We're continuing our series through the prophets Bryant. Thank you for tackling Obadiah last week.
Tackling the right word for that book have to wrestle with that one. But we're looking at Jonah today and Jonah is somewhat unique amongst the profits more than any other Prophet what we get with Jonah is less of his message and more of his life. Right most of the profits that we've looked at that have consisted primarily with a few exceptions of a couple narrative passage has most of it's just been the preaching of these different prophets. Right? What was Isaiah's message? What was Jeremiah's message? Ezekiel's message? What was obadiah's message? But with Jonah it's different with Jonah. We don't so much gets his messages. We get his life as an object lesson others many passages in Scripture that you can point out and you can say okay. This is an example of what you should do. Jonah is not that kind of example Jonah is an example of what you shouldn't do and so with all of that scene setting. When is Saint Joan has a little bit difference amongst the profits as we look at the prophets? We look at what they have to say. We have to say this one's unique. This one's kind of different. It's also a difficult book to preach because most everybody is familiar with the story. Right? What do you know about Jonah?
Right leg. That's that's the highlight.
if you grew up in church, and if you didn't that's that's no shame as a matter fact, you're probably better off for not having done that but if you grew up in church chances are there was one of two stories that were the first Bible stories you were introduced to Noah's Ark or Jonah and the whale I don't know why we do the whole ocean thing a lot with these guys, but those are two very common stories and everybody knows Jonah and the whale Veggie Tales made a movie of this For Heaven's Sake, right? So Jonah is a wellness, right? Well, here's the problem when we have a well-known passage in the Bible. It's very easy for us to just assume we know it all. For us to assume that we got a handle on it and I'll be Frank. This is something I have to guard against as a preacher when I come to pass. I'm like, oh I already know what that one says, right? I was tempted to do that with Jonah. It's been a busy couple weeks for me and unexpected trip to Oregon for my grandfather's illness and expected but still quite hectic trip to Texas for a family wedding and I was very tempted to say, okay. It's been really busy. Let's just do Jonah the way everybody knows Jonah Well what I hope is that like me as you come to this book you come with fresh eyes. And that you don't just assume that you know what Joan is about because you heard the story about the whale a hundred times as matter fact, I was going through Jonah this week. I realized that for all of our familiarity with the story. I think we've missed the point or at least I have a lot of the time and we worry about the Wailing. We want to figure out the it's a fish or is it a whale? Okay. Well, how can a man do this and get this legitimately happened? I'm like God created everything is going to happen Okay, but we get distracted by these details, right or we bring Veggie Tales in with us and we're picturing Cheese Curls and people slapping other people with fishes, right? You haven't seen the movie and I commend it to you should watch it. but
maybe we're too familiar with the story because we miss something the Book of Jonah. Has an incredible Truth for us and that truth. Is this God loves people.
We said one more time. God loves people. and you're like
And that might be the other problem. Maybe the reason we get so wrapped up in the fish and so wrapped up in all of the other things in Jonah is because we've become too familiar with that truth right there. God loves people that should blow our minds and I think that the reason Jonah is in our Bibles is to bring us back and to put it right in front of our eyes to open our sleepy eyelids and to say don't forget God loves people and it can be easy especially in the midst of a serious like what we're doing we were going through the prophets and it's all doom and gloom and judgement destruction. You can be easy to forget God loves people. And it can be so easy to throw outs for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life that we miss the fact that God loves people. So this morning I want to stay we're going to walk through the text of Jonah it's not going to be on your screen for this part. So you got to pull out a Bible and open it up to Jonah. We're going to look at it with with the eyes looking for the love of God to have our formulaic faith kind of reinvigorated for us to be reminded about this incredible wideness to God love and his Mercy To pull out your Bibles and let's look at this together. Knights of chapter 1 were introduced to Jonah now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of amittai thing of rise and go to Nineveh that great City and call out against it for their evil has come up before me right? So right there were introduced to the prophet Jonah and we're given the message that used to take take this message to Nineveh their evil. right That's the message. That's the call. You guys know. What Jonah did what did he do?
I'm not doing it and he went literally the opposite direction. You don't get on a boat to go to Nineveh and yet that's where he goes. He goes and gets on a boat to go is directly opposite of the direction of Nineveh as possible and he gets to the boat need Pirates his way on and he's out to sea. In this storm comes up, right and it is threatening to destroy this boat that he got on so much so that the crew are willing to throw all of their stuff all of the stuff. They're carrying all of their profit for their Journey. They just throw it overboard in hopes of lightning the ship a little bit.
What's Jonah doing? He's asleep. He's asleep in the midst of this and the captain comes down. He says what do you mean Oh Sleeper arise call out to your God. Perhaps the God will give a thought to us. He may not perish he comes to Jonah and he says something that we would see is really kind of strange cuz we raised in the judeo Christian can a worldview would say, well there's one God but this Captain is operating under the assumption that would have been quite familiar and his day that they're a bunch of gods and let's just try all of them and see which one of them works and everybody else on the ship's been calling out to their gods in the Storm still going so we figured well, maybe Jonas got the guy that can kind of put this right. So that's what they do. They wake him up is a call to your God that we may not perish but the Storm still doesn't let up. They said let's cast lots. Let's let's try to figure out who is causing this problem because at this point this is this has to be judgment. Like this must have been some storm that they were caught in because their conclusion is evidently some gotten somewhere is mad at some person down here and we need to figure out who and lo and behold who gets selected out. Jonah the light falls to Johnny says tell us I'm whose account your account on whose account this evil is come upon us. What is your occupation? Where you from? What is your country? And what people are you? He said I'm a Hebrew and I fear the lord the god of Heaven who made the dry land. really Jonah Do you hear the pieocracy In Jonah statement here? Oh you want to know who I am. I'm a Hebrew. I'm part of God's chosen people. I fear the God who made the Sea and the land and you're running from him Jonah. But he literally made everything you see and you thought you could get away from him Jonah. But Jonah doesn't seem to realize that irony in his words and just leave proclaims. Yes. That's who I am. I'm a Hebrew I Believe In The God Who made everything?
I fear Him Jonah doesn't fear God. How do we know Jonah doesn't fear God how do we know he's just speaking words here because he's running from God. He's running from the call of God on his life. He hasn't really fear God he fears. Who got is we'll get to that later in the story, but he doesn't really fear God so they said what do we do then? Right and they're afraid. They say what do we do? Then? This is throw me overboard and they said we don't want to do that. Why don't the men want to do that? Because they don't want to kill somebody. These Pagan Sailors are more righteous than the prophet of God. They say we don't want an innocent man's blood on our hands. What if we're wrong? What if you're wrong? What if we throw you overboard the storm doesn't stop and we're guilty of murdering you Jonah. So they do everything they can to not listen finally gets bad enough. They're like Lord forgive us for what we bout to do.
Right, but it is interesting when you look at their prayer. Oh Lord, let us not perish for this man's life and it's interesting how they refer to him. These are the same Sailors is the exact same Sailors who said just pray to a god any God pick a god. They hear Jonah say I worship Yahweh. The one who created everything and look at their prayer. Yahweh. Let us not perish for this man's innocent blood for you. Yeah, what you've done is it please you they recognize what Jonah can't God has the right of creation. God has the right to punish people got it alone Bears the responsibility for the life and death. And they submit to him and they repent Jonah still hasn't repented. He's bragging. I'm a true I Fear God. And they're praying Aang o don't hold us to account for this God. We don't want to do this.
The prophet is boasting. The pagans are repenting and that should spark something in us. We should note that and noticed quickly. They hurled him into the sea and the Sea stops raging. Then the men fear the lord exceedingly and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and they made vows and this is the part that everybody loves verse 17 in the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah Jonah was Elie of the fish for three days and three nights and then Jonah pray to his God, but if you read that. I'm not going to do it right now. But if you read that pair, you'll notice it can slack what you never see is Jonas a you were right. I was wrong. Forgive me Lord for I have sent you never see him say that what you see is kind of a grudging acceptance. Okay, Lord, like thanks for not letting me die. I guess I'll do what you told me to do, but no one no repentance. No sorrow just a grudging. Kind of force the issue here. Now that you're making me I guess I'll do what you told me to do. And so the Lord spoke to the fish and it vomited Jonah up on dry land. I love I love anytime the word of God gives me the excuse to say the word vomit. I just feel like that's one of those words. We don't say in church often enough. And the Lord spoke to the fish and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land. What did God create according to Jonah the Sea and the land the land Jonah went to the sea god grab him there and he took him back and he spit them out on the dry land and said go get Nineveh. So Jonah does the word comes to Jonah second timer rise. Go to Nineveh that great City and call out against it the message that I tell you. So Jonah went to Nineveh is exceedingly. Great City. It's three days journey and Brett. He goes a day in they just kind of stops and he preaches. What is the most pathetic sermon ever? He's obeying God but not really. 40 days in Nineveh will be overthrown. That's his that's his whole message nothing about y'all way. Nothing about their offense to him. Nothing about how God would call them to respond just to ya God's you guys are done for that's Jonah's message to the people. What are the people of Nineveh do they believe God says in the people of Nineveh believe God, they called for a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest of them to the least of them the word reach the king of Nineveh. He covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. He says this don't eat don't drink man-beast everything call out to God turn from your evil way turn from violence. Who knows God May yet turn and relent so that we don't perish. The prophet of God says fine. I'll go to Nineveh. And he preaches the bare minimum of God's message the people of Nineveh receive that bare minimum and they repent the prophets grudgingly. Goes the people humbly repent. So what's Jonah do? Jonah goes outside the city. He's angry and so he says Lord. This is why I ran. I didn't run because I was scared of the people I ran because I knew that you were merciful. I knew that you have bounded in steadfast love and I wanted you to Smite Nineveh not forgive Nineveh. God says Why you so angry? So John is sitting there and we get the impression. He's kind of sitting there waiting like hoping that the ninevites repentance doesn't do the trick that God's going to Smite them. If he's sitting out there and he's in the desert. Is hot God causes a shady Vine to grow up and turns like I feels good God causes a worm to eat the vine the vine dies and Jonah's what? mad Mad at God, just let me die. Alright, just let me die. You're not going to Smite Nineveh. Now. You took away the shade. Just let me die and God says. Why you so angry? I spared Nineveh a town with thousands of people and all their cattle beside. I love that Edition, by the way, I spared this town and if you don't care about the people at least care about the livestock Jonah, I spared them from destruction and you're mad about one little plants. That's where it is. What do you see in the Book of Jonah? You see the truth of Jonah's words, you are a gracious God and merciful slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love relenting from disaster and we see the love of God so clearly in this book. I want you to turn back to chapter one with me. Turn back to chapter 1. And you see the sailors? Oh Lord, let us not perish for this man's life laying out on his innocent blood for you or Lord of done. Is it please you literally versus before moments before these men? Had said just pray to a god any God and now they're worshipping Yahweh. God loves people who fear Him even if they don't know him that well. God loves people who fear Him even if those people don't know him that well. This is huge. Okay, and some of you are here today and you'll fight for me. That's me. I don't know God very well. I don't know the chapter verse or anyting. Some of your sitting here and you're like and I'm learning. I'm learning Greek. Oh wait, that's me. Hold on Sunday school My Whole Life Bible studies God must really love me. I'm so doggone smart. Oh wait, that's me again 2. Right, we get this Pride that comes up in this when we get some information about God and we're tempted to forget the fact that God loves even those who don't know all the stuff that we know God loves those whose theology may not tick all the boxes that are sticks. We're still learning God loves them. And here's the deal if you are somebody in your like making eye of got no idea. I look at the Bible and I try to read it and I don't understand any of this. Guess what? God loves you. And it's not saying we should all just sit around and not learn more about God, but we need to understand God's love is not conditioned by our knowledge and some of you have been sitting in church a while and you got fun of information about God stuffed up into your brain case. And that's a point of Pride for you. So some of you may have seen that I'm graduating Lord willing with my Master's at the end of December.
Don't Clap yet I slept two more tests today.
but it's taken me 10 years to finish a degree that supposed to take three.
I intended when I first started out of high school going to Bible College. I was going to graduate in 3 years with my 4 year degree. I went to one semester of Bible College and I was an experts and I went home and I was correcting my mom's Theology and my dad's theology in my pastors theology.
Was that 17 years later? Not doing that anymore. God had the humble me slap me upside the head a little bit and say my love is not determined by how much knowledge you can cram in. How much more smart you are than everybody else? I love everybody where they're just starting out learning about me or they've been walking with me for years to get off your high horse. And so if you're sitting here today, and you're thinking that you can earn God love by just cramming more biblical knowledge into your head. Let me just say Don't try. Don't do that. Learn more about God because you love him not because you want to win some Bible trivia contest if you're sitting here, like I'll never understand the word and and I'll never be able to to put all this together. Yes, you can learn more than you think because you have the holy spirit inside of you and we're told that the holy spirit will guide us into all truth. But at the same time God loves you anyways. Beast Sailors didn't know enough about God to distinguish him from all the false Idols around them and yet when they say we repents God love is clearly shown to his acceptance of their repentance is dentistry in the fact the storm calms down. God loves everyone. God loves people who don't know all the right words, but they know and fear Him God loves people who oppose him. But who repents when there warn't right Jonah goes into Nevada preach this message. Y'all going to die. That mean that's pretty much what he says right turns are overturned the king returns from his pride. And repents in humility in the people repent with him. And God says you're spared. I'm going to relent from This Disaster, right? And I think this is another point where we need to be aware of. the wideness of got love it's so tempting for us. So very tempting for us to think that God obviously. Is opposed to the same people we are opposed to it if I hate somebody God must hate somebody. That's not how it works. God loves those who oppose him but repent when they're warrant. At this point in the Book of Jonah. We need to look and say we want to be like those Pagan Sailors. We want to be like the ninevites don't make us like the prophet of God. Don't make us like Jonah make us like these look at look at the king's Proclamation again. Jonah chapter 3 verse 5 and following in the people of Nineveh believed God they called for a fast and they put on sackcloth from the greatest of them to the least of them. Jonah was in a whale Jonah was in the belly of a fish and he can't repent. It just says thanks for saving me and I guess I'll go do what I have to no sorry. No, nothing these people. Don't need a fish. They immediately put on sackcloth a give up everything and they say no we're going to repent before God the word reach the king of Gyros from his throne removed his Road Covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes the issue the proclamation published it throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his Nobles let neither man nor Beast heard nor flock taste anything let them not feed or drink water. But let man and Beast be covered with sackcloth and let them call out mightily to God let everyone turn from his evil way in from the violence that does in his hands who knows God May turning relented turn is fierce anger so that we may not perish when God saw what they did how they turn from their evil way God the lented of the disaster. He said he would do to them and he did not do it. God loves people who oppose him. I quoted as a joke earlier John 3:16. Not as a joke, just to make a point. We can become overly familiar with things.
God so loved the world. God so loved you that why you were still opposed to him. He sent his son to die for you. Aren't you glad that God loves people who opposed him and doesn't hate them? Aren't you glad that God would Lance of the disaster? He is decreed against people who reject him because here's what the penalty is, right and then if I was going to be overthrown, they're going to be destroyed they repent and God says I'm not doing that anymore. Every single one of us in this room is under the sentence of death.
For the wages of sin is death. The penalty for your rejection of God's Authority is death. And yet I look out and from what I can tell most of your still breathing.
That's God's grace. That's God's love the fact that it's you who would be self-willed who would do what you want to do instead of what God wants you to do that. God would have mercy on you and continue to give you breath is nothing more than evidence that he loves those who are post him. The fact that he would send his son to die for us. The pastor's met earlier this week and we're just praying, you know is we're looking at twenty 20 and O Lord direct us Lord guide us and we're just praying for Direction, but as we are doing so we kind of were talking before hand. And and Richard mentioned something that's just stuck with me. We're talking to his small groups going through the Book of Revelation right now. He's talking about Revelation 14 with a cup of God's Wrath is poured out and just made a connection. I've never seen before you said look at Jesus in the garden praying Lord. If it would be your will let this cup pass from me. Which of the redundancy the cup of his suffering or the cup of you know the cross but it's more than that. It's the fact that at the cross God was going to pour out the Cup of Wrath that we were designed to drink. What is meant death for every single one of us and he was willing to pour that cup out on his son. The cup of God's Wrath was poured out on his son. Aren't you glad that God loves those who oppose him? Aren't you glad that God would not just give Nineveh Mercy not just give Mercy to those Pagan Sailors because he loved them, but would give Mercy to us through Christ. What allow us to not bear the punishment that our sin deserves, but would give Christ that death. Let Christ receive the agony let Christ received the loss of breath.
Is that not God's love? We all have been opposed to God and he loves us anyways, but we don't just see God's love in his Mercy to the Pagan Sailors. We don't just see God love in his Mercy than ever. We don't even just see God's love to us. Through Christ redeeming us when we don't deserve it. We see God's love. For those who claim to know him, but refuse to obey him. in spite of Jonah's steadfast Rebellion against God we even see God's love for Jonah God called Jonah to go and he went completely the other way looking at chapter 1. The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of amittai saying arise go to Nineveh that great City and call out against it. For their evil has come up before me but Jonah Rose to flee from the presence of the Lord. So we paid the ferry went down to tarshish away from the presence of the Lord.
at this point if I'm God. Jonas done
at this point If I'm God. John is not coming back. This is a one-way ticket. He just bought whatever he thought he was getting. And yet God does not. act like I do if there's any good news, that's it. God does not act like I do. God loves Jonah even though Jonah refused. How do we know God loves him because he sends a storm. How is it loving for God to threaten destruction on Juna? What's loving because he didn't destroy him. He brought the threat of Destruction to get Jonah's attention that's evidence of God's love in in in the New Testament told that we ought to when we Face trials we out to be rejoice. Forgot is treating us as his son's when God is taking the rough edges of our character and he's scraping them off with the life circumstances we go through we ought to rejoice. Because if God didn't love us he would never try to correct us. If God didn't love us. He would not try to shape us and mold us and confirm us to the image of Christ God love for Jonah is seeing the runs and God pursues. He doesn't just let him go. He says no, I'm going to bring you back. It's not like this is Jonas. New definition. I'm the guy that runs from God Jonah had been faithful dirt turn with me to 2nd Kings.
You don't want to turn there this I think I put it on the screen I did. But I'm going to turn in there cuz I can't read that little print on the back wall there.
In in in 1st 2nd Kings chapter 14. We're introduced to Jonah. Hi, Joan, is not a new character. Just with the book that bears his name. We see him here in Kings and he's a prophet and he's speaking to these kings in the 15th year of amaziah the son of joash King of Judah. Jeroboam the son of joash king of Israel. And if you're confused by the joash and the jeroboam just wait it gets worse. Began to reign in Samaria any rain 41 years and he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He did not depart from all the sins of jeroboam. The son of Ned. So we're dealing with Jarrod jeroboam to here. Which he had made Israel to sin He restored the board of his real from Lebo hamath as far as the sea of the Arab according to the word of the Lord the god of Israel, which he spoke by his servant Jonah the son of amittai the prophet.
Jonah doesn't mind carrying a message from God to evil people. right Jonah has already received evidence of God's mercy towards him. He's already received evidence of God's desire for a relationship with him. He's told he's called a servant of God here in Second Kings and he's willing to take this message to an evil King. He knows. God's love and God's mercy. He knows that jeroboam does not deserve favor. He knows that jeroboam does not deserve success in the battle and yet he carries the message anyways, cuz he knows this is who God is he doesn't treat us like we deserve it should have taken care of him and knocked him off the throne. And yet through Jonah he says go tell him that his battles are going to succeed.
Jonah evidently doesn't have a problem with God treating people. Like they don't deserve. He just has a problem with God treating those people. Like they don't deserve you going to treat my family. Okay, even though their centers you're going to treat my country. Okay, even though they failed you got okay. I'm cool with that. I'll deliver that message. But heaven forbid that you would forgive those people.
In accordance with his thoughts. God loves him. Anyways, God pursues. God sends the fish to swallow him up to spit him out on dry land even though he doesn't repent God loves Jonah who claims to know him even though he won't obey him.
Jonah is not a call for us to be like
and yet a lot of times I think maybe that's who we are like Okay, God. We're okay with saying hey, you've got a great plan. For your people are okay with God not treating our country. like you treated You know Israel. Judah carried off by Assyria and Babylon by get treated tyre and sidon somebody's other names that we've seen in the prophets. Okay with God not doing that. We're okay with saying God be merciful to us give up you be patient with us, but doggone It Strike those people over there. Here's what we can't get away from the fact that God loves people who claim to know him and yet refused to obey him. That's a message for us today.
The fact that God loves people who claim to know him, but refuse to obey him is a message for us. Church what has God commanded us to do.
I can think of a couple things maybe even three love God love others make disciples.
We know God because of Christ. has that changed our obedience has that changed what we do do we see that evidence of this or are we like Jonah paying lip service to God, I I go to Red Hills. I worship The God Who made everything? Now Excuse me while I go pretend the rest of y'all don't exist and go hide away. Never to interact with another human being. Excuse me while I ignore the needs around me. But God commands us who claim to know him to join him in loving. Who?
The people he loves. God commands us to join him in loving one another.
He commands us to join him in loving our neighbors He commands us to join him in loving our enemies
God commands us to love our enemies if you don't believe me you can look at Jonah chapter 4 as Jonah is is God is trying to get through to Jonah. You're worried about the plant. Why are you worried about the plant shouldn't you be worried about all these people over here that I just saved? But it makes it even more clear. in Luke chapter 6
Luke chapter 6 Jesus makes it really really really clear. in verse 27 But I say to you who hear love your enemies do good to those who hate you bless those who curse you pray for those who abused you love your enemies do good to those who hate you bless those who curse you pray for those who abuse you to the one who strikes you on the cheek offer the other also in from the one who takes your cloak do not withhold your tunic either give to everyone who begs from you in from the one who would take away your goods. Do not demand them back as you wish that others would do to you. So do to them if you love those who love you what benefit is that to you for even Sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you what benefit is that to you for even Sinners do the same and if you'd lend to those from whom you expect to receive what credit is that to you? Even Sinners Linda Sinners to get back the same amount of your enemies. And do good and lend expecting nothing in return and your reward will be great and you will be sons of the most high for he is kind to The Ungrateful and the evil. And then look at verse 36 be merciful even as your father is merciful. God is kind to those who are ungrateful and Evil by Jonah. God is loving to those who repent like Nineveh. Are we time to those who are ungrateful and Evil? Are we merciful as our father is merciful. See, I think the message of Jonah that is so clear to me. Is God loves people? And he invites and commands us to do the same. People who don't look like us. People whose politics are different from ours. People who sexuality is different than ours peoples whose faith is different than ours. People who hate our existence and wish we were dead. God loves them. do we do we mirror that kind of love? Or are we more in step with our culture, which is increasingly fractured along political lines sexual lines ideological lines.
Is it we love the people God loves or we love the People Like Us. I've seen what you've seen. A lot of people think I probably live under a rock. Cuz we don't have TV and in that kind of stuff, but I got Facebook. Trust me. I'm well up on everything. And I look at Facebook. And I see basically no difference between Christian Facebook and regular Facebook what I see are a bunch of people. Slandering everyone around them mocking them revealing those idiots who would dare believe other than what I believe. what I don't see a lot of is love and it's not just Facebook. It's the conversations we have it's our interactions with people. It's the way we look at the person standing on the corner. It's the way we walk by the people in Walmart. Right now, please and who do we love the people God loves or are we more concerned with signaling to everybody around us exactly where we stand on the political Spectrum? Okay, if I post this and people know I'm a conservative. Okay, if I post this people will know that I'm middle-class by post. This people know that I'm heterosexual. I want to make sure that people know where I stand.
Do you think God?
Is worried about letting us know where he stands as he pours that Cup of Wrath out on his son. What kind of parent would do that to a kid? You're a terrible parent God love people.
A lot of people don't care if anybody miss understands what's going on here because I love people are we so concerned with establishing our image in the minds of the people around us wanting to make sure they understand we're not we're not one of those people. We don't actually support those people that we can't people the question to me is probably going to stand with Christ Are we going to stand with our party line? Are we going to emulates Our Father in heaven and be merciful as he is merciful? Where are we going to prop up this image of ourselves that we want everybody else to see? Let me tell you something and this is news. Today in a way that I don't think it was news before. You can disagree with somebody and still love them
You can have different political view and still get along with somebody.
You can love somebody who struggles with homosexuality. You you can love somebody who ridicules your faith without ridiculing your faith without being homosexual without adopting their political views. You can do this. That's what God does God love the people of Nineveh didn't mean he was okay with everything they were doing he threatened destruction, but he loved them when they said, okay good point. He says I love you. I'm not going to do that anymore. He loved Jonah. Enough to bring him back out projectile vomiting. Of the fish's belly. He loved Jonah. He loved Nineveh. He loved those Sailors, even though he was not okay with you do not have to signal to everybody. What's your four and what's your against what you need to signal to them is God loves you and so do I I will deal with the rest of it later. We'll talk about that when it comes up. But right now you just need to know God loves you and so do we were okay with
doesn't mean we say this is all good and all fine, but it does mean that we're standing with God and saying even while you're opposed to God, I will love you. This may be why in the New Testament? We don't see Paul crusading trying to get the other Christians on board with this boycott of the gladiatorial games. Where is Sam advocate for that? You know, we don't we don't even see Paul calling out Caesar. for making himself equal with God
This message is one of Truth. There's one God. He made everybody and he's a point of Jesus Christ as the only means by which we may be saved. And if you believe that then we'll deal with the rest of it. Later. Will solve the rest of that later too often too often we the church. Have been shaped by Moral Majority kind of thinking that assumes that to love other people is to have the government dictate something to them.
Let me just say this as clearly as I can. We have mistaken love for others.
We mistakenly made that about governmental or organizational charity. We've mistakenly made that somebody ought to do something. About this and assume that we loved other people because we made that statement somebody address this issue. Let me see this. when we say someone ought to do usually pretty good indication that we're not doing anything about it. If we say somebody like the government ought to take care of all those poor people. Well, what have you done to meet the needs of someone in your community somebody in the government ought to make sure that there's no more abortion. Well, what have you done to demonstrate? Love to the teenage mother? Who's been kicked out of her family feels like she has no other option. Have you opened your home? Have you offered. That life so precious to God or have you just condemned? See I convinced that our gospel would be radically more persuasive today. If instead of just taking a stand. We took some steps out. You said I love you. God does too. What can I do to help? Instead of saying drugs are bad. How about we go to the attic and we say I love you God this to how can I help? You should have just railing against the people who won't get off of welfare. How many of us have gone and said you know what? I'm going to get rid of my American dream. I'm going to go settle myself in the midst of the most impoverished neighborhood. I can and said hey y'all come over for dinner. Let's talk.
How much more effective would the church be if we just love two people?
Without excusing their sin without pretending that everything's fine, but just say we're here. What can we do? We're here. How can we help so many of us are waiting for someone to do something and goddess.
Do what I did. Get involved with where they're at. That's what God did God loved the world but not in a distant. Somebody got to do something about that way. He loved the world by sending his son. To become a part of the mess and to get hungry and thirsty and tired and sick.
to identify with the people that he was with and say I love you and so does God
that's what we're called to do Christians to put ourselves into the midst of the mess not to retreat not to take our high-and-mighty stand and say look at us for any questions should stay off my lawn.
Nowhere called to go down. and to engage To love those that God loves to bring a message of Hope called The Gospel. What would it look like? What would it look like this year?
For Thanksgiving. What do you opened your home up at Thanksgiving and you went to the house in your neighborhood whose yard is always a mess and the kids got toys strewn everywhere and they're always yelling at their kids if you would have been said, hey, we are doing for Thanksgiving. Well, you may not say y'all that might do my thing, but Rihanna's doing for Thanksgiving you want to come to our house?
Would it look like if you went to your coworker? And instead of of of of treating them as a competitor for the job that you want what we will look at you just sat down and let you said hey what's going on in your life? Tell me about it.
You want to do something? I got a game to take a hike get to know each other. If they weren't just an obstacle to your advancement, but they were somebody that God loved and gave you the opportunity to level what it look like. If instead of posting on social media how much we hate Muslims How much we hate homosexuals? What would it look like? Instead of posting we prayed.
John how about instead of killing all the Muslims? What if your gospel just invaded? The territory of Isis and Iran and North African what if what if people just got saved by the hundreds God would have Villages came to faith in your son just overnight and militant Islam for the truth of the gospel God. Could you do that? Would you do that? When was the last time you prayed? For somebody who wants you to die. to live When was the last time you loved your enemy and prayed for those who are currently persecuting your brothers and sisters around the world? That's the love of God. He loves people. He loves Isis. Hezbollah
He loves. Americans
he loves you and me. He invites us to love as well. What we going to do with that information, let's not be like Jonah.
I knew it. I knew God that you would do that that you would start saving Muslims by the hundred bull. I'm going to do that God and I didn't want you to do that. I'm still mad about 9/11 still ticked off about that. God punished them. I'm going to go tell anybody about the gospel for fear that you just might forget to somebody that I don't want you to tell Jonah response. May we not respond that way.
Hey respond. I didn't deserve your love. I didn't deserve your mercy. There are people in this world God who don't deserve it either, but would you give it to them like you gave it to me?
And charge you help me to love. The people that you love the way that you love them, let's pray.