So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. And the Lord God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery.
So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah’s head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, “ It is better for me to die than to live.”
Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
And he said, “It is right for me to be angry, even to death!”
But the Lord said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock? Jonah 4:5-11
I have read the book of Jonah before and don’t ever remember this part of this story. This is after his three days stay in the belly of a whale!
It is so easy to get wrapped up in our own world that we fail to live in touch with the things that go on around us. It is easy to get caught up in daily activities and problems, that we fail to recognize there is a dying world around us. We, like Jonah, get wrapped up in “What about me?” that we forget about “THEM.” It is just as easy to get wrapped up in wanting God to right the wrong that was done, we are so ready to watch God’s vengeance that we fail to recognize the sin issue in our own heart and admit that but for the grace of God, that would have been us.
I heard a statistic that somewhere between 80 and 100 souls a minute die without ever hearing or accepting the message of Christ. On the low-end that is over 115,200 people a DAY that are going to hell. That saddens my soul and it angers me. I realize that is Christians’ fault – the lost certainly are not going to save themselves. We are Christ’s ambassadors here on earth. So that means it is up to us to share God’s message and that if we don’t – we fail God. It is not our responsibility to do anything more than plant the seed – we have to walk the walk and talk the talk for all to see.
Sometimes we expect that the pastors and evangelists will do all the work. Even with the greatest of ministries, that would be only additions and will not reach all the lost. For example – if every day a preacher/evangelist won 10,000 people to the Lord and the end of the month that would be 300,000 people. In 30 days he/she could reach enough to save two days worth of dying people. This would allow the rest of us Christians to sit and be comfortable under our little plant like Jonah while we watch over 3,000,000 more die.
However, the Bible calls us all to reach the lost (AKA the Great Commission). So if each of us would tell one lost person about Christ, if they accepted Christ and told another person about Christ, and we also in turn told another person. If then the two people we reached, turned with us and we told four more, then eight people would be reached, then sixteen, and on and on. Well, this is multiplications and based on just one Christian reaching out through multiplication at the end of thirty days we could have an EIGHT year advancement on the devil!!!
We have to stop being indifferent to the lost world around us. We have to have compassion for the lost and stop passing judgement. We have to allow our hearts to be saddened and angered so that we will be moved into action to reach out to them where they are and share Christ as the answer to everything. We have to realize those people we fail to reach, could be someone who impacts of families, cities, regions and nations – that will be lost due to our failure to obey.