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God's forgiveness at Christmas

Christmas -- Love and forgiveness  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Don’t use this yet “The Lord asked, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?’”
Jonah 4:4 ESV
4 And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?”
Have you ever thought about the Lord’s mercy, love and forgiveness at Christmas? I think that is a great point to consider at Christmas.
Honestly, isn’t that the whole meaning of Christ coming into the world? God sent his son because of love, because of mercy, this is the whole reason he came… He came not to condemn the world, . ...
John 3:17 ESV
17 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.
john 3
So what does this tell us...
God is a God of love, mercy and forgiveness......
The truth is central to all we consider about God and the plan for his own Son to be our redeeming sacrifice. God gave us a Christmas gift....
Now I have said all of this to bring this thought up....
Let me share a thought with you… Jonah 4:4
Jonah 4:4 ESV
4 And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?”
Jonah 4:4
Remember the story of Jonah....
God called him to go to preach to the Ninevites, and what was Jonah’s response?
No way!!!!!
Jonah ran from Nineveh and toward Tarshish because he did not want to preach forgivenss, He knew if they repented, God would forgive the Ninevites:
“That’s why I fled toward Tarshish in the first place. I knew that You are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to become angry, rich in faithful love, and One who relents from sending disaster” ().
Jonah 4:1–2 ESV
1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 2 And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster.
Q. Now let me ask you a question, what did God have against the Ninevites ? , why was God angry against them and why did he want to send a messenger?
says
Jonah 1:2 ESV
2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.”
Evil has come out against me....
Nineveh, like so many other places have let people live for themselves, sin and wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah () , like what we see with Cain () your bother’s blood cries out to me ....
Evil is wickedness against God. it is sin…
And God was calling Jonah to preach the hope there is in God, He will punish sin but gives you the opportunity to repent! And in the New Testament we find people like John, like other disciples.... who preached the message of Jesus in the New Testament
And the truth is central
And God was calling
God loves us in spite of our sin, that is why he would have His Son Jesus come to show us mercy, love and forgiveness.
Jonah 1 ESV
1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord. 4 But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. 6 So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.” 7 And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 Then they said to him, “Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” 9 And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10 Then the men were exceedingly afraid and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. 11 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea grew more and more tempestuous. 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.” 13 Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. 14 Therefore they called out to the Lord, “O Lord, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows. 17 And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Now lets think about Nineveh and its people.... What else is wrong with them...The people of Nineveh were archenemies to the people of God. They had been mean to the Israelites, they had hurt them, persecuted them and stole from them along border fights…
It is like Iran, Iraq, Pakaistan… do we like them today?
No, we are not really… They have been mean to us, they have tried to kill us and so forth and so forth
Now think about Jonah...
And Jonah had no interest in their being forgiven.
So Jonah hates them....
And he doesn’t want to carry the message of God’s love and repentance to them, the Ninevites had been evil.... and Jonah knew God loved them and would forgive them.
Jonah ran from Nineveh and toward Tarshish because he did not want God to forgive the Ninevites: “That’s why I fled toward Tarshish in the first place. I knew that You are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to become angry, rich in faithful love, and One who relents from sending disaster” (). The people of Nineveh were archenemies to the people of God, and Jonah had no interest in their being forgiven.
That was his problem....
Jonah served a God who is much more compassionate than the prophet had ever considered being—and who has always wanted the nations to give glory to His name.
The people of Nineveh were archenemies to the people of God, and Jonah had no interest in their being forgiven.
So what does Jonah do when God told him to go?
He ran in the other direction....
The problem was that Jonah served a God who is much more compassionate than the prophet had ever considered being—and who has always wanted the nations to give glory to His name. Jonah, in fact, never fully got over God’s willingness to forgive, and the book that carries his name ends with the prophet in a state of anger and frustration. He accepted God’s gracious forgiveness offered to him, but he did not want that same forgiveness offered to his enemies.
John 1:1 ESV
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Jonah 1:1–3 ESV
1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
Now why have I told you this right here? God is calling us to go… even to people we might not always like, or agree with, and frankly enough want to be around.
This is the reason the Son of Man came into the world… so that the gospel could be preached and people could be saved by His great name through faith.
Jonah, in fact, never fully got over God’s willingness to forgive, and the book that carries his name ends with the prophet in a state of anger and frustration.
Jonah 1 ESV
1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord. 4 But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. 6 So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.” 7 And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 Then they said to him, “Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” 9 And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10 Then the men were exceedingly afraid and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. 11 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea grew more and more tempestuous. 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.” 13 Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. 14 Therefore they called out to the Lord, “O Lord, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows. 17 And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah, in fact, never fully got over God’s willingness to forgive, and the book that carries his name ends with the prophet in a state of anger and frustration. He accepted God’s gracious forgiveness offered to him, but he did not want that same forgiveness offered to his enemies.
Jonah, in fact, never fully got over God’s willingness to forgive, and the book that carries his name ends with the prophet in a state of anger and frustration. He accepted God’s gracious forgiveness offered to him, but he did not want that same forgiveness offered to his enemies.
He accepted God’s gracious forgiveness offered to him, but he did not want that same forgiveness offered to his enemies.
Now think of that...... People want God’s forgiveness, but do they want to see others extended in such a way.
This book to which we often go to talk about God’s heart for the nations is thus also a book that slices open the heart of the reader.
Here is a great thought: is there any one, any people here or around the world I would not want God to touch, change and save....
Is it an ethnic group?
People who commit particular sins?
Someone who has hurt me or my family?
Followers of another world faith?
Chuck Lawless made this quote once..... If we put our own parameters on God’s grace for others, we really haven’t let His grace change us much.
ACTION STEPS:
§ Answer the question about whether there are those you don’t want God to forgive.
§ If someone comes to mind, ask God’s forgiveness and help. Ask Him to change your heart.
PRAYER: “Lord, transform me if I’m in any way like Jonah.”
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