What If They Do Repent?

A quote from Doug Wilson here.1

Many of our prophetic voice brethren are willing, like Jonah, to speak truth to power. They, also like Jonah, would be entirely flummoxed if power listens to them.

Jonah’s reluctance to preach to Nineveh was not driven by cowardice, or anything like that. He hated Nineveh, a godless power, an oppressor of Jonah’s people, and he knew that if he preached to them, there was a very real risk that they might repent, and that God might accept their repentance. And repent they did (Matt. 12:1), and Jonah’s complaint was one he anticipated. Isn’t this disaster what I said would happen (Jonah 4)? If there is one thing worse than a godless Ninevite power structure, that would be a Constantinian Ninevite power structure…

And so here is the trick. If your whole schtick is that of being a prophetic voice, then you have to figure out what to do about the off-chance of real repentance.

Basically, whenever we call people to repent, we have to be ready and willing  to help them if (on the off chance) they do.

Even if the one of the worst, powerful nations, one that hates you, changes its mind, en masse, we have to have a better gameplan than Jonah, who did not first even want to try, second, did not like that they had repented at all.

We must rejoice at all whom come to the Lord, and not be like the oldest son of the Father of the the prodigal. So, if they do repent, you have to be willing to embrace them. 2


  1. Doug Wilson’s Blog 
  2. What were the Christians supposed to do when Rome collapsed around them, when much of the Roman Empire converted? (not entirely, nor wholly, but substantially)
News Reporter
From Madison, Wisconsin. B.A. Biblical Studies: Moody Bible Institute, Chicago. M.Div. Student at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto, Ontario.

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