Jonah was a prophet of God. he was sent on a mission from God. The Lord had a call on his life. He wanted him to go to Nineveh and preach to the people there. Last week we looked at how to discern the call of God on our own lives. This week we are going to look at what the message God wanted Jonah to preach to the Ninevites and see if that is the message we should be hearing, and preaching to ourselves and to others. There is a question I want to wrestle with today and that is this: What is the most effective way to display God’s compassion? Because if this book is about displaying God’s compassion, it might be wise to look at how God went about putting His compassion and mercy on display for us in this story.
Sin separates, Repentance Renews, Our Father Forgives.
SIn is the problem in our world. It is what caused the separation between creator and creation. It was the sin of the NInevites that had come up before the Lord, and it was their sin that was prompting God’s threat of destruction.
-Thought, word and deed.
– Ommission, Commission
– It is our nature
Repentance is the first step to restoration to the relationship.
– It is a change of mind. It recognizes your thoughts about things are wrong.
– A turning from sin, to righteousness. It is an obvious change in actions. 3:6-8
– Repentance renounces former way of life, and recognizes God’s reign.
Forgiveness is the purpose of God’s call to repentance.
– The Ninevites repentance is paving the way for Christ’s work. Luke 11:32
– Christ’s atonement is applied to our hearts through repentance.
– Only through Christ’s substitutionary life, death and resurrection can we experience reconciliation with God. It is the end game of repentance.
In the end, God displays his compassion and mercy by relenting from the disastrous that you and I were headed for, but it came through repentance, and was sparked by a hard message from a reluctant servant who himself needed to repent!
So, this was the message that Jonah took to Nineveh, Now, my question is, is that the message just for Nineveh, or has God been saying that all along?
I had that question, and so I looked up a few verses that I want to share with you from the OT and NT where God is calling us to repent. I am going to go through these verses as quickly as I can, they will be on the website tomorrow so you can look them up for yourself and study the context of each verse.
1 Kings 8:46-53
2 Corinthians 7:8-13
2 Corinthians 12:20-21
2 Timothy 2:22-26
2 Peter 3:9