Did you know that just because we have given up on someone, it doesn't mean that God has given up on them? Jonah had given up on Ninevah. He wanted them to all be punished. God had other plans and wanted to see them redeemed. Join Pastor Cal Jernigan for this challenging message from Jonah.Support the show (https://www.centralaz.com/Give)
[00:00:00] Well, all these years later, I still remember the day. I remember the day that I first, uh, actually thought about living for God. I remember the day I first actually considered the possibility of living my life differently than I had ever lived at before you see what happened to me is I met somebody who knew something that I didn't know who had something that I knew I didn't have.
[00:00:28] And it was so attractive to me. I, I couldn't blow it off. Now. Let me put a context to this. For me, it was the spring of 1973. I was a junior, uh, just going to become a senior. And I, I went to Cornetto high school. All right. In Scottsdale. And, um, at the high school I made friends and. I met one friend, a guy named mark Rosenbach.
[00:00:56] Mark was a year younger than me and mark lived in my neighborhood and mark and I would often, uh, walk home together. And I remember what he said to me on that day. And we were in the parking lot of the old Los Arcos mall. If you remember the Los Arcos mall, we're traversing it. And he said some stuff to me about this guy named Jesus and this.
[00:01:18] And I remember thinking I have no idea who you're talking about and I have no idea what you're talking about, but I couldn't shake it. I didn't know. Then at that moment that my life would take on a whole different trajectory as a result of one conversation with one guy in one parking lot. One message at one moment in time, forever change my life.
[00:01:42] And I'm, I'm telling you that story to, um, ask you the simple question. If you have faith in Jesus. Do you remember who it was that brought you to faith in Jesus? Do you remember? Like I could just describe my time. Could you have a time? Would you like to have a time? I don't know your story, but I do know this.
[00:02:05] If you, if you were brought to Jesus by the faith of somebody else, you will forever cherish that person in your life. Like. So, let me stop here and just say welcome to all of you. Welcome to all of you here. Welcome to those of you who are on any of our campuses. Uh, we are very aware of you and I want you to know that and understand that.
[00:02:26] Also I'm looking here. I'm not sure how to say your name. If I mispronounce you. I I'm. I'm really scared Chell from Iowa and, uh, Brianna from Louisiana, Brianna, I'm pretty sure I got your name right. C H E L E. I don't know how to say that, but anyway, um, we do want to just comment to our online community.
[00:02:49] We're aware of you as well, and we pray for you. And we do, I do this, this though, a couple of names out here to make all of us aware that it's bigger than you think. And God, this is good. Doing cool things. Okay. So we're, uh, we started a week ago, a series on Jonah, so let's just take our. And we were in Jonah two last week.
[00:03:08] So where would you suppose we might be this week? Jonah three. So open your Bibles to Jonah chapter three. If you don't know where Jonah is about the back of the new test, the back of the old Testament, just before you get to the new Testament of your Bible, which means it's about two thirds of the way through your Bible.
[00:03:21] Just kind of find it's a little book. It's only four chapters and we start. So we started the series that we're calling it on the run. It's the story of the life of Jonah. Uh, just to recap real quickly. So God asked Jonah to go give a message to a group of people called the Ninevites. He doesn't want to go there.
[00:03:37] He wants to go opposite what God said. He goes down to Joppa, gets on a ship, this headed for farness import called Tarshish and on the ocean, on the sea of the Mediterranean sea. A storm comes up, sailors are freaking out and they don't know what to do. The long story of it is the short of the. They throw Jonah overboard and a big fish swallows Jonah, and then takes him to a place in hurls him back on the shore.
[00:04:03] Okay. Now here's the deal. If you get lost on the fish, you're absolutely going to get lost in this story. It is not a story about a fish. The only part I said this last week, the only possible way this happened is that God supernaturally, it got involved. Okay. The guy. And I just need you to understand if you're the kind of person that believes God can't do miracles.
[00:04:23] This is going to cause you trouble. If you believe that God does miracles in a few weeks, we're going to start celebrating the birth of Jesus and this the Virgin thing, and you're going to go like that can't happen. And then we're going to talk at Easter about the restaurant and you know, that can happen.
[00:04:39] You see, when you believe in a supernatural God, you're not limiting yourself to only the things that nature, the natural world in which we live can explain. Uh, the only way you stayed alive has got supernaturally, kept them alive. That's all I can tell you. So don't make it about a fish. You're missing the point if you do that.
[00:04:55] So anyway, uh, he, he's on the he's on the road now to Nineveh. What's his problem. What his problem is, he's afraid he's at odds with the people he's supposed to go communicate. He doesn't like the Ninevites. I'll tell you why. He's also at odds with himself. He's conflicted. He's a prophet of God. He's a spokesman for God, but he doesn't want to be at this moment.
[00:05:16] And he's also, you'll see this next week, which strangely enough, you know where we're going to be next week. And he guesses what were doing a four Jonah four, four chapter four weeks is not hard. Okay. Read it. All right. But next week you're going to realize he's at odds with God. And really what he's doing is he's taken the entire story and he's making it all about him, which is what.
[00:05:39] His eyes are on him, his feelings, his thoughts, his, you know, we say it around here all the time. There's more to life than me. You're so important, but here's the deal. You're not the center of the story of Jesus. You're just not, you're not the center of God's universe. You've got to get that. Okay. And so it's a little humility.
[00:05:58] All right. The world isn't rotating around your store. And Jonah thought it was. And then he had to realize there's more to life than just him. So here's, here's the deal. We're going to jump in here. We're in Jonah chapter three. Let me just show you verses one and two and we'll get going here. Here's what it says.
[00:06:16] Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, go to the city of Nineveh and proclaim the message I give you. Wait, wait a minute. What, what that sounds really familiar. That sounds exactly like the beginning of the book of Jonah two chapters. Jonah. I want you to go to city of Nineveh. How many times has God have to ask me how many times has got to have to ask you to do the thing before you finally get around to doing it?
[00:06:39] And Joan is like, like now just need to make sure we understand. So this is fundamental. This is a real important. Okay. What Jonah is doing by running away from God? Is he sending, okay, now I know sin, isn't a popular subject, but let me just explain it. It's really, really simple to explain what sin is. Sin is when God says to go that way, do this.
[00:07:01] And I go, no, I'm going that way. That is the picture of Jonah. God said, do this. I said, no. Sin is when you turn your back on God and you want to see God in your rear view mirror, and you're going to go do your own thing. That's what's happening. And so Jonah has been doing that just like I've done that.
[00:07:18] And probably just like, you've done that now. The reality is, is that. Uh, this fish hurls Jonah up on the shore. And I said, last week, he's covered in Fisco and tartar sauce. He's a mess. And what God doesn't do. There's two things I think are really interesting that God doesn't do one. He doesn't grab Jonah by the back of the neck and say, see, see, see what you did.
[00:07:39] He didn't, he didn't shame. He did though. I am so embarrassed by you put our nose in our mess. You go, you call yourself a prophet and just humiliate them. It doesn't do that. It's not in there. You know, the other thing. He doesn't coddle up to them. All Jonah, Jonah, Jonah, tough three days. Hey, you should go back to Israel, have a extended vacation.
[00:07:59] It doesn't exonerate him for his disobedience. That's it shame him. Doesn't exonerate him. He just takes him where he is. He says, Joe, now let's go back to where we started. I want you to go to Nineveh and I want you to go do what I asked you to do now. It's fascinating that God hasn't forgotten about Nineveh.
[00:08:14] Jonah wants to forget about Nineveh, but God hasn't, this is a vial wicked place. This is not a good city. All right. This, a bunch of evil is going on there and God's compassion is greater than the incredible credit's happening in that city. And, uh, God's still going. I care about them and I want you to go talk to them.
[00:08:37] Let me explain what Nineveh represents here. All right. Now, listen, listen, Nineveh represents those. That you don't like, or, and those people you have given up on those people that you've just given up on there there'll be on God's reach. I don't care about them. Uh, if I can be really blunt, they can just go to hell for all I care.
[00:09:01] Cause that's all he cares. I don't care. That's who Nineveh represents. Now listen carefully. God doesn't give up on the people we've already given them. And we got to learn that I'm still past them. I'm so beyond them they're so yesterday to me and God goes, no, no, no. All he's being asked to do by the way is to deliver a message he's choking under the simple assignment of just go talk to them, just go talk to them know, uh, and, and again, he's beyond that.
[00:09:37] I want to point out something that I think is really important and relevant to us. Okay. To you and me. And we'll put it in these words. It's just the truth to remember when it comes to a bang, God late is better than never. I wish I always obeyed God. Right when I was sold to, I wish I always just did it right the first time, but I don't, I don't, I don't.
[00:09:57] And my guess is you probably struggle with that sometimes too. Jesus told the story a little kind of like. Parable. He just kind of made up a story in which he taught something. Let me show you what he said. And this Matthew 21, 28 onto 31. What do you think? Jesus said these words, what do you think then?
[00:10:14] There was a man who had two sons. Uh, he, he went to the first one and he said, son, go and work today in the vineyard. I will not. He answered, but later he changed his mind and he went, he, he said, no, I'm not going to do that. And then he said, did I really do that? That I really tell my dad know that I really refuse that.
[00:10:39] Then the father went to the other son and said, the same thing wants you to go work in the vineyard today. I will, sir. But he did not go, which of the two did what his father wanted. The first one, the one who. Changed his mind and said, you know what? I screwed up. I just screwed up. See, eventual obedience is better than continued disobedience.
[00:11:05] Eventually coming around is better than never coming around and obedience, by the way, it's not about what you intend to do. It's what you're doing. Just so we're all clear. Obedience is about what I'm doing, not what I'm thinking about doing. And sometimes I just need time to think. And sometimes you just need time to, sometimes you need to run away.
[00:11:23] To put some stuff in perspective to realize what you left. There, there is a great book on there's. A movie made the movie is not near the is good, but it's not nearly as good as the book it's called unbroken by Laura, Laura Hildebrand. If you've never read this book, get it, get it on your list. It's a book about, uh, an Olympic, uh, Olympic athlete and a pow guy, a prisoner of war, world war two, a guy named Louis Zamperini Louis, uh, was raised by, uh, his parents, immigrant parents from, uh, And he grew up in Southern California.
[00:11:54] He was known as a terror. He would get in fights. He would steal stuff. He was blowing off school. And one day his mom, I think it was his mom who gave him some chores to do. When he said, I'm not doing that, just like the parable. I'm not doing that. And so she says, you're not, he goes, no, I'm running away.
[00:12:10] And so Louis Zamperini, this determined with a friend who was going to run away and his parents tried to talk them out of, but he wouldn't be taught. So his mom made him a sandwich and his dad gave him a couple bucks and said, we'll see you whenever. And they, they, they hopped on a train out of LA going north.
[00:12:27] They discovered on this train that they got locked in a box car and it became like a burning oven. And then they were eventually let out of the box car, but they were then thrown off the train by some people at gunpoint. They had to walk for miles and miles and, uh, they, they found themselves in a situation.
[00:12:45] They had no idea that they would ever be in. They got really, really hungry. They ended up in a rail yard. This is in the book, they got in a rail yard and they were, the two of them were shivering over a can of cold beans. And you got to understand they were, they were wet, they were cold. They were sunburned, they were hungry and they were just a mess.
[00:13:11] And then when he's emperor and he says in his book, he says, I saw some. That forever changed my life. And it sounds like a Johnny Cash song. If you know the song I'm talking about, but he saw a train go by and on the train. He saw the people dining in the dining cars and to quote him, he said this beautiful white tablecloth and crystal on the tables and food people laughing and enjoying themselves and eating.
[00:13:37] And here I am shivering over a cold mechanical. Well, sometimes when you went away, you need some time to see what you, where where'd you go, what happened? And then you realize what you had and what you should've done. And you can change your mind. That's the great glorious, good news that God allows you to just go, God, I know I messed up.
[00:14:00] You see if you're running from God, you're eventually going to realize your loss is greater than your gain. Now those are my words. You don't you'll probably go. No, I'm good. Trust me. If you're running from God, you're eventually going to realize your loss is greater than your gain, but it takes a long time sometimes to get there.
[00:14:17] She has a problem with so many of us is we act on our feelings. Her obedience is wrapped up in our feelings. Do I feel like doing what God's asking me to do? Do I feel like doing this? And if I can think for Jonah, my guess is he didn't feel anything for the Ninevites. I don't care about them and God, I'm not doing it.
[00:14:35] Cause I don't. And I don't know about you, but if your feelings ever get ahead of your thinking, you're going to do some stupid things in your life. And I don't mean that to be condemning. I just mean it it's just happens. Look, I would tell you this, uh, I'll tell you four things about me. I am a, I'm a husband.
[00:14:53] I'm a father. I'm a, I'm a Christian and I'm a pastor. Those are not the only four things I can tell you about those four truths about me now. I'm can I also tell you something about me? I don't always feel like being a. I don't always feel like being a father. I don't always feel like being a Christian. I certainly don't always feel like being a pastor, but you know, what, what I feel doesn't matter, you know, when it matters is when I act on my feelings.
[00:15:16] So if I didn't feel like being a husband and did something stupid contrary to the fact that I am a husband, I would destroy my marriage, which I haven't done if I decided to not a father, because I don't feel like being a father, I would do something stupid on behalf of my kids. Um, let me qualify. I've done stupid things with my kids.
[00:15:35] Don't miss, but I've not destroyed the relationship if I, if I'm a Christian and I, I don't feel like a Christian, I'm going to do some terrible things, really going to derail my life. And certainly as a pastor, I could do that where I wouldn't be a pastor for long. If I did that, whenever your feelings take over, because this is what's happened to Jonah, I don't like them.
[00:15:55] I'm acting on my feelings and, and his life is going a certain way. Let me ask you a question. Does life really need to be as difficult as it's been for you? I don't know, because all we've done in two chapters now in chapter three, we're right back where we started. You see it we're right. That he gave him the exact same go to Nineveh.
[00:16:18] How many chapters of your life could have been? I mean, come on the trip to Joppa. Th the good paying the ship to Tarshish the fair, getting in the middle of the storm, getting thrown overboard, getting swallowed by a fish and hurled up on all of that could have been skipped. One could have been skipped in your life.
[00:16:35] If you're just honest, you go, you know what? I really regret this because I didn't have to go through that. But I was going away when I should have been going toward I've said this before, and I just want to say it again. And I say, I say this from experience. And I say this because it's one of the lessons I've learned in my life.
[00:16:56] And I would love to tell you, I never forget this. I always live by this I don't, but here's what I can tell you. I have never disobeyed God. I can say it either way. So I have never disobeyed God and come out ahead and I've never obeyed God and lived. Let me say an opposite. I've never done what God said and looked at it later and said, that was stupid.
[00:17:23] Why did I do that? And I've never done what God said not to do. I did it and went, he didn't know what he's talking about. I always discover why he said not to do something after I've done it. My guess is you're probably similar. Why do I have to do that? Why can't I just take him at his word, go do this and just go do that.
[00:17:44] Why do I have to spend so much time outside of. You know what Jonah expected certain things to happen. Now you got to get this. If you don't get this, you don't Joanie expected certain things to happen. Then when he got to this horrible wicked city, he was going to be ridiculed that he was going to be rejected.
[00:18:00] He probably thought they were gonna kill him. There were at least going to beat them. They were probably going to whip them. They're probably going to put them in. And he's like going, I want nothing to do with that. I can't imagine how many sleepless nights he spent, how worried he was cold terrors. It would wake him in the night as he thought about the outcome, the nightmares easily.
[00:18:20] His problem was he had a no way mindset. Like, God, you're asking me to go do this. There's no way this is going to work. I'm going to go there. And there's no way this is going to turn out. Well, it's kind of like I was thinking about this. I was thinking about it. Like when I was in junior high school, when I was in junior high school, I, I had an additive.
[00:18:36] That, um, pretty much kind of explains my junior high years. Like, like, I want you to, if you could picture this, go to a junior high dance, just go to a junior high dance. All the guys are over here and the girls over there. Yeah. And you know, at some point you kind of muster up the courage. I should probably go ask a girl to dance, but this is how I would ask a girl to dance.
[00:18:56] Hey, uh, Emily or whoever. Hey, uh, there's like no way. That you'd be willing to dance with me. Right. Am I right? And she would say, you're right. Don't laugh at me. It happened to you too. I projected the answer because I already made my minor. She's not going to dance with me. And why should she, especially when I ask it that way, this is, this is what didn't, this is what Nineveh is to him.
[00:19:28] That there's no way they're wicked they're mean they're evil. I don't speak their language. They're not going to like me. They've never liked it. It's too far. It's too hard. It's too much. Well, that's what he expected, but let me show you what he experienced. Look at Jonah three, three and four, Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord finally, and went to Nineveh.
[00:19:52] How hard was that now Nineveh was a very large city. It took three days to go through it. So Jonah began by going a day's journey into the city proclaiming here's this message 40 more days, and Nineveh will be overthrown. Now we'll get to the message in just a moment. Let's talk about the city. Very large, very prominent, such big wall around it.
[00:20:14] Big tall wall, lots and lots of people living there. It's so big that for him to make his way through the city is going to take three days. Just picture it. All right. He's only one day in one day in he's probably already in one day. So more than he ever imagined, he more than he can stand, there's more evil going on than he knew existed.
[00:20:36] And so he stopped one day and he gives the shortest sermon ever preached. I mean, eight words. Eight words and talking about positive preaching, not it's not at all 40 more days and Nineveh will be overthrown and you might be going. And by the way, that's only six words in the original Hebrew you go, oh, what I would give to go to church and hear eight word sermon.
[00:21:07] Don't do bad for y'all. All right. He probably said it under his breath too. He wasn't really outspoken. You can get the afforded more days,
[00:21:20] 40 more days and y'all are wiped out. When more days history, your gun sucks to be you not at all secret sensitive. Now, I don't know how he said that. I have no way of knowing. Maybe, maybe he said 40 more days. And then if it will be overthrown, but you got to understand, this is not a typical message of a prophet.
[00:21:44] A prophet usually says, thus says the Lord and it begins and your sins. And he would deliver the sins and the injustices. What you've tolerated. That would be a profit 40 more days, man, if you guys are toast, that's all you can imagine the explosion he's anticipating. Hey, Hey, that guys grab him. Grab him.
[00:22:09] Stone him flog him, put, put him in prison, put him in the stocks, beat him, crucify him. Who knows what a good luck man did. He wins when he said the worst 40 more days, and then it will be destroyed. Like, Ugh. I felt so bad for you guys. Well, look at Jonah three, five. It's shocking. It'll blow your mind. The Ninevites believed.
[00:22:39] God, no way. What, how how's that even possible? Eight words and the Ninevites believed God, come on. You gotta be kidding me. Well, let me show you Jonah. Three, five through nine. The Ninevites believed God, a fast rust proclaimed and all of them from the greatest to the least put on sackcloth. I'll explain that in.
[00:23:04] When Jonah's warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne and he said, who dares speak such a message in my kingdom, bring that man to me. And they threw him in a fiery furnace. Nah, that's another story. Uh, when Jonah's warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose to a mystery. Took off his Royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust.
[00:23:37] This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh, Harrier, Harrier, by order of the king of Nineveh by the decree of the king and his Nobles do not let people or animals, herds, or flocks taste anything, do not let them eat. What, but let people in animals be covered with sackcloth that everyone call urgently on God, let them give up their evil ways and their violence who knows God may yet relent with compassion, turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.
[00:24:19] And Jonah's going okay, well, how'd this go so wrong? This is all wrong. This is not how it's supposed to play out. You guys is forced to stone. Me. It's supposed to put me in stocks. You're supposed to, they declared a fast thinker. They declared a fast, a fast we're not eating and nor are your animals. And everyone put on sackcloth.
[00:24:42] Sackcloth was like goats, like goat hair garments that it was as incredibly uncomfortable as they could. This is opposite. Silk is. It's not meant to feel cozy instrument it's meant to irritate. If you wear sackcloth, when you are seriously trying to say to the world, I screwed up bad. Pray for me. God, I screwed up bad.
[00:25:04] And the king orders, all the animals to me were in sackcloth. All the people, all the animals. And he sat down in dust dust to a king. You don't sit in the dust. You're lowly subject, sit in the. And he says, everyone, call on God. Now give up your evil, your violence. How, how that's, that's all wrong. How'd that happen?
[00:25:30] Okay. Can I tell you how that happened? And this, this is what you got to get out of this church. God prepares people's hearts. We don't. Can I explain something to you that I know you're here today, because God did a work on you long before a guy named mark showed up in your life who showed up in my life.
[00:25:51] God was already doing stuff in Maine to get me ready for what mark was going to eventually tell me you're here because God already plowed the ground to get ready for the message. When the person who was faithful in your life showed up, you were ready. And I could just tell you so many stories about this being.
[00:26:10] If I, again, can I just be vulnerable with you? Yes. Okay. I've preached some really bad sermons in my life. Amen. And you're doing it again, pastor. I appreciate them really bad sermons. My wife knows this. There are times I'll pour my heart into a message and I just know it just, uh, just floods up like. Just crash and burn and you don't see me doing this, but I'm literally crawling off the stage.
[00:26:41] I got to go home, you know, go lick my wounds, what I have discovered. And this makes no sense to me often when I crawl off the stage and I end up in the courtyard, somebody comes up to me and they'll say something like this. It's an exact, it isn't like pastor. I can't even begin to tell you what God told me.
[00:27:01] And that message about my life. And I got clarity that I've been seeking and it's crystal clear to me what I got to do, pastor, thank you for being so faithful to God,
[00:27:12] who are you talking to? And they'll say, they'll say things. This is what happens. So what happens? So say when you said, and then they'll say something I said, and I'm going, I am positive. I never said that. I don't know what I said. It was bad, but. And we'll go crystal clear, man. I heard God loud and clear can not, can I be, can I be real vulnerable with you?
[00:27:33] Yes, I approve some good sermons in my day. I pray some sermons. I'm proud of. I preach some Sherman's man. I just got it together. It just float and I could speak it clearly. And then I just came out. I just delivered it now. I don't crawl off the stage. No, that's up. That's right. I'm bad. You know what I've learned, never wants that anyone ever come up and say, God spoke to me through that.
[00:28:04] What's the difference. It's when you get it off of you and you put it on God and you let God prepare the person's heart, you don't have to do that. You just got to do what God told you to do, which is just to be faithful. Have you ever seen people come to faith that you go to? There's just no way they're ever going to come to you.
[00:28:25] Th the apostle Paul, there's no way this Christian killer is going to come to faith in Jesus, but he does. He's go. How'd that happen? One of my favorite authors CS Lewis, CS Lewis was an Oxford scholar. Secular is a day as long until his friend, J R R Tolkien, Lord of the rings. Tolkien said, you need to think about Jesus.
[00:28:48] And it gets all the odds. He converts to Christianity and writes all of these incredible books that we cherish to this day. Anything about Norma McCorvey? Norma McCorvey was the row in our RV way. Roe versus Wade in the 73 Supreme court. It was her that was lobbying to have abortion legalized in America.
[00:29:09] And she, uh, she won and, uh, then she said, And she converted to Christianity. You can see she's no way she can. We get so cynical. Hey, did you know that? Um, Kanye west and Justin Bieber, Conway west, just some people they don't really believe in God. Why don't we think because they're successful. Why would they need God folks?
[00:29:38] I don't know how to tell you this. People need God. I've seen the SU my, my youth group that I showed you when I was high school. So many of these people still walk with God. I've seen it through my years of youth ministry. There are people in this room right now who were in my youth group 30 years ago, and they've grown up in the church and their kids are now in the.
[00:30:02] And I've seen so many life shame. How many adults I've seen walk forward and you go, there is no way possible. They're successful. They have money. They have a nice house. Why would they need God? They need God because they need God. Just like I do. Just like you do. Don't dismiss them. Don't look past them.
[00:30:23] How did it work? God showed up in Nineveh long before Jonah. And God was working on those people. Don't say no for people don't say no for the holy spirit, I got to finish Jonah three, 10, the last verse, when God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways he had compassion and did not bring upon them.
[00:30:48] The destruction that he had threatened folks, look at me. I don't know, man. No way. Here's what you need. God, forgive. Our screw ups, God forgave, Jonah, God forgave, the Ninevites God forgave me. And he will forgive you. God forgives. I said this last week, let me repeat it. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and Justin will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
[00:31:14] If we confess our sins, which just means you've just come to a point where you go. Yeah, I'm guilty. Yep. I did it. Yep. So I'm 1 0 3, 12, as far as the east is from the west so far, has he removed our transgressions from us? Let me go back. What is sin? Sin is stored in your back on God. What God does is take your transgression.
[00:31:32] Those that as far opposite you, when you repent far as east is from the west. Now I've only got a minute, but I want to give you four fast lessons to live by. I want to show you a progression. This is real important. So listen, if we won't speak people, won't. If we won't speak people, won't God doesn't need us to speak.
[00:31:52] God allows us to speak. God invites us in so that you can be like mark was in my life. So you can be that in somebody else. He doesn't need you, but he invites you in. If we won't speak people, won't hear. If people don't hear or when people don't hear they don't repent. Why would you repent folks? There is a famine of the teaching of the word of God in our land today.
[00:32:14] There are so many peoples, never hear anything about God. If you don't speak, they're never going to hear and you go, well, they're going to go to say, they're not going to go to church. Where are they going to hear? If you won't speak just over the lunch table, you think everyone is heard? Everyone has heard about God.
[00:32:32] It's not true. I have conversation with people who have no idea. I am an example of a person who had no idea about. And I know I'm not alone. So if we won't speak people won't hear it. When people don't hear people, don't repent. When people repent, God relents, God doesn't want to punish him. And that didn't get joy out of sending anyone to hell.
[00:32:54] Second, Peter three, nine, the Lord is not slow in keeping his promise. As some understand slowness. He is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repins why are you taking so long? God, because now put your name in here. Because Cal won't get serious about delivering the message.
[00:33:13] I gave him to give his friend George, put your name in there. Why are you taking so long? God, because I care about George and Cal. You got to get to where you do the way I do. Who is it for you? Who is it for you that God uniquely placed for them in your life? So if we won't speak people won't hear when people don't hear people don't repent when people repent God relents, and when God relents people, rejoice folks, there's no greater joy in this life than knowing your sins are covered.
[00:33:45] Knowing that your screw ups are that God forgives you. There's just no greater delight. Some 30 to bless it. Is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man who sinned the Lord does not count against him. And in whose spirit is. Nothing to hide. It's all out in the clear, gotta confess it.
[00:34:04] I did it. This one, I, I turned my back. I went the wrong direction, but I want to come home. You want the message of Jonah is God can reach anyone. God can reach anyone and you know, what can I, without don't hear this wrong? You know what? You're probably the summer. The other people said, there's no way that I know I am.
[00:34:34] I know I am there. I got friends. Who've got, there's no way Cal. It's going to come to Jesus. Here we are. Anyone. God can reach anyone he's reached you. He's reached me. I believe. How did I get here? All he needs is somebody like mark. To deliver a message faithfully. And that's where you come into the picture for your friends.
[00:35:00] By the way, all you need to do is say, well, you can be as simple as eight words, eight words, I would love for you to come with, come with me, come with me to church, come with me to route it. Come with me to my community group. Come with me to a Bible study, come with me. Oh, to God. I'd love for you. Have you heard how much God loves you?
[00:35:23] That's another eight words. Have you learned, have you heard how much God loves you? I guess I can go on. It's just not a whole bunch of words. It's a whole bunch of heart of caring. Will you be faithful? Are you going to run away? I I'm Jonah. I shoot myself in him. I see him in me. Do you see you and him? Do you see him in you?
[00:35:50] How many chapters of your life have to be. In the opposite direction of where God wants you to go turn around and obey. It's never too soon. It's never too late. Let's pray. So God, thank you for your word as we always do. And God, it's so much easier to read so much easier to preach than it is to live. And God forgive me.
[00:36:15] I asked for, uh, the many times I thought I could somehow get ahead by this. And God, thank you for your mercy and your kindness and Lord, thank you for these folks. And I love them. I love this church. I love what you're doing among us, but God, we gotta be found faithful and you have laid a commission upon us to tell people about you.
[00:36:37] And we just make all kinds of excuses and rationales as to why it's not going to where there's no way. And we projected no way out of today by not even bothering to have the conversation. God find us faithful. Help us to repent. Turn around. And start over on our journey of faith. I pray for us in this, in Jesus name and all God's people said.
[00:36:58] Amen. Thank you guys for being with us.