The Lord gave this message to Jonah… “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” Jonah 1:1-2
What an assignment! Nineveh was not a popular city and judgment was not a popular topic. Jonah had not been sent to the Ladies Garden Club to talk about roses. He’d been ordered into the Jihadist camp to talk about their impending destruction. It may have been a little easier if the message was health and prosperity. But judgment? Wickedness? People don’t like to be told that God is angry with them—especially people with whom God is angry. These people were bad news. They might mock him. They might kill him. They might even call him “judgmental.” It’s no wonder he ran the other way.
Would you have run too? Are you running now? The Lord has given us a message for the world: “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). But nobody wants to hear the bad news. So we pick through the Bible to find cheery verses we can tweet to the Ninevites, and pretend we’re obeying God’s mandate. We agree with them when they confuse Biblical truth with being “judgmental.” So we bury the need for repentance and salvation under piles of all-inclusive, non-judgmental fluff and assure the Ninevites that they are fine. An obedient servant of the Lord learns to define “judging” the way God does. When we know we have a message people need, we are willing to risk being misunderstood to deliver God’s lifesaving truth.