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Does God love sinners and care for them? Is the conversion of sinners God’s priority in heaven as it is on the earth? What is the place of sinners in the heart of God? What about the prostitutes, lesbians, murderers, pimps, and all who do things that are offensive and go against His word? Does He love these kinds of people? What is the intrinsic make-up of God? Does He feel as we do? Is God a man or is He son of a man? Is His mercy over all who sin?
How do you react to the kindness, grace, mercy and the compassion of God towards sinners like Ted Bundy, Jack, the Reaper, Mark Lepin and the millions in the world like these? Do we castigate God because of His mercy towards the rejects, refracts, the unlovable, the unmerciful and the wayward of our world?
These are the issues Jesus Christ is dealing with in Luke.15:1-32. We have the sinners and the publicans in verse 1, and the so-called righteous people which are the Pharisees and the elder brother in verses 2 and 25. The latter is vehemently opposed to the former, and hates their guts. They have no relationship and association with them. They have ostracized them from the society of the righteous and those who are going to heaven so they thought.
Now, here comes Christ and He is robbing shoulders with them. He is laughing, chatting and eating with these refracts, the underdogs and nobodies of the society. How can He call Himself a righteous man, let alone the Son of the Most High God? Preposterous and unthinkable! Their beef against sinners is summed up in their sentient, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” (v.2b)
Are you with the Lord or the Pharisees in this discuss? The Pharisees say, “Sinners should burn in hell just as some Christians say today, but the Lord says, “They that are the creation of the Father deserve mercy.” In Christendom today, the majority of the saints have taken the attitude of the Pharisees towards sinners, murderer, wayward, underdogs, and refracts of our societies. It is contradictory to the Spirit of Christ, and against the tender mercy of our God.
The sinners and publicans are not from a different planet, and God made us all because of His grace and mercy. No saints should condemn any to hell because we are not the Creator, and do not know their hearts. Jesus Christ said, “I came to call the sinners to repentance, and they that are whole need no physician, but the sick.” (Mk.2:17) This is the heart of vv.1-2 of Luke.15:4-32.
In order to correct the mindset of the religious leaders of His days, and in the 21st Century today, Jesus Christ tells three stories to drive home into our hearts and minds the truth about the nature of God’s heart in mercy, forgiveness and grace towards the most horrible sinners like Ted Bundy, Saul of Tarsus, and the likes that God who created them is rich in mercy to the hardcore criminals of our world. If they repent, He will take them as His sons and daughters, and they will live with Him forever.
He tells these three stories to explain the heart of God to their generation and in today’s generation as well, in order to expose the heart of man who thinks he knows what God wants. These are the three stories: 1) vv. 4-7. 2) vv. 8-10 and 3) vv. 11-32.