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Summary: God was the God of Israel and Jonah wanted to keep it that way. He did not want every Tom, Dick, and Harry of the pagan world finding out about the real God. Let them perish with their stupid man-made idols. That is what they deserve.

Trying to be a world class Christian can be a world class

pain. Ralph Hult learned this the hard way. This Nebraska

born Swede at age 32 went to Africa as a missionary, but on

his first furlough in 1926 he was told there was no money to

send him back. So he started a fruit farm near Springfield,

Missouri. He was quite fruitful himself in that he had 10

children with his wife. He wanted to start a home mission

church, but again he was told there was no money available.

It was 1941 before the board could send him back to Africa,

and then two years later he died of a heart attack.

His story sounds like a good reason not to bother with a

world vision. But his story does not end with his death. His

world class perspective was passed on, and 5 of his children

became missionaries to Africa and other nations. His

attitudes and values live on and fulfill the Great Commission

of our Lord. The reason I start with this true story of a

missionary who did not accomplish a great deal with his own

efforts, yet did a lot by his attitudes, is because that is the

key to being a world class Christian. You can read mission

books by the dozens, and even go to the mission field, and

still not be a world class Christian. It is not where you go

and what you do, but it is your spirit that makes you a world

class Christian.

Jonah is the best example in the Bible of a missionary

who did not have a world class spirit. He went to Nineveh

and preached the message God gave him, but he did not

have the spirit of God at all. Jonah cared only about Israel

and not the rest of the world, which was full of mere Gentile

dogs. God was the God of Israel and He wanted to keep it

that way. He did not want every Tom, Dick, and Harry of

the pagan world finding out about the real God. Let them

perish with their stupid man-made idols. That is what they

deserve.

In Jonah we see the dark side that can be in even the

most godly people. They can be so narrow in their

perspective that they do not care about people who are not

like them. They want God to love and care for them

exclusively, and not waste His time with the worthless of the

world. As far as Jonah was concerned, he wanted God to

forsake the Gentile scum and just focus on blessing the

people of Israel. When God had compassion on the people

of Nineveh because they repented it made Jonah angry. He

threw a hissy fit like none other we find in the Bible. He was

so thoroughly discussed with God's love for these people that

he did not want to live anymore. He did not want to live in a

world where God loved everybody.

I have heard people say, "Who wants to bring a child into

this evil fouled up world where there is so much hatred and

violence." But here is a man of God saying, "I can't stand

living in a world where there is so much love and grace

shown to people who deserve to be wiped out. If that is the

way God is going to be, then get me out of here, for I'd

rather be dead." If you think that a man of God cannot be

filled with bitter prejudice against those who are not of the

same race or religion, you had better think again, for here is

a biblical prophet who reeks with the foul stench of putrid

prejudice.

You can't get any worse than Jonah, for he was mad at

God for not conforming to his self-centered conviction that

the Ninevites did not deserve to live. Jonah would have

loved to fire God and get a new God on the throne who

could see the need to narrow his focus and knock off this

concern for the whole world. Godly people do not life God

when He cares too much about the ungodly. The godly

leaders of Israel killed the Son of God because He cared

about people they knew better than to care about. Here is

the ultimate idolatry. It is the worshipping of your own

feelings, convictions, and opinions. Even God is rejected by

those who make these things their God.

The world is filled with people who are angry at God

because He will not conform to their bigoted view point. He

goes on loving Ninevites and other minorities all over the

world just like someone who never reads the paper to see

how despicable they can really be. God would be a lot more

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