Jonah 3:10 – And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
Jonah 4:1 – But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
Hey all, new blog today, and short blog! Just a thought from the book of Jonah. God had pronounced judgement on Nineveh, the city lay in wickedness, they had turned their back on God and judgement was coming down the pipe. But as the Bible says… God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. The Bible says the longsuffering of God is salvation. Well, God picked Jonah to go and send the message. Because God was going to give Nineveh a warning, and not just a warning, but God had said to Jonah in the second verse (chapter 1)… Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. And that’s what our sin is, first and foremost our sin is against God. God is Holy, Holy, Holy. David sinned with Bathsheba, he committed adultery and then murder, and David said in Psalm 51, against thee and thee only have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight. When God convicts a sinner of his or her sin, that person sees just how vile and wicked and disgusting their sin is AGAINST God first and foremost, and how guilty and vile and hell deserving they are. We all have to get saved, it is urgent! Because judgement is coming, it may not seem it now, but the years will draw nigh, and you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. It may be closer than you think.
But Jonah refused the call, in fact, he ran! Well, so many people are like that today. We all know what the Bible says. The Bible says God is angry with the wicked every day. You won’t help people by just greasing their slide to hell. By telling them a bunch of garbage. What do you tell people? The truth of God’s word, or your own rubbish? Your own worthless opinion? God is the Creator, why not check out and live and do according to HIS Word, seeing as he made and designed this whole thing. What better book and authority can you have for your life? There’s nothing wiser than building your life on God’s sure word. It is building your house upon the rock. We are sinners, we all need to repent and get right with God while we can. While it is today, because now is the accepted time, today is the day of salvation. Judgement is coming swift and sure. We are to get saved, and help others get saved, go ye into all the world and preach the gospel, tell others about Jesus, tell others what great things he has done for you. And yet the people that know this do not deliver any message. No warning, nothing, and running the opposite direction that God would have them go. The ministry of the Holy Ghost is to reprove the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgement. How much do we hear that today? The pulpits are silent. Christians are silent. In fact Christians are sleeping, they don’t even see judgement coming, both upon themselves and upon others. True love tells the truth. And they don’t care enough to warn others. In fact, they could even be like Jonah, they WANT to see people get what’s coming to them. Do you want to see people burn?
Jonah wanted to see Nineveh get what they had coming to them, and he was BETTER than Nineveh, he was better than the call of God on his life. It’s time to get our perspective right. Jesus and his disciples came to a village of Samaria, but they did not receive Jesus. Luke 9:54 – And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? And the Bible says that Jesus rebuked them… Luke 9:55,56 – But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. That’s the gospel. Jesus name means he shall save his people from their sins. You want to be saved from your sins? Go to Jesus. You don’t need to die, you don’t need to endure God’s eternal wrath. Jesus took your place. Jesus died for all men, his paid the price for the sin of the world, he bore the punishment and wrath of God against sin, he bore our curse, he took all the filth of humanity in and on himself. Sin is putrid, sin is selfish, sin is vile, sin is death. We need to be saved from our sins, our sins will take us to hell. Jesus is come to save, yes we need to tell the truth in love, but we need to point people to Jesus, people need to see Jesus lifted up. We are all in a hopeless state, so we need to see Jesus. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith! Jesus has to be lifted up, nothing else, noone else, point people to the cross! He is what will make the difference. John 12:32 – And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
Jonah was pretty tight fisted with God’s grace and mercy. He ran because he did not want to warn Nineveh. Nineveh was wicked, they deserved what was coming, they deserved hell, and Jonah didn’t want to go and cry against their sin. He didn’t want to give them a chance. Look at this verse. Leviticus 19:17 – Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Not telling someone the truth is hating someone. We should be honest with people. And in truth, our live speak louder than our words. What does your life say? What does your life tell others? We all need to hear truth and receive truth. Noone is above it. There is one truth, God’s word, Jesus said in his prayer to his Father, thy word is truth. We all need God’s word shone on our lives. And the good thing is, although God breaks us, he then fixes us, he doesn’t just break us and that’s that, God breaks TO fix us, to heal us.
People need to hear preaching, the declaration of truth, not opinions, not philosophy, not empty words, not a load of mumbo jumbo, they don’t need more entertainment, flashing lights, dancing, or whatever… they need to hear and read and obey God’s Word … preaching is what saves people. 1 Corinthians 1:21 – For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Why hate the truth? If you reject truth, all that’s left for you is lies. Why hate the person that tells you the truth? Paul said, Am I become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? It’s the same God’s word that applies to everyone. John the Baptist said something as simple as this to Herod of his wife… it is not lawful for thee to have her (because it wasn’t – it was a marriage against the law). Herod’s wife got all bitter and twisted about it and ended up costing John the Baptist his head. Before grace and mercy and in order to even understand God’s love and grace and mercy, we must hear about our sin. After all, why did Jesus need to come? Why did he need to die? Because our sin is serious and carries a severe penalty. Isaiah 58:1 – Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. People need to hear about sin, about righteousness, about judgement, and the Holy Ghost moves upon hearts pointing them to Jesus, and people get saved. Flee from the wrath to come! Why will ye die? God said, and says today. The word of God rings as true as ever today, the eternal word of God.
Well God finally got Jonah to go and deliver the message. And you know what. Nineveh repented! They got right with God. They departed from evil, they turned to God. It wasn’t a sham, a show, it was real repentance, they turned from their wicked way, they set themselves and got right with God. They changed. Repentance is change. A believer’s life should have CHANGE in it. You can be saved not only from the penalty of sin, and in the future the presence of sin, but also you can be saved from the power of sin over you today. What good is your salvation if nothing has changed? If you haven’t been saved from anything? What good is conversion if you haven’t been converted into anything new? What good is the new birth (being born again) if there is no new person? Nineveh, that great city, which had departed from God, got right with God at the preaching of Jonah. They turned from their evil way. And God saw it, and God stopped the judgement that was coming. God changed his mind, the wrath of God was turned away. The wrath of God can be turned away from you today. We all need it turned away from us. If you don’t believe the wrath of God abides on you already! You are a dead man walking. One step from hell! John 3:36 – He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. The Bible says he that believeth not is condemned already… all unbelievers are CONDEMNED already, we all must get saved, we all must turn to the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance and faith. Believe on him, call upon the name of the Lord, turn from your evil way! The wrath of God fell on Jesus, it doesn’t need to fall on you, but will you believe and receive what Jesus has done for you? He died and rose for you.
And then Jonah got angry. Angry that God showed mercy upon Nineveh, angry that he spared them. We can be the same. We can be tight fisted with the grace of God. God, they’re getting away too easily! Nail their hide to the wall! The thief on the cross got away pretty easily didn’t he, a whole life of bad, and then he repents as his life is ebbing away nailed to the cross, even after he had been railing on Jesus with the other thief, he had a change of heart somewhere in the final moments of his life. What about all those people Jesus forgave who had done so much wrong! It doesn’t justify our sin though, we don’t do evil so that good may come. But the point is, God can have mercy and grace on anyone. And he does. And in fact the more messed up, the more he will, because he gets more glory. Paul was a Christian killer, next minute he was preaching! God deals with messed up humanity. The lives of the people in the Bible, so many messes, but God the constant, God enduring in it all. His grace and mercy. Noone is beyond God, Jesus came to seek and save the lost. We have all gone astray, we have all turned to our own way, Jesus died for all of us, and we all need to repent and believe. Nineveh was just as eligible for God’s grace and mercy as any other city, but Jonah was angry that God spared them. We ALL deserve hell, we ALL deserve God’s eternal wrath and indignation, but God will save you if you come. The water of life is available for everyone today. We just need to go to Jesus Christ.