Committed to The Lofty Charge

Committed to The Lofty Charge is the second sermon in our Epiphany series From the River to the Mountain.  This Sunday, using the prophet Jonah, we looked at how all of us are committed to the lofty charge of the gospel ministry.

How many of you know what January 22nd is?  On that date in 1973 the Supreme Court of the United States said that is was no longer illegal to abort or I believe murder babies.  This is horrible in a number of ways.  One of them is the horrible guilt that the mothers have after killing their own child.  Some of them think God could never love me after what I’ve done.

God promises, my word will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.  How many of you in sales can say that?  As I speak to you I wield the power of God that changes hearts, so did Jonah, and so do you.  God turned the hearts of the Ninevites, and he can turn the hearts of a guilty mother or anyone struggling with his or her sin.

When you read the Bible and you come across something that doesn’t make sense – you don’t understand it.  Don’t give up – keep reading.  The Bible is a unit.  Let Scripture interpret Scripture.  Listen to what Jesus says about these people of Nineveh in the gospel of Matthew.  He was talking to Pharisees who did not believe him.  They wanted a sign from Jesus to prove that he was the Son of God.  A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign!  The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.  Jonah didn’t do any signs.  He didn’t have to.  Magic tricks and miracles are cool, but God doesn’t work through those – he works through his word.  And even though the Word made flesh – even though God stood there as I stand before and talked to them, they refused to believe.  Incidentally Jesus did give them the sign of Jonah.  As Jonah was in the belly of the whale, Jesus would be in the tomb for three days, and then rise from the dead.  They still didn’t believe, only God’s word can change hearts.

10When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. When God saw the saving faith in the hearts of these people he did not destroy the city.  These wicked people were the ones Jesus died for.  God so loved the Ninevites that he sent his Son.  God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell, not even our worst enemies.

Want to hear more?  Watch this week’s message taken from Jonah 3 – Committed to The Lofty Charge.