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December 1, 2002 PM

Jonah 3:10

INTRO: Powerful preaching, penitent people, mighty cries to God for mercy all contributed to lead to this remarkable statement. Whod have thought that Nineveh would be spared? For that matter, whod have thought Nineveh would have changed? But here is the historical, scriptural statement ... irrefutable proof. True, something near a hundred years later Nineveh is again in trouble and ultimately is overturned by the hand of God. But this Nineveh discovers the magnificent grace of God. In the verse weve chosen as our text there are some valuable lessons about God.


A. Responses to His word will be mixed

1. admittedly, some will not change, will not be moved the people of Noahs day are proof of that yet, Noah preached

2. on the other hand, many will respond positively

3. think of Saul of Tarsus Acts 22:3-10,16

B. We must be willing for God to use us as messengers

1. its so easy to keep silence to contain our faith

2. its so easy to become discouraged to feel its doing no good for me to keep on speaking for the Master

3. yet, how can the seed grow if never planted? and who will plant it if you do not?


A. The words God saw tell us God is concerned

1. the earth was special creation of God for a very special purpose ... habitat of humanity it and contents unique

2. God constantly concerned, then, about humanity

3. He never ignores or turns away from events here

B. And scripture tells us He sees

1. Gen 1:31 God saw His creation it was good

2. Gen 6:5 God saw mans wickedness

3. Ex 3:7Lord saw Israels affliction .... in all of this we are realizing God knows exactly what is happening here (see 2 Chron 16:9)

C. His seeing, His knowing speak of human responsibilities

1. why else would He be concerned to know?

2. and our responsibility is constant all times, all places

3. in our text God was seeing the proof of Ninevehs penitence (Acts 26:20)


A. He said in 40 days Nineveh would be overthrown

1. but that was said to an evil, wicked people

2. now these people are sorrowing toward God changed

3. therefore, God would spare Nineveh

B. This consistent with Gods way righteous judgment

1. Ezek 18:25-30 principle of His judgment is clear, fair (see also

Jer 18:7-10)

2. principle continues: Rom 11:22 and 1 Jno 1:9,10

3. the matter is really simple, uncomplicated ... we have Gods word; we conform to it; we know we are accepted with God


A. This is the message of hope throughout the Bible

1. men and women will sin, will become engrossed in evil

2. and some of them will come to themselves to the extent they will see the futility, emptiness of such a life

3. but what to do? what hope?

B. In this age of the gospel the answer comes in Acts 2:37

1. repent be baptized for remission of sins

2. of course, it is made possible by the blood of Christ ... and it is remission which is certain in specific obedience - yet, general outline is same as with Nineveh

3. here, then, is hope of people in sin here is our hope

CLOSE: We have a message of hope. Some will receive it. Others will not. But that is not to concern us. Our concern must be to make that message known so that receptive hearts will have the opportunity to embrace the hope!

Cecil A. Hutson

01 December 2002

God's Plan of Salvation

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 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 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 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)

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!

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)