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Summary: A look at the results of sin in our lives and the desire of God to forgive sin when we repent

INTRODUCTION

1. Where I grew up there were stories about men scuba diving near a dam

a. They would come up scared vowing never to return

b. They claimed catfish down deep that were large enough to swallow a man

c. Most of us listened with doubt to these stories always told second-hand

2. One story from the Bible may lend some credibility to this outlandish sounding tale

3. A man was actually three days and nights in the belly of a big fish and lived to tell about it

4. Jonah is a story of a man who lived centuries before Christ did yet served as a type of Christ in that he was in the cave of the fish three days

5. In this type story we read of in the Old Testament we learn about four D's that help our approach to God

a. Disobedience

b. Denouncement

c. Displeasure

d. Delivery

6. There is an answer for sin which we can find in Christ

TRANSITION: The story begins with:

I. Disobedience

A. The Ninevites disobeyed God

1. Jonah 1:1-2, "Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me."

2. Jonah's message was one of destruction and not of repentance

3. Jonah 3:4, "And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day's walk. Then he cried out and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!"

4. The people of Nineveh disobeyed God and for that were to be overthrown

5. How was it going to happen?

a. We do not know what God's plan was

b. He could have sent in a raiding army as He did for Israel repeatedly

c. He could have sent down fire from heaven like with Sodom and Gomorrah

d. Maybe plagues like Egypt

e. We do not know how just that God intended to destroy Nineveh for their disobedience

B. Nineveh was not the only disobedient party in the story

1. Jonah received the command from God to go to Nineveh

2. And promptly went toward Tarshish

a. He found a boat in Joppa headed to Tarshish on it

b. He decided to run from God instead of obeying the command of God

3. Of course this did not work out so well for old Jonah as a storm arose while on board

a. The sailors drew lots to see who was the guilty party and they fell on Jonah

b. He was cast into the sea which immediately calmed down for the ship, but not so great for Jonah

c. The worst fear of one in the deep is that of being eaten by a sea animal

d. The great fish was prepared by God for the purpose of swallowing our timid teacher

C. God expected obedience from Jonah and Nineveh and He wants the same from us

1. 1 John 5:3, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome"

2. God simply wants obedience from His creation, for us to do what He says

TRANSITION: Notice next was:

II. Denouncement (of sin)

A. God was not happy with Nineveh and sent Jonah to denounce their sinful ways

1. In the same way the sailors denounced Jonah's sin when they cast him overboard

2. Listen to what they prayed, "Oh Lord let us not perish on account of this man's life…" (1:14)

3. They knew it was God's work to punish and their job to keep pure

B. We live in a post-modern world

1. We get so caught up in political correctness and degrees of truth that are acceptable

2. We tend to sugar-coat sin and not take a stand

3. These sailors almost did just that, they rowed instead of casting but to no avail

4. Finally they were forced to throw Jonah in the sea to save themselves

5. We must understand that sin is wrong and that God denounces it and so must we

C. We must denounce sin and separate ourselves from it as did these sailors

1. If sin is divisive or causing a blight on the Lord's church it must be cut out like a cancerous tumor before it kills the entire body

2. Three steps in this process according to Matthew 18:15-20:

a. Identify, find the sinning brother and speak to him trying to gain him back as a faithful brother

b. Rectify, speak to him yourself, take another with you, plead and teach and try to show him the error of his way

c. Exclusify, if nothing works and the brother insists on his sinful lifestyle then he must be separated from and no longer be part of the fellowship

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