Summary: Jonah finally agrees to go and preach to the Ninahvites. One of the great revivals of all time breaks out. This message deals with God’s awesome working through a sniveling preacher. The message focuses on God’s love for the city.
Jonah Files #3
INVEST AND INVITE
Are you ready to go? Not to lunch…but to invest in the lives of people and invite them to know Christ who we are proclaiming today to be our everything, that if you don’t have Him you are lost?
Are you reluctant?
We heave been talking about Jonah and Jonah was a hard headed, prideful and reluctant God man. He definitely didn’t want to go.
He had been raised in the church, indoctrinated by the church, taught by the church and eventually accepted a call from God to serve the church. The problem for Jonah was when God decided he wanted to use him outside of the walls of the church.
God wanted him to go to Ninevah and “preach against the city.” Jonah said, “NO.” Then he tried to run. He got on a ship to get away from God’s presence but he could’nt escape.
Jonah, defiant as ever, sleeps through a horrendous strom that God sends, sort of like we do sometimes. They tell Jonah to pray, he refuses to even pray. Finally, God points out that the storm is because of Jonah and they throw him overboard.
Jonah is sinking into the sea whgen he is swallowed by a big fish. Inside of that fish Jonah makes his peace with God. The fish vomits him out on the shore nearest to Ninevah and Jonah trudges off to preach the message.
Jonah 3:1-10 (NLT)
1 Then the LORD spoke to Jonah a second time: 2 "Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message of judgment I have given you."
Aren’t you glad that God is the God of second chances? How many of you have ever played golf and needed a mulligan? Or hit a foul ball? If you are here this morning and need a second chance to get it right, God is the God for you.
3 This time Jonah obeyed the LORD’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all. 4 On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: "Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!"
Let me interpret this message…it’s more like…
God is going to smash you, thrash you, trash you, crash you, dash you, gash you, and make hash out of you…
If you don’t turn you will burn because you never learn and that is what you earn.
You have fell, into a giant well, all the way to hell where you will be smoking like a pell mell, and that is what I am here to tell
So don’t boast, or your’e gonna be toast, like a burning roast and your city will just be a sign post…
So that is my story, the truth is awful gory and if your tourched that will be glory!
5 The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they decided to go without food and wear sackcloth to show their sorrow.
6 When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he stepped down from his throne and took off his royal robes. He dressed himself in sackcloth and sat on a heap of ashes. 7 Then the king and his nobles sent this decree throughout the city: "No one, not even the animals, may eat or drink anything at all. 8 Everyone is required to wear sackcloth and pray earnestly to God. Everyone must turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence. 9 Who can tell? Perhaps even yet God will have pity on us and hold back his fierce anger from destroying us."
10 When God saw that they had put a stop to their evil ways, he had mercy on them and didn’t carry out the destruction he had threatened.
God was working. It wasn’t the messenger, it was God. God in His omnipotentce and in His sovereighnty stirred the hearts of the people of Ninevah and one of the mightiest revivals in all of history broke out.
I’m a student of church history…and some of the most fascinating stories you can read are about the occurrences of Great City-wide Revivals! [shake entire city for God]
For example, 200+ years ago, preacher named Charles Finney conducted Revivals in the NE part of the US. These were large crusades during a time of revival in the US. On one occasion in Rochester, NY, over 100,000 came to Christ…the entire city was shaken for God!
Then there was the great Welsh Revival at the turn of the 20th C. It all started in a small room/teen meeting in a small church…spiritual fire fell on a youth meeting! The young people were weeping and crying out to God to make a difference in their lives so they could make a difference in the world. Their fire spread to the adults who carried it throughout their city, and eventually throughout the country of Wales…and the ripple effect was felt around the world!