Summary: This is the 3rd sermon in the series "When God Says".

Sunday Morning November 8, 2009

Bel Aire Baptist Church

Series: When God Says… [#3]


Jonah 3:1-10


I want each of you to think of someone that you least expect to be saved. Maybe it is an actor, business person, prisoner, etc… Now think of someone that you least expected to be saved; but they got saved and have made a difference for the Kingdom of God.

Has God ever given you a 2nd chance? Why is it that we want God to give us a 2nd chance, but not give it to others?

Jonah 3:1 (NIV)

“Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time.”

Jonah had really messed up, but God rescued him from the great fish. As soon as Jonah was vomited up by the great fish, God repeated the call to Jonah.

Jonah 3:2 (NIV)

"Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you."

It is too bad that we must go through difficult things in order to learn our lesson; but God will do what it takes to get us to do it His way. This time, Jonah obeyed.

Jonah 3:3-6 (NIV)

“Jonah obeyed the word of the LORD and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city--a visit required three days. On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned." The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust.”

Jonah’s obedience resulted in an entire nation turning to God. What can your obedience to God lead to?

Your obedience can influence others to…

1. Believe God. Just as the Ninevites, sometimes hearing the truth of the Word of God is all it takes to get people’s attention. The people heard the truth and immediately started to make changes in their lives. What is the proof that these people really changed?

A sign of change is…

> Humbleness. They heard the message from God and realized how dirty they were. We can never approach God until we are humble.

Jonah 3:7-8a (NIV)

“Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God.”

Your obedience can influence others to…

2. Call on God. The king called the nation to humbleness, fasting, and prayer. When the leadership realizes that God is their only hope and draws the group to God; things will change.

A sign of change is…

> Fasting and prayer. I believe that we must get back to this. It is amazing how often we find prayer linked with fasting in the Bible, yet we have made it a lost discipline.

Jonah 3:8b-9 (NIV)

“Let them give up their evil ways and their violence.” Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

Your obedience can influence others to…

3. Repent. This is key- Not only did they humble themselves, fast and pray; but they had to make an actual change. Repentance means to turn and go a new direction. Without repentance there will not be a change.

A sign of change is…

> Changed behavior. As Jesus said of the Pharisees, “By their fruit you shall know them”. If you act just as you did before you were saved, you should be concerned. It ought to be an obvious difference in your life when Jesus gives you new life.


Jonah 3:10 (NIV)

“When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.”

Because of their humbleness, fasting and prayer, and repentance; they were saved from destruction. God showed His mercy and grace upon them. When we do our part, God always does His.

Our sermon can be summed up in this 1 verse.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

This shows us the overall purpose of our lives as Christians is to serve God and obey God in a way that others are drawn to Him.

The invitation this morning is simple: Humble yourself, pray, seek God’s face, and repent. If you will do that, God will hear your prayer, forgive your sins, and heal your life.

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