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October 22, 2021 12:00 am
Confession is admitting openly your sin to Jesus Christ, to avoid the war is to avoid true confession and to avoid true confession is to avoid true forgiveness. Jesus Christ is the only source of true lasting forgiveness. The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians. This way in Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sin according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished on the gospel to us ever struggle to fulfill the great commission that Jesus gave us as we been studying Jonah these last several days we've seen that Jonah's mission field was a nation of idolatrous bloodthirsty people he resisted at first, I wonder if we ever act like him and run from the people that God has called us to speak to instead of running from people were supposed to be running toward them with the message of the gospel today on wisdom for the heart. Stephen Devi continues this series with a message called seed Jonah recent Wall Street Journal had a front-page article titled fashion makes a comeback it open with a comment that quote sin never goes out of style but confession is undergoing a revival that really peaked my interest. The article on catalog several different events that are growing in popularity where people can confess their sins in Colorado Springs. You can confess your sins during your trip to the Citadel all were Catholic fryers of cumin or brown fryer downs and listen to your confession and shot the caramel latte pop in for confession had homes offer yet another day I came across some creative ways to confess. If you're too embarrassed to confess in person for a modest fee. One company allows you to talk on the telephone to one of their personnel and don't go confess for you and interesting. I went to one online site by the way where people can anonymously write out their sin in hopes of finding relief from the guilty conscience, true confession cannot be done online can be done on the telephone, you can hire somebody to do it for you. In fact, true confession is never a secret you keep true confession is admitting openly your sin to Jesus Christ. It isn't for some priest on earth since Jesus Christ is now the high priest, the only mediator between God and man for 72 five so to avoid the Lord in all of these creative meanderings is to avoid true confession and to avoid true confession is to avoid true forgiveness since Jesus Christ is the only source of true and lasting forgiveness. The apostle Paul wrote it to be. Ephesians this way in Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our sins according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished on us. Ephesians 156 if you want to see true confession. If you want to see hearts exposed in an sin admitted in an consequences accepted the place you might never turn to in the Bible happens to be the perfect description of true confession where you think you could find that the book of Jonah.
Amazing. You are really on the ball all right. The book of Jonah shocked Archie turn there would you the book of Jonah.
Jonah has begun to preach the word of God and none of in the English language. His sermon was eight words long. Now we call this in in Bible exposition class. The main idea is that a lot of things but what were given is the main thrust the basic homiletic appointment yet 40 days and Nineveh will be overthrown. Now we can be certain that the Jonah spent time telling the people about the true and living God because were told in the very next verse look there verse five than the people of Nineveh believed in God, they would have to know something about this true in living God of Israel in order to transfer their faith from Dagon.
We remember him. The fish God over to Elohim.
The word used here, the true and living God of heaven. So Jonah evidently describe what it meant to believe in God and who this God was in the text says after the main thrust of his doddering preaching.
The people believed in God.
The Hebrew word translated believed that Amman comes from a verb that means to confirm to support the tense of the verb indicates they considered what Jonah was saying they confirmed it was truth. They supported they said we believe you. We know what you're saying is, is the truth. What's amazing is that it was simply a very direct if not offensive sermon.
It was extremely simple and the people believed in, not Jonah. By the way, they believed in God. The people believed in God, through faith never rests in the messenger.
It always rests in the message of God it was that kind of simple message where Jonah had invited the Ninevites to look to the God of Israel, and they looked believed they exercise faith no longer in their idols.
The idols of their fish God's but on the God, the God of Israel, not a proof of true confession is repentance.
It's an about-face. Repentance means you turn around and you head in the other direction. In fact, the New Testament word for repentance that annoy simply means a change of mind you change your mind and the change in mind brings about a change in direction. It affects your feet in your hands, your mind affects everything else. So did these cruel barbaric, arrogant, idolatrous people really change their minds.
Did they really believe genuinely in God what I want you to notice are two proofs of true confession in this text. First there confession radically change their personal lives. But in verse five, then the people of Nineveh believed in God, and they called the fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of when the word reached the king of Nineveh euros from his throne laid aside his rope from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the beach – stop what you have is from the king to the commoner exchanging their closing sackcloth.
Sackcloth was of course rough dark colored cloth usually medic goat here or rock cotton was used for making Saxon of grain you think of thinking a burlap bag and just about got it whenever it was used for closing. It was used to symbolize humiliation and in morning unit is also in verse six that the king it says is sitting in ashes, which even further signified grief and humility per se and interesting and it talks about them covering even their animals, other beasts with sackcloth. This doesn't mean that they believe their animals send animals will have the will and ability to sin or the animals than can repent. But what they're doing is, is there making sure that even their property would be common and outward testimony and expression of their humility and their morning and despair in their grief over their sin be like paying a clause pet of morning a cloth over your front porch to signify that there is morning going on inside they wanted.
Even their cattle to walk around as is testimonies that they are grieving over there sin before this God fasting as well giving up food in order to dedicate their time to pray to God for his mercy. Maybe your thinking will. And of course you know the women told her that in 40 days Jonah Reasoner doing all of this, they don't want to be judged by God sent a bad thing. Seems to me that if someone wants to follow God because they don't want to go to hell, but they want to go to heaven well that sounds pretty selfish. Well that's all there is to it will yell at you say disperse with me for God so loved the world, Satan, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believe in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
In other words, God loves you sent his son to die for you and if you believe in him, he will die. Go to hell, you'll die heaven and by the way, the context of John 316 is that Nicodemus has come to Jesus Christ during the night and asked him how can I get into the kingdom of heaven. And Jesus did not say what kind of selfish nevermind know he delivered to him the news of how he could avoid the judgment of God and enter the kingdom of God. Don't miss the fact as well that the Ninevites they're doing this because of the goodness of God is being evidenced in their lives. Noah preached Rover hundred years nobody believed this is the work of God have ever told and I believe you know your you work with your in trouble with God and what they said that repent no more than likely because it will dictate how do you know this over this entire city to hear the news of God's judgment and say where in travel. We believe we want to believe in God work of the mercy and grace of God in their lives is the evidence of true genuine confession with something else that proves their genuine confession is more than just self-seeking confession not only radically change their personal lives. Secondly there confession radically change the public behavior. Look at verse seven he issued a proclamation. This is the king and it said in Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles do not let man beast herd or flock tasted thing. Do not let them eat or drink water but both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth and let men call on God, earnestly that each note this, each may turn from his wicked way in from the violence which is in his hand.
The first proof of confession is personal. This second proof of true confession is public.
This is a radical change of being in a fight public behavior. Did you notice that the king here doesn't even bother to prove to the people that are wicked.
He just is your way get down and facet.
He doesn't try to prove to them they're violent. He says stop it, get rid of the violence in your hand. You need to turn from your wicked way in from the violence that by the way they were all known for around that world. Let's repent say let's turn around.
Let's change our minds. Let's change our lives by and for the grace of this God who may allow us to live the can you imagine king like this making a proclamation like this. It's one thing to call a nation to pray fact that still politically correct in a crisis.
It's another thing to call for a national day of repentance. Have you ever heard of one of those we are calling for a national day of stopping sin. Do you understand the significance of this king's proclamation. He is not calling for personal or public prayer. He is calling for personal holiness is calling for national repentance. The king is saying look, let's stop rationalizing our sin.
Let's not deny reputation for violence because everybody does it to not excuse our sin. Let's not minimize our sin was not cover up our sin were going to confess it and get this, let's decide to stop it when that be something if one of our leaders called on America to repent. Will that would be the beginning of a great awakening. Perhaps so I have to tell you I don't get excited when I hear some leader call for prayer something that happens in from the president on down to the news anchors they talk about their prayers. Listen.
All it does is make unbelievers feel good and religious for a few days and then go back to living like a Ninevites not here.
This is true confession. This is a nation going to change what a vast difference noticed or open and honest prayer verse nine includes who knows God may turn and relent and withdraw all his burning anger so that we will not perish now from the human point of view look like God than perhaps would change his mind because look what happens when God saw their deeds that they turn from their wicked ways and got relented concerning the calamity which he declared he would bring upon them, and he did not do it from a human point of view look like God changed his mind. God knew from the divine point of view, it was simply God responding as he had already purposed the change in the hearts of the lights toward that amazing. Who knows, maybe God will forgive us. Maybe God will have mercy on us and you know how often God has mercy on people who ask him for mercy. Do you know the percentages 100%.
Frankly, if we learn anything from this amazing response.
It is to remain open to the work of God's grace God's mercy and grace comes to the most unlikely. I doubt any faithful Jew, and in Samaria or Jerusalem had the Ninevites on the prayer list. Don't forget to pray for the Ninevites. I doubt anybody ever said that in Jewish per Ninevites were nowhere near the list of most likely to believe she see sometimes God's grace breaks through in unexpected ways and in unanticipated places. Who would ever believe this would happen is the point if Ninevites can repent.
Anybody can know what is beyond writing down your prayer list known as to violent no one is too cruel known is too far gone. Notice to sinful notice to idolatrous the Christ cannot redeem. So for those of you who are in this study with me at this point. Maybe someone's got their mind.
Perhaps you have checked them off the list with the back on.
Or perhaps you have committed some sin that you think God is taking you off the list because of he forgives 100% of the time. For those who truly confess their sin so here in Nineveh you have this amazing awakening of people coming from darkness to light, Evan Roberts was the preacher whom God is to bring about an awakening we talk about even to this day.
In the early 1900s in Wales. It all began as a small meeting where he was preaching to his group of young people. The pastor is a volunteer he he astonished them by giving them for things to do that would radically change their lifestyles as believers give them to first confess all known sin. Secondly, get rid of anything doubtful in your life. Third, be ready to obey the Holy Spirit instantly and forth, confess Jesus Christ publicly by the end of the first week, 60 young people have responded and they took up this challenge. Of these four activities confessing all secret and public soon getting rid of all compromise in their life, no more doubtful activity. If it wasn't clearly something God pleasing. They were never do. In other words, they raise the standard of holy living as high as they dared they openly thoroughly live with a sense of anticipating whatever it was that God might want them to do a state alert to to the impression of the spirit of God through his word. You can imagine how this changed how they were students. You can imagine how it would affect their honesty on a test their relationships. It affected everything.
Finally, they told people whenever they have the chance that they belong to Jesus Christ and this of course implied the invitation would be given to others to accept Jesus Christ by the end of the second week.
So many were signing on by the grace of God that Evan Roberts started on a whirlwind tour of South Wales with a team of of young people who would say and within one year 100,000 people genuinely converted to Jesus Christ and joined the church I quote as people confess their sin and pleaded for the controlling of the spirit of God.
They did all they could do to confess wrongdoings and make restitution.
One proof of genuine repentance was this was this unexpected activity which created severe problems, especially in the shipyards along the coast of Wales over the years workers have pilfered all kinds of things. Everything from wheelbarrows to hammers had been stolen. However, as people sought to be right with God. They started to return what they had taken with the result that soon the shipyards of Wales were overwhelmed with return property there were such huge piles of return tools that several of the art actually put up signs asking the men to stop. One sign read, and I quote if you have been led by God to return what you stolen. Please know that the management forgives you and wishes you to keep what you've taken. What a change of heart. What what what a radical change of lifestyle and the world and not know it would do this with you and honest people confessing their sin returning stuff they stolen was in ladies and gentlemen. When we began this chapter in our last session, I mentioned that it held the answer to another Reformation holds within it the keys a commitment to preaching and teaching the words of God.
No matter how simple the message and follows up then, but will be seen in this session, the commitment of people to the very heart of God. Believing the words of God seeking to please the heart of God. Confess all known sin raise your standard of of holy living beyond any doubtful activity you dare to do that. I've asked myself the same thing.
Third, stay alert to obeying whatever it is, no matter how mundane, no matter how routine assume you're in it. God has led you in it, do it for his glory for confess Christ publicly in your sphere of influence, maybe that would start a great awakening.
I do know this. It would start an awakening in your heart and mind. When we embrace this kind of personal living.
This kind of public lifestyle.
By the way, we know from biblical history that Nineveh enjoyed a generation of pursuing God.
This was not one night of revival or one week or month. This was genuine. This took took root. Sadly, most of their descendents would turn back into idolatry and 100 years after Jonah God would destroy and judgment, but this generation and their children believed they truly confessed they repented and followed after God.
This, we will one day meet converted Ninevites in heaven. Think of this, they will one day meet its tall make sure we identify with the Ninevites here lost in sin, helpless and hopeless before the coming judgment of God that they believed in God, it radically altered their personal lives there public lifestyles as evidence the grace of God had indeed been poured out on them and it had. It was lavishing upon making confession true, genuine, don't stop there. Don't don't stop there staying confessing all known sin. You don't need a priest. You don't need a pastor.
You don't need a confessional you can confess to God, your father through Jesus Christ or mediator you can do it immediately. More wonderful than that is you can do that regularly daily, sometimes hourly. Stay added become good confession, then keep avoiding doubtful things that there's a there's an undertow that pulls us into gray stuff that monies are my sin, and in the clouds our fellowship and we we give ourselves excuses and we make loophole for ourselves and then stay obedient to the Holy Spirit stay open to his work into his will they be his spirit is provoking something in your heart. Even now to be alert to, no matter how difficult or Monday and then commit to making your relationship this week. Public knowledge, there will never be a great awakening for all secret believer if all we ever do is sing in here say a man in here study in here praying and here we never take it out there and awakening will never begin uses messengers with a simple message. I belong to Jesus Christ and I want you to belong to as well. Well the work is finished. In fact, there is one person who was going to hold out on Jonah. Yes, the books written about him. Everyone else is open their hearts to God. And Jonah is in the process of closing his well this gracious God is with us in our next session has used Jonah's words and were gonna watch him reach out Jonah's.
Thanks so much for joining us today here on wisdom, the heart, Stephen's been working through a series on the book of Jonah called the prodigal profits we have one more lesson to go in that series and that will be next time between now and then we'd love to hear from you, and learn how God is using these messages to bless and encourage you.
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Thanks again for joining us today. I hope you have a great weekend and that you will be back with us Monday for more wisdom for the heart