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August 7, 2019 1:00 am
When God calls his children to reach and bring someone into the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. He does not use the word anyone because that is a question which calls for action, which is wonderful as it is, it is different when God is calling you as a believer to be his servant's ambassador. His spokesman and rather he call you by name, not anyone but is a bar Joe soon, Bonnie. He will call you specifically by name and he calls you by name because his saving plan is not just a call for action. Important as it may be, but because God already knows what he's about to accomplish in the lives of those who are around you and therefore in his sovereign will. He wants you by name to be an instrument to bring that certain individual to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and his sovereign will. He wants you by name to be an instrument to bring about the greatest medical that we can never experience in the greatest medical some of you are asking is what is salvation as the greatest miracle that we can experience. In fact, I want to tell you that the greatest miracle in the book of Jonah was not the storm. It was not the fact that Jonah survived in the belly of the great fish for three days.
It was not even the mode of transportation by which God brought him never the greatest miracle in the book of Jonah is the salvation of the Ninevites as the greatest miracle of all this will be like the president of Iran go on national television and say to all the Iranian people. We now believe in Jesus Christ, the son of God.
He is the only way to salvation.
He is the only way to heaven. And we call upon all the Iranian people to repentance in terms of the Lord is how what's I know what you think as I thought the same thing Michael that's impossible. That's a fantasy that's just being unrealistic. Now you understand how Jonah felt and now you understand why he cried out to God and said God surely not me, and definitely not them. That's why, but listen, beloved God would not mark us with an impossibility. God never calls us to do anything without you already preparing the way God never commissions us to failure. God never leads us where he had not gone ahead of us. God never wants us to sit in despair and say what can one solitary person do this such a huge problems in the world. What can I do as an individual. In fact, that's not what God wants you to do because when Moses asked that question God answered him by conquering the heart of the most powerful man on the face of the earth, the heart of Pharaoh when Nehemiah asked that question God answered him by conquering the heart of the king of Persia, the most powerful man of the day when Elijah asked the question God answered him by conquering the heart of wicked King Ahab. When Peter and denying Christ was basically saying the same thing.
And God answered him by using him to bring 3000 people to faith in Christ.
In one sermon William Wilberforce asked that same question, and God used him single-handedly to end the horror of slave trading and Jonah was basically asking that question. And God used them to bring about the greatest revival is ever known. In all of biblical history and all, God is asking you to do all that God is asking me to do is to seize the opportunities that he brings to us. If Jonah chapter 3 teaches us anything, it tells us several things we need to know about the secret for a genuine Holy Spirit revival. I'm not talking about emotional manipulation. I'm talking about a genuine Holy Spirit revival were sold as a slave when people repented of their sins. Whether that revival is in your home with her.
That revival is in your office. Whether that revival is in your school. Whether that revival is in your neighborhood, whether that revival is in your city. Whether that survival is in our nation.
Here we find the ingredients to a genuine Holy Spirit revival as some people think that the revival is you get a big stadium filled with tens of thousands of people are shouting and hollering and and and this there's a revival going on as nothing revival is just a mom who is simply being motivated to do things that the Bible teaches us here is that there has to be an authentic messenger and secondly there has to be an authentic message. Look at verses 1 to 4. There has to be an authentic messenger, then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time onto glad the God is a God of second chances and you give them a second time. Verse three Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord beloved limit tell you we cannot change the world without changing our hearts, we cannot give to others what we are lacking ourselves usually cannot proclaim that Jesus saves until the evidence of his salvation is loud and clear in every one of our lives until people see the peace of God that passes understanding, filling you up until people see the joy of the Lord. The joy of being forgiven is permeating deep down into every part of your heart until people see you totally trusting in the plan of God and in the purpose of God until people since our genuine love for the Lord and our genuine love for their they will not hunger and thirst after God. Beloved, when we have an authentic walk with God. We don't have to go around to prove it. It will lose out of every part of your body. I was struck this week as I was.
I went back and looked at the count of the Gospels again and the every one of the four Gospels.
I have not seen the Lord Jesus Christ constantly on every turn, going to his disciples and saying I love you guys. I love you guys. I love you guys. I know that some people need to say I love you but limit tell you something. People know when you love them. They understood disciples knew without a shadow of doubt that he had such deep love for them. That cannot be explained in words. People since authenticity and God uses authentic messengers. In fact, there is a two-story that took place in the early part of the last century in Detroit Michigan. There was a mechanic who worked in the Ford motor plant and somebody led him to the Lord. He was so thoroughly converted to Christ, that his life was totally changed. He got baptized in the Detroit River as a public testimony to his conversion to Christ.
The change of the place in his life. But then he was facing a dilemma. It's really more of a crisis. For years this man has been stealing tools out of the plant and take him home whenever nobody is watching.
He will steal some tools and he will take one of back then, before the days of of the metal detectors you know you slip one in his pocket when his back and he will take until he ended up in his home with a large box of stolen tools and he knew that now that he is a child of the living God that Jesus Christ as his Savior and his Lord. He's gotta do something about it but he also knew that most likely it was going be fired. He knew his boss well enough to know that the moment he goes to him and confesses to him, he'll fire him as he struggled in prayer one morning he carried that box and he brought it to his boss and landed it right there at his feet and he told him with tears about how Christ change his life. How Christ came into his life and the longer he's a thief anymore and how he wants even make restitution to the company and the men really didn't know what to do with him.
He didn't want a firing, but they also didn't know how to punish him. So he went to the plant manager. He said to the plant manager told the story showed in the box and he said, what would I do. The plant manager said is a good worker and I tell you I don't know what to do. Let's go to Mr. Henry Ford himself. So they went to see Henry Fort Henry Ford was in Europe actually inspecting one of his new plants and so they decided to send them along cable along telegraph ended told him the whole story. How this man repented of his sins and how he turned to Christ. Now he's baptized into Christ and how is life stranger how he brought the stolen tools and then came the cable back from Henry Ford on the reader to is what the cable said dam up the Detroit River stop and baptize the whole city stuff beloved authentic repentant restored life has far greater power than you can ever imagine.
Sir Henry Stanley said after a brief encounter with David Livingstone. He said the following is it if I had been with him any longer I would have been compelled to be a Christian and yet he never spoke to me about it at all. Revival will come when we become authentic believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Today there are many churches that are preaching your cheap grace and cheap repentance and cheap gospel that so many people are preaching a gospel that if you have sent to a certain extent. You will be saved to a certain degree. What a tragedy. We have found ourselves in. The problem with our Christianity today is people who claim to be Christians continue to live like there were before the Christians we have problems today. Churches are filled with people have never been changed. Their heart was never converted their heart was never regenerated and so the other adulterer will continue to commit adultery but now he's a Christian of ultra at a drawing will continue to be a drunk. But now he becomes a Christian, drunk and a fornicator continues to fornicate but then it becomes a Christian fornicator, a thief continue to steal. But now he becomes a Christian thief and abortionist does not forsake his blood shedding and just becomes a Christian abortionist a homosexual does not forsake his homosexuality becomes a Christian homosexual that is honest people dishonest business people do not forsake the dishonesty they just become dishonest Christian. No wonder the church has lost its mooring. The church has lost its impact on our society. No wonder no wonder were not able to lead the world to Christ, your God loves and uses obedient and authentic messengers. Beloved thirtysomething repentance has to take place in the believer's heart repentance has first to take place in the Christian church before it can God of the world and God uses authentic messengers.
But secondly, he uses an authentic message on the court of problem today with the evangelical church are so-called evangelicals and evangelical churches is that they have an utter confusion. Confusion between genuinely loving sinners genuinely loving them and wanting to be loved by them. That's really the part of the problem you go around sideways going to find this is a quote of the problem. This confusion runs so deep into the very heart of evangelical Christianity. I wanted to listen to me. I am not talking about those who give Christianity a bad name.
I'm not talking about those who give Christianity a black I'm not talking about those who come across as angry and vindictive and hateful. Now, no notice of the me I'm not even on the same orbit as these people are not talking about that I'm talking about those who, for the sake of personal popularity water down the gospel message to the point of preaching another gospel I'm talking about those who, for the sake of personal gain.
They have preached the gospel of greed until it's no longer the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm talking about those who, for the sake of being accepted by society, they have denied the existence and the power of sin and therefore the greater power of the Lord Jesus Christ to give them victory over sin for the sake of not offending anyone.
They preach at do-it-yourself gospel file to be sure, these false messages would draw a big crowd with no stadiums but there will never produce salvation. These in authentic messages may sell lots of books but very well take people talk Christ less attend these false gospels may make some people temporary feel good, but they will never bring up through genuine wholeness. Revival and that is why Jonah did not change the message did not modify the message did not try to popularize the message lizard man this Ninevites of vicious people that could kill me. I better say that in a nice way better. So to put it in a way that they can understand if I better just soften it a little bit because it says basically the bottom line is 40 days and that's all you got in the judgment of God is coming upon you, unless you repent, which is understood here. There was no formula. There was no program there were no Twinkie hoops that you have to go through those 15 steps to loving yourself. There is no three-point sermon. Simple message for you guys is all you got and God is bring your judgment unless you repent. Beloved God uses authentic men and women Boys and Girls Club but also God uses authentic message. Look at the result of Jonah's preaching of an authentic message of verses five and six.
The whole city. This notoriously wicked city, this pagan scenic is violent and files silly all younger like it says from the cane to the popper there all repented in sackcloth and ashes is a how come beloved God wanted us to know that revival started in Jonah's heart.
First, that's where it started started in his heart. First but secondly, you have to understand that back in and in that part of the world before the Old Testament times, oral tradition and messages a spread verbally throughout the land that these Ninevites have heard and have known by Jehovah God. They have heard and they have known that he is the God who parted the Red Sea. They have heard and they knew that he is the God who send turn on the heart of the Canaanites and the walls of Jericho came collapsing. They knew and then heard that he is the God of power and might, that is a God of justice that the God of mercy. They knew and there heard that he was the God who means business when he speaks, he means it, and he keeps his word, and so when he said 40 days he meant that's it. They knew that's all they got 40 days. Today we try to pasteurize homogenizer and synthesize the message and in which is no pouting techniques. The power is in the authenticity of the gospel today I would try parapsychology and pop psychology and pseudo-psychology. The problem is not in psychology.
The power is in the authenticity of the message.
Look at verse eight. They turned away from wickedness and violence that's with God was after all along to see that's what the drama of Jonah is still going to midshipman God pursuing him and in the face and that's what it's all about God loves to see sinners repent.
It is the desire of God, but not soon enough should perish, but come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. That's what it's all about the desire of God for their Ninevites to repent and turn to him.
Beloved, there can be no genuine salvation without genuine turning away from sin and repenting the message that says all you need to do just take Jesus for a friend and keep living just the way you always lived that is not an authentic message regarding this one.
I am not talking about perfection. I am not talking about perfection, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the evidence of salvation as we saw in the case of that mechanic. I'm talking about an aversion to sin. I'm talking about. Once sin was second nature to us, but now it's a strange thing and causes us pain and causes us to repent and turn away. In terms of the Lord I'm talking about the sin that once was a commonplace now.
It's a source of irritation and applause for confession is what I'm talking about and that's the mark of authentic salvation. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael use that recently featured on leading the way.
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