Series Code: TWH
Program Code: TWH180526A
00:31 Let us pray.
00:35 Loving Father in heaven,
00:37 this morning as the Shepherd of our hearts...
00:42 Lord, we invite You to come and to lead us...
00:49 To speak to our hearts, and to strengthen us.
00:54 In Jesus' name, I pray, amen.
01:00 Do you have your Bibles with you this morning?
01:01 I did not.
01:03 It's been such a while, I forgot the scripture reading,
01:06 but I know you have your Bibles with you,
01:08 and you would like to turn with me
01:12 to the Book of Jonah,
01:15 to the Book of Jonah.
01:17 What book did I say?
01:19 Jonah. The Book of Jonah.
01:21 There are very few books in the Bible
01:23 that have only four chapters,
01:25 Philippians is one and Jonah is another.
01:31 Jonah is an interesting character to say the least.
01:35 Jonah 3:1
01:39 is where our Scripture reading is taken from this morning.
01:44 "Now the Word of the Lord came to Jonah
01:50 the second time."
01:52 That's all I want.
01:54 "The Word of the Lord came to Jonah
01:59 the second time."
02:03 It was a wicked city.
02:08 Shortly after the separation
02:10 that took place at the Tower of Babel
02:13 along the Tigris River a city named Nineveh was built.
02:20 Nineveh, influenced heavily
02:24 by those who distrusted God at the Tower of Babel,
02:29 Nineveh, among the cities of the ancient world
02:34 in the days of divided Israel,
02:36 one of the greatest cities was Nineveh.
02:42 When you begin to study what the theologians
02:45 and the archaeologists say about Nineveh,
02:48 and the historians,
02:50 it is concluded that Nineveh was one of the wickedest cities
02:54 along the Tigris River.
02:58 Nineveh was the center of crime and wickedness.
03:02 The Bible characterizes it
03:04 as the city of blood full of lies,
03:08 full of plunder, never without victims.
03:16 In other words, if you dare to visit Nineveh,
03:18 chances were high that you would get robbed.
03:21 Nineveh was never without victims.
03:26 I know what that's like,
03:27 I was held up at gunpoint twice,
03:28 not in Nineveh but in New York.
03:31 Cities like New York, and Los Angeles, and Detroit,
03:34 Michigan, and Chicago
03:37 are very much like an ancient Nineveh,
03:40 full of blood, full of lies, full of plunder.
03:45 And when the Bible says, "Never without victims,"
03:48 it meant that if you dared visit that city,
03:51 you increased your chances of being robbed,
03:53 your home being broken into full of plunderment
03:57 that the thieves on the streets in the city of Nineveh
04:01 were often selling something that didn't belong to them,
04:05 something they stole from maybe someone visiting Nineveh
04:08 or a car was broken into that was rented in Nineveh
04:12 or someone's home was plundered in Nineveh.
04:15 It takes me back to a story of mine.
04:16 A very good friend of mine, Peter Gibbs,
04:19 Pastor CA knows him very well.
04:23 I don't forget the story, but I remember the details,
04:27 I don't remember exactly when, but I remember the details,
04:29 he was at a gas station in New York City
04:32 and a guy came up to him with a large heavy box,
04:35 and he said,
04:37 in the box it was the 27-inch Sony television.
04:39 This is before they came out with the flat screens,
04:43 it was a heavy box.
04:44 And the guy said, "Hundred bucks,
04:46 I said I'll give you for hundred bucks."
04:48 And he knew that, you know, a Sony television,
04:50 27-inch color television, $100 bucks is a steal.
04:54 Well, it was a steal before it was a steal
04:57 because he stole it.
04:59 And so he said $100 bucks.
05:00 So he whipped out, you know,
05:02 bought the television for $100 bucks, got excited.
05:04 You know, Christians should not be buying stolen material.
05:07 Can I get an amen?
05:08 So he bought the television, went home, and opened the box,
05:10 he was so excited.
05:12 He walked in, and he said to his wife,
05:13 "I got a 27-inch color television $100 bucks,
05:15 hot off the streets."
05:16 Opened the box, it was filled with bricks and newspaper.
05:20 That's the city of Nineveh.
05:22 I remember in New York City,
05:23 I was going to the Madison Square Garden.
05:25 I'm not down on New York City,
05:26 that's just the city of my experiences.
05:28 I was walking on 34th Street around 8th Avenue
05:31 by the Garden, by the Madison Square Garden,
05:34 and the Knicks were playing to Chicago Bulls.
05:37 And I'm a diehard New York Knicks fan.
05:39 And there were guys on the street selling tickets,
05:41 you know, they often will buy tickets
05:43 and increase the price for the last minute purchases
05:45 when the tickets were sold out and the garden was filled.
05:48 And so I decided, my wife and I were together,
05:50 you know, let's go and buy some tickets.
05:52 They're hot but, you know, the price is...
05:53 I'm going to at least get in the game.
05:55 And I just said, "Christian shouldn't buy hot tickets,
06:00 but I bought some hot tickets."
06:03 And they look legit,
06:06 and I went in, and they scanned my ticket,
06:08 and there was anything but legit.
06:10 They said, "Sir, where did you buy these tickets?"
06:13 And I said, "I got them at a discount price
06:16 on the street."
06:17 He said, "Sir, these are great replicas
06:19 but these are not tickets."
06:21 So I went outside with every intention
06:23 to find the guy that I gave my $200 to,
06:26 but he was nowhere to be found.
06:27 That's Nineveh.
06:29 If you want to Nineveh, somebody had a game,
06:32 somebody was running a scam.
06:34 I remember working in the Wall Street area...
06:36 I'm not going to tell you all my stories,
06:37 but I remember working on the Wall Street area
06:39 and a guy came up to me on my lunch hour,
06:41 and he was trying to sell me something.
06:44 He didn't look at me directly, but he walked up to me
06:46 kind of like as you can't do it openly,
06:48 and he looked in another direction,
06:50 he was telling me what he was selling.
06:51 And I turned around and said, "Get out of here.
06:52 I don't want to buy that."
06:54 You've got to be wise
06:55 when you go to cities like Nineveh.
06:57 When you go to Chicago,
06:59 if it's too good to be true, it's not.
07:02 But that's how Nineveh was, never without victims,
07:05 full of plunders, burglaries were common,
07:09 being held up at gunpoint
07:11 was the thing to expect.
07:16 Another church member of ours at Bethel,
07:18 I remember very well standing at a bus stop
07:20 on Utica Avenue in New York City,
07:21 a guy ran up to her with a bag of money,
07:23 he said, "I got money in here,
07:24 but I need money to go get this money broken down at the bank."
07:28 And she gave him like a $100 bucks,
07:30 and he gave her a bag of money.
07:32 When she found that it was a $20 bill
07:33 and behind that were just newspaper.
07:38 That's what they do in Nineveh.
07:40 And so some of you people that were born in small town in USA
07:43 don't go to cities like Chicago with a big smile on your face,
07:46 you will be an instant hit in the city of Nineveh.
07:51 That's kind of city it was, always had a game.
07:54 And Nineveh is not just in North America,
07:55 but there is Nineveh in Brazil, Nineveh in South America,
08:02 Nineveh in places around the world,
08:04 don't go to Kenya, Africa, Nairobi, Kenya.
08:08 I was in Kenya, they told me that
08:10 most of the scams in the world in Kenya they're born.
08:13 People wake up in the morning, the guy said,
08:15 they think of the next great scam.
08:17 You ever get those emails?
08:19 "You know, my cousin died and left me $50 million,
08:23 but I need help to get the money."
08:24 You ever got that email?
08:25 Nairobi, Kenya.
08:27 The reason why they put those chips in the cards now,
08:30 in your credit cards because in Nairobi, Kenya
08:34 credit cards were easy to steal.
08:37 So in America now
08:38 most of the security measures, they said, came into place
08:42 because the cities like Nineveh.
08:44 It was a dark city.
08:46 It was a city full of plunder, never without victims.
08:50 And Nineveh was such a dark city
08:52 that when people return to home,
08:53 I should more specifically say,
08:55 when people escape the vicinity of visiting Nineveh,
08:58 they got home, and they rejoiced
09:00 when the news reported that some calamity had hit Nineveh.
09:05 As Nahum, the prophet says in Nahum 3:19,
09:08 turn there to that very familiar book of Nahum
09:13 as if you know where it is.
09:17 Nahum 3:19 in the New International Version,
09:20 the Bible says, speaking of Nineveh,
09:23 the prophet says, "Nothing can heal your wound,
09:28 nothing can heal your wound, your injury is fatal."
09:33 In other words, you're such a bad city.
09:35 "Everyone who hears the news about you
09:38 claps his hands at your fall,
09:41 for who has not felt your endless cruelty?"
09:45 That's Nineveh, a city of endless cruelty,
09:49 never without victims, full of plunder.
09:55 But I've got a back up some because even in the worst city,
09:58 there are people that still need Jesus.
09:59 Can you say amen to that?
10:02 Nineveh was a city that even though it was evil,
10:04 even though it suffered from terminal immorality,
10:09 and it had not yet been entirely consumed with evil,
10:13 there was still people in Nineveh
10:16 that were good apples in the orchard.
10:19 In Nineveh, there were people
10:20 still reaching out for something better,
10:22 for something higher, for something good.
10:24 They were looking for some better way of life
10:26 in the city of Nineveh.
10:30 And if granted the opportunity,
10:31 they would be eager to learn about the living God,
10:33 they were longing to be rescued from their evil deeds,
10:37 they heard about the God of Israel,
10:39 but they heard about Him at a distance
10:43 because in Nineveh evangelism was dead,
10:47 couldn't do evangelism in Nineveh.
10:48 Nobody wanted to hear the message,
10:50 it was a wicked city
10:51 that was repulsed by anything that was Godly,
10:54 but it was in that city that God still had people
10:58 that He was longing to rescue.
11:00 Every time my wife and I go to New York City,
11:02 and we walking in Manhattan
11:04 whether it's 11 o'clock at night
11:05 or 1 o'clock in the noonday,
11:07 we sometimes get to the intersection
11:09 of 34th Street and around 8th Avenue
11:11 or we get to where all the six corners
11:13 get together on 6th Avenue right in front of Macy's,
11:16 the largest store in the world, and we look up...
11:19 And Yvonne knows what I'm talking about.
11:21 we look up at this mass of humanity,
11:23 and I look at my wife, and I whisper,
11:25 "How is God going to reach this city?"
11:34 New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, Nineveh,
11:38 that's the kind of city it was, evangelism was dead,
11:41 nobody wanted to hear about it.
11:43 Every now and then you hear a spurt of religiosity,
11:48 but it was in that kind of a city
11:49 that God still had people that needed to be saved.
11:52 You see, no matter how bad a city is,
11:54 God can bring hope to the darkest of places in the world.
12:00 Where there is God, there is still hope,
12:03 even in cities like Nineveh.
12:05 And it is true that whosoever calls
12:08 on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
12:10 But the agile question this morning that I like to pose
12:13 before I go any further in the sermon,
12:16 and this is about Nineveh, Romans 10:14,
12:20 "How shall they hear, how shall they call on Him
12:25 in whom they have not believed?
12:27 And how shall they believe in Him
12:29 of whom they have not heard?
12:32 And how shall they hear without a preacher?"
12:36 Nineveh looked hopeless.
12:39 It appeared as if it was beyond repair
12:43 but God, but God.
12:48 Come on, somebody say amen.
12:50 You see, but God is the reversal of everything
12:53 that came before it.
12:55 I sat in an office with a young lady
12:57 who just turned 21 years old.
12:58 She said, "Pastor, what do I do?"
13:00 I said, "What do you mean?"
13:01 She said, "Last year,
13:03 I wanted to be baptized but my family told me
13:05 I could never be baptized as a Seventh-day Adventist.
13:08 If I were, they would disown me."
13:11 I said, "How old are you, young lady?"
13:13 She said, "Twenty-one."
13:14 I said, "The day is coming,
13:15 when you've got to stand before God yourself,
13:18 and your mother can't, and your father can't,
13:20 and your sisters cannot answer for you,
13:22 you got to make your own decision to follow Jesus."
13:25 She said, "If I do that, when I go home,
13:27 my family is going to reject me,
13:28 they may put me out."
13:30 And how ironic it was.
13:32 She said, "However, I'm going to make my mind up
13:34 to give my own life to the Lord."
13:36 And on that Sabbath,
13:37 she went down on the watery grave giving her life to Jesus.
13:40 And I'd never forget what the pastor said,
13:42 how ironic he said what he did at the time that he did,
13:45 she's going into the baptismal pool,
13:48 the pastor raises his hand, and he says,
13:50 "I know that your family is at home
13:53 rejoicing about your decision."
13:56 And we made eye contact
13:57 because we knew her family was doing anything
13:59 but rejoicing.
14:00 When she got out of that pool, she said,
14:02 "I don't even know how to tell my family
14:04 because I know what kind of reaction I'm going to get."
14:05 I said, "But when Jesus comes,
14:07 don't worry about their reaction,
14:09 worry about His reaction."
14:11 And she made her mind up to give her life to Jesus.
14:14 Real problems, real people,
14:18 struggling with everything that
14:20 you may struggle with,
14:23 they struggle with it in New Guinea,
14:25 different location, different time,
14:27 different place, but the battles are all so real.
14:30 I sat down talking to students
14:32 that are preparing for theology and saying to me,
14:34 "Pastor, how do I get delivered from pornography?
14:37 I'm here to take the ministry,
14:39 but I'm fighting with the pornography.
14:42 Tell me what to do?"
14:44 What do you tell a young man who is learning to be a pastor,
14:47 but he's struggling with pornography?
14:49 I met another young man, who said,
14:50 "I'm in my last year of the ministry,
14:52 I'm learning...
14:54 I'm going to graduate next year to go and be a pastor somewhere
14:56 but this week when you were preaching,
14:58 I went to my room and broke my phone
15:00 because that was my connection to the internet,
15:02 and pornography was my alcohol,
15:05 pray for me that I get delivered."
15:07 And the stories are all so real,
15:09 but sometimes in our own comfortable place
15:12 when we are inoculated from the cures of this life,
15:15 we forget that there are real battles out there.
15:20 That's why they said of Nineveh,
15:21 "Nothing can heal your wound, you are beyond repair,
15:25 your injury is fatal,
15:26 there is no hope for the city of Nineveh."
15:31 this was the city that needed Jesus,
15:36 and the Lord was sending somebody to Nineveh.
15:39 It looked hopeless,
15:41 it looked beyond repair, but God.
15:43 You see, when you institute the word, but God,
15:46 it is a reversal of everything that came before that.
15:49 Think about it for a moment, the Bible says,
15:50 "Joseph was sold in Egypt, but God was with him."
15:54 Come on, say amen.
15:55 Sold into slavery but God was with him.
15:59 Jesus was crucified,
16:00 but in the Book of Acts, the Bible says,
16:02 "But God raised him from the dead."
16:05 If it had not been for but God in our lives,
16:09 where would we be today?
16:11 But God, He reverses our circumstances,
16:14 He looks at our hopelessness
16:15 and takes it and brings it from darkness to light.
16:20 In a racially divided church, Peter proclaimed,
16:23 "But God has told me
16:26 I should never call any man common or unclean."
16:30 Oh, the Jews are so filled with bias
16:33 toward those that didn't have the same beliefs
16:36 that they embraced
16:37 or worship the same way that they worshiped.
16:40 And they even followed Peter to Cornelius' house to see
16:43 whether or not he had the right to be there,
16:45 and he turned to the Jews and said, "But God told me,
16:48 I should never call any man
16:51 common or unclean."
16:55 You know, friends, I believe if we would preach but God
16:58 and let people see that
17:00 in spite of their circumstances,
17:01 there is a God that reverses
17:04 every situation that we can encounter,
17:06 come on, somebody say amen,
17:08 no matter what it is.
17:11 As Paul, the apostle says,
17:12 "For scarcely, a righteous man will die,
17:15 yet perhaps for a good man someone
17:17 would even dare to die.
17:20 But God demonstrated His love towards us,
17:23 in that while we were yet sinners,
17:25 Christ died for us."
17:28 But God, all the difference
17:30 in the direction of your life and mine,
17:33 God steps in, but God.
17:37 As long as there is God, there is hope.
17:40 You see, that's the city of Nineveh.
17:43 But God had an evangelistic series planned for Nineveh
17:48 and God needed a preacher,
17:51 God was looking for a man willing
17:56 to preach about the transforming power of God,
17:58 and He chose a man
18:02 by the name of Jonah.
18:05 Go with me to Jonah 1.
18:08 Jonah was the man that He chose.
18:12 Allow me to introduce you to a man
18:15 that unsuccessfully disagreed with God,
18:19 unsuccessfully disagreed with God.
18:22 Jonah is the story of a reluctant servant
18:25 and a relentless savior.
18:28 Jonah's story reveals the determination of man,
18:32 and the dedication of God.
18:35 The story of Jonah unfolds the struggle
18:37 between man's preference and God's purpose.
18:41 In the end, God's plan is always going to win.
18:48 When God calls us,
18:49 there's nothing we can do
18:51 to run from a relentless God.
18:55 The Bible tells us in Jonah 1.
18:59 "Now the Word of the Lord came to Jonah,
19:03 the son of Amittai, saying..."
19:05 What did He say to Jonah 1:2?
19:11 What did He say?
19:13 Whenever God calls us,
19:15 whenever the Word of God comes to us,
19:17 it doesn't come to us to keep us where we were,
19:19 it comes to us to change our position
19:21 to bring us up a level higher.
19:23 Whenever God's Word comes, we rise, we don't sink down.
19:29 And you'll notice that all throughout the Bible
19:31 when the Word of the Lord came to Peter when he was in prison,
19:35 and the angel touched him as he was resting.
19:36 The angel said, "Arise."
19:39 Anytime God's Word comes to us, it requires an action arise.
19:44 The Bible says, "Go to Nineveh,
19:47 that great city, and cry out against it.
19:52 For their wickedness has come up before Me."
20:00 let's talk about Jonah for short time.
20:03 Jonah, a reluctant servant
20:07 who now comes face to face with a relentless savior,
20:10 a man whose determination was not to do God's will.
20:14 You see, I learned through the story of Jonah
20:16 that who we are is not as relevant
20:19 as who we are becoming,
20:22 who we are is not as relevant as who we are becoming.
20:26 What we have done
20:29 is not as significant as what God wants us to do.
20:34 Where we have been
20:36 is not as pertinent as where God is leading us.
20:41 What we wish is not as vital as what God's will.
20:46 And what we think is not as relevant
20:47 as what God knows.
20:49 Jonah was probably the most reluctant servant
20:54 the Bible refers to.
20:56 Jonah did more to escape from God
21:00 than any other preacher.
21:03 And when you think about it,
21:04 you want to do an evangelistic series,
21:06 you think of Philip.
21:07 In the New Testament,
21:09 Philip means a lover of horses.
21:10 He wants to be an evangelist too.
21:12 And the Lord sends him out into the wilderness,
21:14 and he preaches to just one man an Ethiopian eunuch.
21:18 And because of that one sermon to the Ethiopian eunuch,
21:20 the message of God goes to Ethiopia.
21:23 And Ethiopia becomes the second nation on earth.
21:25 What nation did I say?
21:27 The second nation on earth
21:29 that honors the Sabbath of God, the longest.
21:32 Because Philip had a willing heart.
21:33 God sent Philip,
21:35 he didn't care about how many people he was preaching,
21:37 he preached to one man an Ethiopian eunuch,
21:41 and that Ethiopian eunuch took the message of Christ
21:43 back to the country of Ethiopia,
21:46 and Ethiopia has been the longest Sabbath keeping country
21:50 in Africa
21:52 because of that one encounter with one man.
21:54 You see whether God sent you to a large crowd or to one,
21:58 you've got to preach
21:59 the same transforming grace of Christ.
22:02 And so often we don't want to go.
22:04 I was so touched by that, when we went to New Guinea,
22:06 so often, we don't want to go.
22:07 And when we went there...
22:11 and I looked at the accommodations
22:13 they put us in, I thought to myself,
22:15 and actually my wife and I said this,
22:18 we said, "How many people would come here?
22:21 How many people
22:23 will leave the secure comforts
22:26 of where we came from and come here?"
22:30 It wasn't until we got there
22:33 that they said to us,
22:34 "Now we just want to give you a few points
22:37 that we want you to be careful of."
22:40 They said, "Don't forget to close the windows at night
22:43 because the rats will come in and nibble at your toes."
22:48 I thought he was kidding.
22:50 I said, "You're joking, aren't you?"
22:52 He said, "No, I'm serious."
22:54 And he took me to the screens, you see all...
22:58 They didn't have central air conditioning,
22:59 all throughout the place they put us in,
23:03 they had those windows level...
23:04 You roll them up and window the air passes through
23:07 and then at night you close and air stays in the house.
23:11 But he showed me at the base of the screens
23:13 where the rats
23:15 would cut their way through
23:17 and come into the house at night,
23:18 he said, "Don't ever forget
23:21 to close all the windows at night
23:25 if you don't want the rats to nibble at your feet
23:27 while you're sleeping."
23:29 And, you know what?
23:30 I never forgot to close the windows.
23:34 That was not anything he had to tell me twice.
23:38 And then he says, "If you want to shower,
23:39 you either get up before 5 o'clock
23:41 or water would not be available until afternoon."
23:46 And there were some days water wasn't available afternoon
23:49 or even before 5 o'clock.
23:52 And I was so glad my wife took with her those wipes
23:57 because some days that's all the shower I got.
23:59 Come on, help me out somebody.
24:01 When I got home and that shower hit me,
24:03 I thought, "Now that's a shower."
24:06 Because you had to stand in it,
24:08 and you had to lean it at a certain angle
24:10 to even increase the pressure.
24:12 And you'd turn the pipe...
24:13 And then I said to the guy, "Well, there was no water."
24:15 He said, "Did you turn the auxiliary pipe."
24:18 I said, "There was no water in that either."
24:21 He said, "Well, that's how it is here sometimes."
24:23 And here we are sitting down,
24:25 and I'm about to send an email to Jill,
24:27 and I just finished my email because you see,
24:30 if you don't get the email sent
24:31 and there's a 15-hour difference
24:33 between there and here,
24:35 that means I got to wait until the next day,
24:36 and she's not going to get the email until two days later.
24:39 And I'm finishing the syntax of my email
24:41 and all of a sudden,
24:44 all the power is out.
24:48 And I close my laptop one evening in frustration,
24:50 Jill, because that email wasn't going out
24:52 until the next afternoon,
24:54 which was you're 15 hours behind me,
24:57 which would have been during the night
24:58 and by the time you get it,
24:59 it's coming to me two days later
25:01 that's how it was in New Guinea.
25:03 But I want to tell you something,
25:05 it was in that setting
25:07 that all the encroachments of life lost their value,
25:12 it was in that setting
25:13 that television no longer appealed to me,
25:16 it was in those settings,
25:17 I didn't care about what happened in Washington,
25:19 I didn't care about what the president did or didn't do,
25:22 I didn't care about CNN, ABC, NBC or Fox
25:26 because I was in my Bible.
25:29 I began my day talking to God, I ended my day speaking to God,
25:32 I got in the morning in my Bible,
25:35 and the Spirit of God was so on us
25:39 that the testament that they gave us
25:41 at the end of this time, they said,
25:42 "Every time somebody comes here,
25:44 they are demon manifestations,
25:46 but this was the first time
25:48 that there was no demon manifestation."
25:51 And I never forget what the pastor in Australia told me
25:53 who had his own demonic experience,
25:55 where the demons tried to choke him to death,
25:57 and he said his father saw the marks on his neck
25:59 a month later still there.
26:01 He said, the demons,
26:03 the only help he had was he called on God
26:05 out of his heart, he couldn't even speak audibly,
26:07 and he said,
26:08 he felt the demon jump off of him,
26:10 and he saw him standing in the corner.
26:11 He said, "I know the reason I had that manifestation
26:14 is I went to New Guinea unprepared spiritually."
26:19 And I said to my wife, "Praise the Lord."
26:21 We prayed before we left, we prayed on the plane,
26:24 we prayed when we landed,
26:26 when we got into our room and saw the accommodations,
26:28 we prayed, we prayed in the morning,
26:30 we studied our Bibles,
26:32 we prayed before we went out of that room,
26:33 we stood at the door, "Don't open the door, honey.
26:35 Father, as we leave this room, go with us."
26:40 Pray before the message, made an altar call every night.
26:44 And precious souls in that country where...
26:47 You see, we don't see demons in America manifest themselves
26:50 the way they do in New Guinea, but they're here.
26:54 Demons will put on a new outfit.
26:57 If it takes a new outfit to get access to your life,
26:59 demons will come in another way.
27:00 But they're just as real here as they are in New Guinea,
27:03 they just act out differently.
27:06 They hang out in our attitudes, in our likes and dislikes,
27:10 in our separations, in our preferences,
27:12 that's where the demons hang out.
27:14 They manifest themselves in different ways,
27:15 but they're just as real here in Thompsonville
27:17 as they are in New Guinea.
27:20 So that'll make you feel like
27:21 you're in some kind of safe haven.
27:24 But God sent Jonah to this demon-infested city,
27:27 He said, "Arise and go to Nineveh."
27:30 But Jonah 1:3, but Jonah arose, he got up,
27:35 but to flee to Tarshish.
27:38 You see, Nineveh was one way, Tarshish was the other.
27:43 The Lord said, "Go this way."
27:45 Jonah said, "I am getting up, but I'm going that way."
27:49 When you study the life of Jonah,
27:51 he arose to fleet of Tarshish
27:54 and he arose to flee from the presence of the Lord
27:59 as if there is some place you can go
28:01 that you can hide from God.
28:09 But I want you to notice the direction of his life,
28:11 when you run from God,
28:12 there's only one direction your life will go.
28:16 The verse continues, "He went down to Joppa,
28:20 and found a ship going to Tarshish."
28:23 I call it the ship of disobedience.
28:26 "And he paid the fare," the wages of sin,
28:30 "and went down..."
28:31 Notice the direction of his life.
28:32 Whenever you run from God, there is only one direction
28:36 your life will go,
28:37 and that is what direction, friends?
28:38 Down. Down to Joppa.
28:43 Down into the ship.
28:49 And when the Bible says to go with them,
28:52 that means he want to go with the ungodly,
28:54 the men that worship strange and unusual gods.
28:57 The men that were on that boat going to Tarshish
29:00 were not people that worship the true God.
29:03 But what I learned from that, and this is the amazing thing
29:06 about God, you ready for it?
29:08 Jonah doesn't want to go to Nineveh to preach,
29:10 he wants to go to Tarshish.
29:12 The Lord said, "You don't want to go to Nineveh
29:13 because you don't want to go there to preach,
29:15 but I'm going to make you preach wherever you go."
29:17 Amen, somebody?
29:18 So he's on the ship of disobedience
29:20 with men that worship unusual gods, and God said,
29:23 "You don't want to preach there,
29:25 you're going to preach no matter where you go."
29:27 So Jonah is on the ship trying to run
29:30 from the presence of the Lord.
29:31 You see, Jonah reasoned
29:34 that if he ignored God,
29:36 God would ignore him.
29:38 Nothing is further from the truth.
29:40 Jonah thought to himself that he could outrun God.
29:44 Jonah concluded that there is a place
29:47 that he could hide from God.
29:50 And I have learned in so many ways
29:52 that there is no place that we can hide from God
29:56 because when God wants you, God's going to get you.
30:00 When God wants you, God's going to get you.
30:02 David, the Psalmist had the same attitude,
30:04 but he said in Psalm 139,
30:06 "If I ascended to heaven, you are there.
30:08 If I make my bed in hell, you are there.
30:11 If I take the wings of the morning
30:13 and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
30:15 even there your hand shall lead me
30:18 and your right hand shall hold me."
30:21 Everywhere we go, God can be found.
30:30 But the direction of your life
30:32 will reveal your commitment to God.
30:36 If your life is going down,
30:39 your commitment to God is going down.
30:42 What also amazed me as we travel,
30:45 we see God's hand work in so many beautiful ways.
30:49 You see, I want to point out something to you this morning
30:51 that whenever you are on God's journey,
30:56 whenever you are on a mission for God,
30:59 God takes care
31:00 of the finer details of your journey
31:03 before you even think you have a need.
31:07 Let me give you an example, a true story.
31:09 We are on our way...
31:13 to New Guinea, but we stop over in Brisbane, Australia
31:16 after a 14-hour flight from Los Angeles to Brisbane.
31:20 Fourteen hours over the ocean.
31:23 I mean, you go to work, you come home,
31:25 you go back to work, you're still on the same plane.
31:30 We landed in Brisbane.
31:32 And as we're in the airport in Brisbane...
31:36 You know, sometimes on the road, you know,
31:38 you get so sick and tired of the airplane food
31:40 that you really don't like
31:42 so in the airport in Brisbane and I saw a Kit Kat.
31:48 I knew some of you formerly sugarholics know
31:50 what I'm talking about.
31:53 A Kit Kat, nice old chocolate Kit Kat,
31:55 something I could identify with.
31:57 Didn't like...
31:59 You know, we chose vegetarian,
32:00 but they don't know about vegetarian meals
32:02 on these planes,
32:03 they put together stuff that I can't even identify.
32:04 You know, what I'm talking about,
32:06 Pastor CA.
32:07 I said, "Honey, it looks like rice."
32:08 She said, "No, it's quinoa."
32:14 "No, quinoa."
32:18 I don't eat quinoa at home,
32:20 and I ain't eating it on this plane.
32:22 Who made it?
32:23 Some guy that does not even know
32:24 what vegetarians eat made it.
32:28 Didn't like it, but I can't even anything else
32:29 because I'm on a plane.
32:31 You can't get out, and go to the store, and come back.
32:33 So here I'm in the office, I got a Kit Kat,
32:34 and I finished the Kit Kat, and it tasted ever so good,
32:36 it reminded me of being home.
32:39 And I'm walking across the airport
32:40 to put it in the garbage can and just then
32:42 God made a connection that proved in 14 more days
32:45 to be exactly what we needed.
32:47 We met the Ambassador Bien Tejano's daughter
32:51 recognized us in the airport in Brisbane.
32:56 And she came over, she said,
32:58 "I saw you walking over to the trash can,
32:59 I didn't know what you're doing,
33:01 but I recognize you."
33:02 And she came and she said, "Hey, I am..."
33:03 And she told me her name,
33:05 "I am the daughter of Bien Tejano,
33:06 the ambassador.
33:07 And I'm going to call him now."
33:09 And she calls him on the phone and says, "Hey," I said.
33:10 He said, "Hey, John, welcome."
33:11 He said, "Hey, if you stop over in Port Moresby,
33:15 be a guest at our home.
33:16 You can stay at our official residence."
33:19 Didn't know how handy that would come in
33:21 because, you know, after being in New Guinea for 13 days,
33:25 there's only one desire you have and that's a shower.
33:31 So we had everything done, all our work was finished.
33:34 And I said, "Honey, when do we leave?
33:38 And I said, "This Sunday?"
33:39 She said, "Well, we're here all the way to Wednesday."
33:41 I said, "What do we do until Wednesday?"
33:43 "Nothing, just hanging out."
33:45 I said, "Is it possible we could leave sooner?"
33:49 The Lord worked it out
33:51 that we got on a plane on Monday,
33:53 did not know where we were staying at all
33:55 in Port Moresby, but God made a connection
33:59 before we thought about it 13 days earlier,
34:03 He got us in connection with Bien Tejano's daughter
34:06 in the airport and that proved to be
34:08 a blessing of insurmountable proportions
34:13 through Facebook, through WhatsApp,
34:16 my wife communicated with her, she said,
34:18 "I will go ahead and set it up,
34:19 you'll stay at the official residence,
34:21 we'll cover your food, your lodging,
34:24 and we'll drive you wherever you want to go."
34:26 Amen, somebody?
34:28 Thirteen days earlier, we didn't even know
34:30 we had that need.
34:32 And we got there and was blessed
34:36 as they met us at the airport with the official embassy van,
34:39 took us around to the mall, put us up in his home,
34:42 the lady cooked for us every day.
34:46 Let me tell you something, when you put...
34:49 Let me rephrase.
34:50 You don't ever risk following God,
34:53 it's not a risk, it's a blessing.
34:56 But you've got to be in a situation
34:57 where God can do things that are extraordinary,
35:00 and you'll never know the needs can be provided
35:02 until you are in those extraordinary circumstances.
35:07 And there we were
35:10 and all the needs we had were provided
35:12 right there in that home.
35:14 And they also wanted us to meet
35:15 the president of the Philippines,
35:17 and they said,
35:18 "Why don't you come with us to the Philippines?"
35:21 I said, "When?"
35:22 They said, "When you come to New Guinea."
35:24 I said, "And when?"
35:26 They said, "Well, just go with us on Monday,
35:28 you get back on Friday, and then you go to Brisbane
35:30 on Friday."
35:32 And I thought, "I'll get stuck in the Philippines
35:36 and won't make my...
35:38 How am I going to get there?
35:39 And I said, "Well, no, maybe next time around."
35:41 They wanted us to meet
35:42 the president of the Philippines.
35:44 And they said,
35:45 "We'll arrange it, you'll be at the palace, you'll met him."
35:46 I said, "Not this time around."
35:48 So but every need we had, the Lord provided,
35:51 and sometimes He goes above and beyond measure
35:53 just to let you know He is God.
35:56 That's how God works.
35:58 So when God calls you to follow Him,
36:02 whether He calls you to join His remnant church
36:05 or whether He called you to be an evangelist,
36:07 whether He calls you to be a leader
36:09 in whatever capacity God calls you,
36:11 don't ever make the foolish mistake of thinking
36:15 that you can run in the opposite direction
36:17 and ignore God and that means
36:19 God is going to ignore you.
36:20 Let me tell you something.
36:21 God will wreck your life.
36:26 He will turn your life inside out
36:28 if that's what it takes to get you to serve Him.
36:31 Anybody know what I'm talking about?
36:33 Look at Jonah 1:4.
36:36 Hiding from God, from the presence of God,
36:40 some of you have storms in your life
36:42 because you won't listen to God,
36:44 but the Lord had sent out a great wind on the sea.
36:47 There are storms in life.
36:49 Normally, when you get a storm, you call on God
36:52 to help you get delivered.
36:53 Am I right?
36:54 But when God send the storm, and you call on God,
36:56 there ain't no deliverance because God is the one
36:59 sending the storm.
37:01 "The Lord sent out a great wind on the sea,
37:04 and there was a mighty tempest on the sea
37:07 so that the ship was about to be broken up."
37:10 God was in charge of that storm,
37:12 so the question you got to ask yourself
37:14 when storms come in your life, are those storms
37:17 because of faithfulness or because of disobedience?
37:22 Because you'll be one category or the other,
37:24 you've got to pause and examine your life,
37:26 "How am I living,
37:28 is this storm the result of my disobedience,
37:31 or is it result of my faithfulness?"
37:34 Because storms are going to come
37:35 one way or the other.
37:40 This disobedient servant of God got the captain,
37:43 got the people on board afraid.
37:44 Verse 5 says, "Then the mariners
37:47 that's the sailors were afraid
37:49 and every man cried out to his god."
37:52 When you cry out to the false god
37:54 or the wrong god, there are no answers.
37:57 But notice what happened.
37:59 "And threw the cargo that was in the ship
38:01 into the sea, to lighten the load.
38:03 But Jonah had gone down
38:06 into the lowest parts of the ship,
38:09 and lain down, and was fast asleep."
38:19 My wife and I were studying in the book,
38:21 Prophets and Kings,
38:23 and the servant of the Lord says,
38:26 "The complacency in a time of crisis
38:29 is an insult to God."
38:32 God cannot use men who in times of crisis
38:37 choose not to respond to the call of God.
38:41 That's the reason why she said in the closing work
38:43 very few great men would be used.
38:47 That's why she says, many bright lights would go out
38:49 because in these moments of crisis,
38:52 the light is bright just for the glory of the preacher,
38:55 not for the glory of God.
38:56 I have learned in a very humbling way
38:58 that my light is not to shine to glorify me,
39:01 Oswald Chambers said to me in one very direct tone,
39:04 he said, "Never use God's gifts to bring glory to yourself."
39:11 And I thought about that.
39:14 And I thought about that, and I said, "You know what,
39:15 I think part of the reasons why...
39:18 I think one of the reasons God works in strange ways
39:21 and sometimes along the way, He will reveal to you
39:24 why you go through what you go through.
39:26 And I remember sitting
39:27 on the edge of my bed one day,
39:29 and I don't know if God did this
39:30 to save me or not,
39:31 but I'll understand it better by and by.
39:33 But I was sitting on the edge of my bed one day,
39:35 watching the Grammys,
39:36 shouldn't have been watching them anyhow.
39:39 But I'm a musician, so I like to watch the Grammys
39:41 because it's all about music, and there are some people
39:43 that are singing in mike.
39:44 You know, people nowadays that are in the music industry,
39:46 they don't know a thing about singing 99% of them.
39:49 It's all about a beat and lights.
39:51 You take away all that stuff, they're nothing but a cow
39:54 with three legs
39:57 mooing in the wrong direction.
40:00 So I sat on the edge of this bed one day,
40:02 and I'm listening to this person
40:04 screaming through the song with just a beat.
40:09 I'm thinking, "What on earth is that?"
40:11 And I said to myself, "I can sing better than that."
40:16 And this little...
40:18 You know, how the devil that...
40:19 He just drops this little seed in your head, and he say,
40:22 "Do you want to sing out there
40:24 because you can make a lot of money?"
40:27 Like a young lady came to my wife and I,
40:28 one day she got a call, she got invited
40:31 to be the singer on The Preacher's Wife,
40:32 she was going to be the singer
40:34 before they call Whitney Houston
40:36 to sing on The Preacher's Wife, they called her.
40:39 And she calls
40:40 "John, me and my husband are coming over.
40:42 We got to talk to you and Angie."
40:43 She came over, she said, "You would not believe it,
40:46 we got invited, they invited me to be the one
40:48 to sing on the new movie, The Preacher's Wife.
40:50 They want me to be in the movie and to be the singer."
40:55 I said, "Have you ever been out there?"
40:57 She said, "No."
40:58 And the reasoning comes into your mind, she said,
41:00 "Now I can go out there,
41:01 I can make a whole lot of money,
41:03 and I could help the cause of God."
41:04 I said, "That's your plan,
41:06 but that's not the devil's plan."
41:09 I said, "I'd rather be unknown in earth
41:11 and known in the kingdom of God,
41:12 than be known in earth and not known
41:14 in the kingdom of God."
41:15 And that movie came out, and Whitney Houston sang it,
41:17 and you probably saw it before, The Preacher's Wife,
41:21 and that song, "I'll always love you."
41:23 Yeah, she sang it.
41:24 But they had called this other girl,
41:26 who could sing your socks off, and it was in our living room
41:29 in Antioch, California.
41:30 I said, "Young lady, you ain't never been out there,
41:32 and it's too late to go out there now."
41:37 And I remember that thought came into my mind,
41:39 "I can sing better than that guy."
41:41 It wasn't too long after that I had an accident
41:43 in the gym right over there, got hit on my vocal cords.
41:45 God said, "If it means taking your voice away from you
41:47 to save you, I'll do that."
41:51 And it's been a nine-year journey,
41:52 it's coming back slowly but surely, He said,
41:54 "I'll give you just enough voice
41:57 to keep you humble
41:58 so that you can sing in heaven."
41:59 Amen, somebody?
42:01 God knows how to save us. God knows what to do.
42:06 And so here is Jonah down in the lowest parts of the ship
42:08 sleeping at a time
42:10 when he should be taken a stand.
42:11 If ever there's a time that the people of God
42:13 need to be awake, is in the time of crisis
42:16 in these closing moments,
42:18 the heathens are lightning their load,
42:20 they're throwing things overboard
42:21 but here is Jonah,
42:23 he's not throwing anything overboard,
42:25 he's hiding in the belly of a ship
42:27 sleeping in times of crisis when he should be preaching
42:29 the Word of God
42:31 talking about redemption and deliverance,
42:33 refusing to proclaim the message of God.
42:36 But what he would learn in a short time
42:38 is the plans of God are unalterable.
42:40 When God wants us, there is nothing that we can do
42:42 to prevent Him from accomplishing His plan.
42:45 So what happens to Jonah?
42:47 He also discovers that the requirements of God
42:50 are non-negotiable.
42:51 When God sets the requirements, there is nothing that we can do
42:55 to change God's requirements.
42:57 God said, "Jonah, go to Nineveh."
42:59 And Jonah said, "I ain't going."
43:03 So in the midst of the journey, in the midst of the storm,
43:06 verse 6 happens.
43:08 God was about to smoke Jonah out.
43:11 So the captain came to him
43:13 after they went throughout the entire ship
43:16 looking for all hands on deck,
43:18 they found Jonah snoring in the belly of the ship.
43:23 And he said to him, "What do you mean O sleeper?"
43:25 I like the King James Version in this.
43:27 "What meanest thou, O sleeper?
43:31 Arise, call on your God."
43:34 Understand what that meant.
43:36 They were calling on their god getting no answer
43:39 and there was something about Jonah that let them know
43:43 that there was something different
43:44 about this man.
43:46 He didn't dress like us.
43:48 When he came on board, he had a dignity of a preacher,
43:51 but the only problem he was a preacher
43:53 running from God,
43:54 he may have had on his preaching outfit,
43:56 but he's now sleeping in the belly of a ship.
43:58 So they looked around the ship, and he said,
43:59 "Who can we identify
44:01 that might have a better connection
44:02 than we do?"
44:03 And they found Jonah, and they said,
44:05 "Why don't you get up and call on your God
44:07 because our god ain't doing anything for us?
44:11 Perhaps, your God will consider us
44:14 so that we may not perish.
44:16 And they said to one another, 'Come, let us cast lots,
44:19 so may know for whose cause this trouble has come upon us.'
44:22 So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah."
44:26 Now the reason why they cast lots,
44:28 they didn't try to figure out who was the reason
44:30 for the problem, they knew who it was
44:32 because they already asked him to call on his God,
44:35 but they were going to confirm it,
44:37 and God allowed the lot to point to Jonah
44:41 as like playing spin the bottle.
44:43 Which one of you guys is the problem?
44:46 It's you, Mitch.
44:49 Come on, he picking on Mitch
44:51 because I know he is not a problem.
44:53 "What meanest thou, O sleeper?"
44:56 You see, Jonah's problem was not his vocation,
44:59 his problem was his location,
45:03 not vocation, but location.
45:05 And the other problem was not Joseph's condition...
45:13 but his apprehension.
45:15 You see, God wanted this man to stand, Jonah was lying down,
45:21 and I learned something,
45:23 Jonah was in a reclining position,
45:25 and what we don't know is recline
45:28 happens before decline.
45:32 When you're reclining at a moment,
45:33 you should be standing up.
45:35 Recline is followed by decline.
45:37 When we should be standing up if we are reclining,
45:40 the next thing that will happen in our lives
45:43 is will be declining.
45:45 God doesn't want us to recline, he wants us to stand firm
45:48 for something.
45:50 Amen, somebody? Amen.
45:52 So God says to Jonah,
45:53 "This is the time for you to get up..."
45:55 Jonah 1:8.
45:58 And by the way just for your information,
45:59 I'm not going through all four chapters
46:01 just so you can breathe.
46:05 "Then they said to him, 'Please tell us!
46:08 For whose cause is this trouble upon us?"
46:11 They're looking at a preacher in his face.
46:13 And then they begin to ask him questions,
46:14 seven questions in all.
46:16 "What is your occupation?
46:17 Where do you come from? What is your country?
46:19 And what people are you?"
46:20 I don't have time to answer all the questions.
46:21 I have another sermon called the Seven Questions of God,
46:24 which each of these questions are addressed.
46:26 So here he is dressed in his Sabbath outfit,
46:30 he says, "I am a Hebrew, and I fear the God of heaven."
46:34 "Well, what good is that doing us?
46:37 In a moment, when you should be working for God,
46:39 you're running from God, and your testimony
46:42 is a controversy to your position.
46:44 In other words, your disobedience
46:45 caused your testimony to be confusing.
46:48 I know who you say you are but why are you here
46:51 if you are really God's servant?"
46:55 "'I'm a Hebrew, I fear the Lord,
46:56 the God of heaven,
46:58 who made the sea and the dry land.'
46:59 And then the men were exceedingly afraid
47:02 and said to one another...
47:06 and said to him,
47:09 'Why have you done this?'"
47:14 That's a powerful question.
47:21 Not going to tell you how many minutes I have,
47:23 but I'm going to spend little time on this question,
47:26 "Why have you done this?"
47:27 What we don't realize sometimes is our disobedience to God
47:33 can put someone else's life in jeopardy.
47:40 When we refuse to be obedient to God,
47:45 our very actions could put someone else's life
47:48 in jeopardy.
47:49 There are these unsaved men, who don't know
47:53 the God of heaven, look Jonah square in his face,
47:57 and they say to him, "Why have you done this?"
48:01 "For the men knew that he fled
48:04 from the presence of the Lord
48:08 because he had told them, 'I'm coming on board,
48:12 I'm on my way to Tarshish, I'm on board,
48:15 I am going in the opposite direction.'
48:18 And they remembered, 'He told us.
48:21 Why have you done this?'
48:23 Our lives wouldn't be in the condition that it is in,
48:25 we wouldn't be at risk of losing our very salvation,
48:28 we wouldn't be at the risk of losing our lives,
48:30 our livelihood would not be on the line
48:32 if you had not been disobedient to God.
48:35 Why have you done this?"
48:39 And as I said reality that disobedience
48:41 can put somebody's life at risk.
48:43 And they follow up at verse 11, "Then they said to him,
48:46 'What shall we do to you, so that the sea
48:47 maybe calmed for us?'
48:49 For the sea was growing more tempestuous.
48:52 And he said to them,
48:53 'Pick me up and throw me into the sea,
48:55 then the sea will become calm for you.
48:58 For I know that this great tempest
49:01 is because of me.' "
49:03 I like that. I like that.
49:05 "Throw me overboard."
49:10 When I was finishing this last night
49:12 with my numb finger,
49:15 you try to type with a finger that was broken.
49:20 I leaned back in my chair, and I said,
49:22 "Throw him overboard."
49:25 I thought to myself,
49:26 "Sometimes, there are people in our lives
49:29 that we need to throw overboard."
49:37 There's some things in your life
49:39 you need to throw overboard...
49:47 because Jonah being in that ship...
49:53 risk the peace and safety of those who did not know God,
49:57 and the only peace that they were going to get
50:00 was if they threw him overboard.
50:04 But they're looking at the ocean now,
50:06 and they decide,
50:07 "Now wait a minute, throw him overboard..."
50:08 The Bible says in verse 13, "Nevertheless the men
50:11 rowed harder to return to land, but they could not
50:14 for the sea continued to grow more tempestuous against them."
50:16 You see the point of the matter is
50:18 you can't calm storms that God send.
50:22 You cannot slow a storm down when God is the one
50:25 whipping the winds up.
50:26 And here is the point that's made,
50:27 if you are living a life of disobedience
50:30 and you are ignoring the call of God
50:31 to straighten that thing out,
50:33 God is going to increase the storms in your life
50:35 until you have no other option but to dive overboard
50:41 and put your life in the hand of a God
50:44 and pray that His grace will be extended to you.
50:48 They try to row harder, they became soft.
50:53 They said, "We want peace, but we don't want to kill him."
50:55 Therefore, they cried out to the Lord and said,
50:58 "We pray, O Lord,
50:59 please do not let us perish for this man's life,
51:02 and do not charge us with innocent blood,
51:04 for You, O Lord, have done as it pleases You."
51:08 And so they decided to relent
51:10 because God was in the relenting.
51:12 So they picked up Jonah, and threw him into the sea,
51:14 and the sea ceased from its raging.
51:18 "And then the men fear the Lord exceeding
51:20 and offered a sacrifice to the Lord and took vows."
51:23 Well, I want to tell you today, some of you need to throw
51:25 some things out of your life overboard,
51:28 overboard where they need to be.
51:32 And until they are things that are in your life
51:34 that don't need to be there are thrown overboard,
51:36 you will not have peace because God was sent the storm.
51:40 I read about storms in the scripture,
51:41 the storms on the ocean that Jesus calm,
51:44 the storm that Peter was in there
51:45 Jesus had him walk on the water,
51:47 the storm that Jesus was in the boat with the disciples,
51:49 but it's something all together different
51:51 when God is the one sending the storm,
51:54 and the storm is not
51:55 for the purpose of our destruction
51:58 but for the purpose of our salvation.
52:01 What a storm? I learned.
52:04 I had some storms in my own life.
52:11 Every now and then, God knows when we need a storm.
52:16 I had some storms in my life that reconnect me to my Bible.
52:20 I had some storms in my life
52:21 that made me look for my Bible, again,
52:24 not just to put a sermon together,
52:26 but to talk to God for myself.
52:29 I had some storms...
52:34 that made me bow my knees before God,
52:39 and He said to me, "Until you relinquish
52:41 all the control in your life to God, you will never get it,
52:44 you will never reach the destination
52:48 that God had preselected for you.
52:53 He didn't want to go to Nineveh and there's some people in here
52:56 that don't want to go
52:57 where God is trying to send them.
52:59 And so they're trying to run from God,
53:00 and I want to tell you,
53:02 the more you try to run from God,
53:03 the more intense the storms are going to get
53:05 until you decide,
53:06 "If it's Nineveh, He wants me to go to,
53:08 I'm going to Nineveh."
53:10 So Jonah gets thrown overboard and Jonah,
53:14 the Bible says in verse 17,
53:16 "Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah.
53:21 And Jonah was in the belly of the fish
53:23 three days and three nights."
53:27 He's the only evangelist, Karen,
53:31 that knows what it's like to get
53:33 to an evangelistic series smelling like sushi.
53:39 "And who are you?" "I'm the preacher.
53:45 I'm the preacher.
53:46 Where is the pulpit?
53:49 Ignore the scent.
53:50 I'm the preacher.
53:52 My car broke down, I swam here.
53:56 I'm the preacher."
53:58 "Why do you look that way?"
53:59 "I don't know, but I got a message."
54:02 So he starts running around Nineveh
54:03 in three days, the judgments of God
54:05 are going to fall on the city.
54:07 He runs to another Interstate, in three days,
54:10 the judgments of God are going to fall on the city.
54:13 And inspiration the Lord...
54:15 Servant says, that he proclaimed that message
54:18 in every quarter of the city of Nineveh,
54:21 and people saw the sincerity in Jonah's proclamation,
54:25 and the wickedest city known in that day,
54:28 they began to straighten up, and they said,
54:29 "Surely, this message must be from God."
54:32 And everybody in that city began to think about the fact
54:37 that God was really going to bring destruction,
54:40 that's why 3:1 is so significant.
54:44 The verse we began with is the verse we're ending with.
54:49 Now the word of the Lord
54:53 came to Jonah the second time.
54:56 What time, my friends?
54:58 The second time.
54:59 When God in His mercy give you a second chance,
55:03 you don't spurn that second chance.
55:05 Can I get an amen?
55:07 When God in His long suffering says to you,
55:10 "You got away the first time, but you ain't getting away
55:13 this time."
55:14 When God said,
55:16 "I overlooked your first level of disobedience,
55:18 but I ain't giving you no room the second time,
55:21 you better go to Nineveh, and you better preach."
55:23 And He said to Jonah, "Arise, go to Nineveh,
55:25 that great city."
55:27 And there Jonah is, he arrives not in a Cadillac,
55:30 not in a 747, not in a taxi, not in an Uber,
55:35 he gets vomited on the shores of Nineveh by a fish,
55:38 who didn't have a care in life about Jonah.
55:45 Jonah's here.
55:51 Jonah just arrived.
55:55 So some fisherman sees a slimy preacher.
55:58 That's what some of us says, dump of slimy preachers
56:01 that God is using.
56:04 We think we're all there.
56:06 God spit up just so that God can proclaim the message
56:09 to a dying world.
56:12 Slimy preacher, look at him.
56:16 Sad excuse, he could have arrived
56:18 in a nice dry clean suit, but he chose to arrive
56:25 covered by the grace of God.
56:28 You know what, I love this part of the story as I end.
56:32 I'm not going to go into how many were converted.
56:35 Okay, you want the statistics?
56:36 The whole city.
56:39 The whole city, everybody got Jesus.
56:46 And I don't want to go on the other part,
56:48 Jonah got mad
56:51 that everybody got converted
56:53 because Jonah went to preach the message
56:55 reluctantly, hesitantly,
56:57 but he wanted to see some fire fall from heaven
56:59 and burn that city up.
57:02 And God said, "No, if you had pity on those go,
57:06 this plant, can I not have pity on this city."
57:11 You see, in our Sabbath School class this morning,
57:14 we were studying about the sanctuary.
57:18 In the Holy of Holies is the mercy seat.
57:23 And on the inside of the Ark of the Covenant
57:25 is the Ten Commandments of God
57:27 and above the commandments of God is the mercy seat,
57:31 and the Lord said to me,
57:32 "There's only one thing more important than My law,
57:36 it's My mercy."
57:38 Amen. Amen, church?
57:39 You guys are too tame for me.
57:41 I need to go back to New Guinea where they say amen
57:44 in 15 different languages.
57:48 "Oh, you see, we get so much sermonizing here,
57:51 we listen to all day long us on 3ABN Radio, 3ABN television,
57:55 there sometimes it's just another message, "
57:57 and I know that's not the case.
58:00 But I want to say to you this morning,
58:04 is an exceedingly gracious God,
58:09 whose great desire
58:11 is to get us to proclaim the final message,
58:14 to a final generation.
58:17 And, my brothers and my sisters,
58:18 when the Word of the Lord comes to you the first time,
58:21 you made the first mistake,
58:23 but don't make the second mistake
58:25 because one day you will look for the Word of God
58:28 from the north to the south, to the east, to the west,
58:31 and you won't be able to find it
58:33 because the Word of God will be no more.
58:35 You look from the north to the south, to the east,
58:37 to the west be a hunger in the lamb,
58:40 not for bread in the water
58:41 but for the hearing of the Word of God
58:43 if the Word of God has come to you today.