Summary: Jonah is now ready to do the will of God. Are we ready?
Last week we left Jonah on the beach, probably dazed and confused from his taxi ride on the great fish.
God got Jonah’s attention, now he was ready to listen to God.
God had a plan to use Jonah, the reluctant prophet, in a mighty way.
I believe that God wants to use each of us.
Sometimes God just needs to get our attention
Let’s look at our society today.
Things are getting bad, although nothing like the day of Jonah.
I hear people all of the time say that there is no hope for the future of our nation.
I do not believe that, I believe that one person could be an agent of change for the kingdom of God. One person can make a difference.
Jonah is an example of what one person who is faithful to God can do.
Let’s turn to Jonah 3 to see what one faithful person can do.
I. THE MESSAGE OF JONAH. 1-4
3:1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 3:2 "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you." 3:3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three days’ walk. 3:4 Then Jonah began to go through the city one day’s walk; and he cried out and said, "Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown."
• Jonah has an assignment from God. As we look at what God wanted Jonah to do, we see that it is not much different from what He wants all Christian’s to do today. He wants us to let the world know that it is lost without Jesus. In Jonah’s case he was proclaiming God’s judgment upon Nineveh, but maybe we need that to happen in this country today!
• There was a process that Jonah had to follow to carry out God’s will. It is the same process for us today.
• First Jonah had to ARISE.
We spend some much time learning about what to do for Jesus. There comes a point in time were we must arise. How many times have you heard someone say, “I hope or wish someone tells so and so about Jesus.”
If we are going to change the world, we must be inspired to ARISE!
Part of arising is for us to be able to see the need that people have in their lives for Jesus.
• The second part of the process that Jonah needed to follow was to GO!
It is not enough to just get up off the couch, we must GO!
In the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus literally tells us “AS YOU GO,” make disciples of all nations.
Jonah would go through the city proclaiming God’s judgment as he traveled. We are to proclaim the message of the Gospel as we go about our everyday lives. We do not have to call in the cavalry to do it for us.
1PE 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
• God got Jonah’s attention and Jonah was ready to go. He was now ready to proclaim God’s message. Jonah could have gotten caught up in all of the psychological reasons for the evilness of the Ninevites, or he could have made excuses for the people, or he could have just gathered up a few who would believe and forget the rest of the people. Jonah did not do that, he proclaimed God’s message.
o If we are going to be a person who can change a fallen world, we must do it with God’s message. Too many people and churches have gotten away from God’s message in the name of tolerance, and we are paying the price for that as a society.
o Jonah clearly articulated God’s message to the people. It does not get much simpler than the way Jonah put it.
o The message that we have is not hard. We make it hard by throwing in a bunch of terms from the pulpits the people do not understand.
How much simpler does it get.
God created the heaven and earth
God made man for fellowship and love.
Man broke God’s laws, this is sin.
Sin separates us from a Holy God. This spiritual death.
The wages of sin is death.
Jesus came so that we could have eternal life with God.