Before and After Calvary

Jonah 1:2 “Arise, and go to Nineveh, and cry against it.”

Jonah 3:2 “Arise, and go to Nineveh, and preach unto it.”

Jonah received two calls from God. He disobeyed the first, but the second he fulfilled. Between the two calls, Jonah had a most gruesome experience. He died in the belly of the fish, was miraculously resurrected, and then deposited on dry land. [Note the difference in the two words in the two calls from God: (1) Cry against it, and (2) Preach unto it.]

The first message was a message of judgment, while the second message was a message of grace and mercy. It was also a call to repentance. Between the two calls there lies the death and resurrection of Jonah. The message of grace and mercy was after Jonah’s resurrection.

The Repentance of Nineveh

Studies in Jonah - Chapter 3

The Greatest Revival in History: “The Repentance of Nineveh”

This chapter talks about Jonah and his message. Jonah was a prophet, the messenger of God. He had a strange story to tell with regards to his personal experiences. His actual survival gave power to the message he preached, which was a message of grace and mercy and a call to repentance. It was also a message of judgment, as he said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”

Hearing this message and believing the sign was from God, the king’s heart was touched, and so he proclaimed a fast and called the people to repentance. Jonah 3:5 says, “So the people of Nineveh believed god, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth from the greatest of them to the least of them.” They literally, “sat in ashes.”

Chapter 1 Repentance: What Is It?

More and more it becomes evident that ours is, as Carlyle expressed it, an “age of sham.” Unreality and specious pretense abound in all departments of life. In the domestic, commercial, social, and ecclesiastical spheres, hypocrisy is not only openly condoned, but recognized as almost a necessity for advancement and success in attaining recognition among one’s fellows.

Nor is this true only where heterodox religious views are held. Orthodoxy has its shallow dogmatists who are ready to battle savagely for sound doctrine, but who manage to ignore sound living with little or no apparent compunction of conscience.

God desires truth in the inward parts. The blessed man is still the one “in whose spirit there is no guile.” It is forever true that “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” It can never be out of place to proclaim salvation by free, unmerited favor to all who put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. But it also needs to be insisted on that the faith that justifies is not a mere intellectual process—not simply crediting certain historical facts or doctrinal statements; but is a faith that springs from a divinely wrought conviction of sin which produces a repentance that is sincere and genuine.

Our Lord’s solemn words, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish,” are as important today as when first uttered. No dispensational distinctions, important as these are in understanding and interpreting God’s ways with man, can alter this truth.

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