Salvation Is Of The Lord!

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Many people today that profess to be “Christian” do not believe what their Bible says. Liberalism and Leftism has infiltrated the Church of Jesus Christ, teaching that this grand old Book is just a figment of a human’s imagination.

The devil’s trifecta, Darwinian Evolution, Critical Race Theory and Gender Fluidity has replaced the Biblical account of Adam and Eve and Divine Design.

People are afraid to proclaim that God made anything. People are accidents of nature, and life is cheap. To have a guaranteed full Church and a fat check, do not preach this Bible as God’s Book.

Beloved, I still believe the Book. I have to believe the Book, because Jesus believed the Book. Jesus said …

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and {these Scriptures} testify of me.

When Jesus said this the New Testament had not yet been written. The “Scriptures” our Lord is speaking of is what we call “The Old Testament”. Jesus said that the Old Testament focused on two things: eternal life, and Jesus Himself. “The Scriptures testify of Me”. All of the Bible points to Jesus Christ, the Messiah. The Scriptures point to His love, His foretelling, His virgin birth, His earthly ministry, His horrible death on Calvary, His resurrection from the grave on the third day, His Church, and His second Coming. The Bible is about Jesus. Jesus would not have commanded us to “search the Scriptures” if He did not believe it to be true. Jesus extensively quoted the Old Testament while He walked on this earth. The Church proper is:

Ephesians 2:20 … built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

The APOSTLES wrote the New Testament, the PROPHETS the Old Testament. The CORNERSTONE of both Books is Jesus Christ.

It is not surprising that, when Jesus spoke of His impending death, burial, and resurrection, He would reference the Old Testament. One of His references was Jonah.

Jesus said in Matthew 12:39-40 An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah: 40 for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Word Study Modern people look at our Lord’s statement with doubt. Many have said, “There is no way a WHALE swallowed Jonah”.

I agree!

What the King James translates as “whale” is actually the Greek κῆτος κοιλία kētos koilía, (pronounced kay’-tos koy-lee’-ah), which means the belly of a huge fish. The Septuagint (according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon) says “Matthew 12:40, from Jonah 2:1 where the Septuagint, κήτει μεγάλῳ for גָּדול דַּג.”. Jesus said it was a “the belly of a great fish”. This is exactly what the Book of Jonah tells us. Turn with me to

Jonah 1:17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

The Hebrew tells us that Jonah was in theמֵעֶה me`ah דָּג dag (pronounced may-aw’ dawg), in the belly of a great fish. How is this possible that a man can live in the belly of a great fish three days and nights? It is because God engineered the man, and God engineered the fish. God made both for a specific purpose, and God can do anything He wants to do.

Our God is a miracle making God.

I do not find the great fish incredulous. The God Who hung the stars in space can make a great fish that can swallow a man. Jesus believed it, and tied the story of Jonah to His death and burial. What amazes me is that God can use broken things – like Jonah, you, and I – to do His magnificent good!

Our Lord Loves Our Broken World,
And Sends The Broken Saved Out To Save It

Jonah 1:1-2 Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 3 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.

The Bible tells us “the Word of the Lord came to Jonah, the son of Amittai”. Don’t gloss over any of this. God chose Jonah to go to Ninevah for Him, to proclaim the Gospel. Why did God choose Jonah? The text tells us that

Jonah was the son of Amittai, the prophet.

This is repeated in 2 Kings 14:25-27. Amittai was a prophet, and Jonah was a Preacher’s kid. Jonah grew up under the preaching of his father. He is like so many that tell me “I’ve been going to Church my whole life”. Jonah knew the heart of God. Jonah knew that God loves people. After all, people are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). And the Bible tells us that,

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

God wants people to repent, to turn from following the false gods and goddesses, and to follow Him. God made us to follow Him. God tells Jonah to GO – this an Imperative – a command – “GO to Ninevah, the capital city of Assyria”. What is he to do?

vs 2 cry against it; for their wickedness is come up
before me

God is going to destroy Nineveh if the people do not repent. God destroyed the world by flood because of wickedness:

Genesis 6:5-7 … God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth

God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of wickedness:

Genesis 18:20-21 the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; 21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

God will destroy Nineveh because of wickedness. Jonah, you go out and CRY AGAINST IT. Do not justify it’s darkness. Tell them I love them, but they must repent!

As God speaks to Jonah, He speaks to the Church today. “Arise …. Go …. Cry Against. These are Imperatives in the Hebrew text – they are not suggestions but are commands. Destruction is coming, but it can be averted. The nation must repent. They must stop, and heed God. You, like Jonah, stand in a place of the intercessor. A loving God will do what He does not want to do. If the cancer is not averted, the world will perish. Jonah, go right now. Tell them to repent. Don’t entertain them – tell them.

How did Jonah respond? He ran away. Jonah thought by running that he could get away from the Presence of the Lord. You cannot hide from God!

Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Psalm 139 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”

Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh. Why? There were several reasons. When God came to Jonah, the Commentary Critical & Explanatory on the Whole Bible states:

this prophecy of Jonah was given at a time when Israel was at the lowest point of depression, when “there was not any shut up or left,” that is, confined or left at large, none to act as a helper for Israel”

Assyria was the enemy of Israel, and
Nineveh the capital city of the enemy.

So many Christians today want to take the “Benedictine Option”, to wall up themselves as if a monastery, to hide from the world. Yet this is not an option. If you are saved by faith in Christ, you are to LOVE GOD and LOVE OTHERS. Jesus commanded:

Matthew 5:44-45 I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Our Lord loves people. But when a people drift too far from Him, His love for the world will lead Him to destroy that which is cancerous, that He might save the whole. Jonah ran. Too many believers today run. No, you cannot run. There is no option to run!

If you run, God will find you. If you run, destruction will come upon you. Jonah must stand!

Jonah 1:4-7 … 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. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. 6 So the ship-master came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. 7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.

Proverbs 16:33 tells us The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord”. Jonah, you cannot hide. You must stand with Jesus.

Jonah 1:8-10 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? 9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. 10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.

Jonah was honest, and I believe at heart a decent man. He just did not want to heed the Lord. But the Lord gave him no option to disobey. God does not expect you to be perfect, dear Christian, but He does expect you to be obedient. Jonah asked the men to throw him overboard. He was ready to die for his convictions.

But Jonah would not die, because Jesus had something He wanted Jonah to do!

Jonah 1:15-17 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows. 17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jesus was ready with the Great Fish! Did you read that? “The Lord HAD PREPARED a great fish to swallow up Jonah”. When God gives you something to do, there are two great truths that follow:

  • God will prepare the way so that you can do what He said.
  • You WILL do what God said!

The Belly Of The Fish Is A Blessing
If It Leads You To Walk With Jesus

When Jonah was called to go to Nineveh, he ran. He did not pray. He did not seek God’s direction. He ran in the opposite direction. But now, Jonah is in the Belly of Hell! He is in a bad spot because of disobedience. But this trial is a blessing, for it causes him to pray.

Jonah 2:1-9 Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly, 2 and said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. 3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. 4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. 5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. 6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God. 7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. 8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. 9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.

Do you know why – many times – we find ourselves in the belly of hell? It is because we did not do as Jesus said. God uses trials as a mother who loves her child uses a switch. Jonah now prays “out of the belly of hell”. This is a great fish, the BELLY of a great fish. Stomach acids are churning around him. As a fisherman, I have enjoyed the smell of dead fish before. Imagine being locked up with that smell! Jonah prays. He said:

vs 2 I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me

As Jonah prays, he is actually quoting scripture. His words are from …

Psalms 120:1 … In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me.

Jonah prayed the Scripture back to God. Jonah quotes Psalm 18:4-6; Psalm 116:3-4, 18; Psalm 31:6; and Psalm 116:18. As a son of God Jonah prayed the Word of God back to it’s Author.

The exhale of prayer is most sweet when it is based on the daily inhale of the Word of God!

Jonah stopped running. Jonah repents. He promised the Lord that he would “pay that I have vowed”. If you are a child of God you owe Him allegiance. Jonah also is given a great truth, a truth that he ends his prayer with.

Salvation Is Of The Lord Jesus”

Jonah 2:9 … Salvation is of the Lord.

It is our Lord Jesus Who makes salvation possible. It is the Holy Spirit of God that must move the heart. It is the Kingdom of the Father that our Lord strives to fill. Salvation is of the Lord!

Jonah 3:1-4 … the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, 2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. 3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey. 4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

Thank God for second chances! God gave Jonah a second chance. He tells Jonah, preach unto Nineveh the preaching that I bid thee. Jonah, you go and be My representative. You go and tell them what I tell you. Jonah is not responsible for the results. Jonah is just to share the message that God gives him. His words?

Jonah 3:4 …Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

This is no feel good, soothing message, but God’s Word often isn’t. It was a simple message, delivered by a reluctant messenger. Yet it is God Who changes people. God takes the text, and moves the heart with it.

This sermon that Jonah preaches would have earned a FAIL in seminary or Bible college.

Here we see the miracle of the Book of Jonah. The miracle is not the big fish swallowing Jonah. The miracle is not that Jonah survived the swallowing of the great fish. The miracle is God moving the hearts of people. God, through Jonah’s simple message, worked in the hearts of the people. The Scripture says:

Jonah 3:5-10 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. 6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: 8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? 10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

What would happen in our fallen country if as Christians we began to share Jesus – not our political party but JESUS – with others. Wouldn’t that be a blessing? Wouldn’t God move the hearts of Americans?

Beloved, The Hope Of The Nation Is Jesus Christ

In chapter one Jonah ran from God lest Nineveh be saved.

In chapter two Jonah ran to God in prayer, gaining release from the great fish.

In chapter three Jonah ran for God, telling Nineveh what God said.

But now in chapter four Jonah is upset with God.

Jonah 4:1-4 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. 2 And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. 3 Therefore now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. 4 Then said the Lord, Doest thou well to be angry?

How foolish this is! If you are saved, you ought to want others to experience the joy of salvation. What hatred it is to withhold Divine Salvation from any person! The Apostle said:

1 John 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

The Bible says that “Jesus died for all” (2 Corinthians 5:15).

The Bible says that “Jesus tasted death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9).

The Bible says that “Jesus is the satisfactory payment for sin” (1 John 2:2). The Bible says that “God so loved the world” (John 3:16).

The Bible says Jesus “gave Himself a ransom for all people” (1 Timothy 2:3-6).

The heart right with God rejoices when others are saved. Jonah is foolish! God illustrates Joshua’s foolishness with a gourd. He causes a gourd to grow up to shade Jonah – then allows the gourd to be killed by a worm. When Jonah is angry over this the Lord tells him:

Jonah 4:10-11 Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not labored, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: 11 and should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

God wanted to save Nineveh because there were 120,000 children in that place (a child does not know their right hand from their left). God did not want to destroy the nation. When you do not witness, dear Christian, but instead focus on the gourds of life, you miss the bigger picture. That man that you do not tell about Jesus will not only die in his sins and go to hell, but his children may remain lost as well. That woman that you do not share Christ with may never be saved. If she is not saved, what of her children? What of the children? Let us not run from what God has called us to do, but to stand up for Him. The world needs Jesus. Everyone needs Jesus.

Let’s share Jesus with others as we enjoy the gift of life. Let’s tell them that Jesus Christ loves them so much, that He descended into the belly of hell for us. Oh what a great love this is! Oh, what a great love!

If you do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, I beg you, come to Him believing this very day. Only by faith in Christ can anyone be saved. Oh Lord, bless this message to the saving and revival of our nation. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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