Witnessing To Your World
Session 07, John Glass
The Hand Of God In Missions
12 June 2016
Although Jonah was a very ordinary missionary, God chose him to proclaim His message. We can be encouraged by the principles of mission work found in his story.
Missions start with God (1:1 - 2). The book of Jonah begins with God calling Jonah to "arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it." Proclamation of the Gospel is God's idea, not ours, and we can be encouraged that we are doing the work of God.
Missions are accomplished through men (1:1). Scripture records that "the word of the Lord came to Jonah," commanding him to preach the Gospel. God has chosen men and women to proclaim His timeless truth - what a privilege, and responsibility!
Missions involve an unpopular message (1:2). God tells Jonah to go to Nineveh and "cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me." The Gospel begins with the bad news that we are sinners, and have offended an holy God. Because of this, we are to expect rejection from men.
Missions are counter-nature (1:3). Jonah did not want to preach the Gospel to the barbaric Ninevites probably because he feared them, and because he did not want God to show them mercy. God has called us to preach the Gospel to every person, regardless how evil they are.
Missions mold the missionary (1:4 - 2:11). Missions reach the lost, but they also mold the missionary to be who God wants them to be. Through trial, God creates a willing and obedient missionary. Sometimes, as in the case of Jonah in the fish's belly, this may also be through discipline.
Missions are always successful (3:1 - 3). Scripture records that "the people of Nineveh believed God" - what a result! But whether people repent or not, the mission is successful, because our call was to simply proclaim the message. Changing hearts is up to God.
Missions require love (4:1 - 11). Jonah did not want the enemy of his nation to be saved, and did not have compassion on them like God did. Like Jonah, we tend to be selfish, caring more for our needs than for the multitude of souls who have never heard the hope of Good News.