The Tysons', Missionary Evangelist
Helping struggling churches in remote areas
Urging missionaries and churches to stand fast in the Last Days
                                                                                                                       

                               SPIRITUAL DISOBEDIENCE
                        MEDICINE FOR PUNY CHRISTIANS                             
                                           Jonah chapters 1-4
                                                                                                                         
 
Regardless of where we are in life as a christian; God always has a regimen of what we need to get us back on the "straight and narrow" when we drift and for that reason I titled the message- "Spiritual Disobedience and Medicine for puny Christians". Jonah's relationship with God parallels that of most Christians.

In Chapter 1 Jonah was Running From God.
In Chapter 2 Jonah was Running To God.
In Chapter 3 Jonah was Running With God.
In Chapter 4 Jonah was Running Ahead of God.


1- Jonah was a disobedient Preachers kid.
2 Kings 14:25 tells us that he was the son of Amitti the priest and was a God called preacher as revealed in that verse. Jonah had preached many times but he just couldn't see himself being a missionary to Nineveh.

2- Jonah was well aquainted with what God expected of His Preachers!
He knew first hand what God's instructions were concerning soul winning. Proverbs 11:30-"He that winneth souls is wise". Like many of us New Testament believers, he wanted the easy way out for his life. God prepared a whale to get Jonah motivated to go to the mission field. Have you ever refused The Lords calling? There are consequences for not obeying the call to service!


Jonah and most Christians have 5 things in common.
1-He received his call.
We are all called to do something for the Lord.
Romans 11:29- "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance".
This verse is telling us that we might change our minds but God doesn't change his!
Jonah chapter 1:1
-
"The word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me". I believe that God has a call and a purpose for every believer. It might not be as an ordained minister but there is a divine job for each of us.

2- He refused his call.
chapter 1:5-
"But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord".

(1)- Like many of us, he wiggled out of serving God
(A)- Jonah 1:5- "Jonah rose up to flee".                                                                             
(B)- Jonah 1:5- "he found a ship and paid the fare thereof"
(C)- Jonah 1:5- "from the presence of the Lord". Two times in this verse.
Jonah got on a boat with a group of worldly people and sailed to a carnal city named Tarshish. Anytime you are running with a worldly crowd in disobedience to God's word, you are going to pay the fare thereof and some times it cost you dearly!



(2)- when God calls you to serve him; you might run but you can't hide!
(A)- God's judgment was swift.
Jonah 1:4-
"The Lord
sent a great wind".

(B)- Jonah's sin was revealed.
Jonah 1:7- "They cast lots" to see who was causing the problem.
God was
about to destroy the boat Jonah and the mariners were on but the Mariners found out who  God was after and threw Jonah overboard. When a christian causes the worldly crown a problem they are ready to get rid of them instead of giving a helping hand and comforting them.

(C)- Serving God was not an option.
Romans 11:29- "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance". You might change your mind but God never changes His! I shall never forget some of the experiences we encountered during Bible College days: God allowed trials to come in order to harden us for the journey ahead but we came out on the other side the better for them but one Bible College student made a statement during one of our Chapel services saying; "I got up
this morning and threw in the towel but God threw it back at me". That is pretty much the way it is when God calls you to the Ministry! In Jonah chapter 1:4- "But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken".
(3)- The world loves for God to chasten a rebellious christian!
(A)- Jonah was cast overboard. Lost people will accuse backslidden Christians of serving a God that doesn't really care about them. They say if God cared for you life wouldn't give you all the problems that are coming your way but they fail to realize that God chastens those he loves and brings them back into fellowship so he can bless them!

(B)- Jonah was swallowed by a great fish.
The mariners didn't care if Jonah perished in order to save their own hides and the world has the same attitude toward you and me! When you are in trouble, don't expect sympathy from a worldly crowd!

 
3- He renewed his commitment.
(1)- Second chance given.
Chapter 3:1-
"And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee".
God is a God of second chance. He always gives his people a second chance but there is a deadline for refusing to obey the Lord!

(2)- Sensible service rendered.
When the great fish spat Jonah out on the shore he hit the ground running toward Nineveh!
Chapter 3:3- "So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord".

There are many puny Christians like Jonah who have to be dealt with severely before God can get them motivated! Jonah was thrown overboard and was swallowed by a great fish before he began to realize that serving God isn't so bad after all!

Laodicean christians in churches today don't care if the Mission program fails or if the home front is without souls being saved. I don't see how the Lord is going to let it continue!

When God comes to you the second time; it would be in your best interest to obey his instructions! Why then are we so stubborn and rebellious? Many times in scripture God called his people; "A stiffnecked and rebellious people".  When this happens, you can look for God's judgment!


(3)- Severed prayer experienced.
Another thing that Jonah did not consider was prayer until it was too late! 
Chapter 2:1- "JONAH PRAYED" but that was after jonah was in the pit of despair in the whales belly.
How about you ? Do you wait until things get out of control before you think it is necessary to pray ?
Many people are like Jonah when it comes to prayer. They never get around to it until tragedy comes. Jonah refused to listen to the Lord until he was desolate and despondent! He then cried unto the Lord for help! Does that sound familiar ?


In the beginning his argument might have been something like this: Those Gentile dogs are heathen people and God haters. They live like dogs and I don't want to associate with them! Many christians today have the same excuse for not witnessing to a lost and dying world. Some of the Indian people in Alaska where we worked as missionaries, are something like those that Jonah was sent to witnessed to; with attitudes contrary to our way of thinking but God loves them the same as you and me!

4- He responded to God's Call the second time.
(1)- Chapter 3:3- "Jonah went out ".
Jonah went to Neneveh where God instructed him to go.


(2)- Chapter 3:4- "Jonah cried out ".
 
(A)- The Preaching of God's word brought conviction.
Jonah 3:4-
"And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey,
and he cried, and said, yet fourty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown".
1 Cor. 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".
When we proclaim
God's word, sinners will have the opportunity to hear and be
saved as they did at Nineveh!

(B)- They heard God's word and accepted it.
Chapter 5:1- "So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them".


Romans 10:17- "So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God".
The preaching of Gods word brings salvation as evidenced by Jonah proclaiming the word of God with 60,000 people accepting the Grace of God and being saved. It
started with the King and made it's way down to the lowest servant. Jonah 3: 6-10.


5- Jonah Relaxed while on duty.
(Which brought worm medicine for a puny christian)- Jonah 4:7.
Jonah 4:5- "So Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city".
(A)- Relaxing and watching is not what God instructs his preachers to do. Jonah should have continued in service.
2 Timothy 4:2- "Preach the word, be instant in season and out of season, to reprove, rebuke, to exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine".

(B)- God removed the comfort zone.
Jonah 4:7- "God prepared a worm and it smote the gourd".
Here is where God prepared "Worm Medicine" for a puny Christian!

Many times in the lives of believers, God has to intervene in order to get us moving in the direction he has mapped out for us. The gourd had become a comfort zone for Jonah and he was content to sit and pout rather than jump and shout over the multitude of souls who were being saved!


CONCLUSION:

 God's people need  to be like Jonah in Ch. 3:4. "Jonah cried out".

(1)- Jonah warned sinners of the judgment to come.
(2)- He preached Hell is hot.
(3)- He preached sinners are eternally damned.
(4)- He preached repentance is necessary.
(5)- He preached time is short.
(6)- He preached mercy is available to all!
(7)- He preached that God is no respecter of persons.

When He preached God is no respecter of persons, 60,000 souls were saved from the King down to the least of them. My, what a soul saving meeting that must have been. I would like to witness such a moving of God's power in the day and hour in which we live and see Men and Women; Boys and Girls come to Jesus and trust His mighty grace to save. I would like to see God's Church get burdened for lost souls, for each other and their community. If we would do this, we would experience the Power of God and Souls would be saved as well as Missionaries sent unto the uttermost parts of the earth. My how great it would be to see politicians being saved from the White house down to the court houses across America as Jonah saw at Nineveh. We could expect to see God and the ten commandments back in the State Capitols, back in the School houses and in your and my house!  If you and I are willing to dedicate our lives to that purpose and get out from under our gourd vine to serve God and live a consecrated life, it will happen!




By James Tyson Sr.