Flee the Swamp

I once saw a video that pictured sin as a dirty, muddy, algae covered pond. The further we get into the pond, the
less we notice or care about the slime. “We’ve already gone this far,” we think, “We may as well keep going.”
Our friends are playing in the algae, and it seems like they are having a good time. Maybe it’s not so bad after
all. And we begin forgetting about life outside the swamp. We convince ourselves that once we are in the mud,
there’s no way we could possibly leave. And even if we did, we’ll still carry the stench of the swamp on us
wherever we go.

The people of Nineveh were neck deep in sin. If you recall back several months to Jonah chapter one, you’ll
remember the stories of the brutal treatment the Ninevites inflicted on the nations around them. Surely they
were too far gone to ever change. But then Jonah comes. And the nation repents. How would God respond? In
fact, Jonah’s prophecy wasn’t even “turn or burn!” It was just simply “burn!” Jonah prophesied destruction
with no glimmer of hope whatsoever. Yet God noticed the repentance of the Ninevites. “When God saw what
they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the
destruction he had threatened.” Jonah 3:10.
 
No matter how far you have gone into the pond, it’s never too late to turn around and walk out. Jesus is always
waiting at the bank of the water, and he’s thrown in the life preserver to pull you to shore, ready to wash away
the dirt and the slime and make you his child. C. S. Lewis once talked about how sometimes repentance doesn’t
seem very “progressive” to us, but he continues that “Progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be.
And if you have taken a wrong turn, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong
road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns
back soonest is the most progressive man.”
 
Will you turn back today? Jesus is waiting with his arms wide open.