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"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."

If people don't repent then they are not ressurected in Heaven and so are not joyous- therefore the 'more than' would go without saying...however, I assume it does not mean this.

If it's talking about truly 'just' people with no sin (and its not being ironic) then, erm, they don't exist. Does it mean angels? Does it mean we are happier for having sinned but repented and, thereby, better off than Adam and Eve pre-sin?! Help!

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closed as too broad by DJClayworth, David Stratton, Mawia, fredsbend, wax eagle Oct 21 '13 at 14:41

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
I've closed this as too broad, and have for now ignored the calls to move this to BH. This is too wrapped up in doctrinal entanglements for BH, but it's not specific enough to here. Thomas you're welcome to narrow this to a tradition or doctrinal viewpoint and solicit for reopening. –  wax eagle Oct 21 '13 at 14:42
    
Thanks, I reckon I'm done with it anyway. I had no idea (when it was quoted to me) that it was a parable (I SHOULD have researched, I suppose, looking back) and was sure someone would know clearly what the answer was. I had no idea it was a broad question but there we go! Many blessings –  Sehnsucht Oct 21 '13 at 17:35

2 Answers 2

When you interpret the Bible, you have to look at whole passages and not just individual verses out of context. The surrounding text will give you a reference for the meaning of a verse. In this case the verse is in the middle of a chapter where the entire focus is on the reactions of people to things that were lost and are now found - a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. This gives us a pretty clear indication that Jesus is driving home a point about how people react to things that were lost and area now found, and how this applies to Heaven. We should therefore look at this statement, and all the ones around it, to find out things about lostness and being found - not about the nature of sin and angels. It is a general principle with parables that you can come to wrong conclusions by pushing an analogy too far.

The universal interpretation of this entire passage is addressed to the Pharisees, who really did think that they could work their way to becoming acceptable to God. In their eyes the better you were, the more God approved and appreciated you, and the more joy there would be in heaven when you got there. In their eyes the rejoicing would be for those that most nearly reached God's standards. The stories told here by Jesus are meant to indicate entirely the opposite. To take the parables to mean something about the nature of perfection would be to go in the wrong direction.

See here, here, here.

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I assume that your question is in reference to:

Luk_15:7 KJV 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.

That was a parable (a story used by Jesus to explain Heavenly concepts to the people).

This parable was intended to teach the people that there would be great joy in Heaven when a sinner repents.

To try to draw a conclusion that it has any bearing on anything else is useless.

The story about a shepherd caring about each sheep's safety was one that all the people could understand.

We should draw the conclusions from Scripture and especially what Jesus tried to teach that he tried so hard to convey.

Jesus was very out spoken in his teachings and we should not try to insert any alternative meanings to them.

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