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We Serve a Second Chance God

The God of Second Chances (Jonah)  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  43:27
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Introduction: A few years ago I began teaching Bible at Bethel Christian School for 11th & 12th grade. I began to notice that some of the students were struggling with my tests and the amount of information I was asking them to remember. The curriculum we were using was pretty challenging so I decided to give some of the students a “second chance.” I tried a variety of things to do with them that I thought would help them learn the material, but at the same time get a better grade. After making some adjustments and after the kids began to learn my teaching and testing style they began to do better. The only student that failed my class that year was a student who simply refused to do their homework.
I’m so glad God doesn’t just write us off the first time we mess up or fail in life. I’m glad we serve the God of a Second Chance. That has kind of been the theme as we’ve looked at the Book of Jonah, but it surely is the theme of . Would you turn there with me?
Scripture Introduction: So far on Jonah’s journey we’ve seen God call him to go to Nineveh, we’ve seen Jonah rebel against God’s call and go in the opposite direction, we’ve seen God send a storm Jonah’s way, he’s been thrown overboard, swallowed by a whale/fish and vomited up on dry land. Now notice what God says in Jonah 3...

He is a Second Chance Father

Notice . Let the words sink down deep within your soul . . . “Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the SECOND time...”
God had already come to Jonah once and commanded him to go to Nineveh and preach His message and Jonah had refused and rebelled. He had gotten into a ship and headed the opposite direction. God would have been completely just to be done with Jonah and not have given him another opportunity to do His will. He would have had every right to put Jonah on a shelf and use someone else. But He didn’t. He had a job for Jonah to do, a plan for Jonah to fulfill and so He offers Jonah a second chance.
3 days journey—7 1/2 miles long?
Illustration & Application:
is a beautiful Psalm that reminds us of God grace, mercy and longsuffering. It is a Psalm that reminds us that we have a “Second Chance Father.” Listen to some of the words...
Psalm 103:8–14 ESV
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
Did you see that? Our Father is MERCIFUL (compassionate) and GRACIOUS (forgiving)! He is SLOW to ANGER! His love is ABOUNDING & STEADFAST! Where would we be today if He just dealt with us according to our sins? If He just dealt with us according to His holiness and righteousness? What if those attributes were not balanced with His love, mercy and grace? He knows our FRAME! He knows we are weak, He knows were are just “fragile jars of clay.” I’m so thankful we have a SECOND CHANCE FATHER!
Some of us in this room, have ROYALLY messed up as God’s children! We have rebelled against our Father at times, we have walked in disobedience at times, we may have spent a few nights in the belly of God’s discipline . . . but we should rejoice and celebrate the fact that we have a Father in Heaven who says to His children:
1 John 1:9 ESV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Isaiah 1:1–4 ESV
The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged.
Isaiah 1:16–20 ESV
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
What do we see in this Isaiah passage? We see that God is a “Second Chance Father!” God refers to Israel as “children He had reared and brought up” but those same children that He had delivered, nourished, protected and cared for have rebelled against Him. They have BITTEN THE HAND THAT HAD FED THEM! They had been unfaithful to Him. They were spiritually sick and diseased.
But what does He do? He gives them a SECOND CHANCE! He offers them an opportunity to repent, and turn from their evil and wickedness and learn to do good, seek justice and correct oppression. He lets them know that even though their sins had stained them severely, they can be washed and made clean. We serve a SECOND CHANCE FATHER today and we need to say like the Psalmist said at the beginning of in :
Psalm 103:1–5 ESV
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
He is a GOOD, GOOD Father and I’m so glad He is a SECOND CHANCE FATHER!
That is the message we must take to others . . .

We Must Share His Second Chance Message

First we Jonah was to deliver God’s message! He wasn’t to deliver his own message, He was simply to deliver God’s message. That’s exactly what Jonah did. He went and delivered God’s message. The message was short, simple and to the point. Notice again the message in verse 4: “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”
Does that sound like a “second-chance message” to you? It may not sound like it, but it actually was! I like what the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary had to say about this message: A threat always has two intended outcomes based on which option the receiver chooses. Whenever a parent makes a threat such as “You’re going to be in trouble for not cleaning your room,” the child understands that if he cleans his room, he will not be in trouble. The ability to avoid disaster is inherent in the word of judgment…[God] threatens judgment as a God who is slow to anger and abounding in mercy. Jonah knows this because he later says that he knew that is what the Lord would do (4:2). Jonah understood that mercy was riding with judgment when he took the message of the Lord to Nineveh.
We must remember that God is a God of justice and holiness and purity and wrath. This is why judgment was coming upon Nineveh. They were a wicked, vile, violent people who deserved God’s judgment, but because God is a God of mercy, grace, love and longsuffering He sends a prophet their way to warn them of the impending doom. This message is not just to say you are going to be destroyed in 40 days PERIOD…but rather you are going to be destroyed in 40 days, but because I love you and am giving you an opportunity to repent I am sending you a prophet, a messenger to warn you and to help you and to give you hope!
There’s a couple of things that we see about Jonah’s message:
It was delivered with urgency and passion…The Bible says, “Jonah called out.” Other translations says “Jonah cried out.” It can be translated “shout or proclaim.”
It was delivered clearly....Jonah clearly told them what was going to happen if they didn’t repent. One again let me refer to the commentary I mentioned earlier: Jonah has to be the one to take Nineveh the bad news so that they can have a chance to hear some really good news. (p. 38)
Repeatedly, throughout Scripture, we are given the command to share God’s “Second-Chance Message” with others as well. If you have been forgiven by God, if you have been set free from the bondage and penalty of sin, if you have been born again, if you have been made into a new creation in Christ Jesus…how can you keep this Good News to yourself?
& say the exact same thing:
1 Chronicles 16:24 ESV
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
also says:
Psalm 96:3 ESV
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
Jesus told His followers this in :
Mark 16:15 ESV
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
2 Corinthians 5:18–20 ESV
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
There is absolutely NO way a child of God and a believer in Christ can get away from their responsibility to share God’s Second Chance message with others. We have the greatest news and hope in all the world and we MUST NOT keep it to ourselves!
Greg Laurie: God didn’t tell Jonah to go to Nineveh and be a good example or a silent witness…God specifically told Jonah to “preach to it the message that I tell you.” When we use the word preach, it might make you think that you have to yell at people. But that isn’t so. In fact, preaching can be conversational. You can preach through an e-mail. You can preach through a post on your social media page. You can preach conversationally. The emphasis isn’t on volume, it’s on content; it’s on verbally communicating the great good news of the gospel. We’ve been called to do that…preaching is God’s primary way of reaching people…God chose to reach people through ordinary, flawed people like you and me who faithfully share the Gospel through our words (page 67-69).
The Message Must Be Delivered With Urgency
“Jonah cried...” He delivered the message with passion. Spurgeon said, “Winner of souls must first be weepers of souls.” A.W. Tozer said, “The world is wating to hear an authentic voice, a voice from God—not an echo of what others are doing and saying, but an authentic voice.”
The Message Must be Clear & Definite
CCE: Jonah has to be the one to take Nineveh the bad news so that they can have a chance to hear some really good news. (p. 38)

He is a Second Chance Savior—Will YOU Believe?

Now I want you to notice verse 5: “And the people of Nineveh BELIEVED GOD!”
They heard the warning through God’s messenger and they believed God’s message! They believed God was going to destroy them in 40 days. But if God wasn’t going to give them a Second Chance why give a 40 day warning? They understood that even though Jonah was delivering a message of judgment and warning, he was also delivering a message of hope. One of the reasons the GOSPEL is Good News is because it stands in contrast to the BAD NEWS!
The bad news is our sins have separated us from God. Because God is a God of justice and holiness He cannot simply look past sin. Sin must be punished and they punishment for sin is DEATH . . . not only physical death, but separation from God forever. That’s the BAD NEWS. The GOOD NEWS is that God is also a God of love, mercy and grace and He doesn’t want Heaven without us! That’s why He sent His only Son into the world, to take upon Himself human flesh, and live the sinless life we could not live and be the ONE who could die in our place. Being a sinless man He could become our substitute and die in our place. But being God He could also pay the eternal debt that not only I owed, but that all of humanity owed!
What is our responsibility when we heart this message? Our responsibility is to BELIEVE! This word “believe” is an interesting word. It doesn’t just mean to believe in the sense of saying “I believe,” but rather exercising that belief. For a person “believing in Christ” as one’s Savior it means that the individual is abandoning trust in everything else to make the right with God and is wholly trusting in Jesus and His finished work on the cross and His victorious resurrection over death, hell and the grave to rescue them from the penalty and power of their sin.
Biblical, saving faith, does not just mean that I say that I am a Christian, but that I rest in Christ and Christ alone. Biblical, saving faith is not pictured as a person walking up to a chair and saying, “I believe that chair can hold me, but just in case it cannot I’m going to keep both feet on the floor, no Biblical saving faith says not only do I believe that chair can hold me, but I am going to cast myself on that chair and rest in that chair and that chair alone.”
Bible verses about believing and being saved...
Mark 16:16 ESV
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
John 3:16–18 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Do YOU believe? I’m not asking if you believe with your head. I’m asking if you believe with your heart? Do you trust Him enough to let Him have His way with you? Do you trust Him enough to obey Him? Do you trust Him enough to believe He has the power to forgive YOU, that He took YOUR past with its sin, and that the old you died with Him that day, and when He walked out of that grave three days later, He gave you the power to walk out of the grave of your past, the grave of your addictions, the grave of your guilt, the grave of your shame to walk and live in newness of life?
Do you believe? Do you really? We can’t say we really are trusting Jesus as our LORD and Savior if He hasn’t made a difference in how we walk, in how we talk, in how we think and in how we live! True belief means that He has made us into a new CREATION in Christ Jesus! We are not WHO we use to be, but have been delivered and transformed by God’s Amazing Grace!
I’m so glad that God is the God of SECOND CHANCES! But it is important to understand that He is merciful and gracious and the God of the SECOND CHANCE, not because He wants us to abuse His grace and continue sinning against Him or to use Him…but He is the God of the SECOND CHANCE because He loves us so much and has something FAR BETTER for us than this world or sin or Satan could ever offer to us.
I would like EVERY follower of Jesus to look at me right now. I’m talking to the people who KNOW they have been BORN AGAIN by God’s Spirit and you are 100% if you were to leave this earth right now you would wake up in the arms of Jesus because you are depending upon Christ and Christ alone for your salvation
Some of you are living defeated, discouraged lives because somewhere in your Christian life you have failed God and you have failed God miserably. You have been allowing the enemy to beat you up with that failure and you have allowed the enemy to convince you that you can never change and that you can never overcome. I have GOOD NEWS for you Christian friend---God is the God of the SECOND CHANCE! God wanted you to hear this message today to remind YOU that He isn’t finished with you yet. Your past mistakes can no longer define you.
Today YOU need to confess your sin to God, run from your sin and run to the arms of Jesus and let Him begin the healing process down deep within your soul!
You need to get your Bible out and memorize some verses that remind you of God’s love, God’s grace and God’s forgiveness and let His Word speak truth to your heart every DAY!
The enemy wants to keep you spiritually paralyzed and keep you from being a faithful ambassador for Christ. But listen—YOU HAVE A SECOND CHANCE MESSAGE you need to be sharing. You need to share that message with your life, but you also need to share that message with your LIPS!
You have fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that are leading defeated lives and that are convinced just like you have been that God can’t use them and that God can’t change their lives. God wants to use YOU to help them.
But there are also people out there that need to know that we have, not only a SECOND CHANCE FATHER, but a SECOND CHANCE SAVIOR as well and they need YOU to tell them that!
I’m going to ask you to do something that I don’t normally do. I want every true believer in Jesus to bow your heads and close your eyes for a few minutes and pray for the unbelievers that are here today and the unbelievers that God has placed within your realm of influence. Now if you do not know Jesus as your Lord and Savior or you are not sure would you look at me for just a minute?
You need to know today that God is a SECOND CHANCE Savior! God loves you today! He cares about you today. He wants to have a relationship with YOU today! You may be convinced that God can’t forgive you, but dear friend He can. You may be convinced that God can’t change you, but He can.
Will you believe today? Will you place ALL of your trust and faith in Jesus today and surrender control of YOUR life to Him? Will you trust in what He did for YOU, yes YOU, 2,000 years ago. Will you believe? No one can believe for you?
When the Ninevites believed God’s SECOND CHANCE OFFER it changed them! Notice
Jonah 3:10 ESV
When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

What Will You Do With the Second Chance Message God Calls You to Share?

He is a Second Chance Savior

Notice, “when God saw what they DID.”
What you say is important, but if what you say isn’t being backed up by what you DO, what you say means nothing!
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