“And then, think of the joy of those angels up there. ‘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.’ There you find what joy there is in heaven when a sinner repents. Every angel rejoices. Did you ever stop and ask yourself why the angels should rejoice when one guilty sinner repents? I believe we know why. We read in the Bible that when God created the heavens and the earth, the morning stars sang together, and those morning stars were none other than the holy angels. Oh, what joy when they could say, ‘There goes another star;’ what joy among the angels when they could say, “Look, there goes another world;’ the morning stars sang together at creation, and now, when a man is born again, then there is a new heart within him; and, oh, the angels of heaven never notice things that the world calls great, but they notice that new creation, and say, ‘Another star is born; there is another child of God born! Sing until the corridors of heaven ring – a man born again on earth!’
“It is not only a new creation, but there is a double joy in the hearts of the angels because they see so many things in earth that are not purely good any more. When God created the heavens and the earth, He looked, and said, ‘Behold, they are good;’ when sin came into the world, He had to look at the very creature He had created in His own image, and said, ‘It is bad.’ When man is born again there is a new creation, and with that new creation there is a new joy in the hearts of the angels. They say, ‘This reminds us of the early morning of paradise. Sing, sing, until the heavens ring!’
“Then there is another thing that we must not forget, and that is that these angels have not forgotten that band of angels that one time were hurled from heaven with the mighty arm of the Almighty God, when they rebelled; let us not forget that these angels knew what it meant on that day, when one-third of the stars fell on account of that great rebellion, when the angels became devils; let us not forget that they remember what it means to be in hell and to be bound in chains there; and let us not forget that the angels know what a sinner that repents has escaped, better than man knows. If you and I really knew what it means to escape hell, we would understand what it means for the angels to rejoice over one sinner that repents. Not only do they rejoice because of what the sinner escapes, but on account of the joy that he shall reach. I know we talk a great deal in the pulpit about heaven’s golden streets, and about those wonderful beauties, and those eternal joys, and the saints and holy angels, but I can almost imagine the angels in heaven, whenever they hear man attempting to describe heaven, say, ‘I pity that man for trying to describe something he knows so little about.’ Oh, how little we know about heaven here! How little we know about that great crown that God has in store for you and for me, if we will repent, and be faithful until death! But the angels know. They know what this repenting sinner is to receive; they know the wrath that he escapes, and the glory that is in store for him, and consequently there is a joy that runs through heaven whenever a man repents. Sing, sing, until the heavens ring! There is a new creation on earth that means eternal salvation!
“…May God help us this morning to repent of our sins, to believe on Jesus Christ, to be faithful to Him until death, and at last receive the crown of eternal life. There will be joy, unknown in the heart of the poor, stubborn Pharisee, all over heaven, and may the bells of eternity ring in this morning hour, if any one soul has said, ‘Now I am going to serve my God until I die – help me, Lord Jesus! Amen.’
From The Great Gospel by Simon Peter Long from the sermon, “Pity the Poor Pharisee”.