By Johnie Edwards
The command to “rejoice with those who rejoice” is a neglected command. Paul said, “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep” (Rom. 12:15).
Some To Rejoice With
(1) When One First Becomes A Christian. When the Ethiopian eunuch obeyed the gospel, the Bible says that “he went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39). What a shame that more do not wait around until one has dressed from the waters of baptism to rejoice with the new convert.
(2) When Your Friends Rejoice. Too often we are jealous of those who have occasion to rejoice. Jealousy is sometimes the cause of sinful actions; the actions of Joseph’s brethren are a good example of this. The Bible says for us to “rejoice with them that do rejoice” (Rom. 12:15).
(3) When Folks Walk In The Truth. John said, “I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth as we have received a commandment from the Father” (2 Jn. 4). How long has it been since you told a fellow-member, “I am glad that you are a Christian and that you are walking in the truth”?
(4) When The Gospel Is Preached. We need more people who are glad to see the gospel being preached. Remember the results of Philip going down to the city of Samaria and preaching Christ? The comment was, “there was great joy in that city” (Acts 8:8). Sowing the seed of the gospel and reaping souls ought to be a joy. The Psalmist said, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psa. 126:5-6). The apostle Paul said, “What then, not withstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice” (Phil. 1:18).
(5) When The Lost Are Found. I am often saddened by the lack of care and concern when the lost return to the fold. One need only read the story of the lost in Luke 15 to see the attitude needed regarding the lost. When the lost sheep was found the text says, “And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing” (Lk. 15:5). He encouraged others to “Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost” (Lk. 15:6). There was rejoicing at the finding of the lost coin and the father was glad to see his lost son return. “But when he was a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him” (Lk. 15:20). A lot of my brethren would never think of treating such a sinner with such love and kindness. No wonder we restore such few who leave the fold! The Bible says, “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Lk. 15:10).
(6) When There Is Unity Among Brethren. There is entirely too much discord among brethren and God hates it (Prov. 6:19). Paul wrote the Philippians, “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind” (Phil. 2:2). What a joy to find brethren who are of one accord and one mind. Paul urged the Corinthians to “speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you” but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10). One thing that is hindering our growth in a lot of places today is brethren fussing and fighting among themselves. Paul warned the Galatians, “But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another” (Gal. 5:15). We all need to be reminded, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psa. 133:1).
(7) When Your Name Is Enrolled In Heaven. The apostles of Christ had lots of powers but the greatest thing they had to rejoice over was their names were enrolled in heaven. Jesus told them, “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” (Lk. 10:19-20). You will be among the rejoicing at judgment to find your name written in heaven.
Guardian of Truth XXX: 17, pp. 513, 535
September 4, 1986