On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!
It was a stunning spiritual awakening. An entire city of about one million people turned to God. They even turned from their sin of violence, which they were known for. God spared Nineveh and sent a nationwide revival.
Amazingly, they turned to God after they heard this simple message from Jonah: “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” (Jonah 3:4 NLT).
The very fact that Jonah gave them a warning was somewhat hopeful. For instance, when God judged Sodom and Gomorrah, He didn’t send a warning. There was no prophet walking through their streets. Judgment came suddenly.
But in Nineveh’s case, Jonah warned them. And the Bible tells us that “the people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow” (verse 5 NLT).
This reminds us that no one is beyond the reach of God. These people were exceptionally wicked, yet God saved them.
Do you know someone who is a sinner with a capital S? You can’t imagine, in your wildest dreams, that they ever would come to faith in Christ.
God can save that person. Remember, Saul of Tarsus was converted. He hunted down, tortured, and killed Christians. Yet God took hold of him. So, start praying for that unbeliever by name.
I think sometimes we prepare for failure, not success. A young preacher once complained to Charles Spurgeon that whenever he preached, no one came to Christ.
“Do you expect people to come to Christ every time you preach?” Spurgeon asked.
“Well, of course not.”
“That is your problem,” Spurgeon told him.
Missionary William Carey said, “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.” That’s what we need to do. Could God send another spiritual awakening to America? I believe that He could. I believe that He can. And I pray that He will.