INTRO: Jonah is fleeing from the presence of the Lord. He is leaving all of the reminders of his prophetic office and responsibility behind him as he sets out for Tarshish ...or, at least he thinks he is. Have you ever begun a trip where everything started out so well (for a change)? You breathe a sigh of relief as you set out on the journey thinking, This has got to be the best beginning ever. I just know nothing can go wrong now. And no sooner had you thought it than the overheating light comes on - or a tire blows - or a desk clerk says, What reservations? That is exactly the way Jonahs trip went. From a smooth beginning he finds himself right in the middle of The Storm That Sin Caused. (Text)
I. LOOK AT THE STORM (1:4)
A. The sea is a storm prone place
1. great, powerful storms begin over water
2. and Mediterranean Sea was certainly no exception
B. But this storm is different
1. the Lord sent out a great wind
2. from description this was a storm to end all storms
3. the ship - built to withstand most storms - was not built to encounter such a storm as this!
C. This was Gods storm for Gods purpose
1. natural world under Gods decree: Ps 148:3-8; 119:90,91
2. more than a few times God used natural world to accomplish His purposes amongmen
3. and, assuredly, this is one such time!
II. LOOK AT THE MARINERS (1:5a)
A. They were frightened
1. ancient sailors were among most hardy and brave
2. their fright says something of intensity of storm
B. They began praying ... to various gods
1. there are no atheists in a foxhole
2. these sailors suddenly thought of their gods and called upon them for help a kind of emergency religion?
3. but how futile Jer 10:3-5 (comments)
C. They began casting cargo overboard
1. there are things more precious than earthly wealth
2. why must we come to a crisis to see this?
3. a timely question is asked in Mk 8:36
III. LOOK AT THE PROPHET JONAH (1:5b)
A. His sin had involved, affected others
1. sin has a way of reaching beyond the sinner!
2. Jonahs sin endangered many lives (Rom 14:7)
3. Eccl 9:18 note the words of David 2 Sam 24:17 ... and remember the sin of Achan and its effects on whole nation?
B. His greater privilege, knowledge wrought greater responsibility
1. we might wonder why God bothered so much with this one man
2. but this was a man who enjoyed a close relationship to the Lord, whose knowledge of God and truth was greater than average ... of whom everyone had a right to expect more!
3. when a child of God falls into sin, how great is the fall!
C. He could not escape the effects of his sins
1. change locality is only a change of scenery
2. the consequence of sin is going to be felt by the sinner no matter his location for he takes his guilt with him
3. Prov 13:15 its a truth one cannot avoid Amos 9:1-3
D. But Jonah was asleep!
1. none of his problems, none of his guilt seemed to be weighing upon him
2. too often one in sin is the last to see it - Heb 3:13
3. the certainty of Gal 6:7 had not come home to Jonah ... but it was certainly aboutto!
CLOSE: The fugitive is about to be arrested. Jonah is about to discover the consequences of the storm his sin caused. Two vital lessons are here which I want especially to stress: we cannot sin with impunity, and we cannot sin in such ways as not to hurt others!
Cecil A. Hutson
12 May 2002
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)