God Revive America
By Bobby Blakey on July 5, 2015
Jonah 4:2, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Exodus 34:6, Joel, 2:12-14, Matthew 12:38-41, Psalm 85
Jonah 4:2, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Exodus 34:6, Joel, 2:12-14, Matthew 12:38-41, Psalm 85
God Revive America
By Bobby Blakey on July 5, 2015
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:06] You might be asking, what is that monstrous trophy? This is your trophy, Compass Bible Church. This is a four hour award winning float in yesterday's Fourth of July parade here not to be.
[00:00:20] That's right.
[00:00:22] We were float number 214. I think you, sir, probably gonna need to go in this way. But we were float number 214. There were many floats. But this trophy represents that your church was the best in music at the entire Huntington Beach parade.
[00:00:40] So it was an exciting day.
[00:00:43] But really, what this trophy is trophy the size of a small child, really. It's a trophy of God's grace to our entire entire church. I remember when I moved here a year ago in June, everybody kept telling me about the Fourth of July parade here in this town, the biggest one around, biggest one this side of the Mississippi River. And I was like, that's got to be an exaggeration. Right.
[00:01:04] And so I asked some Huntington Beach to put this down. My I'm getting tired. I would maska some Huntington Beach natives, Kirk and Nancy Davie, to take me to the parade. Show me how it how it worked. Little did I know what I was asking them was to reserve a spot, which means you have to stay all night to assure your spot.
[00:01:23] So sorry about that. Nancy, I didn't realize until this year I didn't realize what I was asking them to do. A year later, I figured it out. And so you get there and there's just a stream of people on cruiser bikes as far as the eye can see, just tens of thousands of people. And I was like, we got to get in this parade. We got to let people know there's a new church in town. And so we set a goal right then and there. That really was a prayer that God would get us out into the community here in Huntington Beach. And we ended up getting an ice cream truck and inviting people to church. And then we ended up saying, what if the ice cream truck was pulling a float and they were singing? And so some of us, a group of us got here. I think we've got some pictures. This was four a.m. yesterday morning out front of the church were loading up and we're going down and we're like total parade newbies. We have no idea what we're doing, but we're excited to get out there. And you here's a picture of our float inaction with the balloon towers and the band on top. Ryan Pierce arranged some of the old traditional patriotic songs and put them in a kind of a new way to do them. And so we won an award. But even more exciting, perhaps, is look at this crew of people right here. This is a group from our church, like 150 people from our church showed up at this spot that Doug and Jesse stayed up all night to reserve for us. And we were able to hand out while we were there, 1000 little flags attached to church invitations. Here's a few of the guys handing them out. And so we were able to spread the word to a lot of people, not just that there's a new church in town that's now what it's about, but that the gospel is ringing out here in Huntington Beach. That's it. This was on ABC seven News. They were. I mean, into live TV. They were talking about this yesterday. So it was a very exciting day, not only for what happened, but for what it symbolizes that we're a church that wants to see a revival in America. We want to see God brought back to the forefront of people's minds in our nations and and in our nation. And we want people to worship God and have reverence for him. And so because we have that desire. We're gonna study the book of Jonah if you'll grab your Bible and open it up.
[00:03:29] I'm excited to get you into this book, because what we're gonna see here is a great city, Minova and God's prophet Jonah, and a great work of revival that God did. And we're gonna kind of use it as an example of something that God did in the past to kind of stoke the fire of our hearts for what we hope God will do now in the present and into the future. And so I don't know what you know about the book of Jonah. Most people just know it's a whale of a tale. Right. In fact, at the Fourth of July parade yesterday, I saw this. This this is one of our cute kids here at the church. This is Levi Bullington, and he's got a whale on his shirt that says Jonah. And so that's what we kind of have made the story of Jonah about. It is a cool kids ministry story because it has an animal in it. That's kind of how kids ministry works a lot of times these days. If it's got an animal, we tell it to the kids, if not adult time, you know.
[00:04:28] So I don't know if you've read the book of Jonah many times and you're familiar with the story or whether you just know this guy got eaten by a whale and you saw it on a kid's shirt and that's about it. But we are gonna work through this book over the next six weeks and we're gonna see a story that God has for us. We're just gonna get started with the first three verses here this morning. So please follow along with me as I start to get us into the story of Jonah, chapter one versus one, two, three.
[00:04:57] And it says, now the word of the Lord came to Jonah, the son of Amitai, saying, arise. Minova, that great city. And call out against it for their evil has come up before me. But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord. And so just to setup up what's going to happen throughout the rest of the book here, if God notices the wickedness of the city of nine of a great city in that day and age. Now, this was not a Jewish city. This was not of the people of Israel. This would have been a foreign city to them. It would've been a well-known city at that time in the world. And the idea here is God. All of a sudden, he notices in some unique way the wickedness of this city. And he sends his prophet, Jonah. He has an audience with Jonah. It's like Jonah comes before him and there's this unique interaction between him and Jonah. We're in this audience that he has with him. He says you're going to go to an Enova. But, Jonah, there's something here. The most famous thing that he's most famous for is he goes the opposite way. He instead of going to work, God told him to go. He flees. And here's a map where you can kind of see from Joppa where Jonas Jonah went down to it gets a minivan is about 550 miles over land this way. And do you see where Tarshish is? I mean, it's kind of like saying Timbuctoo for us today. It's way out there, 2500 miles away over the seas. I mean, it's basically, Jonah, going to the ends of the earth, going a far as far away as he possibly can. And so a lot of people have started to speculate, why would Jonah do this? Why if God says go to Nineveh. You're a prophet. You get a word from the Lord. Go to Ninn. Ava, why do you take off in the opposite direction, making a point to go of as far away in the world at that time as you could. And so people have begun to speculate. And so maybe you've heard sermons about Jonah if you've grown up going to church and Bible studies on Jonah. Well, the reason Jonah didn't go is because he was afraid. Anyone ever heard that one before. And sometimes you feel afraid when you're supposed to tell people about God, too, and you're supposed to make disciples for Jesus Christ. So because you feel afraid, my friends, let's do a great Bible study on boldness and why we should not be ashamed of the gospel, but we should acknowledge God before man not fearing men, but fearing God in heaven. Now, we could do a great Bible study on not being afraid to be bold witnesses for God. That's definitely a biblical principle, but it doesn't tell us that that's why Jonah Win was because he was afraid. That's that's speculation. And I just want to challenge everybody when we come to God's word. Sometimes we bring our own thoughts, whether we've thought them up ourselves, whether other people have told us these thoughts. We bring our own speculations and we actually end up interpreting God's word through what we think rather than letting God's word speak for itself. And so I I've heard definitely growing up among God's people that Jonah was just afraid. And that's why he fled. Well, it doesn't say that ever once in the entire book of Jonah, does it say that he was afraid?
[00:08:34] Now, another common speculation that I've heard, I've even said before myself is that, well, the reason Jonah didn't want to go to nine of us because they weren't of the people of Israel, they were foreigners, they were pagans, they were gentiles. This is a Jewish mindset. And in the Bible that there were people who didn't know God. Unclean people.
[00:08:55] And so maybe he didn't want to go because he was racist towards these people, because he didn't really like these people and he didn't really want to give them the message. And so that's something that I've heard a lot about, is that we should be missionaries and we should go make disciples of all nations and we should not be racist Americans. And I think we can all say a man to not being racist America. That's a good point. And surely I guarantee you it when you get to heaven, it will be a multi ethnic experience beyond anything that you have ever known in this world. There will be people of every tribe and every tongue and every nation there worshiping God on the throne and singing to the lamb who is worthy, who was slain. So we are all about all kinds of people all over the world getting saved. But does it say here that Jonah didn't go because they were foreigners and he didn't like them?
[00:09:54] That doesn't say these things.
[00:09:56] So we're left to wonder, why didn't Jonah go to Nineveh? It doesn't give us an answer in these three verses, in fact. You've got to get to the end of the book to find out the reason. Now, let's just go through the whole book of Jonah, quick outline, quick heads up about how it works and where we're going. We've got Chapter one. And if you've got one of our Bibles, you can see it. The whole book fits nicely on these two pages right here. Chapter one, Jonah goes the opposite way. Come back next week. We'll find out how that worked out for him. Not too well, but chapter two, he ends up in the belly of a great fish. And we're going to focus in on that. What what what does he say? This. This beautiful thing that he writes while in the belly of the fish. Chapter three, he gets to nine of the people actually get the message. And there is massive repentance turning from sin. And God actually does not judge the people because of their repentance. And then Chapter four is the all revealing kind of conversation between Jonah and God. And as we get to chapter four, verse two, Jonah speaks and he says why he went to Tarshish. Read it with me and Jonah. Chapter four, verse two. No speculation required. Here's was the actual reason that he did not go to Nineveh and give those people God's message. And he prayed to the Lord and said, oh, Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country, when the word of the Lord came to me? When you spoke to me, when I made my decision. What I was going to do, that is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish.
[00:11:32] Here's why I went on a boat in the exact opposite direction, for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful. Slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and relenting from disaster. And this is very puzzling, perhaps a little bit of an enigma.
[00:11:54] Jonah is a confusing guy, a prophet who doesn't want to speak for God. And he says here, I didn't go to Nienaber because here's what I know about you. You love. You are gracious and merciful. You know what I knew you would do from the very beginning, God is I knew you would save these people. That's what he says. The guy goes to the other side of the world fleeing away from the presence of the Lord, because here's what he knows about God. God saves. That's what he knows. He's so convinced of it. Now, when we get to Chapter four, we'll get more into his heart motivation of why that he didn't want to see God save the people of Nineveh. But the reason he didn't go to an Innova is he knew God would save those people. So he was a prophet fleeing from the presence of the Lord in the opposite direction. And he knows something better than most of us here in this room right now.
[00:12:51] He knows who God is.
[00:12:54] I mean, is this what comes to your mind when you think about God, look at this beautiful description of God that it gives to us? And Jonah. Chapter four, verse two. And it says, Any pray to the Lord? And here's his prayer. Why don't want to go to Tarshish for I knew that you years. He knows God and he hears who God is. You are a gracious God and merciful grace means you give good things when they're not deserved. And mercy means you don't give the judgment that is deserved. I knew you are withholder of judgment, and I knew that you like to give good things instead of judgment. And then he says, I knew your Sloat anger you. You are very patient to endure the stubbornness of men's sins. You're abounding in steadfast love is just flowing out of you. It's who you are. God is love. And you just have this promise keeping covenant kind of love that you will just continue to love your enemies, even you will love them. I mean, you people who turn their backs on you and reject you, you sent your own son to die for them.
[00:13:56] That's ultimately what God's gonna do because of his love, because he's so loved the world. And then you relent from disaster.
[00:14:03] Yeah. You sent me there with a message of judgment. But here's what I know about you. God, you don't really want to judge people. You want to save people. And I knew that about you. That's why didn't go. That's why I fled to Tarshish. We got a guy running away from telling people who God is because he knows who God is. God is a God who saves.
[00:14:21] You know this. Do you know who God is? I mean, not just, you know, about him, not just could you give me the right answer in your head? Do you know God? See? America doesn't know God anymore. We've lost God. We used to we used to be about one nation under God. Now it's like can't controversial. That's still in our Pledge of Allegiance.
[00:14:44] So he used to have an understanding at the time of the founding of this country whether people were Christians or not, they understood the general message of the Bible, that there is a God and mankind has sin. And there's one mediator. There's one who can get you to heaven to be with God, one savior. And his name is Jesus Christ. And he was God in all the fullness of deity. But he humbled himself, was born as a man, and he died on the cross for our sins. He came to pay for our sins so that we could be forgiven and that we could have this new life, a relationship with God that would last forever.
[00:15:17] We would worship him in spirit and truth to. That was known.
[00:15:23] Now, some people believed it. Some people didn't. But it was known it was spread through times like the Great Awakening and the second Great Awakening, the colonial states at the founding of our nation, they were rocked with the gospel message.
[00:15:36] That's how America began. And over time, what has happened is now is Godbee and talked about in public is Godbee and talked about at the schools. Is it OK to even have the Ten Commandments posted somewhere? Is it OK to even pray in public? These are things that are now being debated. And clearly our country was founded in a way where people should have freedom of religion to express their worship to God. Now, all of a sudden, this is a controversial topics.
[00:16:04] And the church and the state should have nothing to do with each other, there's a separation of church and state. Anybody heard that argument before? Yeah. Yeah. What that originally meant was we're not going to have a Church of England. That's what that meant. The government's not going to run the church. That's that's what that originally meant to the founding fathers of our nation. Not that in our nation, nobody should be able to talk about church.
[00:16:26] But that's where we're at now.
[00:16:27] That's how we've twisted the founding intent of what this nation was about, we used to know that there were certain inalienable God given rights because all these things were evident. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were given to us by a creator. That's what we saw. That's what we're the document.
[00:16:45] We were celebrating the Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776. Does your neighbor know about that now, your coworkers think that with the parents of the of the other kids at your kid's school are thinking about day and night. We don't know who God is in this nation anymore. We don't even know what a disobedient go into the end of the world. Prophet knew about God. Even people in the church don't have this clear. I got as I've got a bounding and steadfast love. He will save people, you can flee to the opposite side of the world. You know what God will still be doing? Save in people. You can't stop it.
[00:17:20] It's impossible. It's who he is. As long as there is a planet earth before we get into the eternal age, the kingdom that is at hand. That is coming soon. As long as life is as we know it today, God will be saving souls of men. It's what he does. It's what he does, and you and I should go around with this confident expectation. We should not be afraid of what's happening in our nation. We should know that as long as there is America, one thing God is going to be doing is he's going to be safe. And people here in my country and I want to pray for it. I want to be a part of it. I want to see it happen at my church. I want to make sure I'm one of those people who knows of gracious and merciful and abounding and steadfast love.
[00:18:01] God, you don't want to know him. Anybody want to be loved by a heavenly father who cares for you better than you could care for yourself who even though you sinned against him. He wants to welcome you. He wants to run out to you and bring you in to be a part of his family. That's who we're talking about here today. So we've got to make sure we know certain things about God go to go to Second Timothy Chapter three. And let's just start at the foundation of what we believe here at CompassHB Bible Church. And second, Timothy, chapter three. You know, I don't know who you think God is.
[00:18:34] We are at such a place in our nation that you are allowed to basically make up your own God. You're allowed to imagine who you think God will be. And then everyone will respect you because you are have the right to have your own personal opinion about God. You realize how stupid that is. Can we just speak openly here? Can we be candid here this morning? You mean for the world's been going on for thousands of years. People have been thinking things and saying things and writing things. But you can just go right now following your own feelings and your own intellect and you can kind of decide how you think it should all work out who you think God should be. And then we are foolish enough to act like your opinion matters. I mean, think about that, like just because you thought it up. It's now a legitimate consideration that we should all respect just because you had an idea in your head, you should live your whole life based on that idea of God that you made up.
[00:19:34] That's foolishness to the utmost. You guys.
[00:19:38] I mean, when your kid makes up something. When your kid is looking out in, the fireworks are loud and they're afraid. Dad, I see yellow eyes in the backyard, you know. Well, that's a valid opinion, Emma, and I'm glad you think that you should live in fear of those yellow eyes. You should run into my room all night long freaking out, right. I say, Emma, there are no yellow eyes in our backyard, right? Just because you think it up doesn't mean it's true. That's a message we need to spread in America. Does just because you feel it and it feels good to you doesn't mean it's the right feeling that you should have. How do you get to be the determiner of truth? Did you make up reality, did you create yourself? There's only one way that you and I can know what is true. God has to tell it to us. That's the only way we're gonna know. And we have because we are not going back to what God says, we are ending up even among God's people, with a warped understanding of God. The only way we can know is from his word. He has to tell us. We can't figure it out for ourselves. Look at sensitivity.
[00:20:49] Chapter three, verse 16 and 17. These are foundational verses for Compass Bible Church right here in Huntington Beach. All scripture, the entire book that we hold in front of us here, the Bible is breathed out by God, inspired by God, and it's profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training and righteousness that the man of God, the person who really wants to know God, may be complete equipped for every good work.
[00:21:20] So you and I have to be so careful, my friends, whether you're just visiting this morning and you don't know much about God at all or whether you go to church all the time and you think, you know God, no God. Well, do you know everything this book says about God? Because if you're thinking something different than this book, you're making up your own God.
[00:21:38] I mean, he inspired the word here.
[00:21:40] He told us and it says that this book is sufficient. Everything you need to know about how to live your life for God is found right here in this book. So point one and let's get it down like this. You need to know the God who spoke. You need to know the God who spoke. Not a god of your own imagination. Not God as you would like him to be. Not even the God, as you heard through the parts of the Bible that you know. Now you need to know God who spoke to you to tell you who he was.
[00:22:09] That's something everybody here.
[00:22:11] We got to make sure that you've got God right. And one thing that should be like such an overwhelming thought in your mind that you can't escape thinking about it every day is if there's something I know about God, it's that he saves people. That's what I know about God. He is a loving God who wants to turn from judgment and give people good things when they don't deserve to deserve them and take back that the judgment that people do deserve to God is.
[00:22:41] And so we've got to make sure and this is why we call ourselves CompassHB Bible Church, is we want to get back to what it says about God. OK?
[00:22:50] Nothing more. Nothing less. We're trying to throw out every speculation of men and let God speak for himself through his word. And so one thing that I'm really passionate about and I hope you guys will get in with me on this is I want to preach exactly what the Bible says. And we're going to primarily do that by going through the New Testament because we're people live in in the church age where there's a new covenant, where Jesus Christ has come, has died, has risen again. So the New Testament speaks most directly to us as the church here in the year 2015 in America. So primarily, we're a New Testament, kind of a kind of a church. In fact, if somebody is a new Christian and they're reading through the Bible, they start in Genesis. I usually say to them, hey, why don't you jump and start in the New Testament and start there?
[00:23:33] That's how I would encourage people to think about the scriptures. But I want to know what the whole book says. Do you want to know what the whole book says? I have this I have this fear that what if certain parts of this book that are really necessary, that are God breed, that are inspired?
[00:23:50] What if they're getting left out? What if they're being overlooked? What if that's happening over time among masses of people? And eventually, what people think Christianity is, even who people think God is, is not who he really is. And we're all just playing a game talking about someone that's not the real person at all.
[00:24:13] And I think there's a real danger of that happening.
[00:24:16] And so I want to go to the places that I feel are the most overlooked, the most unspoken of today in America, in the church, and so every summer my goal is that here at this church, we will go through a different one of the minor profits.
[00:24:30] Have you heard of the minor profits before? Do you even know what I'm talking about right now? All right.
[00:24:36] We're going to start with Jonah, because it's a whale of a tale, and that's the one that everybody knows about. But I'd like to go through all of them, go back to the book of Jonah and you you find it right after Hozier, Joel Amos and Obadiah Dena. You know those books? Oh, yeah. Amos, what a guy. Not so famous was Amos man, what a guy like really like that guy. I mean, what if there's a what if there's a representation of God that's being delivered in these pages that if we went to the average Kurt Christian person today, they would not even understand, say.
[00:25:09] The only way that you know about God is because of what he says in this book, because he spoke it to you. That's the only way you know anything about it. And if you're a brand new Christian, I don't have to tell you because you're tearin through this book because brand new Christians get it.
[00:25:23] They don't know and they want to know. And man, they talk to other people and they seem to know. And so they start tearing through this book and they just read it all the time and they're just going for it. And it's not like they're getting information. It's like they're getting to know someone is how it seems to them. Like it's a relationship to them where they know God. And they just they just burn through this book, just turning the pages, reading it. I had literally had a new Christian say to me the other day that he's having a hard time sleeping. And I was thinking it was about anxiety or something he used to struggle with before he was saved. And he's like, yeah, I'm just reading my Bible too late into the night and I can't put it down.
[00:26:03] So he's saying.
[00:26:06] And I just fear for the guy when he says that, because that's so beautiful. I mean, that's a that's a firework going off right there. That's somebody who used to be in the darkness now in the light of Jesus Christ. And I'm afraid he's going to become like the rest of us Christians who get so used to this book. We don't even want to read it anymore because we think we know it all.
[00:26:26] We don't know this book. Not the whole thing. Not everything.
[00:26:30] You're ready to tell me right now? You know everything there is to know about this book. All 66 different books within the book, because personally, I've been trying to get to know everything there is to know about this book. And by the time I figure out some things I didn't know, I realized I forgot some other things that I used to know. And I got to go back and read, learn them. Anybody ever experience that? How do you keep a book of this content of this size fresh in your mind all the time?
[00:26:56] It's impossible, my friend. It's like it's designed to be this ever lasting source of treasure and goodness where you make new discoveries and get reminded about old friends for the rest of your life. That's what this book supposed to be. If I asked you right now to write down a theme, just one sentence on the theme of all 12 minor profits. And specifically, what all 12 minor prophets tell us about God. Who could do that here in this room? And yet these books have been sitting here for thousands of years. Most of them actually speak about the future. Yet to come, Joan is actually one of the boring minor prophets because it doesn't have anything to say about the future roulet relevant to us. Most of them do. And yet we don't even crack them, we don't even look at them, so a passion that I have is that we would have an accurate understanding of the whole Bible and that we would know who God is because of what he says here, not what makes sense to us or who we think he might be. Let's go back to Jonah, chapter four, verse two, and let's just read one more time. And I wish everybody could say something like this right away. Who is God? Well, let me tell you who God is. He's a gracious God and merciful. Slow to anger and abounding and steadfast love relenting from disaster. Now, where did Jonah pull out from, is that just Jonah's understanding of God? Well, no, it's actually a quote from God explaining himself. Go back to Exodus 34. We gotta go back to this. What I would say the most important passage in the Old Testament, at least in my understanding of the Bible, is Exodus Chapter 34, when Moses has the audacity to cry out to God.
[00:28:31] Show me your glory. The boldest request a human can make to God is to see God. And God says, well, no man can see me and live. But I'll hide you. I'll protect you. I'll give you a glimpse of my glory. And most importantly, I'll proclaim to you who I am. So here's God introducing himself. This isn't anybody else's understanding about God. Here's God writing his own Bible, writing his own self description. Exodus 34, verse six. And the Lord pass before him. And the Lord now is going to tell Moses who he is. And he proclaimed the Lord the Lord a God. Merciful and gracious. Slow to anger and abounding and steadfast love. How does that sound familiar to anybody? That sounds like exactly what Jonah for two. Is that right? Where did Jonah get his idea of God from what God said about himself? And so it but now it does put a little bit of an aspect in here that Jonah does not mention, it says he's a bounding and steadfast love and faithfulness being the truth, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, a mighty saving God. But who will by no means clear the guilty.
[00:29:46] So he is going to judge. That's true. In fact, he visits the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation.
[00:29:55] That there's a balanced perspective here as God introduces himself, that he is both a God ready to forgive and a God who will judge. God is both of those things. But Jonah, he knows why God would send him to Nimura to warn those people about judgment. Every time there's ever a warning about judgment, the point of that is so that people would get saved before the judgment comes. That's why we talk about judgment. So you can get saved.
[00:30:19] Now, see.
[00:30:21] And so Jonah is getting his idea of God from God. I would encourage you don't trust any other source but God on who God is.
[00:30:29] He's the one who knows. In fact, go to the book of Joel. Go to the book, Joel here and you'll see that Joel says a very similar thing. Hosanna! Joel. Amos. Obadiah. Jonah. Those are just the first five of the minor prophets there. And so this is the book of Joel, Lord willing, if if our church lasts for four, 12 years, we're gonna go through all the minor prophets. So we got a long terms. What's your long term strategy for growth over there at CompassHB by church every summer? We're gonna preach through a new minor profit. That's our long term plan. All right. And there you go. And we'll hopefully we'll get to Joel. You know what the book Joel is about? It's about a locust plague.
[00:31:12] Fascinating stuff.
[00:31:13] Riveting a locust come and destroy everything. And the book at Joel uses that as a description for the judgment that is going to come and destroy everything. A Day of the Lord Joel describes that is yet to come. Anybody here, when we preached on the day of the Lord, hear a great and terrible day of judgment that is still yet in the future for us. The book of Joel is about something that hasn't happened yet. And here's the message of the book of Joel. The good news in the middle of a chapter two. Verse twelve. Check this out. Says yet even now declares the Lord so hears words straight from the Lord through the Prophet. Joel returned to me with all your heart. There's a great and terrible day of judgment coming. So turn around and come to me, says the Lord, with fasting, with weeping, with morning, with genuine sorrow over your saying that leads to repentance. Rend your hearts, not your garments. Make sure your heart is broken over your sin. Don't just tear your clothes in a symbol of sin. That's what they would do as they would tear their clothes. They would have sackcloth and ashes poured over their heads. They had great symbols of mourning and weeping when they knew something was wrong. Well, here it says, hey, don't just feel bad about your sin and no actually act. Don't just go through the motions of feeling bad. Actually break your heart over it. Let your heart be broken, contrite.
[00:32:37] And really genuinely come to me, says, God, I'm going to judge the whole world. That's what God says. But if you come to me, I will save you. Return to the Lord, your God. Here's why. Here's why you should come to God. Here's what you should know about him. He is gracious. He is so good. And he is merciful. He doesn't want to judge you, doesn't want to give you what you deserve. He's slow to anger was said beautifully here this morning. And I was stubborn. But he was patient and he was abounding. He's just ready to give at a moment's notice.
[00:33:09] He wants to pour out his steadfast love. And once he makes a promise with you, once he makes a covenant with you, nothing will ever break the promise. So let your heart break over your sin so that you can have a salvation that cannot be broken. That's what God's saying right here.
[00:33:26] Come to me saying.
[00:33:29] And then he ends like this. That that's a direct quote. You could see slow to anger, a bounding and steadfast love. And he relents over disaster. So I think in Jonah, chapter four, verse two, he's both quoting Moses from Exodus 34 six. He's also quoting Joel, who was a prophet shortly before him, to the northern tribe of Israel. And Joel throws out this invitation. You're afraid of the judgment of God, afraid of the consequences of your sins. Do you know where you're going when you die? Well, if you're afraid about what's going to happen, then return to the Lord. Turn away from your sin and come to him. Have a broken heart about who you are in your sin and come to God because he'll forgive you. And he's been patient with you this whole time. And he wants to give you a covenant kind of love. He wants to establish a relationship with you that can never be broken for all of eternity. He will turn from the judgment.
[00:34:22] That's who he is. And it says here in verse 14, who knows whether he will not turn and relent. Maybe he will and he will leave a blessing behind him. Out of there's a phrase, there's a song, God Bless America. We've all heard that we all have that idea. All right. Well, we're kind of changing that up a little bit here because a blessing comes for those who turn from their sin. The Bible's very clear that you can you should not really expect blessing if you're not walking in obedience. This is the Old Testament is the foundation of the law. Obey and you will be blessed. Disobey and you will be what? You will be judged. You will be curse. This is what God says to his children, to his people.
[00:35:06] And so we would say, God bless America. I love the idea of it. I love the idea of God being involved in our country. But I think the truth is, could we say we're an obedient nation to God?
[00:35:17] Could we say that our people are walking with him, that our people know who God is as a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abounding? Would anybody be able to give us that kind of an idea of God with that level of detail as he's revealed himself? That judgment is coming, but if you turn from your sin, God will rescue you out of it. That's the message that America needs to know, that at one point I think a lot of people in America did know, and I think the number is shrinking and shrinking. And so we're going to start a new prayer. A new slogan. We might even write a song about it. God revive America. That's what we're here to say at this church. We need a fresh turn of people back to God. And we need to ask God to do it because he wants to. He wants to relent from the disaster that is surely coming upon America. He wants to turn us back away from that. I mean, this. Chapter two, verse 12, where it says, yet even now declares, The Lord returned to me with all your heart man as a great word for people here in America right now. A nation that once said a lot of good things about God. Even now, there is time for people to turn back to him. And we want to spread that message. I don't want to flee to Tarshish. Do you want to flee to Tarshish? I want to go right to where God has sent me. And I want to make disciples of all nations. The nations now have come to us. Have you noticed that here America, a melting pot of nations. We have an opportunity to spread the good news of Jesus Christ, to spread this knowledge of a God who saves, to spread it straight from his word. And I want to be a part of seeing God do a great work in our nation. And I hope you do, too. So that's what we're going for. That's why we're involved in a parade on the Fourth of July. It's not to cream the other floats, my friends. I'm not I'm not necessarily mad that that happened. But the point is the point is we're here representing God and we're gonna do every single thing that we can to get God on the minds of Americans once again and to encourage people to turn back to him. Because here's what we know. That's who he is. That's what he does. I tell you, if you wanted to vote your life to a purpose that I can guarantee you is going to work out. Devote yourself to seeing God save people because that's what he's going to do. Talk about getting involved in a mission that, you know, is going to mean something for all of eternity. A life will be well worth lived if you help other people know who God is. He will turn people to himself. He desires it.
[00:37:51] It's in his nature. He's gracious, he's merciful.
[00:37:57] They now go to Matthew, Chapter 12 because because well, we got to realize is that the New Testament is built on the Old Testament.
[00:38:06] So would I encourage a new Christian to read the New Testament before the Old Testament? Absolutely. But what I encourage those if you guys who have been Christians for a while to master the Old Testament, so you'll really understand the New Testament. That's what I'm trying to say here today, my friends. And I'm trying to say that some of the things you think about the Old Testament might not be actually what you find if you go back and read it, because I heard that the Old Testament was the part that's all about like judgment and Rahaf and the New Testaments, the part that's all about salvation. But it seems like the point of Jonah so far, at least the beginning that we're getting into is about salvation.
[00:38:42] Sounds like the exact same message, different city, different messenger. Same message. That's what you're going to find throughout the Bible because it's the same God.
[00:38:52] And here Jesus even uses Jonah as an example of the gospel message. Look at Matthew, chapter 12, verse 38. And here we're gonna see Jesus affirming the validity of the story of Jonah and some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, Teacher, we wish to see a sign for you. So God sends his son Jesus to his people, the Jews and the Jews, instead of receiving the Messiah and believing in Jesus. They say we're gonna need to see something that you prove who you really are. Here's God. Trying to talk to his own people, trying to give them is one and only son, and the son isn't good enough. And so they say, excuse me, Jesus, you're gonna need to prove it to us because we're not really ready to accept what you're saying. And so they reject their own messiah seeking a sign and Jesus rebukes them for it. Verse 39. But he answered them an evil an adulterous generation seeks for a sign. No sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
[00:39:56] Now your ears and it is a fascinating fact about Jonah for all of you. Bible nerds out there, do we have any Bible nerds here? Anybody grew up going to church. Right.
[00:40:04] You know how the Jews say when Jesus shows up that there is no profit from Galilee? Search the scriptures. No pop prophet is born from Galilee. Guess where Jonah was born? My friend's. Galili, why would the Jews not have a very high view of Jonah the Prophet? Say, because he went to tell other people about salvation, that story about other people, not the Jews getting saved. Well, it probably wasn't a very popular story among the Jews, say.
[00:40:33] And so Jesus is now going to refer to that story, specifically member Jonah.
[00:40:38] And look at what it says for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish. So will the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. And the men of Minova will rise up at that judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah. And behold, something greater than Jonah is here. I mean, we're going to look at the story. Jonah walks into town. He says 40 days and you're gonna be overthrown 40 days and you're going to be judged. And this entire great city of wickedness of Nineveh. These people just massively repent and turn from their sin to God.
[00:41:14] And Jesus is saying. I sent Jonah to the Ninn invites to all the Jews what I thought a very wicked people later became the enemies of Israel and they repented of their sin. And now here I am greater than Jonah. And I've come to you to reveal myself to you. And you're asking for a sign from me. The native title didn't need a sign from Jonah. And you're going to ask me for a sign. The story of Jonah is being used against the Jewish people to show them their stubbornness of heart, that they will not believe that God is a God who saves and see Jesus as the savior.
[00:41:49] And he says this isn't a story of a of a great whale, or as we're gonna see more specifically, it says a great fish. Hey, remember, you think that's a big deal, how Jonah was three days and nights in the in the belly of a great fish? Well, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to do something that's three days and nights in the heart of the earth. I'm going to die. You think it's a big deal for a guy to be kept alive in the belly of a great fish? How about this? I'm going to die. They're going to bury me. I'm going to be not mostly dead, but all dead.
[00:42:15] And then I'm going to come back and I'm gonna be resurrected and I'm going to live forever. See?
[00:42:22] He talks about Jonah and what Jonah went through. And he gives a prophecy here of what he is going to do. He is preaching to them. There is only one way to be saved, and it's not through signs and miracles and all kinds of experiences. It's through knowing Jesus Christ. That's how you get saved. God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son because he's so gracious and merciful and slow to anger and abounding and steadfast love. And he doesn't want to judge really at the end of the day. That's not what he wants to do. He gives Jesus to us.
[00:42:53] And the book of Jonah is going to be used now to preach the gospel message. That's what Jesus is doing here. Saying, hey, hey, Jewish people. This is what I really think a big part of why the book of Jonah is written and recorded in the Scriptures. It was a testimony to the Jewish people when God would set them profit after profit after profit. And then he sent them his own son. And they would not listen to those profits. And then God sends a profit who doesn't even want to go to the nine invites and they repent right away. That's the point of the book of Jonah right there. I'm sending you my son, and you will not repent. Look at these people. They've got a disobedient, lame prophet. And they repented. It's to cut down anyone who would have spiritual pride. That's what it is here. And Jesus reduces the story of Jonah to rebuke the Jewish people, and I wonder if it could be a rebuke to many of us in the church today who act like we kind of our no at all and we're God's people. And yet when I go to church today and I ask people, what is repentance? People don't even know the answer to that question. As people tell me the gospel message, they can even tell me the good news that saves their soul.
[00:44:12] So much I think I know about stuff. Well, you think the story of Jonah is about a guy being swallowed by a great fish. Here's what it is. It's the story of a city being saved by a great God.
[00:44:22] That's what the story was all about. And if you don't think that we have a mighty God, if you think, wow, what a dark time in America. The Supreme Court and President Black Barack Obama on pop culture. I had this guy just telling me how rock and roll is at. There were people who wanted to evangelize us at the parade. I don't know if you experience any of these people, but I was told a lot of good things that meditation could do for me. And I was also told by this there were some very zealous, quote unquote, Christian guys out there shouting at people with bullhorns, which is not, I think, maybe the most effective way to get people's attention with the gospel of Jesus Christ yelling at him with a megaphone, telling them they're born in sin when you don't even know their name. I don't know if that's really a great way to approach people, but. But there were guys doing that and one guy was going after me. I'll say tannic rock and roll is. How evil it is, how those young people, they don't even know what's going on beyond, say, she's from Satan.
[00:45:22] That's what a guy told me at the parade yesterday. So he said to me. Hey, we got a better message than that. It's something better to say than that, man.
[00:45:33] You don't know who I am, I don't know who you are. You're something I want you to know. Let me tell you who God is. God wants to give you a covenant of steadfast love that will never and he wants to love you and never leave you for the rest of your life. That's what we're here to tell people say. People don't know that. They don't understand it. They don't think there's judgment coming. They don't even think there's anything they need to be saved from. And so this idea of a super loving God who will love his enemies and bring them close to him.
[00:46:00] They don't even get that at all. And we've got to get it out there.
[00:46:06] So we got to not only know the guy who spoke. You need to know you're the God who saves. You got to know the God who saves. And this should be a thing. Jesus is coming to save and people can't even see it. And he's like, don't you see it in the story of Jonah? It's there, you guys. It's there. Going to don't you know the minor prophets Jesus his rebuking the Jewish people of his day? He could be rebuking us here in the church. They haven't you seen my story is salvation from day one.
[00:46:36] Haven't you seen how I introduced myself to Moses in the first five books and then just keep reading all of the other books? They all tell the same story. I'm going to save people. Look at how hard the people try not to be saved. Look at how Jonah tries not to be a part of the salvation of those people by going 2500 miles in the opposite direction. Did I let him get there? No, because here's who I am. I save people.
[00:47:01] That's what God wants everybody here to know. And if you're living for any other purpose, but seeing God save first, you and then other people, you are missing the point of life and you don't know who God is. It's all about him. It's all about discovering these attributes of God that are wonderful, that we will worship for the rest of for the rest of his life. Sometimes people they bring up some big questions like, well, why is there evil in the world? Well, why is there sin? Say, why did God allow these bad things to happen? Well, here's why God allowed those things to happen, because he wants us to know who he is. That's the point. And if there was no sin, if there was no evil, then we would never know what love is. Do you realize that there would be nothing to save us from?
[00:47:47] There would be no bad thing that we would deserve. And yet we could be given good things. Instead, there would be no mercy. There would be no grace. That's why the Bible says that angels long to understand salvation that you and I can know here this morning because they've never experienced it. When they were made righteous beings and they've always been righteous, they don't know the saving love of God given to them because they were sinners who got rescued out of judgment and now have a relationship with God. You and I can know what angels can't even know.
[00:48:18] We can all love real love.
[00:48:22] Love that accepts you for even the worst of who you are and then transforms you to be someone else.
[00:48:29] That's the love of God. Love where you get so put into Christ, you become him, it's like you die with him and you rise again. That's what we were here, in here. Did you hear the message right here for different individuals? Same story. I know a God who saves and it's awesome. And you should know him, too. And we got people right here right now that don't know the salvation of God. You're still searching for something because you haven't been satisfied by his love. And I'm here to tell you there is a God who is gracious and merciful. And he would like to know you here today. He saves people. And then knowing him is the best thing that you will ever experience in this life. I want everybody to know what I have the privilege of knowing, not because of who I am, but because of who he is and how he's treated me in my life. And I would love for people to experience this. I hope that someone here this morning will realize I don't really know. God. Go with me to Saum, 86 and 85. For those of us who do know God, we're gonna start something today that we're going to continue over the next six weeks and we're gonna just start beating a drum here until it gets really loud, solemn.
[00:49:42] Let's go to some 85. Let's start there. And Sawm 85. If you are want to say a man now, I know as an artist, sometimes you guys don't say Amen, but when I'm saying that God is a gracious and merciful God will give a covenant of steadfast love to sinners. Does anybody here want to say amen to that? Well, if you're a part of the chorus here. All right. If you're a part of the church that God's putting together, that's going to echo out the gospel here in North Orange County. And then then you've got to start praying and you've got to be asking God to reveal these attributes of salvation and to do it through us here at this church. If that's really what we believe about God, if that's really who he is, that we shouldn't be fleeing to Tarshish, we should be walking straight into Minova with the good news of Jesus Christ because we know God will save.
[00:50:32] And so look at what it says here in Psalm 85 with you. Here's a couple of good examples and so many five and so many sick somebody who knows God. Here's how they pray. Here's how they think. Restore us again. This is so many fibers for Restore US Again, o God of our salvation. I know you. God, you saved me.
[00:50:50] Put away your indignation toward us right now. It seems like you're angry with us. Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations? See, I know something about you got. You don't like to stay angry. That's not really what you're about.
[00:51:05] And so I pray this. Will you not revive us again?
[00:51:09] That your people may rejoice in you. Show us your steadfast love. Oh, Lord. Grant us your salvation. Man of every single person here this morning could get down on your knees and pray that every day this week for your family members, neighbors, that God will use this church to once again show people his steadfast love and his salvation. That's called praying for revival.
[00:51:32] And if you really think you know who God is, we'll find it in your prayers as you ask him to be who he is. Among us here at CompassHB Bible Church on the beach. Go over to the next chapter, Psalm 86, and look at what it says here in verse five. Here's what the Psalmist knows. This is David.
[00:51:51] So many six, verse five for you, o Lord, are good in forgiving. I know who you are. You're abounding in steadfast love. There it is again to everyone who calls upon you. You give them love. Anyone comes to you for salvation with that real broken heart of sin, you save them every time. So here's what I'm gonna pray. Verse six. Give Ero Lord to my prayer. Listen to my plea for grace in the day of my trouble. I will call upon you for you. Answer me. Anybody think America's in trouble? Anybody think we're living in a day of trouble in our nation. I see one hand there in the back. Thank you, sir. We are living in troubled times, my friend.
[00:52:28] So we will call on God. And guess what? He will answer us and he will show us his salvation once again. It's going to happen. Are you going to be a part of it? So hopefully you've experienced the salvation of God personally and you're praying to experience it now in the lives of other people. We have a prayer. God, revive America. Pray with me. God, I thank you so much that we could just start getting into the book of Jonah today.
[00:52:53] And God make us students of your word here at this church. Let us not have the Bible in our name, but in our hearts here at this church. God. And convict any Christian person here who thinks they know enough about scripture to not get into every single day. God. We want to know more about you. We want to know every word that you've inspired. God help us to be so. Suspicious of coming up with our own thoughts about you speculating what your word might mean, help us to take it for what it says and nothing more and nothing less. Let it be used. Speaking to us, revealing yourself in our hearts. And God, I just pray for the person who hasn't really experienced this abundance of steadfast love that you graciously give. They don't know your mercy and grace. You're being patient with them, but they haven't known your salvation yet. God. Pray that you'll save somebody, that they'll come to you this morning. They'll come talk to me or Carl upfront or men at the back table, or they'll turn to somebody and they'll talk about what it really means to have a relationship with you. And God, I just praise you that some of us do know you.
[00:54:04] And God, we worship you right now for what an awesome God you are. And we say a man to what Jonah says about you. We know it's true.
[00:54:11] Not just from your word, but from how you poured it out in our lives. And, God, we pray that you will give your salvation and your steadfast love to many more people through this church and that we will see you do a great work of revival so that your name. As a merciful and gracious God might be lifted high for your glory, we pray in Jesus name. Amen, man.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.