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A City God Wanted to Save

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Jonah 1 NKJV
1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” 3 But Jonah arose 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 from the presence of the Lord. 4 But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep. 6 So the captain came to him, and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.” 7 And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this trouble has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 Then they said to him, “Please tell us! For whose cause is this trouble upon us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” 9 So 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, “Why have you done this?” For the men knew that he fled 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 be calm for us?”—for the sea was growing more tempestuous. 12 And he said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me.” 13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to land, but they could not, for the sea continued to grow more tempestuous against them. 14 Therefore they cried out to the Lord and said, “We pray, O Lord, please do not let us perish for this man’s life, and do not charge us with innocent blood; for You, O Lord, have done as it pleased You.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to the Lord and took vows. 17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah is an Important Book in the Old Testament

Is not a fairy tale. Not a hypothetical parable
The story of Jonah: called to preach and finally swallowed by the great fish
Used as a type of the death and resurrection of Christ
The entire account authenticated by Jesus

An Extremely Fitting Book to Study in the Light of Current World Conditions

The Call of God to Save a City (vv. 1, 2)
A. The Call of God to Save a City (vv. 1, 2)
God calls His servant and there is a good reason
Arise and go; because their wickedness is come up before me...
Why is this important: To people? To God?
God is not threatened by our wickedness. But we are.

A Countdown Had Begun For This Great City

The countdown has begun for a great city! Six weeks left
The countdown of wickedness
The countdown of life
The countdown of prophetic fulfillment
Is there any hope? YES!
But that hope rests in a prophet named Jonah, and he is relaxing
“Jonah, arise.” Get moving

Jonah represents the sleeping church in this crucial hour

How many Christians have been given a message to proclaim in these last days, and are too busy resting in our comforts?
As the clock ticks closer to Armageddon, so many Christians are all the more comfortable
There really is a day and a time, when Jesus will return, and men can repent no longer

Nineveh represents a lost world tottering on the brink of doom and destruction

What was the Condition of Jonah’s Heart (v. 3)
Rebellious and disobedient
The Word was clear: “Go to Nineveh.” He went to Joppa
Told to go east and went west
Do you know a point of departing from God’s will?
So often it seems like such a small turn
easy to reason ourselves away
The downward trail of backsliding
It is always so
Either higher ground or downward bound
God had more trouble getting His servant going than He did in getting Nineveh to repent
We should not think of Jonah as being more wicked or rebellious than many of us today
Jonah was not out stealing and killing
He was not promoting false religions or cults
He was not out indulging in drunkenness and committing adultery
He may have even been paying his tithes and reading his bible
But he was still just as rebellious and lost in sin as people doing all of these things
and his path of rebellion was leading him to destruction
God had a plan and a purpose for Jonah - a great plan. And all Jonah wanted was ordinary
Oh, how terribly like Jonah so many of today's Christians are!!
We long for normal - we work for it and strive for it.
You were not created to be “normal”
You were not saved to be just to pass through life without purpose.
1 Peter 2:9 NKJV
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
You are a Royal Priesthood. A Holy

The Chastening of Jonah

Vs. 4-16
The Lord chastens His children ()
Hebrews 12:5–7 NKJV
5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
Hebrews 12:4–11 NKJV
4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

The storm: God pursues His own

Jonah asleep in the storm
So many Christians, even as we see the world falling further and further away: would rather complain about it from Tarshish than do something about it in Nineveh
We need to take God’s message to the Nineveh's of our day.
His Word will not return void
But how shall they hear without a preacher?

God’s purpose in our trials

The sailors’ reaction
Their searching question: “Why hast thou done this?” ()
Even the sinners are surprised when the Godly don’t act Godly
The Catching of Jonah by the Great Fish (vv. 11–17)
Jonah’s instruction and calming of the sea (vv. 11–15)
The prayers of the sailors (v. 16)
The sailors came to faith through this trial
The miracle of the great fish (God Would go to any Length to get Jonah Right because He had a Job for Him to do)
The fish was not there to destroy Jonah, but to restore him.
The trials God brings in our lives are to get us back on track.
He desires to bring us to glory -

The Countdown continues

What is the Condition of your Heart
Do we really want to be disciples of Jesus?
Or do we just want the benefits?
Jonah Brought to the Place of Prayer
What must God Bring into your life to bring you to himself and his will?
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