REPENTANCE AFTER A GODLY SORT
ow often we hear people, prognosticators, telling us the woes of the world and yet these self prescribed doomsayers give us no direction on how to change things to make the future better. Yet, to have a better future we assuredly must have change now. But, change what and to change to what? In the book of Jonah the city of Nineveh was going to be destroyed but they changed and were saved. This record will give us insight into what we should do.
How often we hear people, prognosticators, telling us the woes of the world and yet these self prescribed doomsayers give us no direction on how to change things to make the future better. Yet, to have a better future we assuredly must have change now. But, change what and to change to what? In the book of Jonah the city of Nineveh was going to be destroyed but they changed and were saved. This record will give us insight into what we should do.
Jonah 1:1 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.
Jonah 3:1 And 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.
5 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.
They heard the Word of the Lord and ignored it… No! They heard the Word of the Lord and they repented. They changed THEIR ways. From the least to the greatest, they changed. What amazes me even more is the King himself repented. He put on sackcloth and sprinkled ashes on his head, a sign of great mourning. Because of their actions
God stopped the destruction from coming. You might say – Oh, it wasn’t going to come anyway. If you think this then you don’t understand the roll of a prophet. When a prophet spoke for God that thing always, always, always came to pass. If it didn’t then the people had an obligation to stone the man because he was a false prophet.
The destruction was absolutely coming. If those Ninevites didn’t change and repent the armies of the enemy would most assuredly have overrun the City. But there is an axiom in the Bible and that is that God can change His mind. After all, He is God. If the people didn’t change and God sent Jonah a second time into the city to proclaim their destruction then that would not change. When God says something twice then it is established and will come to pass. Jonah had not proclaimed the destruction twice.
We as Christians can do the same thing as the Ninevites did. They heard the Word of God and repented. We can repent and see God’s deliverance in our lives.
I Corinthians 7: 10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge (vindication)! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
Our job is to walk the way the Bible tells us to walk. Whether we read it in the Bible or we hear it and we know that it is the Word of God then we are to do it. When it says “put away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor” then stop lying. When the Bible says stop stealing then stop. When you read “the fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much” then what is your response? PRAY!
We as Christians have responsibilities. When we confessed with our mouths Jesus as Lord then we stopped being our own, we are God’s possession. We, by our own free will chose this path. Now it is time to walk the way of the Word.
Romans 13: 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
By doing this we will be just like those Ninevites. One by one they repented and saved themselves, their households and their city.