Preparation for Revival (Jonah #8)

Text: Jonah 3:1-4

Nineveh is modern day Mosul, Iraq.  When I read the histories of revivals in the past, one thing that stands out to me is the preparation that went into them.  We often think of revivals as these spontaneous events.  The crop may have seemingly sprung up quick, but it was planted and watered, and there was opportunity for the Holy Spirit of God to move.

Second Chance

  • Restoration of the messenger
  • Second chances are a double edged sword.  They are simply the longsuffering of God.
    • On one hand we appreciate them when we get them.
    • On the other hand we can be hardened when we get them over time.  When we are given another chance to get victory over sin.
    • This second chance shows the gifts and calling of the Lord are without repentance.
  • There are many examples of this in the Bible.  Consider Peter. He denied Christ three times.
    • Luke 22:61, 62 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.   And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
    • Then on the day of Pentecost we see Peter preaching boldly, and Acts 2:41 says, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”
    • Think about John Mark (Acts 13:13; 15:36-41; II Tim. 4:11).  John Mark went on to write the Gospel of Mark.
    • Prodigal Son
  • This is not about Jonah, it is about the goodness of God.
  • Your testimony to friends and folks is about the goodness of God, not about you and I.
  • We are here because of the second and third and fourth and hundredth chance of God.

Direction of God

  • Direction of God because of the compassion of God
    • The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
  • Success is doing the will of God.
    • How do we measure success as God’s people?

Obedience of God’s people

  • Verse 3 Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh according to the word of the Lord.
  • Now, after you’re saved, is following Jesus Christ optional?
  • Obedience regardless of your feelings about it
    • You don’t believe that it will work
    • You don’t trust God. Did you trust God the first time that you learned that you should tithe?
    • You have fear………( Peter did- V10) That lack of trust and fear will cause you to not believe the Principles of God in tithing, mission giving, and sacrificial giving.
  • Obedience regardless of experience
    • Your presumption of the results
    • Your past history of no correction
    • [Ecc. 8:11]   “ Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.”
    • (Eph.4:32 Forgiveness)  You should forgive simply because God said so.
  • Obedience regardless of ability
    • Too Tired to attend – Attend Church – Heb.10:25 (Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together)
    • No service because of age
    • No witness because of Bible Education
  • Obedience regardless of convenience
    • Interferes with your plan (Secret or Pet Sin)
    • You know an easier way (Eph.6:1 Children obey your parents)
    • Fear of man bringeth a snare

Preaching the words of God

  • 1 Corinthians 1:21 – it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.  Christianity is not an ancestral religion, nor is it promoted by the edge of the sword, nor do you buy your way into it.
  • 2 Timothy 4:2 – Preach the word
  • Titus 1:3 – God manifested his word through preaching
  • How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed
    • Answer is they won’t call on him if they don’t believe.
    • The gospel is a reasonable system and it appeals to men’s understanding.  Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
      • Acts 8:30-35.  Needed a man to guide him.  Preaching done one on one.
      • Your knowledge of the scriptures is important.  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
    • Belief is not a sudden overwhelming uncontrollable overtaking of God.  People are not passive pawns in the redemptive work of God. Jude 21-23 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
    • John writes his gospel for the express purpose.  John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
    • Belief must have some reasons.  If you tell someone to believe, you’ve got to tell them who to believe in and why.
      • The truth that Jesus Christ died for your sin appeals to you because it makes sense to you.
      • If you tell someone that sin is the problem between them and God, you will have to explain something about sin.  Preaching is not just a sunday morning, sunday evening, wednesday evening event.
    • The scriptures have been given so a sinner can be convinced of his sin.  This is based on Romans 3:19, Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
  • How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
    • Answer is they won’t.
    • There is no hocus pocus to this.  It is a spiritual work and it is a spiritual work done through vessels willing to open their mouths for the Lord.
    • There is no substitute for preaching Jesus Christ.  1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
    • People will not believe if they don’t hear, that is the truth.
    • So what do they need to hear?  They need to hear about Jesus Christ according to the scriptures, not the world’s imposed image of him.
  • How shall they hear without a preacher?
    • Answer is they won’t.
    • This question deals with the call of a Christian.
    • Not a convenient time because this is not part of an unsaved man or woman’s routine.  It is going to be out of the ordinary.
    • Proverbs 18:16 A man’s gift maketh room for him…
  • How shall they preach except they be sent?
    • Answer is we won’t.
    • 2 Corinthians 5:20 ambassadors for Christ
    • Romans 1:5-8 called, being sent implies a few things.
      • Implies a Need – classifieds now hiring for ____
      • Implies an Ability, equipping the saints.  Specific and unique purpose.
      • Implies an Opportunity
    • Moses had to be sent
    • Isaiah had to be sent

Preach the word = God’s word to Jonah was simply, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.