The God of Mercy
There are just two religions in the world – Merit & Mercy. In religions of merit you must climb a ladder to get to god. In the religion of mercy (Christianity) God comes down the ladder to us; God is the God of mercy! As we saw in Jonah 3, God shows mercy to those who know better. Jonah did not deserve a second chance. We like think that we deserve a second chance but we don’t, and God doesn’t always give second chances. Mercy is not getting what you deserve but getting something that you don’t. Jonah displayed willful and intentional disobedience. Yet God gave Jonah a second chance. He extends his mercy by not holding grudges. When we come to him in repentance for our great sin, he comes to us with greater grace, and he does not disqualify us for future service. Also, God is neither a negotiator nor a quitter. He is more interested in his work in you than through you. God is so committed to us that he won’t quit. God also shows mercy to those who hate him. Nineveh was a greatly wicked city, but also one in which he was greatly interested. God hates sin, but he loves people. He could have destroyed the city had he wanted to. Yet, the power of God fell on Jonah’s words and there was massive mercy in massive repentance. True repentance is being in right relationship with God no matter what people say, getting off your throne and letting God get on the throne of your heart, being humble, turning from sin, and appealing to the mercy of God alone. How can God not destroy a rebellious prophet and an evil city and not be a wicked judge? Because Jesus paid for it, coming down the ladder to take the hit that we deserved so that we would be forgiven. You can listen to this message by Pastor Mike on Jonah 3 HERE!