Jonah and the Whale

Jonah and the Whale

We live in a day that culture is king. Culture is a very powerful thing. It can powerfully impact feelings, and feelings are hard to argue with. However, it is dangerous to think that just because something is part of a culture that it is good or right.

It would be pretty easy to argue that every culture has had things that were culturally acceptable at some time that were in fact wicked.

Today, some things in our culture are wicked and we don’t have to wait for years to figure out that they are. The Bible (the ultimate authority) tells us what is right and wrong. This article was not written for the purpose of pointing out all of these evils.

I have done that plenty and you can see examples of that in previous articles or in my sermons.

No, this article is to convict those of us that sometimes take pleasure in pointing out all of the failings of our culture.

First, I must point out that one of the dangers in our day is “cancel culture”. We are seeing people all over get ostracized either on social media or in professional circles because of something they believe or something they said.

I could easily get into how this is destroying our country in some ways and how we must fight against it, but I want to warn of another danger. Often those that are against “cancel culture” are falling into the same pattern. It is easy to fall into the “us vs. them” mentality. I want you to think about something. Did Jesus have standards and beliefs? Of course He did, and He was perfect. Many hated Him for it and thought they could cancel Him by killing Him.

You can’t cancel God and He rose from the dead. He is our perfect example. He did not respond by canceling those that killed Him. He instead offered them eternal life in heaven, for free, if they would believe that He paid their sin debt. If He, being perfect, didn’t “cancel” His murderers, what right do we have to cancel others?

As someone that has trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior I have the responsibility to tell others about what Jesus did for them.

I don’t have the authority to decide that some people deserve to hear the Gospel and others don’t. Jesus died for everyone.

Yes, that includes your political opposite that just canceled you. If we are acting in the same manner as the world we can’t reach them with the only message that will change their life.

Remember the story of Jonah.

A whole book of the Bible was written to tell about the prophet that tried to run from God because he knew that if he preached to the people of Nineveh they would believe in God and He would not destroy them. He wanted them to be destroyed.

I think this sounds like many Christians unfortunately. Of course, you can’t run from God. Jonah ended up in a fishes belly for three days until he decided to obey God and preach to the Ninevites.

What he feared happened.

Hundreds of thousands of people believed in God and were saved from destruction. Jonah was not happy. It is so easy to get upset with Jonah and his wicked attitude, but are we much better.

When was the last time we gave the good news of salvation to our enemies? Often we are like Jonah and we run away from the enemy, that God is sending us to, instead of telling them that God loves them. The problem is that we don’t want to love them, but after loving God, loving others is the most

important responsibility we have. Don’t “cancel” others even in your heart.

The Apostle Paul was the opposite of Jonah. He said, “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” Paul was not a weakling. He didn’t back down from any trouble. He didn’t compromise the truth, but he loved people. He loved people because he loved God.

I have had the opportunity to go on many mission trips around the world and I enjoy getting to know what others cultures are like. I like to fit right in the best I can. If they are eating chicken curry and rice off of a banana leaf with their fingers I will do the same. If they are eating fried worms I’ll just try to ignore the little eyes that seem to be looking at me. If I am handed a bowl of dog meat I’ll just try not to think of my dog back home as I pretend it tastes good.

Doing these simple things greatly helps in building a bridge between very different cultures. These are things that can be done without compromising any scriptural truth.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that we are better than others because we do things differently. Get to know people and their cultures so that you can reach them with the Gospel. When you come to the bigger issues that contradict the Bible you must not compromise. Remember you are sharing the truth and if you change it, it is no longer truth.

There is only one way to heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. Compromising this or any other truth is hatred. It will send people to hell.

Who are you going to imitate, Jonah, who hated his enemies, or Paul, who eventually dead while getting the message to the lost?

Don’t forget that it is only God’s opinion that matters. If someone “cancels” you for speaking the truth you are in good company. If you are a Christian and your opinion is right, you don’t have the right to take the credit. The credit belongs to God.

Together let’s be part of a culture that changes lives forever.

Please go to YouTube.com/calvarybaptistchurchflorida if you would like to learn more truth from the Word of God.

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