RAP SHEET 10/1/23
Sermon: Who Knows?
Scripture: Jonah 3
ICE BREAKER: What is the biggest surprise you have received lately?
This week, we continued the story of Jonah. After being thrown-up on shore, God calls Jonah once again to go to Nineveh and preach against the city. Jonah obeys, makes the long and terrifying walk to Nineveh, and over 3 days walk from end to end declaring, "In forty days Nineveh will be demolished!"
This was not good news at all! The people of the city listened to Jonah and were terrified. They believed in God and stopped their evil acts. Even the king repented and declared a time of mourning to try and escape God's judgment. God saw the response of Nineveh and relented. He honored their sacrifice and did not destroy the city.
There were three key takeaways from this text based on Jonah, the city, and the King!
Jonah showed us the power of one person trusting God and speaking truth. Nineveh was a MASSIVE city and had tremendous power. Most people would not believe they could make any difference there. IF someone tried to speak to the city, they would come with the full force of an Army or a ministry strategy. Jonah finally obeyed God and saw an entire city change because of it. We should be confident that amazing things can happen when we fearlessly obey God and speak truth!
The city of Nineveh also teaches us a deep truth. Far too many people have counted themselves out of God's grace. So many people look at the sin in their life and assume that God wants nothing to do with them. The story of Jonah shows us what lengths God went to in order to get the attention of one of the most evil cities to ever exist! You may have some parts of your life you aren't super proud of, but you have nothing on the evils of Nineveh!
Last, we see the faith of the king. Jonah's message did not promise any hope or mercy. He just simply said that the city would be destroyed in 40 days. However, the king jumped into action anyway. In verse 9 he says, "WHO KNOWS?! Maybe God will relent..." Although there were no guarantees, the king was willing to try anyway!
When Jesus was on earth he talked about the "sign of Jonah." He told the crowd who had rejected him that on judgment day the people of Nineveh would stand to judge their unbelief. His point was that the people in Nineveh believed in God with a simple warning from Jonah. Jesus was God in human flesh who performed miracles and drove out demons and the people still would not believe!
Jonah had not offered mercy to Nineveh, but they found God's mercy through obedience anyway.
Jesus HAS come to offer us mercy and grace and all we have to do is believe in Him and accept that grace as a free gif!
Have you ever had trouble believing that God loves you or would forgive you?
Do you ever struggle to believe that God can do amazing things through your life?
God was calling Jonah to Nineveh even though he did not want to go - what is something God may be calling you to that you are reluctant to do?
Next week is Baptism! Pray for all those who have believed and not yet been baptized - that God would stir their hearts to take their next step!