As we continue looking at Jonah I’d like to encourage you to stop here and read chapter 1-3, it will only take a moment. Notice in chapter 3 vs 1 that after Jonah got vomited onto the beach, the word of the Lord came to him a 2nd time [see last week’s article “A God of Second Chances”]. Verse 2 gives us some important doctrine! Notice there that God told Jonah “go…preach…”! I know, as do some of you, that in these last few hours ‘the desperate need in our churches is men, bold men, holy men…we need no more genteel diplomats of the world but rather, godly men cut from the cloth from which the prophets and martyrs were cut! Away with this pharisaical postulating we need no more power point presentations but plain cast iron preaching!
So let’s take notice that God didn’t send Jonah to Nineveh to organize a ‘contemporary Christian music concert’. God didn’t send Jonah to Nineveh to set up a roadside healing tent or a prophecy banquet at the Inn. God sent Jonah to Nineveh to do what many churches are NOT DOING – God sent him TO PREACH! Why is it in these days that we find so many who are against what God is for? Why it is that God chose ‘the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe’? [1st Corinthians 1:21] Why is it that God sent the apostle Paul to say “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” [1st Corinthians 1:18]? I’ll refer you to 1st & 2nd Timothy for the answer.
He said to Jonah, not only do I want you to go and preach, but I want you to preach unto it “…the preaching that I bid thee”. Those of us who still ask that old question “…is there any word from the Lord?” are finding it harder and harder to find those little country churches where a ‘Fire & Brimstone” Jeremiah will lift up his voice like a trumpet [Isaiah 58:1] and shout “…there is”. There is all the world of difference between this man-made theological theorizing and ‘that preaching’ that God bids His servants to preach! Nineveh had collapsed into the same idolatrous sin that America has adopted. It was filled with decadence and moral decay. It was wicked. The only thing that will turn a wicked people from their wicked ways is preaching. As such God sent no Biblically ignorant Christian celebrity. He called on no winking smiling televangelists to deliver a message of a more prosperous personal journey…NO!
A.W. Tozer once said “If I see clearly, the cross of popular religion is not the cross of the New Testament. It is, rather, a new bright ornament upon the bosom of a self-assured and carnal Christianity. The old cross slew men, the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemned; the new cross amuses. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it”. So God sent Jonah with eight simple words. Come worship the Living God with us at Calvary and see what words God might say to you!