Matthew 18:18-20 (MSG)
18-20 “Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.”
Matthew 18:18-20 (NLT)
18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven. 19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
Luke 15:7 (NLT)
7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!
A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven. Interesting. Notice that there’s no “a” in the sentences – just a yes is yes, no is no. While this is written in the context to approaching a brother or sister in Christ when they aren’t acting like a Christian, there must be a another side to the sword blade, just as sharp.
What is going on here that what takes place on earth carries over to heaven? Whatever we forbid here on earth will be forbidden in heaven? Or, what is permitted here on earth is permitted in heaven? Sounds like there’s a very real responsibility to be very wise, very discerning, with how we are to be in Christ.
I don’t think we can impose our will on heaven – no way. That points to us having to have our will aligned with heaven, to have our thoughts aligned with heaven, to have our hearts aligned with heaven to hear a yes. Interesting. Because I’m not there with my will, thoughts or heart. Nor will I ever be because I’m not perfect. Maybe that’s why He’s with us when three or more are together. Maybe with three we stand a chance to get it right.
The other side of the sword is that we won’t force our will on heaven, so we have better be darned careful what we say yes and no to. Here’s a slight twist – we should also recognize that a no here on earth, like saying no to our heavenly Father, the great I Am, will mean a no in heaven, just like saying yes to Him here will mean yes in heaven.
There’s great joy in heaven when one sinner changes their no to a yes. It happens when a sinner makes an effort to recognize He is who He says He is, when the reality of the enormity of the responsibility becomes clear, when we realize that the choices we make here matter, when we accept His will for us instead of trying to impose our will on him.