A consuming fire.

God’s fury against sin is held back by His long suffering. It is only His mercy that restrains the lightning of His wrath. Our God is a consuming fire (see Heb. 12:29).

“It is because God’s wrath is real that His mercy is relevant. Unless you have a real wrath, a real anger, the biblical concepts of long-suffering, of mercy, and of grace are robbed of their meaning.” Alistair Begg 

Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,

And take away the foreskins of your hearts,

You men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,

Lest My fury come forth like fire,

And burn so that no one can quench it, 

Because of the evil of your doings.”

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“In that day.”

“We do not grudge to the seed of Israel after the flesh the first application of this very precious promise. There will be a day when those who have so long refused to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah shall discern the marks of his mission, and shall mourn that they have pierced him. When the tribes of Israel shall lament their sin with holy earnestness, there shall be no mourning to exceed it, they shall weep even as in the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo, when the well-beloved Josiah was slain. Discovering that their nation rejected the Son of God, when they crucified Jesus of Nazareth, their deeply religious spirit shall be filled with the utmost bitterness of repentance, and each man and each woman shall cry for pardon to the Lord of mercy.” Charles Spurgeon 

The phrase “in that day” appears seven times in this chapter, referring to the coming Day of the Lord. See Zechariah 14:1; Revelation 1:7.

Zechariah 12:11 In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.

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Genuine belief.

The people of Nineveh believed God, and the genuineness of their belief in Him produced the evident works of repentance (Jonah 3:10). Measure the faith of those you have witnessed to by asking, “Do you believe what you have just heard?” If they say they don’t, question what part didn’t make sense. If they say they do believe it, ask where they would go if they were to die in their sins. If they say, “Heaven,” ask, “Why?” It is usually because they are still clinging to self-righteousness and you need to go back with the axe of the Law and chop out that root. If they say, “Hell,” ask what they are going to do about it. They will usually say, “Pray, and change my ways,” so repeat what you have told them: “Repent and trust in Jesus.” If they agree, ask, “When are you going to do that?” You want them to see the urgency. Today is the day of salvation.

Jonah 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.

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Pray a “sinner’s prayer.”

Contrary to Scripture, the modern gospel assures people that if they sincerely pray a “sinner’s prayer,” they should never doubt their salvation. Some go so far as to say that any doubts are from the devil. With eternity at stake, however, Paul admonishes believers to test themselves to make sure their faith is sound and secure.

Think of what you would do if you were wearing a parachute and waiting to jump out of a plane. You would have faith in the parachute, but you would also regularly check to make sure that the straps are firm. Once you have put on the Lord Jesus Christ through conversion (repentance and faith), you should regularly examine yourself to see how firm your relationship is with the Lord. Are you reading the Word daily? Do you have regular prayer? Are you fighting sin, or giving in to it? Are you living in holiness? Are you confessing sin? How is your relationship with other Christians? Is there any hidden bitterness against anyone? Are you sharing your faith? What is your greatest passion? Is it the Lord, or are material things more important? Do you love the world and the things in the world? On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your walk with God? It should be a ten. If it is not, strive to make it a ten.

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.

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“I don’t believe we’ll be judged by the Ten Commandments.”

The Bible makes it clear that there will be a Day of Judgment. The Scriptures warn, “Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished” (Prov. 11:21). However, will the standard of judgment be the Ten Commandments, or something else? Some believe it be the words of Jesus that will judge mankind, based on John 12:48: “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”

What words of Jesus will humanity be judged by? The Scriptures say the Lord would “magnify the law and make it honorable” (Isa. 42:21). This was the essence of the Messiah’s teaching ministry. The religious leaders had twisted and demeaned the Law so that its original intent was lost. But Jesus magnified it, showing that lust was adultery, that anger without cause violated its holy precepts, etc. He reminded them that not one jot or tittle of the Law would fail.

When Paul preached on Mars Hill, he warned the idolatrous Athenians, who had violated the First and Second Commandments, that God would judge the world “in righteousness.” The “righteousness” of which he spoke is the “righteousness of the law” (Rom. 8:4). Scripture tells us that the moral Law is the standard by which God will judge mankind: “For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the lawwill be judged by the law” (Rom. 2:12, emphasis added). James 2:12 also warns that the moral Law will be the standard of judgment: “So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.”

Those who may be tempted to say that the “law of liberty” isn’t the moral Law but “the law of Christ” should consider the context. The preceding verse tells us what James had in mind: “For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery’ [7th Commandment], also said, ‘Do not murder’ [8th Commandment]. Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law” (James 2:11).

Ezekiel 44:24 In controversy they shall stand as judges, and judge it according to My judgments. They shall keep My laws and My statutes in all My appointed meetings, and they shall hallow My Sabbaths.

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The Bride of Christ.

Some say that the queen had good reason to refuse. God forbid that we should ever refuse to be seen as the Bride of Christ and dishonor our Bridegroom (see 2 Cor. 11:2). By our boldness we encourage others to be bold in their faith. See Phil. 1:14.

Esther 1:17 For the queen’s behavior will become known to all women, so that they will despise their husbands in their eyes, when they report, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought in before him, but she did not come.’

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A new realm.

I am sure a talking parrot, three hundred people flying through the sky in a big tin can called a jumbo jet, a human being growing inside another person, and men walking on the moon don’t sound logical to the uninformed. However, science and technology have given the word “logical” a completely different meaning than it had one hundred years ago.

Some people are limited by the confines of what they see as logic. However, when we are born again, the Supernatural takes logic into a new realm. When we discover that the Supernatural is a reality our mind is suddenly expanded.

Animals could easily talk—if the Supernatural is involved. A man could easily live in the stomach of a “great fish” if it was “prepared” by the God who made it, as the Bible says it was. A virgin could easily become pregnant if the One who made the virgin was involved. And walking on water is a breeze…when God is manifest in human form.

Numbers 22:28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”

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