God’s Heart for the Nations (2023)

Notes

Transcript

Sermon Tone Analysis

A

D

F

J

S

Emotion

A

C

T

Language

O

C

E

A

E

Social

View more→

Joke:

One day, a little boy talked back to a man’s wife. She told him to do something; he said, 'No, I don't want to.' So, the man had to pulled him aside and say, 'Listen -- you gotta teach me how to do that.'

If there was a group of people who were about to spend eternity in hell…and God told us to go warn them…if God told us to make sure they knew that He has made a way for them to spend eternity in heaven with Him…what kind of people would we be if we said no?

Evangelism is in trouble in the United States. For decades, we have been coming up with ways to say “no” to God. Instead of encouraging each other to cultivate a burden for lostness, we have left evangelism up to the professionals, the Billy Graham crusades, the big church events, the IMB and NAMB. The results have proven to be catastrophic. Today it is common to meet Christians who are active in church, who have never shared the gospel with anyone. Barna Research Group just finished a study that says about 46% of millennials do not believe that personal evangelism is their personal responsibility.

God has called every believer to follow Jesus…become fishers of people…put their yes on the altar when it comes to missions.

Missions for us begins right here…in our community. A church who is not sharing the gospel in their community is not a community of faith…they are a group of religious nuts.

I want to encourage you to put your yes on the altar this morning. I want to encourage you to commit in your heart to cultivate a burden for lostness and spend the rest of your life engaging those who do not know God by sharing the gospel.

I am not saying that we need to invite more people to church (that is needed)…I am not saying we need to provide more clothes, money, food, and other temporary things that people need (that is needed)...I am saying that we need to share the gospel with more people.

If you like hell fire and brimstone sermons, you will enjoy the next few minutes…if you don’t like studying portions of Scripture that step on your toes…now might be a good time to find something to do on your phone.

We look at what happens to Jonah and think: this only applies to ordained ministers.

The story of Jonah provides us a picture of what it looks like when God’s people refuse to put their yes on the altar.

three things we learn about missions from the story of Jonah.

(Video) Biblical Basis of Missions / God's Heart for the Nations

Consider this: in the Old Testament, God raised up prophets to steward His word. Jesus established the church and commanded us to share the gospel with everyone everywhere.

I am going to apply the book of Jonah to everyone of us, regardless of your role in the church. All of us are following Jesus…He wants to make us fishers of people. He wants all of us to pursue people…to share the gospel.

Jonah 1:1–3 CSB

1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Get up! Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it because their evil has come up before me.” 3 Jonah got up to flee to Tarshish from the Lord’s presence. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. He paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the Lord’s presence.

1-

Before we pile on Jonah, pointing our fingers and saying: this guy is a horrible prophet (and he is), before we conclude that we are nothing like Jonah…I want to show you what Jonah was going through. We are much more like Jonah than we may think.

Jonah had seen some success in ministry.

2 Kings 14:23–27 CSB

23 In the fifteenth year of Judah’s King Amaziah son of Joash, Jeroboam son of Jehoash became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned forty-one years. 24 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He did not turn away from all the sins Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit. 25 He restored Israel’s border from Lebo-hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word the Lord, the God of Israel, had spoken through his servant, the prophet Jonah son of Amittai from Gath-hepher. 26 For the Lord saw that the affliction of Israel was very bitter for both slaves and free people. There was no one to help Israel. 27 The Lord had not said he would blot out the name of Israel under heaven, so he delivered them by the hand of Jeroboam son of Jehoash.

Jonah had a front row seat to God doing something special through him in his native land. God was using him in spite of the wickedness of the king. Jonah could see very clearly that the Lord was blessing Israel through him.

When God told Jonah to go to Nineveh, He was sending Jonah to Israel’s primary enemy. Why would Jonah want to help Israel’s enemy?

Sometimes missions is not where you want to be.

In Israel, Jonah’s job was to proclaim God’s grace. Jonah was preaching God’s mercy on a wicked nation.

Now God was asking Jonah to preach a message of repentance. To make matters worse, he was to preach that message to people he didn’t like or care for.

Maybe you can identify with Jonah.

Right now you are serving in ministry in a spot that doesn’t require you to be bold in your witness.

You have not had a need to learn to share the gospel. There is not a need for you to start new relationships. Maybe you have never looked someone in the eye and told them they need to repent…your ministry in the church just doesn’t require it...and the thought of sharing the gospel with someone terrifies you.

God asked Jonah to shift gears in ministry. God asked Jonah to put his yes on the altar, but Jonah put his no on the altar.

He decided in his heart that preaching repentance with boldness was something he was not willing to do

He decided that the people God was sending him to were not worthy of grace. Jonah was extremely racist. Assyria was an enemy of Israel and Jonah wanted them to be punished, not forgiven.

He decided that missions was not where he wanted to be. Where God wanted him to be was not where he wanted to be.

In many ways, I identify with Jonah. As a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I wanted to go to Kamchatka. I ended up in Moscow. Now God has sent me to the church…my home church with a message of Bible Literacy and evangelism and disciple-making.

I thought I was going to be standing in front of tribal people and reindeer herders preaching repentance and faith in Jesus. Instead, I am standing in front of God’s people in my home where my family lives telling every believer that they must read through God’s word over and over until Jesus comes back or until we die—that we must learn to share the gospel and reach everyone within a 20 mile drive of our church, and that we must plant new churches and help struggling churches here and overseas.

Today, I am preaching a message that we must not consider VBS as a completed task. We have to shift gears in ministry. We put on an amazing VBS. We have shared the gospel with children...Now we must show up at every home of an unchurched family that attended our VBS and preach the gospel to adults.

This may terrify you. I want you to know that it is terrifying to me. I am terrified that I will tell you that you should read the Bible—that you should learn to explain it—and you wont do it. That I will tell you that we need to engage every home and only three people will show up to go visiting....

Maybe decorating, or leading a class, or registering, or cooking, or dancing, or general helping during VBS was wh

I am terrified that I will tell you that every believer must learn to share the gospel…then share it…and some will not do it.

I want us to now and always put our yes on the altar. Lord, if you are saying to engage this community…to share the gospel with every person…even if this is not necessarily what we want to do, then there is no excuse, no task too difficult, no conversation too awkward, no home too dirty, no person too different than me, no life that is too messy, no week that is too busy…my yes is on the altar…there are families to engage…who is with me?

The first thing the Book of Jonah teaches us about missions is: Missions sometimes is where we don’t want to be.

There is a second thing:

God asks Jonah to put his yes on the altar, be he puts his no on the altar. He gets on a ship that is headed to Tarshish.

(Video) God's Heart for the Nations 1 of 4

God sends a storm that threatens to destroy the ship. Eventually, Jonah tells the others on the ship who he is and why the storm has come. He realizes that missions is not optional.

He tells the men on the boat to throw him overboard.

jonah 1

Jonah 1:15–17 CSB

15 Then they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging. 16 The men were seized by great fear of the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows. 17 The Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah found out that missions is not optional. God has the authority and the power to put His servants where He wants them.

There is great comfort in this truth:

If you are being obedient to the Lord, If you are burdened for lostness and you are engaging people by sharing the gospel, understand that God has the authority and ability to put you where He wants you.

If you are in limbo but you are being obedient, wondering what you need to do next, just keep doing the last thing you know God told you to do…He will put you where He wants you.

However, if you are being disobedient…not burdened for lostness, not engaging the lost by sharing the gospel…beware…God has been known to use big fish to move His servants to where He has commanded them to be.

Missions is not optional.

Why is missions not optional?

Missions is not optional because missions is not about us. God is already working on a story that is bigger than us.

not about us. God is already working on

not about us. God is already working on

list out examples so that people don’t think I am talking about full-time ministers.

families in our community.

While we are here in this worship service, God is doing things in people’s lives that we might be unaware of.

Look at what God had been doing that Jonah may not have been aware of:

Elisha and Naaman (Commander of the Assyrian Army). Naaman is a leper. (about 80 years before God commanded Jonah to go to Nineveh)

Hebrew girl ripped from her family by Naaman’s army. She becomes a slave in Naaman’s household.

She sends a message to Naaman that there is a prophet of God in Israel who can heal him.

Naaman seeks out Elisha and is healed of his leprosy. He worships God for the rest of his life. The commander of the Assyrian army gets saved!

Elisha and Hazael (King of Assyria) (about 70 years before God told Jonah to go to Nineveh)

Hazael is a servant of the current Assyrian king, but Elisha tells Him that he will become king.

Elisha tells him that he will do all kinds of disgusting things to Israel. He will destroy cities, and rip out unborn children from their wombs. Hazael says that he will never do that, but after ruling for about 60 years…he does all of it.

Jonah is being sent to Hazael’s son, Ben-Hadad. Ben-Hadad would not be unaware of how his father became king. He already knows about the God of Israel.

When Jonah finally obeys the Lord and preaches in Nineveh, he says: in 40 days Nineveh will be destroyed. Ben-Hadad and the people believed God. The king called for a city-wide repentance. They fasted and asked God to forgive them and have mercy on them…and God did!

God had been working on this story that was much bigger than Jonah. Missions was not an option! God asked Jonah to put his yes on the altar, but Jonah said no. God has been known to use large fish to put His servants where He wants them.

What about us? Do we have a Tarshish that we would rather go to? Jesus commanded us to share the gospel to everyone everywhere. Have you been trying to do everything but share the gospel?

Missions was not optional for Jonah, and it is not optional for us.

(Video) Neighbours To Nations - Part 1 - God's Heart For The Nations

Don’t miss this. God is already at work among the families of our community. But there are a whole lot of people who will not show up to this campus no matter what great thing we put on…we have to go to them. It is not an option.

Missions is not optional, because God has made promises that He will fulfill.

God has promised a congregation that cannot be numbered of every tongue, tribe and nation. Imagine our church on that day having to admit: We did everything we could to reach foreign nations (we sent mission teams, we gave to Lottie Moon), but we did not do everything possible to reach the people in our community.

of every tongue, tribe and nation. Imagine our church on that day saying: We did everything we could to reach foreign nations (we sent mission teams, we gave to Lottie Moon), but we did not do everything possible to reach the people in our community.

day saying: We did everything we could to reach foreign nations (we sent mission teams, we gave to Lottie Moon), but we did not do everything possible to reach the people in our community.

nations (we sent mission teams, we gave to Lottie Moon),but we did not do everything possible to reach the people in our community.

God did not command the lost to go to church, He commanded His church to make disciples, to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth.

but we did not do everything possible to reach the people in our community.

church to make disciples, to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth.

Imagine this picture: someone from our community going to hell, because we didn't pursue them, but a person from another country goes to Heaven because we pursued them.

This starts at home…with our community.

because we didn't pursue them, but a person from another country goes to Heaven because we pursued them.

our community.

Imagine this picture: someone from our community going to hell, because we didn't pursue them, but a person from another country goes to Heaven because we pursued them.

to Heaven because we pursued them.

The biggest mistake we could make is that we assume just because we invited people to church, just because we did VBS every year, just because we did huge events at our church, that everyone in our community heard the gospel in a way they could understand it.

Jonah discovered the hard way that missions is not optional…and we will too if we don’t put our yes on the altar.

Jonah finally obeyed the Lord…he walked through Nineveh saying: in 40 days Nineveh will be destroyed.

Jonah

Ben-hadad no doubt had heard about the God of Israel. He and the people believe God and they repent. God hears their prayers of repentance, and He forgives them.

He goes up on a hill to watch the city and see what is going to happen.

God has taught Jonah that missions is sometimes where you don’t want to be, missions is not optional…now God is going to teach him a third thing.

God causes a plant to grow over Jonah to give him shade as he sulks…then God sends a worm to eat the plant...God send a scorching wind and Jonah gets sunburned…he continues to complain. Rather than rejoicing that God has forgiven a wicked people who repented…he just wants to die.

Jonah 4:10–11 CSB

10 So the Lord said, “You cared about the plant, which you did not labor over and did not grow. It appeared in a night and perished in a night. 11 But may I not care about the great city of Nineveh, which has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot distinguish between their right and their left, as well as many animals?”

God demonstrates that He loves the world:

(Video) "God's Heart For The Nations" by Matt and Jessica Talbert

God is the counter of souls.

God is the counter of souls.

knows who people are, where people are, and the condition of their heart.

God cares about the wicked in our community:

the drug dealers, the drug addicted

the sexually immoral

the homosexuals and the lesbians and the transgenders

the politically liberal and the politically conservative

the rich the poor

the people who own land and the people who rent land

the black, hispanic, the asian, the muslim, the white person,

the homeschooler, the private schooler, the public schooler

the depressed, the anxious, the mentally disturbed.

the broken families, the messed up families

the people who think Slayden Baptist church is awesome, and those that think Slayden Baptist church is something less than awesome.

God is a numberer of souls!!!

God is in the business of teaching religious people to care about lostness, the way He cares about lostness!

Jonah cares more about his comfort.

do you care more about your comfort than the lost soul having to spend eternity in hell.

do we as a church care more about the things that make us comfortable than we do about lostness? When is the last time you shared the gospel?

if it has been a while, it might be because you are sitting underneath a shade tree waiting for God to bring judgement…if we don’t share the gospel with them, isn’t that what we are doing?

there is a man in our church who has a running list of all the people he is sharing the gospel with and praying for…that they might come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

We should all have that kind of list.

Would you put your yes on the altar today?

Maybe the story of Jonah reminds you that God loves the people you are trying to reach more than you do…keep on sharing the gospel.

Maybe you realize that you have put your no on the altar like Jonah and you want to change that to a yes.

You might say…I just don’t know how to have that conversation:

In September, we are going to offer an evangelism training course…commit to being a part of that training.

I have written a simple course that will help you learn to share the gospel better. You can explain the gospel easily and accurately using the numbers 1, 2, 3.

Maybe you realize that you are not following Jesus. You realize that you are not saved and if you died today, you would spend eternity in hell. Be saved today! Ask Jesus to forgive you of your sin and commit to spend the rest of your life learning how to obey Jesus.

Videos

1. God's Heart for the Nations 3 of 4
(CROSS)
2. God's Heart For The Nations
(WEC UK and Ireland)
3. God's Heart for the Nations 2 of 4
(CROSS)
4. God's Heart for the Nations / Glenn Lawson
(Citylight Bennington)
5. God’s Heart for The Nations // Revelation 7:9-17, Genesis 1:26-28 // Watermark Community Church
(Watermark Community Church)
6. God's Heart For The Nations
(High Point Church)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rubie Ullrich

Last Updated: 11/15/2022

Views: 6071

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (52 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rubie Ullrich

Birthday: 1998-02-02

Address: 743 Stoltenberg Center, Genovevaville, NJ 59925-3119

Phone: +2202978377583

Job: Administration Engineer

Hobby: Surfing, Sailing, Listening to music, Web surfing, Kitesurfing, Geocaching, Backpacking

Introduction: My name is Rubie Ullrich, I am a enthusiastic, perfect, tender, vivacious, talented, famous, delightful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.