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January 5, 2021 7:00 pm
Pastor Dave Doran Jr. preaches a second message in a chapel series on Evangelism. The scripture is Jonah 4.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the University Chapel platform today on The Daily Platform were continuing a three-part series on evangelism and today speaker is Dave Doran, Junior, pastor of Resurrection church in Lincoln Park, Michigan. The reality is that the gospel spreads person-to-person you wherever you go.
Need to plan to open your Bible across at a coffee shop from an unbeliever to open your living room to open your table because the church you go to is not going to reach and make disciples of people who don't come in the doors because more and more people are less and less likely to darken the door of a church unless they were raised in one those churches are church all churches are called to go and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and you are the best person to reach your friends and your coworkers and your neighbors. You have the spirit of God in you, who can raise the dead, you don't have what it takes but God has given you his spirit so you do and I just wanted to really pray and think about the fact that that you could invest your life in whatever career and build your home in whatever neighborhood but it all could wash away in eternity unless he decided to intentionally build it with an eye on what is eternal so let's let's turn to Jonah chapter 4, II got ahead of myself because I really am thankful that he said that there are people and churches that need people like you to come and decide to pour yourselves out. I want you to be stirred that direction. Can I just ask you real quick. How many of you this is a different question.
But how many of you have a pet that you dearly love can raise your hand. A pet you dearly love okay so I can see enough hands to feel feel scared about this illustration might my family is kind of was raised by wolves and we have this ongoing debate because a friend at my cousin's husband.
He graduated from Bob Jones hereto we are classmates he refuses. He said he would never eat his dog even if he was starving to death and I think that's insane. Okay, I would eat his dog after he starve to death, but he would never eat his dog to survive because he's so emotionally attached to his dog and I have a little bit more of a farmers approach to an animal. No offense, but I'm not gonna starve so that that thing can eat me after I die, that this this emotion that comes out of Nick is different than the emotion that comes out of me why because we value different things right. Our values are often displayed, betrayed even exposed by our emotions. What gets us energized riled up is going to tell you what you truly value often and at something more than a C in Jonah chapter 4 and something I want to touch on with you and call you to think on in Jonah. Many of you know the story, so I want to fly over it reminding you that Jonah the prophet had received the word of the Lord and in the past he had delivered the word of the Lord like a prophet should in second Kings 14 tells us that Jonah spoke faithfully, but this time Jonah receives the word from the Lord. And here's to go and preach against that great city city Nineveh, a city of frankly in Jonah's mind monsters and they had done monstrous things and he turns and he heads to Tarshish, which is the absolute opposite way because he does not want to be any part of that. But you know how God works to send a storm and wake him up and the sailors try to tell him what's going on. How are we supposed to do this and he says we can to destroy me and and even though he gets thrown over in the storm columns. He is sinking to the bottom.
Realizing this was a bad plan and he sends up a prayer on his last bubble, and God sends a fish fry.
We don't know what type of fish. It was probably an Uber whale that delivered him to Nineveh right to head over to the place where God intended them to be in the first place.
So he goes to Nineveh, but not before letting us inside what he had realized in the belly of that beast and intuitive key conclusions in Jonah chapter 2, our first, that those who turn away from God to idols turn away from God's love for them and then also that salvation belongs to the Lord. Key pieces of information for Jonah to wrestle with Nineveh is in trouble if they had on the path they are currently on. And God is the one who decides who gets mercy but then Jonah goes to Nineveh and he puts on his cardboard sign and he grabs his bell into big city and he starts to ring the bell and his sign says 40 more days and Nineveh will be overthrown. But then you look closer and the sign is written in glitter and the exclamation point at the bottom. It's a smiley face in your life will come out sick all is Jonah 40 more days and Nineveh's overthrown ECM's, skipping any's ringing his bowels and is happy and that we don't understand that because we don't understand Nineveh, but if you knew what Nineveh was like a city and people who brag and and posted in the fact that they were violent and and terrible to the people they conquer taking cities and killing the men and leaving their bodies exposed by the entries of the gates so that everyone would know not to mess with them if if someone conquered this campus and left the leaders of the campus impaled on poles near the entrances and you had to carry on your life and then you heard that God was coming to lay the beat down on those conquerors you probably light right in glitter as well and then here's what happens. Everybody in Nineveh. They listen to Jonah's five word message and they say stop everything, stop eating, stop drinking, don't dress normal. You cannot act like normal life can go on right now we have got to stop in our tracks and who knows, maybe God will be merciful to us. They cast themselves in front of the Lord in repentance and God sees their repentance and he shows them mercy and and he delights in showing them mercy and that might bother you if you think about what I just described a people who would stack the heads of the men that they conquered outside the gate, impaled their bodies outside of the city or in front of the city people who mistreated and abused and in horribly oppressed people forgiven like it was nothing. Jonah thinks I would begin in Jonah chapter 4 verse one and you read the words it displeased Jonah exceedingly and he was very angry. Let me read that in my own version here. But Jonah seen it seemed totally bogus and unjust that serial killers, rapists and pedophiles could be forgiven. In fact, it made him quite mad that God would let monsters like that off the hook is not a translation that's just trying to help you understand where he is sitting. But I want you to know that where he is sitting is he's watching the incredible mercy of God that is not a unique instance in Nineveh. It is actually the normal path of God towards repentant sinners. He is in the business of forgiving people who deserve nothing but condemnation, but Jonah hates it when he sees it. And so in verse two he says to the Lord, O Lord, was not this was not this my saying when I was yet in my country. I fled before him to Tarshish, for I knew that thou art a gracious God and merciful and slow to anger, and of great kindness and repentance the of evil. Therefore, now the Lord take and I bcc my life from me, for it is better for me to die than live. Jonah is so ticked that God showed mercy to these monsters that he just says I know it may be like this and I said have a little bit of compassion for his first time you know you always dunking on Jonah because he runs away from what God called him to do.
In chapter 1, but now you're thinking low. He was running because he knew that God might forgive people like this and Jonah close this to God saying I just know you might be like this, not because he's just to he knows because Exodus chapter 34 God reveals himself to Moses at a crucial time at the beginning of Israel's life and shows him his character.
God says the Lord.
The Lord gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love Jonah wasn't just saying a phrase I need be like this. He knew that at the very heart of God's character, the fabric of who he was, was that he was a gracious and compassionate God who love to forgive repentant sinners, but that seems ridiculous to him right now. If serial killers if rapists are slaveowners.
If terrorists of school shooters can be forgiven a subaccount world. I want to live in. Jonah says and the Lord asked him a question in verse four he says do this, thou well to be angry. Is it right for you to be angry. Jonah is it right for you to be angry now.
God is not asking a question like, is it right for you to be immoral because anger is not the same as something that just drawn the line always sinful at the heart of anger. Anger is about opposition right. Anger at its core is no within! Or stop within! And many times anger can be connected to love my wife is here and she's pregnant. We have three other kids and if they're coming across the parking lot and some guy comes out of nowhere with a knife, headed for my kids better believe there's going to be anger and it's good to be driven by love to stop that person attracts. But God says okay not pay angry.
Anger is wrong is at the heart of what is asking Jonah, he saying what's motivating you in this anger, what were you posing in verse five we don't really get a response from Jonah.
Jonah just goes out on the hillside and he sits east of the city to get to see what God would do because now he thought, well, I made my case, maybe God will turn back and decided no send the atomic elbow anyway, but he'd sits out there and just watches and listens in verse six and the Lord prepares this gourd you probably know the store and he made it to grow over Jonah than might shadow him deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was glad about the gourd but then God he prepares this warm right this this worm eats the gourd and now the sun is beating down on Jonah and he sitting on this hillside and he is just sick to himself. I was hoping for fireworks waiting for you to destroy this whole city and now it's so hot it could kill me, just waiting for you to kill these people in his wants to die right it be better for me to die than live basically turns again to God and verse nine God asks him again do is now well to be angry for the gourd and join us as yet absolutely it's a good thing for me to be upset about it so bad that you took my plant away that I just want to die.
This is worth dying over. And God responds in verse 10, 11, with the question. This is one of the few books in the Bible that ends on the question, and here's what it says the Lord said, thou has pity on the gourd for for the which thou hast not labored, neither made us to grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night and should I not spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand in their left-hand and also much cattle which by the way proves that I was probably a little calloused about the pet okay God, what's he asking what's he getting at. Do notice that the that the story and four is structured with these questions strung together on these questions it right for you to be angry the right free to be angry about the plant you're really upset about this plant. Don't you think I should be able to show some compassion to the city of all these people, let me turn that question. Is it right for you to be angry a little bit on its head and ask you this morning is the right thing making you angry is the right thing stirring your heart and causing you to move calling energy from you. The way that that when something makes you mad when it enrages you in it. When your emotions it, it just comes out of you because your values have been stirred and it's almost like you don't have to make a choice. You just want to move but just like Jonah so often our personal preferences and our comfort have us enraged and on the other hand would be just fine as long as we have some shade to sit where we are and watch the death of thousands around us. Jonas plant his personal comfort received compassion that stirred him it it messed with Jonah that his plant had died, but it messed with Jonah that thousands hadn't under the judgment of God.
That's how far he had drifted from the God who had revealed himself as a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love that Jonah and Israel, though they had received privilege status and buckets of blessing. Some of things we celebrated yesterday put you in that camp with me. We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ and at the same time we can mirror the spirit of Jonah, where are preferences and comforts in our private interests are what really get us energized. They were there. What really stir us to move there.
What really what Dr. Pat was just saying there what really move the needle on where we will plan our lives and where we decide to live and what we want to look like. While thousands millions of people are headed for the judgment of God, and it can flicker our hearts only at times we can be completely out of sync when we, like Jonah, are more indignant about the loss of our comfort in the condemnation of the lost. What makes you mad. What moves you.
What causes a knot in your stomach that says the righteous part of anger. No staff is it the right thing is the right thing making you angry.
God says to Jonah students, teachers, believers, fellow believers, what grieves us. We need to measure by our good and gracious God's priorities. We have a wonderful heritage of believers that are committed to fight for the fundamentals of the faith people willing to die for things like the inerrancy of God's word and the real resurrection and return of Jesus. Then we have to ask ourselves if at times we don't let the mission killing spirit of Jonah sneak in undercover of our preference or comfort. If I can draw a few calls for you out of the example of Jonah and just say don't call in airstrikes on the lost call out the gospel to the lost.
If you find yourself on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or Snapchat or whatever dunking on unbelievers and mocking them from a distance and you never find yourself in the middle of the Ninevites telling them that God is going to hold them accountable for their sin. You're just tweeting at them or you're just talking behind them. You have to ask yourself if you line up with the character of our gracious God with the character of this at this moment wayward profit. Everyone is a mix match of villain and victim. Even Nineveh right. There's all these innocent people. Children who aren't a part of those conquering's I mentioned, but because we it's easy to sit on that hill outside of Nineveh. We want to call everyone holy villain, but everyone has had horrible things done to them and they've done horrible things they need to turn and repent, but they also deserve the compassion and kindness and patience of us extending the good news and holding out our Savior, God will hold people accountable. We need to hold out the gospel then I would ask you not, don't let strategy kill your proclamation. Jonah didn't want to be there.
He was excited to be in the heart of Nineveh. He wrote his sign and glitter, but you know what God flipped that city upside down because God loves to display mercy and so often we can wait for the perfect moment instead of just telling people about our perfect Savior. Tell people about the gospel with the discussions and and and the relationship it takes 10 years until you have have known every fact about the person's life. Tell them about the facts about Jesus life, but then don't let the comforts of your life kill the mission let the mission kill your comforts. We have a ton of things. If we look at our lives carefully.
If we hold the book of Jonah up like a mirror like we should, we have a ton of things just like Jonah where we have let a shade tree be more important than the death of millions, God might not kill your little tree, but what if the wrong instrument sprouted up overnight in your church. Would you be ready to die for that cause before the cause of millions going under the judgment of God or what if your preference was assaulted. Your shade had the change will here let me let me stop right here for the next one is this.
Don't think I'm talking to someone else. Specifically your parents or your home church. As I have already learned being a church planter. People expect the church that were planting to be cool.
It's not cool. It's awesome is not cool and I have already realized that we have a temptation in the younger generation to see the places where our parents or our home church idolizes a comfort or preference, but we haven't actually repented of the disease that's in the water for almost every American of consumerism and worship of self and so we trade out there dress for our dress and preference. There bad coffee for our good coffee if you want to die for a grand piano Oracle home you've died for the wrong thing. You realize that if you want to to lay your life down for small groups. You and I have to go wait a second, MI grieved and my stirred, MI moved not by what I like, but who God loves and then not build our lives in the nicest, safest, most preferential place. We possibly can because nice and safe places are wonderful. Okay that's great. And people need Jesus there but if you decide no I really I just want to build from me you're going to eventually face the character of God and realize that you do not measure up to what he has called you to be assist people if you and I are willing to crucify our parents, church you go home this summer over something that you think feels outdated, but have not shared the gospel in that neighborhood.
You just tell me how that that preference that other church that's got your eye is in a boat to Tarshish ice will go or want to be and not in that nasty place.
The gods call me. We have to be a people like the Lord Jesus, our Savior, who, when he came was not managing life for himself and then. In fact, he barely didn't. He didn't have a place to lay his head right, he wasn't positioning for her change that that propped him up or made him feel better right now. He was with the suffering released in the last and the lost.
He wasn't labeling certain neighborhoods as different cultural preferences or or too far gone. He was moving with the good news of redemption through himself and he was grieved by the lostness of people was Jesus sitting on a hillside waiting for the judgment of God. Yes, but it wasn't because the motivation of Jonah.
He was underneath the wrath of God on the cross because he was moved by what mattered eternally. He laid himself down for you and I so that we could receive a life that we can receive mercy. Not saying I can't believe you would forgive these monsters or men I want them to get in my way, but he saying I want to lay myself down so that they might come to God, we must be a people moved by the desires and heartbeat of our Savior with the good news that he has one for us and I want to call you away from the shortsighted preference driven lives that are all around us, because I know that in your heart if you have the spirit in you.
You don't want that you do not want to build your life on a hill outside of Nineveh waiting for the judgment of God. As long as there shade.
You do not want you. I know there are people in here young people in here who say no I don't need a shade tree. I'm happy to go to the heart of Nineveh, but that's gonna call some real reckoning there is and be days where you will Nineveh is way worse than I expected is way harder than I wanted. I'm not sure that I really like this is much as it seemed when I read that the the magazine about we have to ask ourselves what moves us what makes us angry, what stirs us because the mission that Jesus Christ has given us is going to stall if it is fueled by the feelings we get when we feed our preferences. But if it is fueled by his sacrifice, and our future home with him a love for our neighbor. It will go over and against those things just as our Savior did.
What makes you angry. There's a quote somewhere on campus.
I can't member where it is now, but it says the most sobering reality in the world today is that people are dying and going to hell today don't don't let the shade that might've captured part of your heart this summer keep you from seeing the mercy God holds out to the city around you spring father, thank you for your mercy and grace to help us to be vessels of of mercy to others by announcing Jesus Christ in his name we pray. Amen. You been listening to a sermon preached by Dave Doran Junior, pastor of Resurrection church in Lincoln Park, Michigan. We trust that you'll join us tomorrow as we continue the series on evangelism here on The Daily Platform