scpUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Five Days Too Late

This is an amazing story about the wonderful revival God gave
to Jonah and Nineveh.  Not only was
it the greatest revival in the Bible; it was also the greatest in the history
of mankind.

Let me give you the background for this revival. In Jonah 1:1-2
we read, “Now the word of the Lord came
unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city,
and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.”

Let me pause and say you will never get people saved unless you
know there is sin; then you must preach against that sin.  We cannot sneak up on sinners. You are
going to have to let them know about their sin.

Nineveh was an idolatrous city. This city did not serve God, nor
did it love God or the things of God.  It was a heathen, idolatrous, fish-worshipping city, the
capital of a heathen nation.

God called Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach, but Jonah did not
go to Nineveh. In fact, he went in the opposite direction.  (This is why we know he was a Baptist!)  He went down to Joppa and caught a ship going
to Tarshish.

The ship set out to sea, and a storm began to brew.  It became so fierce that the sailors
feared the ship would break up. Wishing to appease their gods, they cast lots
to see who was to blame for the storm. 
When the lots fell to Jonah, he was cast out of the boat.  God sent a great fish to swallow Jonah,
and he lived in the belly of that fish for three days and three nights.

Then the Bible says that the Word of the Lord came to Jonah the
second time. Unfortunately, it is much easier to hear the Word of the Lord when
you are in the fish’s belly.  Jonah
responded this time to the Word of God. He then went to Nineveh and preached
the greatest revival ever held in the history of mankind.

In Genesis we read that Jacob deceived his brother, Esau.  Jacob’s mother urged him to flee Esau
and go back to his homeland.  We
preach about the fact that Jacob wasted twenty years of his life fleeing from
his brother. 

We read the story of Elimelech and Naomi’s flight to Moab
during the famine, and we lament over the ten years they wasted in Moab.  By the way, it is just as wrong for you
to move for money as it is for you to drink liquor.  It is wrong for you to move somewhere because your company
transferred you. But, you say, “Preacher, there is no work here.”  First, that is a lie. Second, you need
God. Stay in the will of God even in the times of famine.

Elimelech and Naomi went down to Moab just to “sojourn”; in
other words, they were just checking out the area.   But, like
everybody else who just visits the world, Elimelech and Naomi ended up staying
for ten long years. Never fool with the world! Nobody plans to be an alcoholic.
Nobody plans to be an addict. Nobody plans to be divorced. Nobody plans to end
up in a rescue mission. Nobody plans to wreck his life living as a derelict.  Elimelech and Naomi did not plan to
stay, but they stayed and wasted ten years. Yes, Naomi did come back, but her
friends did not even recognize her after ten years.  When you come back to church after wasting a number of years,
your friends will not recognize you either. The greatest beauty aid in the
world is the beauty of obedience and sweet submission to God.

Now we talk about the twenty wasted years of Jacob. We talk
about the ten wasted years of Naomi and Elimelech. We talk about the wasted
years of Abraham when, during another time of famine, he left the will of God and
went to Egypt, wasting several years of his life.  We talk about the nation of Israel and the forty years the
Israelites wasted wandering in the wilderness because they refused to go into
the Promised Land when God told them to enter.  In the book of Hosea, we read about Gomer and the years she
wasted in terrible sin.

However, in Psalms 90:12 we are admonished not to waste our
days.  Notice it does not say years: “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto
Ephesians 5:16 admonishes
us, “Redeeming the time, because the days
are evil.”
Thus, rather than concerning ourselves over the forty years Israel
wasted wandering in the wilderness, the twenty years Jacob wasted fleeing from
Esau, or the ten years Elimelech and Naomi wasted in Moab, let us focus on an
instance  of wasted days.

The great evangelist Jonah preached a great revival in the city
of Nineveh, and then he held the invitation.  Just how great was this revival?  Well, the city of Nineveh was a city of 600,000 to 700,000
people, and the Bible says every citizen, from the greatest to the least, was
saved in that revival. This could be compared to holding a revival in the Ark‑La‑Tex
area, which also has a population of 600,000 to 700,000, and having every
citizen in the Ark‑La‑Tex area receive Christ as personal Saviour.

Even the king was saved. 
He laid aside his robe and sat in sackcloth and ashes. Not only that, he
made a proclamation commanding every person and every animal to sit in
sackcloth and ashes. He commanded all the citizens of Nineveh to turn from
their wicked ways.  The people of
Nineveh had true revival.  They
were saved inwardly, and they were on their way to Heaven.  Not only that, they also got right with
God outwardly. 

Now think about that for a minute. The Hugh Heffner’s of that
day got saved and closed down the Playboy
clubs. All the Hollywood whores and whoremongers repented. The Rolling Stones
got saved and quit their nightclubs and concerts; instead they started singing “Rock
of Ages.”  The Arnold
Schwarzenegger’s of their day got saved and quit Hollywood; they quit
womanizing and declared abortion really was murder. There were no more dirty
television programs. Dr. Phil went out of business, Dr. Laura could not be
found, and Oprah Winfrey’s ratings plummeted. This meant the “R” rated movies
were banned, as well as movies with any other rating.

The adult bookstores all closed down. The tavern owners shut
their tavern doors. They all turned from their evil ways. The Reynolds tobacco
company went out of business. Crime stopped, and the jails were empty. The
homosexuals went straight to Calvary and kept going straight after Calvary.
Dirty magazines could not be found. Blockbuster was out of business. No
profanity was heard on the streets of their day. No cocktails or alcohol of any
kind could be found. Not a single woman could be found wearing shorts, pants or
any other immodest clothing. Divorce courts were closed.

No atheists could be found in the land. The Madeline Murray
O’Hara’s got saved; they started soul winning and telling people that yes,
there really is a God in Heaven. Everybody believed the Bible to be the Word of
God. All the NIV and ASV Bibles were burned. The liberal preachers got saved
and became fundamental. Every seminary became a fundamental Baptist seminary. The
whole school board got saved and changed the liberal dress codes to decent
dress standards and modesty in the school. No contemporary worship service
could be found in the land. No rock and roll show could be found on the
platform of any church. This revival meant that the ministerial association and
the national council of churches of their day were dissolved. The old-time
religion became the only religion, and everybody went to church.

Do you understand what happened? They all got saved; they all
repented. This meant that the United Nations of their day was dissolved. All
the Congressmen of their day got saved and voted prayer back into their
government. No liberals could be found in the land. That means their Supreme
Court put the Bible back in the schools of their day. Abortion was considered
murder in their day. This means the city council got saved and closed all the
gambling houses; they even shut down bingo at the local Catholic church.

Many of you are right with God inwardly, but you are not right
with God outwardly. Only when both are right do you have real revival. As a
result of this revival, every single person in the city knelt down, got saved,
and repented for the way they lived. Over 600,000 people got saved. Just
imagine it—on one occasion, under the preaching of one man, 600,000 people got
saved and then turned from a wicked lifestyle to God. After they turned to
Christ and got saved, they decided to walk straight in their lives day by day.

By the way, you do not get saved by turning from sin; you get
saved by turning from unbelief to belief. You do not even know all your sins.

Before we decide to give Jonah a plaque tonight, before we put
his picture on the cover of The Baptist Magazine,
before we give him an honorary doctorate, let’s reconsider this situation.  If Jonah spent one day on the boat,
three days in the belly of the fish, and one day getting back to Nineveh to
preach, then the greatest revival in the history of mankind actually started at
least five days late.  Jonah showed
up in Nineveh five days later than he was scheduled to arrive. 

Five days may not seem like such a big deal, but stop and think
about it.  Everybody who died in
those five days went to Hell. They are still burning in Hell tonight because
Jonah was five days too late.

An average of 25 people die daily in a population of 700,000
people. Over five days, about 125 people die.  That means that about 125 people died and went to Hell
because Jonah was late.  We cannot
afford to waste a day.  Every time
you miss soul-winning night, you fail to give the Gospel to someone; that
person could die and go to Hell.   Every time you skip soul winning on Saturday,
you fail to give the Gospel to someone who could die and go to Hell. Every time
you skip your scheduled soul-winning time, you miss the opportunity to win
someone to Christ and keep him from burning in Hell. If Jonah had just arrived
five days earlier, those 125 people would not be burning in Hell today.

Add up all the days you skipped soul winning—not because you
were in the hospital, not because you had pneumonia or a broken leg—but because
you simply did not feel like going. 
You came home from work tired, and you just did not feel like going. You
said, “I don’t feel like going, and I’m not going. I’m not dying, so don’t rush
me to the hospital.  I just don’t
feel like going, and I’m not going to go.” I say these are days of waste, days
we will regret when we get to the Judgment Seat of Christ.

I beg you, please, if you do not feel like going, GO ANYWAY!
You go to work when you do not feel like working. You go to work because you get
paid. Well, payday is coming with these souls that get saved too. Next time you
are overwhelmed with the desire to stay home from soul winning, I want you to
think about Jonah, who just did not go. He just did not go, so somebody went to

Think about all the people that got saved that day. They were
rejoicing, shouting, and hugging each other.  Yet, amid the rejoicing, there were some who were struck by
the realization that their loved ones had died during the previous five days
when Jonah failed to arrive on time. 
Their joy suddenly turned to sadness when they realized their loved ones
could have been saved also. 

I say to you, add up those days. (“Five days too late…”) how dare we allow someone’s mama or daddy, son
or daughter to go to Hell just because we do not feel like going. So you are
tired, but why in the world should somebody go to Hell just because you are
tired!  Bless God, someday you will
have a glorified body, you will be walking on streets of gold, and you will
live forever in Heaven; yet you might as well say, “Let the world go to Hell.”
I do not care how you feel. It does not matter. There is a Hell, and somebody
ought to say, “I’m going.”

Think about it tonight, Jonah. I can hear families saying,”Where
were you? Where were you? Oh, Jonah, if this be true, where were you five days
ago?” I can hear the wailing of a mother over a child. I can hear the weeping
of a widow as she leans over the casket of her husband. “Where were you, Jonah?
If what you said is true, and there is a Hell, where were you, Jonah?”

I was flying into Atlanta, and I was extremely busy. As the
landing approached, we started getting ready to put the seats and tray tables up
and to stow our luggage.  Finally,
I turned to the lady sitting next to me. 
She was a very sophisticated lady, probably in her early 80s. She was obviously
a woman of means because she wore large diamonds.  I said, “Ma’am, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to ignore you.  I’ve been busy, but I’d like to give you
a tract and talk to you about salvation.”  I began to witness to her, and in a few minutes she bowed her
head, prayed and invited Christ into her heart.

We circled around the airport, preparing to land. Suddenly, she
tapped me on the shoulder and looked at me with eyes that burned like
fire.  I almost thought I was
looking to my mother’s eyes. 
Glaring at me, she leaned in to me and pointed, saying, “Young man, if
what you said to me is true, I am going to Heaven. It just dawned on me. If
this plane had crashed before you talked to me, I would have gone to Hell.  Don’t you ever…don’t you ever wait on a
flight! Don’t you ever wait on a flight! Somebody will go to Hell!” As she
began to disembark, I raised my hand and prayed, “Dear God, forgive me.” She
was absolutely, absolutely correct!

“Oh, Jonah, my daddy died! Where were you? We were living in
darkness, and we didn’t know about the Saviour. Jonah, where were you? You were
just five days too late.” Think about it—125 people burning in Hell tonight,
125 people begging for a drop of water, 125 people gnawing on each other with
their teeth, 125 people screaming at the top of their lungs, “Let us out, let
us out!”  Those 125 people are falling
in a bottomless pit, 125 people in pitch-black darkness.  Can you imagine the stench, the smell
of burnt flesh forever?  Imagine 125
people screaming for mercy, 125 people pleading for somebody to come and get
them out, but they will never get out. Why? All because Jonah just decided to
go somewhere else instead of where God wanted him to go.

I do not know where you go on Thursday night or Saturday. If
what you are doing is more important than what we are doing, we should go to
your house. We need to have an old-fashioned revival about the concern for the
souls of men and women. I say to you, 125 people are begging. Why? Because one
preacher, because one soul winner wasted five days; he obeyed God five days

My friend, is there a Hell or is there not a Hell? How many
Saturdays have you missed because you did not feel good? How many Thursdays
have you missed, not because you were sick or laid up in the hospital, but
because you just did not want to go. You rolled over, pulled the covers up,
turned your alarm off on Saturday morning and said, “I am not going.” You are
not dying, you do not have cancer, you have not had a heart attack, and you are
not in the emergency room. You just roll over and pull the covers up. You are
not dying, and you have not broken a leg. Get up off your couch and go tell
people how to be saved.

Jonah missed five days; how many days have you missed over the
years?  Now translate that number
of days into people that will face eternity in Hell because you did not want to
go soul winning.  Maybe you have
the title of Sunday school teacher, Sunday school superintendent, secretary,
usher, bus captain, bus worker, choir member, or bus driver.  Maybe you are a member of the pastoral
staff, or you may even be the pastor of the church.  You enjoy the title, but you do not want to fulfill your
responsibility to go soul winning.  Jonah was five days too late; how many days has it been for

How many people are in Hell because of your needless
extravagance? How many Saturdays did you work overtime to get extra money to
buy a 70-inch plasma television?  How many Saturdays did you work overtime to buy things you
really do not need, when your time would have been better spent soul winning on
a bus route? 

John 15:16 says, “Ye have
not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye soul go and
bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall
ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
If you go soul winning, God promises to give us what we need. I wonder how many people
are burning in Hell because you did not feel  like going? The truth is you did not even lie or make up an
excuse;  you simply told your wife,
“I’m not going tonight!” I realize you are  tired, but we are
all tired! Please do not let the burdens of life be  a reason to simply not go soul winning.  I am a busy man but no one should be  so busy that they do not go soul winning.

How many days have you missed? How many people are going to burn in Hell or are burning Hell, because you
simply did not want to go soul winning. I am not talking about being ill or
physically unable to go!  Only you
can answer the question! Could you have gone? 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.