Where is Nineveh?

Aug 31, 2015 1383

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15).

Ninevehphobia (noun: “fear of unbelievers”) is the silent killer of true Christianity.

Jonah is a one of the most interesting characters in the Old Testament. He belonged to the right religion. He did all the right things. He served God faithfully. He obeyed God in everything. That is… until God called him to go to Nineveh. And so Jonah acted – right away! He jumped on a ship bound for the opposite side of the Mediterranean – to Spain!

You see, preaching in his Christian community, to his Christian people, was fine. But the Nineveh song wasn’t in his church song book, going to Nineveh wasn’t part of his church beliefs, he’d heard too many sermons preached against Nineveh, and quite frankly… no-one from his church had ever gone there to preach before.

Jonah didn’t get the gospel. The gospel is love for the lost; the gospel is good news for perishing. Those who have understood it follow the Master, and they seek and save the lost. That’s why Jonah was is the miserable prophet.

If the gospel were good news only for religious folk, then the gospel would be bad news for the vast majority of the world. But no… there is not a shred of good news in the gospel for those who retain any bit of self-righteousness. At the end of the book of Jonah, he is miserable. The gospel is apparently not good news for him. The gospel is good news for Nineveh.

What amazes me is that the way that the book of Jonah is written highlights the pagan idolaters on the ship and the heathen people of Nineveh were closer to God, and “got it”, more than God’s chosen prophet. This whole story is a huge challenge for Christians everywhere today.

Ninevehphobia is the tremendous scourge for Christians today. How many Christians only have Christian friends? Or even worse, friends of their own denomination/church? What does that say about us?

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