Salvation Belongs to the Lord: Jonah, Part 3

Brian Mahon - 5/28/2023


Call to worship: Luke 11:29-32

Text: Jonah 3:1-10


Jonah receives his second opportunity to serve the cause of God's truth and grace to Nineveh. At the call, he goes, walks a third of the way into the great but evil city, and preaches God's Word. It's a Word of judgment, fronted with mercy. How will the Ninevites receive it? Though it shouldn't be to our amazement (4:2), they believe God. They all seek God for mercy, the king serving as head of their citywide repentance - and that on the hope that the Lord is merciful and gracious toward sinners as they are. How much more ought those who know He is be advocating with sinners for repentance and faith in the grace of the just God? Salvation is available to sinners, just not on our own terms. We must repent, if we would be saved. And as we do, as we repent, God is happy (incredibly) to relent. What do we believe about the power of the Word, the grace of God, and the salvation of sinners, and how are we applying that in our lives?

Sermon Outline:

  1. Jonah preaching. (3:1-4)
  2. Nineveh repenting. (3:5-9)
  3. God relenting. (3:10)


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read Jonah 3:1-10.
  2. Do you detect any stated difference between the first and second commissioning of Jonah? What is Jonah to go and preach? How does Jonah respond this time? What do you think has made the difference? What is the shorthand of what he preaches? How might expositional preaching serve both preacher and church and world in forcing the hand, so to speak, on subjects (like judgment) we might otherwise avoid? Why is it important that we preach the whole counsel of God? Who knows best what sinners need to hear in order to their salvation?
  3. How does Nineveh, the great but evil city, respond to God's Word? How does their faith prove to have feet? Who all does this work of God reach? Speaking of high society, how does this Word of God intersect with the king? What is his response to it? In his zeal for the advancement of mercy, how does he reprove Jonah? What does Jonah know that the king does not (3:9, 4:2)? Yet how do they differ in their urgency? How does the king challenge our hearts for the lost?
  4. What is critical to their salvation (3:10)? What grace is available in God? How is that accessed? What must sinners do to be saved? Will God ever turn a blind eye to repentance?
  5. How does God respond to the repentance of the Ninevites? How has God's Word of judgment served the invitation to and application of His mercy? Is His judgment an idle threat simply because it is not applied? We'll be helped there by Nahum. Just as He is, what is the inclination of God's essential being? (4:2) How should that impact our hearts for the unbelieving today?
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