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Here's Your Sign!

Here's Your Sign!

But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.  For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Matthew 12:39-40 (NKJV)

I cannot possibly imagine standing before God expecting Him to prove who He is as I tell Him, "I want to see a sign from You."   And yet we can see this very thing happen In the book of Matthew as the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus to perform a miracle for them.  Jesus tells them the only sign they would receive would be the sign of the prophet Jonah, who was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights.  Jesus informed them about how He would be in the belly of the earth for the same time frame.  And just as in the case of Jonah, He would come back.

It's funny how these men who were so well versed in prophecy and biblical history, could not accept the simplicity of what Jesus preached to them.  Here they had the Christ the messiah of the world in their midst and they couldn't handle the truth of His message of salvation.  As I read this, I am continually amazed at the foolishness of these men.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NKJV)

Q:     So what's the difference today?  Are we as a generation any wiser?  Or do we still hold fast to our own opinions and beliefs as our guiding light instead of God's Word? 

Jesus gives us insight to the answer to this question.  He tells us, "The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it" (Matt. 12:41).

So these same men who Jonah went to proclaim God's message of judgment against because of their wickedness will actually be sitting next to Christ when it comes time to judge and condemn those of this generation who refuse God's free gift of grace and forgiveness.  The reason they will be allowed to do this is because they chose to repent.  What is fascinating to me about the Ninevites is they repented without God giving them any promise of mercy.  They did it purely with hope of His mercy, but never having that promise or covenant from Him (Jonah 3).

Q:  How does the story of the Ninevites relate to us?

Well, actually the situation is very similar.  We have been given the Word of God to let us know of His anger towards our sin.  The difference being unlike the Ninevites, we have been given a covenant and a guarantee.  We see it in 1 John 1:9.  

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9 (NKJV)

Unfortunately we are not all united as the Ninevites were in their repentance.  Many will choose not to repent and instead choose to live their own life without any accountability, wanting nothing to do with the Almighty God who created them.  Many would rather seek after those things in an attempt to satisfy their flesh.  The book of Romans speaks of these people and how God gives them over to their sinfulness (Rom. 1:22-32).

I don't think we should be so puffed up in our own knowledge and opinions like the Pharisees asking God for a sign to prove He's real.  And I don't think we should be so arrogant to believe we will not be held accountable for our actions.

Perhaps we should take a lesson from those in Nineveh and repent of our sinful behavior while there is time. Perhaps it would be wise to take the covenant God has given us to accept the free gift of salvation by confessing with our mouths and believing in our hearts that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world (See Rom. 10:9-10), and then choose to make Him the Lord of our life (Luke 6:46).

STUDY QUESTION: According to Colossians 1:18 what is the message of the cross to those who are perishing?  

PERSONAL INVENTORY: What is the message of the cross to you?

APPLICATION: Let's be faithful to confess our sins for what they are and to repent (turn) from them.

Father, thank You for making a covenant with me to have eternal life.  I acknowledge and accept Your free gift to me, and I thank You for Your unconditional love for me.  I want to honor You today in obeying what You have asked of me.  Help me to remember and apply everything I have learned from You.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000