A Church Sees God at Work

Should I not be concerned about that great city? Jonah 4:11

Warning Signs that God is not at work…

Sign #1: You rest on what was done in the past

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

Sign #2: You start referring to us & them

Peter told them, “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. Acts 10:28 (NLT)

Sign #3: You retreat to the church

Sign #4: You would rather die than change

 

God at Work Signs…

Sign #1: Growth

(Jesus said) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8

  • Spiritual Growth
  • Numerical Growth

 

 Sign #2: Hope

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5

Sign #3: Compassion

When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36

The Church Fulfills Its Mission

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”  Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Jonah 3:1-3

How we fulfill our God-given mission…

 We have to overcome…

 1. FEAR

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

  1.  EXCUSES

Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah 3:3

Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” Jonah 3:4

Our message is…

  1.  URGENT

So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 (NLT)

  1.  CLEAR

He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” Acts 16:30-31

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 Why the people will listen…

  •  God is already at work 

God’s Message to his anointed, “I’ll go ahead of you, clearing and paving the road. I’ll break down bronze city gates, smash padlocks, kick down barred entrances.  Isaiah 45:1-2 (The Message)

A Church Saved from Death

“When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.” And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. Jonah 2:7, 10

 

Problems of the Dying Church

Problem #1: Not fulfilling their mission

The word of the Lord came to Jonah… But Jonah ran away from the Lord. Jonah 1:1, 3

Problem #2: Lack of prayer

All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. Jonah 1:5

Problem #3: Stuck in a building

Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Jonah 1:17

Moving from Death to Life…

First: Make prayer real again

Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire. Matthew 26:41 (The Message)

Second: Learn from discipline

No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. Hebrews 12:11 (NLT)

Third: (Re)commit yourself God

Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’ Jonah 2:8-19

The Church that is Stuck

The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”  But Jonah ran away from the Lord… Jonah 1:1-3

Three flawed stances we see in the church today…

Flaw #1: COME TO US Stance

Flaw #2: US vs. THEM Stance

Flaw #3: TRADITIONALISM Stance

 

How do we fix these flaws?

 

Attitude #1: I will let JESUS be my GUIDE.

 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Attitude #2: I will embrace ENGAGEMENT with others.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36

Attitude #3: I will follow our MISSIONARY GOD into strange places

Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Luke 10:3