Article for Sunday January 21, 2024
Jonah 3:4–5, 10 4Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. . . .
If it were just that easy. And Jonah complained! Would that it be, we pastors could tell everyone to change their ways and turn to God, this vocation might not seem to be done in vain. Jonah reluctantly went to Nineveh and reluctantly told the population to change their ways or God will bring disaster upon them.
Here is the crutch of it all. What if a pastor said to the people of Rochester, you need to change your ways and turn to God. I think the town’s people would probably laugh the pastor out of town and call him crazy. Oh, you Jesus freaks are all crazy, and besides the world does not believe in God.
Yea, I am crazy. But the truth of it is the disaster will not be confined to just Rochester, Indiana. This disaster will engulf the whole world. Unless the whole world changes their ways. Wouldn’t that be a great day in Christianity if we could warn the world of its pending doom and it listened.
The world will not be destroyed by a meteor, or even pollution, but by the very hand of God. It’s funny, the scientists say our world only has 6 billion years left and then our galaxy will destroy itself. We will have destroyed our world through our sin and God will save those who believe and follow Him through His Son.
Jonah 3:10 10When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.
Ok, we gave the warning to the world, please let me know next Sunday how many people you see who fasted and put on sack cloths. I’m sure the number will be zero, but who knows. Not even we will fast or don a sack cloth why should we expect the world to. Is it that we don’t take our times seriously, or take God seriously? We have become too complacent in our lives and in our world and then feel overwhelmed when we realize things must change. But don’t fret too much, we can always fall back on, “I’m only one person.”
But here it is the people of Nineveh who took God seriously, believed God and repented of their sins. God forgave them of their sins and relented on the disaster He had instore for them. Lesson received; lesson learned? God may just reward us for our repentance through forgiveness that brings grace and mercy. In fact, Jesus said repent and believe in the Gospel, and that is the gospel of forgiveness. (Mark 1:15)
1 Corinthians 7:32–334a 32I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34and his interests are divided.
Married men, love your wife, but love God more and help your wife increase her faith. It is for the man to bring his household up in the word of God. The worldly man has become weak in faith and weaker in bringing up their families. A man of strong faith in Yahweh is one who will follow God’s word, fear God, and fear God for his family’s sake. Men, be a man and be with God in everything.
Single Men, always put God first so that if you do marry a woman, you will know how to love her through God. A single man should prepare himself in everything through the word of God. It takes a real man to love God and love God’s word. A worldly man will waste away with the whims of the times and accomplish nothing for his salvation.
1 Corinthians 7:34b And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.
Women, love your husband, but love God more. True, the husband should bring the family up in God’s word, but his wife should be there to help. The woman of a household should always encourage her husband to teach God’s word to the family. And if the man of the household fails to do what God expects, the woman should make sure her children are brought up in God’s word.
Single women, always put God first so that if you do marry a man, you will know how to love him through God. A single woman should prepare herself in everything through the word of God. It takes a true woman to love God and love God’s word. A woman who is worldly will waste away and be taken advantage of through the whims of the times and accomplish nothing for her salvation.
1 Corinthians 7:35 35I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
But above all know of the salvation that Jesus Christ died on the cross to give us. Do not die in vain as the world wants you to do. Live and know your God has sent, and will send again, His Son to save all who follow Him. We are believers because of God, we repent because of God, we live for all eternity through the grace and mercy of God. We praise and thank God for sending His Son to die for our sins, paying the penalty for our sins, and washing us clean through baptism and the blood of the Lamb. And all this so that we may live with Jesus Christ for an eternity. Amen.
Written by Pastor Curtis A. May