INTRO: By ancient or modern standards Nineveh must have been an impressive place. But its end was near. It was a city and a people given to wickedness. A hundred years before, Jonah had preached a message of judgment in that city, and there had been a great movement of repentance.From the greatest to the lowliest of the people the city had sat in sack cloth and ashes (Jonah 3:6-8).Now, it is the prophet Nahum who utters prophetic words described as the burden of Nineveh(1:1). The book of Nahum is a short little book with a dreadful message for a nation engrossed in sin.
I. THE BOOK OPENS WITH AN IMPORTANT COMPARISON
A. God s wrath is directed toward His enemies
1. Nah 1:1-3 - note God is jealous ... revengeth ... furious ... wrath ...
2. these are not descriptive words we would enjoy
3. this is a side of God we do not often stress
4. but it is a side of God which the prophets often revealed in view of the depravity of those whom they addressed
5. the Lord is slow to anger - this emphasizes the great wickedness to which Nineveh must have descended!
B. Gods goodness is directed toward those who trust in Him
1. Nah 1:7 - The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble ...
2. this is no doubt a message to the people of Judah - people who had so often suffered at the hands of the Assyrians
3. see Ps 112:6-8 - ... his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord
4. will bad things happen to good people? Yes, they will
5. but if those good people will keep their trust, God will always be their strong hold
II. CONCERNING GODS JUDGMENTS ...
A. Gods judgments on evil are inevitable
1. see Nah 2:13 - 3:5 - 3:19
2. Behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord of hosts...
3. Ps 34:16 - ... to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth!!!
4. Rom 2:2,3 - But we are sure ...
5. Heb 10:30,31 - yes, God is slow to anger, is longsuffering; but there comes that inevitable time of His judgment
B. Gods judgments on evil are irresistible
1. Nah 3:8-13 - the prophet calls to remembrance Thebes
2. that great Egyptian city had thought itself to be invincible
3. and it was the Assyrians which conquered it!
4. now, Nineveh, the grand, mighty city would be overthrown
5. 2 Pet 3:10-12 - the day of the Lord will come ... - and none will be able to escape it
C. Gods judgments on evil are just
1. Nah 1:14 - for thou art vile - see also Nah 3:19c - for upon whom hat not thy wickedness passed continually?
2. Gods judgments are not capricious and fickle
3. His judgments come because the evil of those upon whom they come - and this simple statement of Ninevehs condition say it all!
4. so, Gal 6:7,8 - how fair! how just!
5. and do we need to mention Rom 3:23-26 ... and the need we all have for justification through Jesus and His atoning blood?
D. Gods judgments on evil are harsh, unpleasant, undesirable
1. Nah 3:5-7 - ... who will bemoan her ...
2. these, of course, are His earthly judgments
3. listen: Mt 25:30,41,46 - hell is not a pretty place!
4. but this is the final abode of all who have ignored God and His way
5. hell will make Ninevehs fate seem like a walk in the park!
CLOSE: Perhaps it would be good to read Heb 10:29. The horror the citizens of Nineveh must have felt when the great city was overrun cannot be compared to the horror unfaithful Christians will experience at the judgment.
Cecil A. Hutson
11 May 2003
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)