“Go to the great city
of Nineveh and
preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” -Jonah 1:2
This September 11th marked the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in 2001. It’s hard to
believe it’s been 20 years since four planes were hijacked by terrorists and
flown into the World
towers and the Pentagon. Those attacks claimed 2,977 lives—and 412 of them were
emergency workers in New York City
who ran into the Twin Towers to help save
others. Included in that number were 60 police officers and 343 firefighters.
When those brave men and women received the call that the twin towers were on
fire and people were trapped on the upper floors, they rushed into the building
and sacrificed their own lives to save others.
heroes. When they received the call of duty, without hesitation, they went. It
wasn’t fun. It wasn’t easy. And it certainly wasn’t safe. But they went anyway,
because it was their duty and their calling.
one of God’s prophets in the Old Testament. He, too had a calling on his life:
to speak God’s word whenever and wherever God told Him to. But unlike the
heroes on 9/11, he turned his back on his call of duty. Jonah was the Reluctant
started when God came to Jonah one day and said, “Go to the great city of Nineveh
and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me” (Jonah 1:2).
was part of Assyria,
which was notorious for its violence and cruelty to its enemies. The Assyrians
weren’t satisfied with simply killing their enemies. They took great pleasure
in torturing and dismembering them. So, this command made Jonah sick to his
stomach. And he hated God’s marching orders for another reason: Jonah had NO
interest in aiding and abetting an enemy of Israel.
Yet God was commanding Jonah to travel 500 miles into enemy territory to preach
a message of repentance. Jonah said, “Count me out!” Instead traveling 500
miles northeast in obedience to God’s command, he jumped on a ship to head
2,500 miles in the opposite direction—to Tarshish in modern-day Spain.
Jonah doing everything in his power to NOT go to Nineveh
and preach to the Assyrians? It wasn’t because Jonah didn’t know God. It’s
because he DID know God. Jonah knew that if he preached to the people of Nineveh
and they repented, God would forgive them and spare them. And that’s the last
thing Jonah wanted. In his heart, he wanted the Assyrians to die in their sins
and go to hell. Jonah was a real sweetheart, wasn’t he?
like to think that Christians today are much different than Jonah. But let’s be
honest: We’re not! Truth be told, there are some people who we don’t want with
us in heaven. Not too long ago I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a political
post about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. A Christian I know had posted
this comment below it: “Go to Hell, Nancy!” Friends, God has a big
problem with us telling people we like “God bless you!” on Sunday morning and
turning around and telling people we don’t like “Go to Hell” on Monday morning.
Followers of Christ, THAT … IS … SIN! Wishing hell on anyone is a sin. Jesus
came to earth to seek and save the lost, and if you are a follower of Jesus, He
calls you to do the same.
consumed by hatred, resentment and vengeance. But you and I must NOT be. We are
on mission from God to share the good news of Jesus Christ with EVERYONE, not
just with those we like … not just with those who like us … not just with those
who are in our comfort zone. In the Book of Jonah, God shows Himself to be
consumed with compassion and love for hopeless sinners. So too must we be
consumed with compassion and love for hopeless sinners.
may, God wants you to obey His marching orders: to go and share God’s word with
lost and dying people. We need to have a heart like Christ’s: a heart filled
with mercy and love for lost and dying people. Like Jesus, God wants you and me
to seek and save the lost.
Dane Davis is the Pastor
of Impact Christian Church. Please join us Sundays for our in-person service at 9 a.m. at 17746
George Blvd. in Victorville. Or, join us online at
10 a.m. on the Impact
Christian Church YouTube channel or Facebook page. For more information,
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