Summary: This is the 4th sermon in the series "When God Says..."
Sunday Morning November 15, 2009
Bel Aire Baptist Church
Series: When God Says… [#4]
WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM?
Who in here has made the comment, “I would rather die than __________ (please fill in the blank)”? Of course we have all said that; but how many times did you actually mean it? I’m sure that there have been times that you said it and meant it- I have.
Why is it that God allows bad things to happen to good people and good things to happen to bad people?
Would you rather die than to watch God…
1. Show mercy and grace to your enemy?
Jonah was mad at God because God did exactly what Jonah knew He would do. Jonah knew how merciful and gracious his God was. In fact that’s why he had been serving God. Isn’t it so interesting that what we expect God to give us, we also expect Him not to give to others?
God simply says to Jonah, “What’s your problem”? Jonah had no right to upset with God being God. God is sovereign which means that He is in control. We are not God, yet it is easy to criticize.
So Jonah decides to go outside of the city, make a comfortable place to wait in, and see if God would go ahead and destroy it now that he had complained. You know- Since he cried about not getting his way, obviously God would do it his way now. Why do you serve God? Why do you pray? Why do you read the Bible? Why do you attend church?
Would you rather die than to watch God…
2. Not give you your way?
Jonah did it God’s way because he didn’t like the consequences; but he never changed his attitude. It’s like people telling the judge that they were sorry for breaking the law; when in reality, they were sorry for being caught. The reason that is obvious is because they go back to doing the same thing after the effect of the punishment “wears off”.
Either we are open to letting God be God or we’re selfish and are all about God being God until He doesn’t do it our way. I have often said that as a pastor I have decided that I don’t like getting notes and letters about what a great preacher I am; because it seems to become the “kiss of death” with that particular person. I have numerous letters from people in my desk that state how awesome I am; but as soon as I did something that they disagreed with I got a letter stating that I was the devil. How did I go from the best to the worst so quickly? I went from pleasing them to agitating them.
Jonah was thankful to God while he had shade, but when the vine died; he wanted to die. God’s reply, “What’s your problem”? God created the vine and God killed the vine. He can do that because He’s God. While Jonah didn’t get it nor did he care about 125,000+ people; God did and still does.
The Lord showed me something this week that I have never realized about the Bible. The Book of Jonah and the Book of Nahum are the only 2 Books in the Bible that end with a question. The Book of Jonah is dedicated to the salvation of Nineveh and the Book of Nahum is dedicated to the destruction of Nineveh. The Book of Jonah is a testimony to God’s mercy and grace and the Book of Nahum is a testimony to God’s judgment.
If you are here this morning without Christ as your Savior, then your invitation is the last verse of Nahum. Nahum 3:19 (NIV)
“Nothing can heal your wound; your injury is fatal. Everyone who hears the news about you claps his hands at your fall, for who has not felt your endless cruelty?”
If you leave this earth without Christ as Savior, you will be destroyed for all of eternity. There will become a point that God will stop extending the opportunity of salvation. Only God knows when that is for you.
If you are here this morning and you have been doing it God’s way in order to avoid correction; but have not changed the attitude in your heart, then the last verse of Jonah is your invitation.
Jonah 4:11 (NIV)
“But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?"
Christian, if your motive for serving the Lord, reading the Bible, etc… is not about Jesus being lifted up so that all people might be saved; then you are not living like Christ. The word “Christian” means “Christ like”.
Does either question fit? If so, the solution is repentance.