grace. They are bowing in prayer, bowing on their knees, in reverence before God. And when they see a lost soul, they see themselves and have pity and mercy for the soul that’s in danger.
So if you are the 99 who doesn’t need to repent, because you are always repenting, with a good conscience go and find that 1.