INTRO: Please, give me another chance. I wonder if there is anyone who has not - at some time, in some situation - asked for another chance. Prisons are full of people who wish they could have another chance. Children about to be punished are quick to ask for just one more chance, Dad. Then, there are the missed opportunitiesin life. Days, months - even years later we may still be saying, If I just had another chance at that, Id take it. And the truth is that in some respects life is full of second chances. Until we die, each of us has the time to do things differently. We have read - in our text - of Jonahs second chance.
I. WE SEE A SINNER PARDONED
A. Jonah had chosen to sin, to disobey God
1. he plainly knew Gods will
2. he very deliberately chose to do otherwise
3. he knew he had sinned (1:12)
B. Penitent Jonah is forgiven of his disobedience
1. chapter 2 is a remarkable prayer of penitence (2:9b)
2. God would not have restored, nor used an impenitent Jonah
3. Mt 11:20-24 because they repented not
C. Restored prophet is still of great use to God
1. here is one of the great messages of grace when God pardons, it is complete! 1 Tim 1:14-17 ... Jonah has great work to do
2. how could someone who has done and been what I have, possibly be of use to God? what a terrible mistake
3. Ps 51:10-13 though his life would never quite be the same, perhaps Davids greatest work was now to be done!
II. WE SEE GODS INTENTIONS FOR NINEVAH NOT SIDE TRACKED
A. Human stubbornness will not thwart Gods plans
1. God had a plan in mind - Jonah was His messenger
2. Jonahs failures, stubbornness could not keep Gods plan from being accomplished
3. just think of Israels stubbornness ... but from Israel Jesus did come - Gal 4:4,5
B. Not even Satan could keep the church from becoming reality
1. Mt 16:18 Satan could, would try
2. but Gods purposes are kept by His incomparable might
3. oh, we may choose against God but He will find a way, a faithful voice to launch His plea
C. And God still wanted His word preached in Ninevah (3:2)
1. Jonah was to be careful to speak only Gods message
2. how carefully we must teach, preach how loyal and faithful we must be to His word (1 Cor 11:23a)
3. only his word accomplishes His purposes
III. WE SEE THE ONLY WAY TO OBEY
A. According to the word of the Lord (3:3a)
1. before, Jonah had behaved according to Jonahs will
2. now, however, we see the only proper response of faith
3. now, we see the supremacy of Gods word in Jonahs life
B. We cannot substitute our way
1. Mt 7:21-23 sincerity was obvious in these religious professions but Gods command had not been kept
2. Mt 15:3,6b-9 religious they were, carefully so but Gods commandment had not been kept ...their worship is vain
3. Ps 40:8 supremacy of Gods word in heart and life
C. The wise and foolish builders Mt 7:24-27
1. we have taught little narrative, the sone, object lesson
2. but have we effectively communicated, instilled the truth?
3. there is only one way to obey God!
D. In the case of Jonah ...
1. before He obeyed there was trauma, hurt, damage, waste
2. and all of that was so needless Jonah didnt have to butt his head against a brick wall ... nor do we
3. why wait longer to say to God, None of self and all of thee?
CLOSE:Our second chance may be this very moment in time. And because of the vast uncertainties of the future, this may be the very last second chance we have! Hopefully, our inclination will be to take this renewed opportunity to make Gods purpose and word supreme in our own lives!
Cecil A. Hutson
13 October 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)