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Jonah Part 2- Submitting to the Sovereign God's Command to Go and Make Disciples

Jonah  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:09:26
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We share Jonah's problem with God's Sovereignty if we view the Great Commission as a Great Suggestion.

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 Welcome! It’s so good that you have come today. 😊 (If we have guests) If this is your first or second time with us, welcome! We are so glad you are here with us today. My name is Brian and I am the Senior Pastor here at CBC. If I did not already get the chance to meet you this morning, I hope you will have time to drop by our connection tables after the service this morning. I will be there with Gloria, my wife, and we’d love the chance to meet you. And maybe answer some questions you may have about us. Or if you won’t have time to stop and chat, you can use the connection card that is inside the trifold bulletin you should have received as you entered the building. Just take a few seconds during the service and jot down your contact information, and we will be happy to reach back out to you sometime this week. Let me just encourage everyone here today to use the connection card. You can list prayer request, or request information about our ministries. It’s simple to fill it out and drop it at the connection table on your way out. << show announcement slide>> • Small Groups Begin August 19th • Discipleship Groups are forming now. • Pray for the Teen Mission Trip to Costa Rica- June 25 - July 2 • Kids Beach Club- Training Meeting July 19, 3:00PM, Church office If you’re not connected with any of our groups, let me encourage you to stop by our connection table. You can request information on any of the groups that meet. Ladies’ Group, Teens, Men’s Group, even Small Group Bible Studies. Whether you are a guest, a member, or somewhere in between, we are here to worship our Great and Awesome God. Responsive Reading Today- Psalm 85 Lets all stand and lift our voices in worship “America The Beautiful” “At the Cross” Lord’s Supper / Offering The Lord Jesus the night before He was crucified gave instructions to the church to hold a memorial service that commemorated the sacrifice He was about to make. We call it the Lord's Supper or Communion.   In just a minute we are going to pass out pieces of broken bread and cups of grape juice.   The bread symbolizes the body of Jesus that was crucified for us. The grape juice symbolizes His blood that was shed for the remission of our sins.   Receiving the bread and juice, is a memorial. It does not impart any spiritual grace. It does not make one a Christian, nor secure their place in God's Kingdom.   It is a memorial for those who have already been given assurance of these things. When you take the bread and juice you are remembering how Jesus saved you.   By remembering this, we will be expressing our gratitude for our salvation. We will remember how we were saved by grace, and did not earn our way into God's favor.   In this remembrance we will be able to lay aside our differences. Put down any pride, or anger, or grudges we may have towards one another.   In this remembrance we please the Lord by living together in unity and love.   So as the elements are passed think on these things.   Lords' Supper Bread- 3:15  Read 1 Cor. 11:23-24  As the elements are passed please hold on to it until we all have one and I will pray for us all.<Pray>  Lord’s Supper Cup- 3:15  As the elements are passed please hold on to it until we all have one and I will pray for us all. <Pray> “Lord I Need You” “O Come to The Altar” Jonah slide is up- But introduce Now Concerning Sunday AM advertisement for Now Concerning @ 6PM Last Sunday Night in our Now Concerning Study, we addressed the question of the Reliability of the New Testament. Specifically, with over 400,000 variations in the over 6,000 Greek Texts that provide the basis for all Translations of the Bible, how can we still have confidence that we have God’s Inspired, infallible Word? A second question we discussed is one that we actually deal with on a daily basis. There is a concern among some Christians that the differences between the King James Translation (KJV) and the modern translations of the English Bible result in a removal of Christian doctrine. With all the doubt and fear cast on modern versions, how can the believer know with certainty if any translation has indeed removed doctrine? When searching for doctrine, one must begin with the understanding that Christian doctrine is contained in the verses of Scripture. Thus, the surest way to know if doctrines taught in the KJV have been removed from a different translation is to read the version in question alongside the KJV. This side-by-side comparison will either absolutely confirm or deny the accusations of removed doctrine in any particular translation. From 2010-12, I did this very thing (two times through) with the English Standard Version(ESV). I am completely satisfied that the ESV does not in any way remove doctrine and have been reading the ESV through once every year since that time. Such an undertaking requires a great amount of time and motivation. This resource is provided to the person who wishes to compare the King James Version with other translations of the English Bible1, without taking the time to read every verse in each Bible in a side-by-side comparison. The pages that follow is an examination of the teachings on seven cardinal doctrines of Fundamental Theology as they are expressed in 265 verses in the New Testament2. These are not simply “cherry-picked” verses, but are, in most cases, the sum total of all verses that speak directly to each particular doctrine. The Seven Cardinal Doctrines of Fundamental Theology Examined I. The Deity of Christ (52 verses) II. The Virgin Birth of Christ (3 verses) III. Atonement by the blood of Christ (29 verses) IV. Justification by Faith (18 verses) V. The Bodily Resurrection of Christ (97 verses) VI. The Second Coming of Christ (53 verses) VII. The Doctrine of Salvation (13 verses) Tonight, I would like to revisit the topic of why it is okay to have 400,000 variants in the Greek Text that all scholars use to make up the Greek New Testaments that translator’s use. And why it is okay to have multiple English translations. I invite you to look over the handout before you come tonight, and please bring any questions or concerns you may have. That’s tonight at 6- if these things are of concern to you, I hope you can make it out. For now- Turn to the Book of Jonah. As I said last week- Jonah’s story is very unique to the prophetic books in that it contains no direct prophetic warning to the Jews. Jonah is a Jewish prophet, and no doubt earned that reputation by delivering prophetic messages to the Jews. We don’t have any of Jonah’s other prophetic writings, but this one we have. And we have to believe that God gave it to the Jews to warn them about something. Nothing in this story makes Jonah look good. It starts out with Jonah behaving badly- running from God, and it ends up with Jonah sulking over God’s decision to have mercy on the Ninevites. So, if we are going to learn anything from Jonah’s story, it will be something along the lines of, “Don’t be like Jonah!” ( I fear that if my life story had made it into the Scriptures, it would be one of those kind of lessons…Don’t be like Brian! But, this is about Jonah, thankfully… Last Week we noticed Jonah had a problem with the Mercy of God. Not that he didn’t want God’s mercy. He just didn’t think everyone should receive God’s mercy. Jonah’s Motto: Keep Calm and Have No Mercy And not just everyone else, but a specific group of people. A group of people that Jonah hated very much- The Ninevites <<show the relief of the Assyrian’s Torturing victims>> Not, just Jonah, but the entire Jewish nation hated the Ninevites. Probably the entire world hated the Ninevites. (except for the actual Ninevites, of course!) << show the timeline of Jonah>> And for a good reason. They were a cruel and pagan culture that was expanding their kingdom. In fact, within 100 years of Jonah’s story they would take the 10 northern tribes of Israel, Jonah’s people, away in to captivity. <<show the map of Nineveh and Tarshish>> So in response to God’s desire to show mercy by sending Jonah with the warning to the Ninevite to repent or perish- Jonah ran in the opposite direction of Nineveh! <<Show the slide with “I. Recognize our Tendency to Hate the Sin and the Sinner”>> So, the first thing we learned was Not letting our hatred for the sin of others, keep us from sharing God’s message of salvation with them. We must love God’s Mercy toward sinners, more than we hate the sin of the sinner. But not only did Jonah have a problem with the Mercy of God, He also had a problem with the Sovereignty of God. << Show the Sovereignty of God in Jonah Slide>> The Sovereignty of God is a major element in Jonah's story. God created a big storm to chase Jonah, He prepared a big fish to swallow Jonah, later he prepares a big plant to shelter Jonah, and then takes the plant away allowing Jonah to swelter under the brutal heat. This display of Sovereignty should have been enough to teach Jonah a very important lesson: If God is truly Sovereign over all that He created, shouldn’t we acknowledge His sovereignty over us as well?  Shouldn’t we be at least willing to do whatever He tells us to do? The real test of our submission to God’s Sovereignty over our life comes when God tells us to do something that goes against our desires. Then it becomes a battle of wills. And depending on how strong willed we are, the battle can get intense. As was the case with Jonah. << Show the “I’d rather die than____ slide>> Jonah was hard-headed as they come. You know how sometimes we will say things like, “I’d rather die than do such and such a thing” or “Over my dead body.” We don’t usually mean it literally. But, Jonah did! It’s true! It’s right there in the first chapter of Jonah’s story. (Read the first chapter stopping along the way) <<slide>>In verse 3 – Jonah is basically saying to God, “if you want me you’re going to have to come and get me. Which is basically saying to God- “make me” <<slide>> In verse 5- God finds Jonah, and Jonah’s response tells us, that he just doesn’t care what God does, he is not going to repent- <<Slide>>In verse 12- Jonah chooses suicide over repentance! God tells Jonah to do something that Jonah didn’t want to do, and Jonah decided that he would rather be dead than do it! You see, Jonah, acted as if God had given Him the option of going to Nineveh to preach repentance if he felt like it. Jonah, knew better than this, but he acted as if he had a choice. He thought he had the choice of death over obedience. Jonah was playing the only hand he had. “He played the “you can’t make me” card. This is a man with a problem with God’s Sovereignty over his life. Have You ever been tempted to play that card with God? Has God ever confronted you with a commandment or directive and you responded like Jonah? Did God make His will for your life so very clear, that there was no doubt what you were supposed to do, but you through down the “you can’t make me” card? Let me submit to you that you and I may have a problem with God’s Sovereignty if we refuse to obey Jesus’ commandment to go into all the world and make disciples of every nation. We have a problem with God’s Sovereignty if we interpret the great commission as a great suggestion. 2. Recognize our tendency to see the Great Commission as a “Great Suggestion. (verse3- 4) (learn to recognize when God is trying to get your attention)   The Hebrew text literally says, "God hurled" a great storm at Jonah! (compare verses 5, 12, 15). <<show the verse slides for these>> <<Show the Jonah 1:4 slide again>>   Have You ever felt like God has hurled something at you?!? That God has allowed an enormous amount of trouble into your life? And that maybe, all of this uneasiness and turmoil is God trying to get your attention?   <<show Hebrews 12:6 slide>> Hebrews 12: 5-11 reminds us that God disciplines His children whom He loves. His goal is always to produce holiness in us. Holiness means to be singled out for God's purpose. So, if you and I are going through a storm, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that we are rebelling against His sovereignty and He is trying to get our attention. This is not always the case. The most faithful of God’s servants in the Bible suffered, not because they were rebellious, but because it was necessary for God’s Kingdom purposes. But sometimes rebellion is the reason for storms in our life. For instance, in the early days of the church, God hurled a storm of persecution at the fledgling church in Jerusalem because they weren’t obeying His command to go and make disciples, like the Lord Jesus commanded them (and us) to do. Acts 8:1-3, God sent a great persecution against the church. They were being dragged off to prison, and some were even being executed. Why did God hurl this great storm of persecution at the church? Because that is what it took to make the church go out in to all the world like He commanded them. We may have lots of issues with God’s Sovereignty over the course of our life. Certain sinful habits that we are reluctant to get out of our life. Unwillingness to forgive someone who has wronged us. <<show the slide with II. Recognize our Ability to Treat the Great Commission as a Suggestion”>> But, as we see from Jonah’s story, the biggest problem with rejecting God’s sovereignty is that those without hope in Christ, need someone willing to go and tell them that God is willing to have mercy if they repent and trust Him. That’s really the biggest problem there is in the world. “What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world, but then lose his/her own soul?” So, if our problems with God’s sovereignty affect our willingness to share Christ love and Gospel with certain people, should we be expecting God to hurl something at us? Something to get our attention. Something to nudge us back into submission to His Sovereignty? This is why I am urging us to create discipleship groups here at Clermont Baptist Church. We have to learn how to do this. It is absolutely imperative that we obey the command to make disciples. The Command to go and make disciples, was not just a great suggestion. It is The Way that God chose to populate His eternal Kingdom with us who are separated from Him since the Fall of Adam and Eve. Discipleship is not something to avoid or be afraid to engage. It is a really good thing that will greatly bless our life. God rescues us from Judgment through repentance and Faith in Christ. Then as we learn to obey His commands, He changes us to be the best version of us we could ever be. This is discipleship! While all this growth and change is happening to us, He uses us to bring others to faith, and then help them grow as well. This is where Discipleship Groups provide your greatest opportunity for this. 1) The reason we don’t tell others about Jesus, is because we are distracted by the things of the world. We forget that God has sovereignly commanded us to share His message of repentance and salvation to others. We forget about God’s commandments to make disciples, because We don’t spend enough time in God’s Word, we don’t spend enough time in prayer, we don’t meditate or memorize God’s Word, and we only think about sharing the Gospel whenever the Preacher preaches on the subject every now and then on Sunday Morning. But, a weekly discipleship Group will hold you accountable in all of these areas. IN a D Group, you are holding each other accountable for daily reading and meditating on God’s Word, Prayer, and helping one another through trials and distractions of this world. This strengthens us, and when we are strong in the Grace of God, we are much more likely to reach out to others with the Good News of Jesus Christ. 2) Secondly, We don’t tell others about Jesus, because the subject is very difficult or awkward to bring up to people. A discipleship group provides you with an opportunity to invite your friends, into a very informal Bible Study. It’s not the same as inviting them to church, to which they might be uncomfortable. But, most of us have friends, who may not go to church, but believe in God and would be interested in learning more about the Bible. So, you should be praying not only about who you will be in a D-Group with, but who might be willing to join you. I know we need to limit the groups to a maximum of five people. This is very necessary. But, there is still a great opportunity here. A person doesn’t have to be already saved to start the process of discipleship. Jesus spent time with the 12 Apostles before they understood who He was, and what it meant to believe in Him. Likewise, there are people in your life, who may be on a journey to Jesus, and your weekly D Group could help them along the journey. You may even be there when they actually repent and trust in Him for salvation. Imploration- Show Christ in Jonah- We’ve seen how the main lesson in Jonah’s story was a negative one, “Don’t be like Jonah.” But, in the Gospels, we see that the Lord Jesus found a positive lesson. Jesus referred to Jonah’s story twice in His sermons recorded for us in the New Testament. Because the events that Jesus refers to happen later in the story, we will look more closely at those in the next couple of weeks. But today, we just need to be reminded of how willing the Lord was to go to the cross for us. He prayed in the Garden, not my will but thine. We likewise must say to the Father, in the matter of discipleship, not my will but thine? What Jesus suffered on the cross for us far exceeds any pain of discomfort we might endure in the cause of making disciples. Yet, that doesn’t mean it’s not a real struggle for us to decide to do it. It may just come down to us having a problem with God’s Sovereignty over our life. If Jesus were to come to you and tell you to go and make disciples would you go or would you rather be dead? Are you heading towards Nineveh or running the other way? Are you making plans to make disciples or are you busying your life with everything else? Let’s be in prayer and start making some decisions about D-Groups. Let’s Pray. (Save this topic for Next week) Recognize our Ability to Mask Rebellion with Religion
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