Summary: 3rd in a series on Living without Regret
Text: Jonah 3
Title: Why repentance matters
Sermon series “Living with No regrets – taken from the book of Jonah
Jonah chapter 3 – Title “Why repentance matters”
Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you." 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. 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. 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." 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.
Jonah 3 outline
Starts in v1-3 with the Word of the Lord
“Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh.”
Jonah 3 ends in (v10) with the mercy of the Lord
“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.”
And in between there is a 3rd part (v3-9) which we don’t hear a lot about anymore –
The Wrath of the Lord
“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.”
Why do we not hear a lot about the wrath of God?
1.Times have changed. (Times have got better.)
But are they?
In America there is 1 murder every 22 minutes; 1 rape every 5 minutes; 1 robbery every 49 seconds and 1 burglary every 10 seconds.
Every Day in America over 3 million neighbors participate in questionable and suspicious behavior.
Conclusion: Times are not better but worse
If times are worse then maybe God has changed…
2. God has changed (God has got better)
Some people will argue that in the Old Testament God is a God of Wrath but in the New Testament God is a God of Love
“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead great and small, standing before the throne and books were opened. Another book was opened which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books… If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:11-12;15)
In order to escape God’s wrath and get to experience God’s mercy (people) have to change and repent
Title: why repentance matters
1.“Now Nineveh was a very important city-“(v3)
A.Why was Nineveh a very important city?
B. Clue: in the very next sentence -“A visit required three days”
C.Nineveh was a very important city because a visit required 3 days.
D.Conclusion: Nineveh was a very important city because of its size
But what if – “a visit required three days” had another meaning
What if a visit required 3 days meant- it took 3 full days to meet everyone. Then Nineveh was a very important city- because it had lots of people.
Point #1 Repentance matters because you and I are very important to God!
God was not very important to the Ninevites – but the Ninevites were very important to God.God might not be very important to you today – but you are very important to God!Always was and always will be!
Reminder: John 3:16 tells us you and I are someone God loves very much and you and I are someone God values very much.
Why am I very important to God?
Neg: We are not very important to God because of what we do for work or for the work we have done for God