Summary: Just like God gave Jonah a second chance, He will do the same for us.
GOD IS A GOD OF SECOND CHANCES
Jonah 3:1-3 1.Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.”
Aren't you glad , that God gives second chances.
God had told Jonah, to go the Nineveh, and preach against that evil citly. Jonah, had ran from God, and boarded a boat going the opposite direction. God had to discipline Jonah. A great storm came up, and when the crew on the boat, found out that Jonah was running from God, they threw him overboard. God caused a great fish to swallow Jonah, and then vomit him on dry land 3 days later. Now God had instsructed Jonah a second time, to go to NIneveh, and preach the message that God had given him.
God is a God of second chances. He is actually a God of third, and fourth, and fifth chances.
(illustration) I remember when I was a teenager, in the 1960's, someone gave me a gift for Christmas, called an Etch-o-sketch. You could turn these two buttons on the bottom , and make it write, or draw pictures. When you were through, you just shok it, and it erased whatever was on the screen, and you started over.
That is what God does. When we make mistakes, or disobey Him, He will usually punish us, but let's us start over. He gives second chances.
(Illustration) When I was in the army in 1967-68, I went to Vietnam. I had been there for almost a year, and just had 1 week left in county, and was on guard duty, guarding the peremeter from atop a 20 foot tower. It was around 11 pm, and mortar rounds from the enemy begin coming in, and exploding around the tower I was on. I made a promise to God, that if He would let me get out of this, and return home to the United States , that I would serve Him daily. God allowed me to come through that night safe, and to come home safe. But I was 21 years old, and young, and thought I had to live for my pleasure. I went back on my word, and ran from God, like Jonah, for 27 years. But God saw past my failures, and broken promises, and allowed me to make the wrong choices, because He knew, that I would be like the prodigal son, and return to Him.
Then, about 20 years ago, The Holy Spirit began working on me, convicting me of my sins, and calling me to come back. I got down on my knees, and prayed to God to forgive me, and help me to draw near to Him, and serve Him, like I had promised.
God rescued me, and like the Psalmist said, He pulled me up out of that horrible pit, that miry clay, and set me feet on solid rock. That rock is the Lord Jesus Christ. God called me to preach in 1998, and I haven't looked back since.
Old things have passed away, I am forgiven, and I am loved by my Father , the Great I AM.
I am so glad that God gave me another chance.
I have been evangelising now, for 18 years, telling people what God has done for me.
I am so glad God gives 2nd chances.
Let's look at God's word, for some examples of 2nd chances.
We all know about David and Bethsheba, and how David commited adultry with her, and had her husband sent to the front lines of battle, where he was killed. Yet after David repented, God called him, a man after mine on heart.
Saul persecuted the Christians, he was the one holding the coats , when they stoned Stephen to death. Yet when saul was on his was to Damascus, to bring back other christians for trial, Jesus blinded him with a great light, and said, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? Saul, who later became known as the apostle Paul, replied, " who are you lord, and what would you have me to do? Paul went on to later write 2/3 of the New Testemant.
These are just two examples, there are many more.
I am so glad that God gives us many, many chances to get it right.