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December 22, 2002 PM

Jonah 4:3-5

INTRO: There is no doubt in my mind that Jonah was a man with a stubborn streak constantly just below the surface in all of his dealings. Perhaps such a stubborn resolve was necessary in Gods prophets as they cried out against the wickedness of their day ... of Gods people. Perhaps such stubbornness may still be needed as preachers reprove, rebuke, exhort. Yet, the stubbornness which could be an asset in trial can become very unattractive in us when it is uncalled for. Our text is such a display of unattractive stubbornness we see The Stubborn Prophet.


A. This is a bit of ugliness in Jonah

1. did not want to live to see Nineveh spared

2. perhaps thought sparing Nineveh was a reflection on his own integrity

3. certainly wasnt getting his way

4. (reminds me of the child who says, Well, Ill just take my dolly and go home, then!)

B. Better to die than to live?

1. death would be selfish escape from reality

2. death would be selfish escape from responsibility

3. Phil 1:21-26 what is the difference? a genuine desire to be with the Lord!

4. but Paul saw pluses of continuing to live

C. Do we let selfishness overcome purpose in our lives?

1. as long as breath remains, we serve purpose

2. I certainly dont pretend to always know or see exactly what the purpose may be

3. but I know that we can - even in worst of straits - make our lives a blessing to ourselves and to others

4. 2 Tim 4:12 with death staring him in the face, Paul was going to study, to write, to fulfill noble purpose!


A. Hes saying, Jonah, take a look at yourself

1. are you being angry without a cause?

2. is your stubbornness appropriate here?

3. are you not being very unfair and ungracious?

B. The Lords questions tend to uncover us

1. Gen 3:13 a question for Eve

2. Lk 7:39-42 a question for Simon the Pharisee

3. questions of ourselves are an excellent tool to help us understand, know ourselves


A. Desertion of His great responsibility

1. Jonah went out of the city - how very sad

2. those people needed him more now than ever explain

3. I cannot help but wonder if the great turn around in Nineveh would have been longer lived had Jonah stayed to help form, mold those lives

4. Phil 1:25,26 continue ... for your furtherance

B. Busied himself in a selfish enterprise

1. there made him a booth

2. anger, stubbornness are often so self-centered

3. Jonah was determined to be comfortable ... his comfort meant more than Nineveh his interests were paramount

4. Acts 20:24 would God that I could be this selfless!

C. He silently wished ill for Nineveh so stubborn!

1. till he might see ...

2. Jonahs character was so out of tune with Gods

3. have we ever wished ill upon another can we truly rejoice with them that rejoice?

4. 1 Cor 9:27 Jonah had need to learn this

CLOSE: In our next and final study of Jonah we will see just how God deals with Jonahs priorities. I have an idea that God finally did get through to Jonah. But wouldnt it be wonderful if we could learn from Jonah ... and not make the same foolish mistakes!

Cecil A. Hutson

22 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)