Sermons

Summary: God’s angry at sin. But mercy triumphs over judgment. What a hero!

Who will save the Pagans: A Survivor’s Tale

by Andrew Chan, Pilgrim Baptist Church, Vancouver, BC

May 20, 2001

Text: Jonah 3:1-10 (NLT)

3 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.”

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!” 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.

Jerusalem this past week — Israel launched more air strikes against Palestinian targets on Saturday and Arab foreign ministers reacted to the latest violence by recommending a suspension of political contacts with the Jewish state.

During Friday and Saturday, 22 people died in Arab-Israeli violence.

Two spates of air raids in as many days prompted Arab foreign ministers meeting in Egypt on Saturday to recommend that political contacts with the Israeli government be severed until it halted its military assaults against the Palestinians.

The bombardment of the West Bank and Gaza Strip was Israel’s response to a suicide bombing that killed six people, including the bomber, in the Israeli coastal town of Netanya on Friday.

In the latest strike, helicopters rocketed Palestinian Authority headquarters in the north West Bank towns of Jenin and Tulkarm, wounding at least 50 Palestinians, mainly civilians.

Israeli troops also killed a Palestinian policeman during a gunbattle in the West Bank and shot dead another Palestinian in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli army said both were armed and posed a threat to its forces.

A 20-year-old Palestinian was killed by Israeli gunfire while throwing stones at troops in the West Bank city of Nablus after a funeral for 11 Palestinian policemen who died on Friday night in the Israeli bombardment there, hospital sources said.

"This is war, my friends, this is war," Israeli Minister of Communications Reuven Rivlin told Reuters in Jerusalem.

Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo called for a halt to what he termed "Israel’s crimes of terrorization and wholesale destruction of the Palestinian people."

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat met Arab foreign ministers in Cairo to discuss the rising tensions.

In our text, Jonah would have felt at home… He feels hatred oozing from every pore… That’s why he ran away from his divine assignment. No way he is gonna speak to these guys... he has felt personally the sting of death and misery caused by them.

God too is justifiably angered. He is angered by the people of Nineveh (see the atrocities mentioned in Nahum as an example which includes genocide). He sees lives being wasted, and He has seen enough and so He sends Jonah: 2 “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message of judgment I have given you.”

They are in danger of being voted off by God just like people of BC did to the NDP.

Victoria Day long weekend… Past week we saw the demise of NDP government in BC politics. 76-3 reads the headlines of the Vancouver Sun. This is a defeat of historic proportions! Thus, the anger, disenchantment and disappointment of many in BC was shown. Premier Dosanjh is right British Columbians have spoken loudly and clearly. Justifiably so, as news commentators in BC politics all over noted.

In a letter published on Friday’s May 18, 2001 Van. Sun paper …

“Gordon Wilson’s pronouncement that he was beaten by Adriane Carr through a Green-New Democratic party vote split is wishful thinking. Assuming that the Green Party voters would have supported the NDP if the Green Party did not exist is wrong. Perhaps in 1996, but not in 2001. If the Green Party option had not been available, green-leaning voters across BC would have been more inclined to stay home or vote for another party – maybe even the Liberals. I hate to break it to you, Mr. Wilson, but you and you party lost fair and square.” No excuses! They just got booted because of their poor record

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