How is Jesus the true and better Jonah?

Jesus the true and greater Jonah

1. Both left the city!
-Jonah left the city of Nineveh in pride and self-righteousness. Not wanted to receive mercy and grace. Not realizing Jonah is Nineveh without God coming to him an showing him love and grace. Jonah left the city full of rebellious, prejudice and was a man without a mission.

-Jesus was a man with a mission. first jesus left heaven as God and became a man, and entered human history by being born of a virgin. The bible says that “God so loved the world that he gave his son” Jesus came to us because of love. And again in humility jesus entered the city, while men of prestige today travel in luxurious planes in expensive cars. Jesus our God, king and savior enter the city on the back of a donkey. Then Jesus left the city like Jonah but not under his own accord, they had to drag Jesus out of Jerusalem under false charges to crucify him.

2. Both took the wrath of the storm!
-Jonah in selfishness, refused to jump in to the storm of God’s wrath to die for the sailors. Although, they ultimately threw him and and were saved. the real hero is Jesus.

Jesus, took on the real storm, the storm of God’s wrath. By fulfilling his mission on coming to earth Jesus died for our sin in our place upon the cross. ALL of God’s wrath, and its the size of the ocean, it went upon Jesus instead of us. and he did it willingly, we didn’t need to throw Jesus on the cross. He laid down his life willingly in love. He was punished in our place, for our mistakes, for our rebellion. We deserved judgement but we received mercy and grace.

3. Both were in the belly of the whale three days!
-For three days and three nights Jonah remained in the belly of whale until he repented. Until he finally realized how selfish, prideful, and self-righteous he had become.

-Jesus also spend three days in death. For three days and three nights, Jesus went to paradise, not heaven as told to us in Luke 16. Telling all the old testament saints his victory on the cross over Satan, sin and death. That through his obedience they would all be forgiven by faith in his work on the cross. While Jonah spend three days in lament, Jesus spend 3 days in victory.

4. Both experienced resurrection!
-Jonah eventually repented and the fish puked Jonah out on dry land. And Jonah experienced resurrection and new life and a new heart towards God and his people and in Jonah 2:9 Jonah screams “Salvation belongs the the Lord” the central theme of the bible.

-Jesus died on Friday at calvary and on Sunday Jesus resurrected proving his sacrifice was accepted by God. Proving his atonement was full payment for our sin.

5. Both preached 40 days after resurrection!
-For 40 days Jonah went on the preach to Nineveh and the goodness of God and about his love and mercy.
-For 40 days Jesus also preached about his victory over death an sin to his disciples. It was his resurrection from death that transformed 12 ordinary men into fearless disciples.

What is my point in showing you all this?

[Conclusion]
if it wasn’t for Jesus loving us we would all be like Nineveh, far from God. Becoming our own gods and living our lives for our own purposes. In utter disobedience to him. and we all rightly deserved judgment for our sins against God.

Also, if i wasn’t for Jesus love us in the the church we would all become and remain as Jonah, self-righteous, prideful, arrogant towards those outside the church. forgetting they are a mirror. Jonah is Nineveh without Jesus’s love and mercy.

So you see, we all need Jesus. Not just sinners, but self righteous people too. we all needs his loving grace, and he’s the hero of this story. This isn’t a story about a fish at all but about God lovingly, patiently leading us into repentance for our goodness and his Glory.

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Are you in a Christian bubble?

We act like Jonah when we can be content to live in the midst of broken people without ever purposely entering into their mess and brokenness, to help them of their sickness we once had.

See the church in America has done a great job of drawing people into the church, but it has done a poor job of sending them back out into the messy world as missionaries. The result, the average new christian will have virtually no non-Christian friends a mere two years after conversion. Because we convert Christians to a bubble and not to be a disciple of Jesus, who is a friend of sinners. We want to protect ourselves from sin, not realizing sin is in our heart.

From Christian to bubble
Phase 1: We become christian:
-most people remember the joy and and excitement of becoming a christians.
-most people shared eagerly to their friends and family about their new faith in Jesus
-statistics say that when someone comes to christ they tell approximately 20 people. Since most of everyone of their friends is outside the church.

Phase 2: We become part of Church life
-in this phase we start getting involved in church and their activities.
-if we came from a background where substance abuse was the norm, we cease going to those environments. though we still hang out with those friends.
-the longer were christian the fewer number of friends we have that are not christian.
-it seems hella funny that the more we mature and get to know the scriptures better, and get to know jesus better and are transformed by the spirit , fewer non-christians get to experience those things through relationships with us.

Phase 3: We become part of the christian bubble
-here we really withdraw from our friendships from outside the church and really begin to focus on those inside the church. it becomes almost unnatural to share life and engage with non-christians.
-Which is funny because the more you read the bible the more you see Jesus hang out with and in places pagans were and where religious people would not have been caught.
-here we stop seeing evangelism as something we all do and something the church does.
-instead of sharing about our personal faith in Jesus, we invite people to church during Christmas or easter because its easy.
-here we get more excited about oversees mission trips than seeing your current work, school and family as the mission field.
-here we start only listening to christian music, maybe we have a sticker, or a christian tatoo.
-its at this phase we stop praying daily for those who don’t know jesus. and instead we pray for the church program or project.

Phase 4: We become Jonah!
-after several years in the bubble. we begin to complain an point out the terrible things happing in our culture. Like Jonah.
-you look at people with frustration and judgement and whisper judgement in your heart, like get your life together!
-like Jonah, we avoid those who aren’t following the God we are. We retreat and think of the church as a protection from the world social club.
-we may even leave the church at this phase, because were not comfortable with the programs. -and if we can’t be feed. instead of being adults and learning to feed yourself. you leave to another church to feed you. because its all about your comfort.
-you get more excited about the latest christian CD, or book than thinking about how God can use you to reach your friends.

Jonah is phase 4. See Jonah was essentially prejudice against himself! HOW?

He couldn’t stand the person he would have been if God didn’t show him mercy and love and grace. Jonah didn’t love the phase 1 version of himself. which was Nineveh. Nineveh is the phase 1 version of Jonah, without God coming and showing them love and grace. and he hated them. which meant in some sense, he hated himself!

[APPLICATION]
-where are you on the this scale?
-are you Jonah like me?
-Imagine if the phase 4 version meet the phase 1 version of you. Could that person accept christ , given how you are now? Would the phase 1 version run the other way.

Adopted from the book “I love Jesus but not the church”

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What is a spiritual friendship?

What is a spiritual friendship and why does the bible say it’s so important. Let me begin by giving friendship a definition, in doing so we separate what is and isn’t a friend and we also give it proper biblical honor. You ready?

Define: a trust worthy peer, with whom we mutually choose, to lovingly live with intentionally by seeking unique access for service for God’s glory and our joy.

a trust worthy = meaning they don’t let you down
peer = they are in the same stage of life as you are
mutually choose = family doesn’t choose you, friends choose you.
lovingly == sometimes love encourages and sometime love wounds for you benefit.
unique access = they available, they let you in.
for service for God’s glory = sorry guys, your drinking buddies are not your friends

4 signs of good biblical friendship
1. Unique cleaving
2. Emotional connection
3. Loving honestly
4. Mutual sharpening

Unique Cleaving

[proverbs: 17:17] A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

[proverbs 18:24] A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

One of the marks of true biblical friendship is cleaving or sticking by that person no matter the circumstance, because a friend loves at all times. See most people know you and want to know you, because your useful to them. You’re useful for a good time. You’re useful for getting things done. You’re useful for meeting other people. But real biblical friends will come to your aid when you life is falling apart, when your chips are down they come through not because they want anything from you, but because you’re the end itself. A friend wont let you fall to the bottom, they’ll sacrifice to help you because will not let you go to ruin. In spiritual friendships, you pay the cost to help the other person.

Emotional connection

[Proverbs 26:18-19] Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”

[Proverbs 27:14] Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.

True friends are emotionally connected, they can’t be happy when your sad, If they can be their not real friends. When someone in the family dies you weep with them, Real friends share the same emotions you have. A family member dies they cry with you, a child is born they rejoice with you. WHY? [Romans 12 rejoice/mourn] because your emotionally connected to them, thats real friendship work that’s how you know if your real friends. Thats why the bible says you cant have too many friends, remember when it says a man of many companions come to ruin, why does it say that? because its too emotionally draining to be intimately connected to so many people. True friends are few and very rare, and they’re sensitive to each other.

Loving honestly

[Proverbs 27:5] Better is open rebuke than hidden love.

[Proverbs 27:6] Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

Real friends are honest with each other even when the truth hurts. Blunt honestly is a mark of true biblical friendship. It’s painful but it helps you grow as a Christian. Here is the key, there is a fine line between helping someone and hurting someone and it you don’t have both ‘emotional connection’ and ‘loving honestly’ your probably going to just cause pain instead of help. See real friends share even though it hurts. When you love a person honestly you share the truth, but when your emotionally connected with a friend you also experience pain in what your sharing. It hurts both of you, that’s why you need both of these marks. This is why its so hard to be a friend.

Mutual sharing

[Proverbs 27:9] Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.

[Proverbs 27:17] Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

The word earnest means from the heart, this means that when friend shares something like counsel or wisdom, friend share from the heart.

The word counsel here means secrets, the bible here is conveying that friends to share secrets with one another and that they confide in one another. Here’s the principle, we all need this in our lives. We need a friend with whom we can constantly share from our heart our deepest secrets to, and here the bible says we need it and not only that, when it happens its pleasant.

Where are we gonna the power to be the friends we need to be, to get the friends we need to have! The answer is Jesus.

[John 15:12-14] This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends.

In John 14, 15, 16, 17 Jesus is trying desperately to tell his disciples he’s going to die for the sins of the world. That the deepest most wonderful plan the world has ever know is being revealed. And then God calls himself our friend. God is trinity, father, son and holy spirit. God is a friend and is calling himself our friend. And if we are made in God’s image, that means we NEED friendship. God made US for friendship with him and with others.

BUT we turned from God we betrayed him. what happens when you betray a friend, they usually turn and leave. But here Jesus is saying the opposite. He’s saying I’m the ultimate friend to you, even though you turned your back on me I will love you. I the friend that was born for adversity. I am the ultimate friend who will cleave to you at infinite cost to myself so that you will not be ruined. and here’s how. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but instead of me wounding you I’m going to take you wounds. Jesus is the best friend! Be laid his down for his friends.

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Did Jesus ever offend anyone?

Jesus offends many in the account of the four Gospels. However, he remains sinless. He is a look at how even though Jesus offends many times the sin falls on our part for defense mechanism, pride, envy, unmet expectations. Yet each times Jesus offends he doesn’t apologize.

1. He offends the pharacies [Mathew 15:7-12]

2. Jesus offends his hometown [Mathew 13:55-57, they tried to kill him too [Luke 4:28]

3. Jesus offends his own family [mark 3:21,31-35]

4. Jesus offends his own staff [John 6:60]

5. Jesus offends his closest friends [John 11:1-3]

6. Jesus offense John the baptist [Luke 7:18-20]

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What is biblical redemption?

What is redemption?

To redeem something, means to set free by paying a price. Generally you would redeem land and sometimes people. Redemption is the act of buying something back, or paying a price to return something to your possession. Redemption always involves going from something to something else. Generally from slavery or bondage to freedom. The bible speaks of God redeeming us from the bondage of sin though his work on the cross!

Redemption: is a process
Redeemer: is the person
Ransom: is the payment

Religion and redemption are not the same. Religion is about what you do to be close to GOD. Redemption is about what GOD DID, for you to be close to him. Redemption is the opposite of religion.

Religion says
1. God will love you if you obey

-Redemption says GOD loves you now. The redemption of Jesus Christ says that GOd demonstrates his love for us in this, while we were still enemies, will we were still NOT obeying, while we were still jacked up sinning away GOD DIED FOR US. IN LOVE he died for us, HE LOVED US his life, death, burial and resurrection HE LOVES US. IT WAS his kindness and goodness that lead us to repentance. AND because God loves you, you can LOVE GOD and obey him BECAUSE his love for you IS WHAT CHANGES YOU. Religion says God will love you if you obey. Redemption says God loves you NOW.

2. Good people vs bad people

-Religious people try to classify the entire world into two groups. Good people and bad people.

-Redemption says there are two types of people. Repentant and unrepentant people. BECAUSE all people are bad.

3. Do this. Don’t do this

-Religious people talk about what we do and don’t do. Redeemed people talk about what Jesus has done!

4. Birth

-Religious people care about your birth and nationality and the tradition of your family. They ask questions like, were you born Christian, or were you born into a christian family. Jesus doesn’t care where you born he only cares if your born again.

Ultimately, redemption is about what Jesus has done for us not about what you DO FOR GOD!

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Tithing: why does the church want my money?

WHAT is the tithe?

Some of you will automatically squirm or reject anything I have to say because you think the church just wants your money. Let me make something very the tithe is not about money but it’s about your heart.

Jesus himself spend 25% of his time talking about money. That 1 in every 4 sermons.

Did you know there are more verses in the bible about MONEY, than on FAITH OR PRAYER. Jesus spends more time talking about money than Heaven and hell.

WHY IS THAT?

BECAUSE ULTIMATELY money is the biggest idol in our heart that competes with Jesus for worship. MONEY. Not sex, not drugs, not music, not having good looks, not sick clothes or a pimp ride. MONEY is the biggest idol in our heart. Here are 6 principles about from God’s word regarding the tithe!

1. Tithe is not about money but about the HEART

“Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard.” [Genesis 4:2-4]

-When you tithe, your supposed to bring your first fruits. To tithe to God means to give God 10% of your gross income. That’s what tithe means. 10% of your income. And because we’ve placed God first in our hearts and a tithe is way of honoring God with our wallets. God doesn’t need our tithe, or any of our money. God wants our love, not our leftovers.

2. Tithe is not about money but about HONORING GOD

“And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine. Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you. Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.” [Genesis 14:18-20]

-The tithe here is about honoring God that all of his victories come from his hand. Think about it this way. God can do more with your 90% then what you could do with you 100% but without GOD. Abraham recognized this and HONORED GOD with the tithe.

3. Tithe is not about money but about STEWARDSHIP

“Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the LORD will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.” [Genesis 28:20-22]

- Everything is owned by GOD. Your house, your car, your clothes,
you body. EVERYTHING BELONGS TO HIM. HE OWNS IT. AND GOD has loaned you his stuff. That make GOD the owner, and you and I the stewards of his stuff. That means we don’t own anything, were just taking care of it for the real owner GOD. -This is exactly what Jacob is saying here “of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.” He acknowledges the sources the owner and that he’s just a steward.

4. Tithe is not about money but about LOVE

““Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” [Matthew 22:36-40]

-YOU KNOW WHAT THE BEST way to find what someone loves, open up their
check book and see what they spend most of their money on. HERE’s the big idea, God is after our heart, not our money. But he can only get our heart if he gets our money.

5. Tithe is not about money but about our MASTER

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” [Matthew 6:24]

HERE IS THE SIMPLE TRUTH: money is the number one competitor for your heart is money. DO YOU KNOW what destroys more families at this church, more than adultery, more than drugs, anger problems, unfaithfulness. MONEY.

WHO IS YOUR MASTER? WHO DO YOU SERVE? YOU CAN”T SERVE TWO MASTERS: IS IT GOD OR MONEY? pick one

-Let me ask you a question: How much would I need to offer you to get you to stop reading your bible for the rest of your life. What if I offered $1,000, what if I offered 10,000? Or one million, or 10 million? Maybe then, whatever your price is that shows your love Money more than God and he doesn’t have your heart.

6. Tithe is not about money but our FAITH

“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” [Malachi 3:6-10]

What happens when we tithe? What is it really all about?
-THE TITHE IS NOT ABOUT GOD TAKING SOMETHING FROM YOU, BUT ITS
ABOUT GOD GIVING SOMETHING TO YOU.
-THIS is the only place in the entire bible where God says TEST me in this. SEE God doesn’t want anything from you, he has something for you. He wants to bless you, but before he does he needs all of your heart.

Remember what 2 Corinthians 9:15 says “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!“ GOD didn’t just tithe to get us, he gave away his most valuable possession. He gave his son, Jesus Christ to die for us. Our God is a giver

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What happens to those who have never heard the Gospel?

The world has around 6 billion people, and today, as in right now, the world
has roughly 1 billion people who have never heard of Jesus., Meaning 15% of the population has never heard about the good news of the Gospel.

So what happens to those who die who have never heard about Jesus? What does God do when that person dies? Can someone get into heaven without a relationship with Jesus Christ? Is it fair for God to condemn someone to hell if they never heard the Gospel? Or does God give them a “get out of jail” monopoly card.

What happens?

Jesus spoke more about hell then any other person in scripture. 13% of his teachings were about hell. HALF of his parables were about hell. IF JESUS who is love and the author of grace spoke about hell more often and in more a vivid detail than anyone else in scripture, meaning we should pay attention.

There are a 1 billion people that are effected by the answer. This question was never asked of Jesus. Meaning no one every asked him in scripture, “What happens to those who have never heard?”, so that answer isn’t explicit, but that doesn’t mean we can’t answer the question because we can. Here are 7 truths to help address that question according to the book of Romans. Remember, any attempt the answer this question is deeply emotional and deeply theological

1. All people know God the father [Romans 1:18-21]
2. All people reject true knowledge of God [Romans 1:18,25]
3. All people are guilty [Romans 3:11-18]
4. All people are condemned for rejecting God [Romans 3:19-20]
5. All people have hope for salvation [Romans 3:21]
6. All people can be saved by faith in Christ [Romans 3:22-27]
7. All people need to hear the Gospel [Romans 10:12-15]

what do you do think?

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