Scripture reading: Jonah
Purpose: either historical or parable.
Questions to be explored as I continue to learn:
What does Jonah\’s hatred of the Ninevites most closely resemble in today\’s society? (Multi-Perspective research)
Basic Lessons and personal reflection:
– It is the running away from divine purpose that is the root of chaos such that a person is brought to their knees before God.
– It is when angry with God, that our iniquities are most visible for it is the desire to hold these things, that bring about the worst of our anger with God and Man.
– An unwillingness to share the gospel can mean two things: an utter hatred and desire to see people be sent to Hell (Eternal Conscious Torment or Annihilations, both have valid textual support and theological remarks), alternatively it can also mean that you as an individual do not believe that the Gospel is the single best hope any person can cling too.
Reflection on the third lesson:
Rarely if ever, do I find in myself struggles with the first category, perhaps when I was younger and had not learned what little I have learned by now.
It is upon the second meaning that I must seriously consider, do I truly believe that the Gospel is the absolute best hope any person can cling too, I know from my studies and life that the answer to such a question must be yes, but for me in my wretchedness as man, is this true beyond an academic theological recognition. It is with utter shame that I must recognize that as I currently am while understanding His eminence, beauty, majesty, and compassion, I do not share the Gospel upon every corner because I am afraid, I know in my bones that I should not fear but scream the Gospel from the tallest of buildings and mountains, that one person might hear of Him. This draws into consideration, what is it that stirs this fear of explicit and overt evangelism? I must consider the following as possibilities: reputation, ridicule, and perhaps the most alarming of all that in some manner, Satan himself has convinced me that it is not in the best interest of those who would hear the Gospel from me for me to share it with them.
For clarity the three causes of fear that I must examine with scrutiny are as follows:
1. Reputation, amongst all men.
2. experiencing ridicule
3. Deception by Satan, through the view I have of myself.
If it is a reputation I fear, then it would not make sense for me to post what I have on social media, and so because of actions already taken I feel comfortable dismissing this first cause.
Of the two remaining causes, I sense that perhaps they could in some way be linked. Perhaps the fear I have of ridicule has been exaggerated internally by the deception of Satan, such that, I am desperately afraid that I do not hold a proper understanding of the Gospel and am therefore unable to share it with people, for in doing so I may lead them further away from Christ than closer to him due to my incompetence with the Gospel. Upon writing this it is this third and final point that I must concede as being the source of fear and as a result, this is something I must pray and work with others, who are in my life by the Grace of God for assistance in these matters of growth.