Summary: This is the 3rd sermon in the series "Stubborn Saints". This sermon looks at serving God with the right motives.

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Sunday Evening January 26, 2003 Bel Aire Baptist Church

Series: “Stubborn Saints” (#3)


Jonah 3:1-4:11


1. As we watch the Super Bowl, most people have chosen a team in which they hope wins. The motives for each person wanting a particular team to win are different. Some people want a certain team to win because they hate the other team.

2. I remember talking to an avid Texas A&M fan about football and asked them a question about a game between Oklahoma State and The University of Texas. Their answer was, “I cheer for whoever is playing against The University of Texas”.

3. This is exactly how Jonah felt. Yes, he was going to Nineveh to preach to them, but it wasn’t’ because he wanted to. It was simply because God gave him no other choice and because he knew there was no way that these evil people would change.

The Message

Jonah 3:1-4

1. The message to the city of Nineveh was simple: Turn or burn!

2. This is also a great example of God’s sovereignty. I’m sure Jonah didn’t preach his best sermon. He probably didn’t put his all into this sermon, but God used Jonah anyhow.

3. Let me ask you a question about Jonah for a second. “Was Jonah serving the Lord the way he was supposed to?” No! Did God still get the message out? Yes. So how did this affect Jonah? We will find that although Jonah was obedient it was out of obligation and fear not out of an obedient heart. The job still was accomplished, but Jonah did not receive joy in his life because of his hardened heart. What is your motive for serving God?

We have heard the message, now let’s look at…

The Responses

Nineveh’s Response

Jonah 3:5-9

1. They heard and believed.

2. The king of Nineveh immediately humbled himself and repented.

3. Then he told the people of the city to also humble themselves before God and repent and they did.

God’s Response

Jonah 3:10

1. God saw that they had believed, humbled themselves, and repented of their evil ways.

2. God had compassion upon them. As evil as these people had been, God immediately forgot about all of that once they repented. This is grace. Grace is getting something although you do not deserve it.

3. God had mercy upon them and did not destroy them. Mercy is not giving you what you deserve. By the way, this is what God does for us when we believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and repent of our evil ways and follow Him. He saves us from eternal destruction although we do not deserve it. That shows us His grace and mercy.

Jonah’s Response

Jonah 4:1-3

1. He was displeased with God’s decision not to destroy Nineveh and it made him angry.

2. Jonah let God know real quickly that this was the reason he didn’t go to Nineveh the first time (like God didn’t know that).

3. He was actually mad at God because God was merciful, loving, slow to anger, and gracious. Jonah’s solution was: “Fine God, just kill me.” Talk about “cutting off your nose to spite your face”! Jonah was so mad that he began to start acting stupid. Like killing him was going to really teach God a lesson or something. Have you ever got so mad at God that you made totally stupid comments and did stupid things?

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