Summary: The chaos and the turmoil of this age isn’t merely a wake-up call for the world. It’s a cry for the church to arise for "such a time as this."
“THE WAKE-UP CALL”
Preached in the wake of September 11 terrorist attacks.
INTRO: 1. In the past week, I’ve heard many refer to what’s going on as a wake-up call for our nation.
a. A call to turn our hearts back to the God that this nation was founded on.
b. Although, I believe this to be true, I believe that this is also a wake-up call for the church…a rallying cry to the body of Christ to do our part in this crises time.
2. We’ve witnessed unbelievable things in our nation… but I’ve also been witness to some things I thought I’d never see again in this nation.
a. Ministers on the news not to be mocked but for advise and comfort.
b. Public schools opening it’s gymnasiums for prayer.
c. Businesses holding memorial services, prayer vigils and starting prayer meetings.
d. Survivors’ families testifying of God’s grace without being cut-off.
e. What a fertile field God has given us to be a blessing to our nation.
3. As I prayed and asked God what should be our response, I was directed to the storm that Jonah got caught up in.
a. And as I read verse 6, I believe that this is the hearts cry of our nation today for the church of Jesus Christ.
4. There can be no doubt that Jonah was the man God had chosen to use for the hour at hand.
a. He was the one anointed for this purpose.
b. He was the one commissioned for this purpose…not by the king, but by God himself.
d. He was the one best-suited for this purpose.
5. But instead of facing the challenge, God had given him head-on, he decided to choose an alternative route.
a. Maybe he just wanted to delay his mission for awhile.
b. Maybe he felt he needed more time to pray and fast.
c. Maybe he felt he needed more education, more training, more experience.
d. Maybe he felt he needed more rest - found sleeping in the bottom of the boat.
6. But what God had in store for Jonah was a wake-up call he’d never forget, a moment in his history that he’d have to come to a final choice between doing God’ will or doing his own thing.
a. Now in our nation’s history we must decide whether we’re just going to be witnesses to all that’s going on around us, or if we’re going to be channels of God’s grace to a hurting nation.
b. We’re called to be more than merely witnesses.
c. We have an advantage over the world.
ILL. One of the golfers on the pro tour some years ago was a pompous egomaniac with the emotional maturity of a six-year-old. He could do nothing wrong and always had a quick excuse for any loss: it was a lousy course, the other golfers were cheating, the weather was terrible, etc. As if these faults were not enough, he was also not above hustling a few extra dollars playing amateurs in cities on the tour for $50 a hole. One day he was approached by a man wearing dark glasses and carrying a white cane who offered to play him for $100 a hole. "Why, I can’t play you," the professional protested. "You’re blind, aren’t you?" "Yes, I am," replied the man. "But that’s all right. I was a state champion before I went blind. I think I can beat you." Now the conceited one had not been doing well lately--he needed the money. Anyway, blind or not, if the guy was crazy enough to challenge him...well, why not? "You did say $100 a hole?" The blind man nodded. "Well, all right. It’s a deal. But don’t say I didn’t warn you--you’ll lose your money. When would you like to play?" "Any night at all," replied the blind man. "Any night at all." We follow one that works best in the darkest hour.
7. The Church Of Jesus Christ stands today where Jonah stood on the deck of that boat - the choice is “do or die”.
8. But now, it’s obvious that we are entering a season of a divine shaking, a season to choose to be what we claim we are, or to die in our sleep.
a. The coldest, most calloused heart is the believer who refuses to wake up when the world needs them.
9. What is God calling the church to wake-up to? 10. Jonah’s was facing the same circumstances we are today, and God demands the same response.
I. A CALL TO WAKE-UP TO THE STORMS AROUND US.
a) For too long the church has lived in it’s own little world.
b) Like Jonah, for too long the church has been going in the directed it wants to go instead of asking God what direction it needs to be heading.