Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

Evidence of Revival
Jonah 3:4-10

4 Then Jonah began to go through the city one day's walk; and he cried out and said, "Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown." 5 Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. 6 When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered {himself} with sackcloth, and sat on the ashes. 7 And he issued a proclamation and it said, "In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. 8 "But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. 9 "Who knows, God may turn and relent, and withdraw His burning anger so that we shall not perish?" 10 When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do {it.}

INTRODUCTION:
What Does The Church Need? Almost Every Leader Will Say Revival.

What Does This Nation Need? Most Christian Leaders Will Say Revival.

The Text Reports Some Evidences Of Revival

I. THERE'S A . . PREACHER OF GOD'S WORD.

II. THERE'S A . . PERSUADED PEOPLE.

III. THERE'S A . . PENITENT PEOPLE.

IV. THERE'S A . . PARDON FROM GOD.
 

I. THERE'S A . . PREACHER OF GOD'S WORD. v 4


A. ONE . . CALLED TO PREACH

3:4 a Then Jonah began to go through the city one day's walk;
1. Jonah proclaimed his message of judgement all day long as he traveled into the city.

B. ONE . . CLEAR IN HIS PREACHING. </P> 4 b and he cried out and said,
1. In this sermon two things are noteworthy
a. It was direct, simple, and plain.
b. It sounded just one note, and that was a note of warning. He cried out.

2. Jonah's preaching was very powerful, but there was no proclamation of mercy nor was Christ in it.

C. ONE CONVINCING IN HIS PREACHING.

"Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown."
1. Yet; indicates an implied promise, some long-suffering of God.
2. Forty days of grace are granted. Grace always comes before judgment.
Noah's Ark door open 7 days after they went in.
3. Grace because God loves.
4. God knew exactly the day when Nineveh's lease of mercy should end.

5. Forty days a number of a probation or testing

ILLUSTRATION:
History records a remarkable account of the destruction of an ancient town. The watchmen on the walls would call out whenever they thought they saw a foe approaching. Sensing that the people had begun to resent them for giving these false alarms, they decided to remain quiet. Regrettably, not long afterward the enemy actually did come. The city that could have been saved was assaulted and devastated, and nothing was left but smoking ruins. Later someone erected a small memorial inscribed with the following epitaph: "Here stood a town that was destroyed by silence." Can God's people afford to be silent about the sin that surrounds them?

APPLICATION:

Today The Preacher Needs To Be Called Clear And Convincing.
 
 

II. THERE'S A . . PERSUADED PEOPLE. v. 5


A. PERSUADED Because of the message:
Yet 40 days and Ninevah will be overthrown
Notice, time GRACE AFTER ARK. (First time grace mentioned in in Gen. 6:8)

Notice, degree
3:5 a "Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; "
1. Equivalent to "believed on God" and is saving faith, as with Abraham.
2. Faith to Israel's God. Recognizing Jehovah as the true God.
3. The foundation of all true repentance is believing God's word.
4. They hear God speaking through the Prophet.
5. Not merely the acceptance of God's message as truth, but belief in God.
6. Recognizing Jonah as God's messenger; God's ability to execute the threat, and confidence in his mercy if they repented.
. Therefore they repented. So must all sinners.

5 b "and they called a fast and put on sackcloth"
1. The lack of repentance by Jonah through out the book stands in striking contrast to the universal repentance and humiliation of the Assyrians.
2. Fasting and clothing in sackcloth were customary acts of humiliation.
3. They brought no sacrifices or offerings, but themselves.
4. Not only did they believe, they acted.

5 c "from the greatest to the least of them."
1. Educated and uneducated, every sex, old and young, without exception.

B. PERSUADED Because of the messenger
1. The sign of Jonah. Luke 11:29-30
v 29 " He began to say, "This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and {yet} no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah. v 30 "For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so shall the Son of Man be to this generation.

ILLUSTRATION:
Vince Lombardi, legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, WAS PERSUSIVE he spoke with authority. Even his toughest linemen were no match against Lombardi. "When he says `sit down,'" said one player, "I don't even bother to look for a chair."

APPLICATION:

Jonah had a motivation to persuade. Paul said we have a motivation to persuade. 2 Cor 5:11
11 Therefore knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences. (NAS)
 
 

III. THERE'S A . . PENITENT PEOPLE. v 6 - 9


A. WHO OF THE PENITENCE.
1. Leadership of King v. 5c-7
a. The king was the most influential man in the world.
1) Ground is level before God
2) Revival always has leaders

3:6 a When the word reached the king of Nineveh,he arose from his throne,
laid aside his robe from him,
1. The robe was the most magnificent part of their dress.

6 b "covered {himself} with sackcloth, and sat on the ashes."
1. The king has thus acknowledged his subjection to the King of kings.
2. Comes down from the throne, removes the symbols of his royal authority wears sackcloth like his subjects, and sits in ashes.
3. A land is blessed indeed when those who occupy its highest places of power and influence are the foremost in confessing the truth of God.
4. The King sets an example in reformation.

3:7 a And he issued a proclamation and it said, "In Nineveh by the decree
of the king and his nobles:

1. Every one in Nineveh had an evil way and the royal proclamation was a confession of it.
2. The king and nobles of Nineveh were not ashamed to own themselves believers in the Word of God.

7 b Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water.
1. The repentance which had been spontaneous now becomes obligatory.
2. Even the animals are to share the fasting and sackcloth.
a. Imagine the noise. Howell county over 30,000 cattle.

B. HOW OF THE PENITENCE
3:8 a "But both man and beast
1. It was a custom among the ancient heathen to withhold food from their cattle as well as themselves in times of morning and humiliation.

8 b "must be covered with sackcloth;"
1. A coarse, ugly cloth, not for normal wear. Symbol of an abnormal time.

8 c "and let men call on God earnestly"
1. To cry vehemently with all their strength and soul. To God, not to idols, which they previously worshipped.
2. Call equals urgent, strong praying to God.

8 d "that each may turn from his wicked way"
1. "Turn" is the Hebrew expression for repentance.
2. They turn away from idols, and look at God of mercy.
3. An "about face" and involves a decision or act of will.
4. Signs of remorse were to be validated by true repentance.

8 e "and from the violence
1. This specifies a physical sense of wrong or wild, ruthless wickedness.
2. Their treatment of other people was about to bring disaster upon them.

8 f "which is in his hands.
1. Everyone had an evil way, and this acknowledged it.
2. "Besetting sins", must be given up.

C. WHY OF THE PENITENCE.
9a "Who knows,
1. The emotion of the question is increased as we call to mind the ignorance of the Ninevites regarding the true God.The king is not positive that God will spare the city

9b God may turn and relent,
1. Can God repent? The form used here is from the Hebrew verb Nacham,
which is derived from the idea of "breathe heavily" as in sorrow or in relief as one is consoled, "may heave a sigh of relief".
2. The word repent, when used of God, does not denote sorrow for sin.
GEN 6:6 And the \Lord\ was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

NUM 23:19 "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

9 c "and withdraw His burning anger
1. The KJV says "fierce anger" it stems from the idea of burning.
2. Anger is derived from the idea of to breathe or snort.

9 d "so that we shall not perish?"
1. That we perish not implies being in the grip of death, "that we might not keep on dying."
2. That the doom deserved and threatened might not come upon them, that, in a word, they might be saved.
3. The Ninevites believed the Lord's greatest desire was not to destroy men but to save them.

ILLUSTRATION:
Robert Falconer tells the story of his witnessing among destitute people in a certain city and of reading them the story of the woman who wiped Jesus' feet with her tears. While he was reading he heard a loud sob and looked up at a young, thin girl whose face was disfigured by smallpox. After he spoke a few words of encouragement to her, she said, "Will He ever come again, the One who forgave the woman? I have heard that He will come again. Will it be soon?" Falconer replied. After sobbing again uncontrollably, she said, "Sir, can't He wait a little while? My hair ain't long enough yet to wipe His feet."

The person who sees the greatness of his own forgiveness by God's love will himself in love be forgiving. He forgives in love because his heavenly Father has forgiven in love and he desire to be an imitator of His Father.

APPLICATION:

One of the evidence of a person being a Christian comes from the change in their lifestyle

When revival and awakening come there will be major PENITENCE.
 

IV. THERE'S A PARDON FROM GOD.  v 10


JON 3:10 When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do {it.}

A. A PARDON BECAUSE OF WHAT GOD SAW. v10 a PERSPECTIVE

B. A PARDON BECAUSE OF WHAT GOD SAID. "YET 40 = GRACE
2CH 7:14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

3:10 a When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way,
1. He heard their professions, and saw their acts were genuine.
2. The change in the moral life, Seen in deeds rather than words.
3. They showed their faith by their works.
4. They renounced their old habits of wickedness and adopted a new and virtuous course of life.

10 b "then God relented
1. Relented of the necessity of punishing them.
2. Inasmuch as He leaves His threatening unfulfilled, and `does it not'.
3. Men repent, or change their mind, in reference to sin. God relents, or changes His mind, in reference to the sinner.

". . . concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do (it.}
1. All God's promises and threatenings are conditional.
2. God's judgement can be set aside when real repentance is in evidence.
3. The change in the morals of the Ninevites moved God to compassion.

ILLUSTRATION:
Do You Remember The Historical Event Concerning An Accussed Person? A Man Was Convicted Of A Crime But The President Gave Him A Pardon. The Man Did Not Believe He Was Pardoned And Refuse To Sign The Legal Document. A Judge Ruled A Pardon Is Not A Pardon Until It Is Accepted.

APPLICATION:

Danger of Apostasy Nahum 1:1; 3:19
1. 150 years after Jonah
2. Ephesus Eph. 1 and Rev. 2:1
 
 

CONCLUSION:

Will We Have Revival This Fall?

I. THERE'S A PREACHER OF GOD'S WORD.

II. THERE'S A PERSUADED PEOPLE.

III. THERE'S A PENITENT PEOPLE.

IV. THERE'S A PARDON FROM GOD.
 



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