The beauty of the gospel recognizes that if we are united to Christ, we have already been delivered from all oppression—both the oppression we inflict and the oppression we suffer.
This sermon was preached for RUF at CNU’s Virtual Large Group on April 1, 2020. RUF’s Large Group is a weekly worship service that has now shifted to live-streaming on YouTube thanks to COVID-19. Our passage comes from Jonah 2:1-10. 1 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the stomach of the fish,
People are desperately looking for hope, for meaning, for understanding, for purpose, for relief from suffering, for forgiveness of all the wrong they’ve done. The God of the Bible offers all of that and we as Christians are in the same position as Jonah. We have the words of life for those in desperate need—though they may sound like words of death.
If you’re anything like me, you have one primary question on your mind at the end of Jonah 3. Where is the justice? How can God relent His punishment? Like we already said, no amount of personal suffering can undo all the evil Nineveh has done; their enemies are still dead, raped, and homeless. How can all of that go unpunished? It can’t. And it doesn’t.
Friends, you are never too far gone for God to save you. God knows how to bring you back to Himself. He’s totally fine with using both ordinary and extraordinary means to call you back. If you are in Christ, if you are a Christian, no matter how far you’ve run and how deep you’ve descended, God can and will deliver you. He has appointed a fish for you.
For the next four weeks, we’ll be working our way through the spectacular book of Jonah. Many of us are familiar with the general narrative, but it’s easy to assume we know the whole story because we heard it in Sunday school as young children. Truth be told, this is no little kid’s fable. Jonah
Is hell the same for everyone? A student of mine essentially asked this question after a Bible study a number of weeks ago. Here’s his exact question, and my response: “Hey Patrick, there’s been a question on my mind for a while. It’s when you rescinded a statement that you made earlier when you said