Why would anybody not rejoice today if they truly are in the hands of Jesus Christ? Many think they are but they do not have the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of Bible truth. We will look today at what Jesus says about rejoicing to edify this precious truth.
The definition of rejoice in the Greek is:
chaírō, khah'-ee-ro; (G5463)a primary verb; to be "cheer"ful, i.e. calmly happy or well-off; impersonally, especially as salutation (on meeting or parting), be well:—farewell, be glad, God speed, greeting, hail, joy(- fully), rejoice.
We will now look at when, why and how Jesus used "rejoice" in the New Testament.
Jesus compared the woman who rejoiced over finding a lost penny to the joy in heaven when a sinner repents:
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. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth (Luke 15:7-10),
On the day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter proclaimed the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and preached Acts 2:38 as the proper response to this gospel:
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38).
No wonder Jesus says there will be joy in heaven when a sinner repents as repentance (death to self and turning to God) is the first step to being born again. Jesus also said that believers will repent:
And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15).
If you have repented and have fully turned to Jesus Christ, rejoice today!
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I (John 14:26-28).
Jesus also said that believers will receive the Holy Ghost:
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water (John 7:37,38).
The Apostle John then clarified that this would not happen until the Holy Ghost was given:
But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:39).
As we know on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Ghost was given and those that received this precious gift from God spoke in tongues as the Spirit gave utterance (Acts 2:1,2,3,4). Jesus said that believers will be baptized and will speak in tongues:
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues (Mark 16:16,17).
Rejoice today if you have been baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you (Matthew 5:11-12).
Jesus is talking about rejoicing over being persecuted for His name sake because our reward is in heaven. He also said that we must be born again, i.e. born of water and Spirit, to enter into the kingdom of God (kingdom of heaven):
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:3-5).
We might be born again but we might not be bearing the fruit that Jesus desires of us. For us to be able to have joy, to be able to rejoice today, He may have to purge or cleanse us:
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. (John 15:2). These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full (John 15:11).
He does this because He loves us, the good Father He is:
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth (Hebrews 12:6).
And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven (Luke 10:17-20).
In the Book of Hebrews, we find that the author uses Jesus' words "written in heaven":
But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, (Hebrews 12:22,23).
In this scripture, the "church of the first born" is, of course, the "church of Jesus Christ". How do we become part of Jesus' church? We must be born into His Church! We don't inherit it from our parents or sign a piece of paper that says we are members of a "church". No, to have our names written in heaven, we must be born again, we must be born of water and Spirit:
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5).
Oh hallelujah, rejoice today if your name is written in heaven.