The Congregation of the 99


" The parable of the lost sheep has a hidden pearl that I myself have never seen before. Let us go ankle-deep now. Have you ever paid attention that He started talking about sheep and at the end of the history He talked about people? 

So people gathering as sheep, but God, the good shepherd, left 99 people behind. Why is that? Was it just because He loves that one sheep that much? No. Read carefuly the verse that ends that parable: 

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?” (Luke 15:1) 

"I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7)

He left 99 sheep behind. Then He compares 99 sheep with 99 just persons who have no need of repentance. Wow! Does this sound familiar today? 

The congregation of the 99 is everywhere. It is not even a place, but hearts. Hearts filled with strong conviction that honestly there is no need of repentance. At the slight possibility of it, here comes the voice of false grace whispering in their ears. In other cases, the Devil is to blame. "I do all of this for God, that is why Satan is after me," when actually hidden sins and transgression turned that key opening the door for all the spiritual attack. And let's not forget the Pharisee that even thanked God saying, "I am not as other men are: extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess." (Luke 18:11-12). Blindness. Self-righteousness. Pride. Seared conscience. 

The lost sheep of Luke 15:7 is that publican in Luke 18:11-12. His shame and embarrassment kept him at a distance but the Father saw him and gave him mercy. Mercy is not something we get just because God is merciful, the congregation of the 99 thinks that way. The Pharisee did not find mercy with God, but the Publican. This one went back home justified, forgiven and restored. "Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills" (Romans 9:18). He is the one who decides on whom He will pour His mercy. I am 100% convinced that brokenness makes you total irresistible on the eyes of a merciful God. 

The level of brokenness is what causes God, the Father, to run after you. He will leave the congregation of the 99 self-righteous and will go after you! We have seen over and over, in many nations, God pouring His presence like rain on places and on all sorts of "labeled" people. The broken know they need not just forgiveness, but repentance. You know when you hate any sin in you and you beat your chest in repentance because you despise it? That is what incredibly attracts God! Not your money, not your fasting, not your Christian performance, but that repented heart! 

O do you want to see God, the creator of heaven and Earth, stop anything that He is doing just to run after you? Do you want to see all heavens rejoicing over ONE PERSON, maybe you? Have that heart in you! Be desperately aware of the separation that your transgression causes between you and your God and your brothers in Christ. Burn your fig leaves. Burn your excuses. There is not one that has not fallen short. Not one.

Out of the congregation of the 99, you will never hear a call to repent or a response to it, of course, there is no need. And the most terrifying thing is that God is not even there...And they think He is...He has long, long gone, after the one that cries in repentance - without the courage to lift his eyes: "Lord, have mercy on me..." ,"Lord, don't pass me by" , "Son, of David have mercy on me"," Don't remove your presence from me" ...

Some days I laugh. Some days I cry. Some days I just tremble with the fear of becoming someone who has lost the need to repent...any time, any day...Not to repent is to be absent from God’s presence. Is there anything more frightening than this? " By Marlene Roessiger 

"I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance." Luke 15:7

 


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