Christian Religious Studies JSSCE

The People of Nineveh Repent of their Sins

The people of Nineveh were evil in their ways. They did many evil things to one another. They were wicked. They did not help those in trouble. They did not feel sorry for all the wrong that they had done and they continued to do.

God told the Prophet Jonah to go and call the people of Nineveh to repentance otherwise He would destroy them. At first he refused and ran away from God’s directive to Tarshish but later went to the town of Nineveh and called the people there to repentance. God said through Jonah that Nineveh would be overthrown in forty days time. The people felt sorry of all the bad things that they had done. They repented by proclaiming a fast, putting on sackcloth, the king arose from his throne, removed his robe, and covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes and asked God for forgiveness. And, God forgave them.

John the Baptist Calls for Repentance

God sent John the Baptist to the Jews to call them to repentance. He preached to them the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The people regretted their wrong doings. They came to John to confess their sins. John the Baptist baptized all the people who repented of their sins.

Then, the crowd asked John the Baptist what they should do and he told them to share whatever they had, whether it clothing or food with others who had none. Addressing the Tax Collectors, John the Baptist warned them not to collect more than what they had been allotted to them. And to the soldier, he advised them not to be violent or accuse anyone falsely but be contented with their wages. John the Baptist then told them that the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins was to prepare them for the coming of Jesus Christ, who will baptize them with the Holy Spirit.

The work of the Holy Spirit will be:

(i) to take away the evil influence of the devil

(ii) to destroy the power of sin

(iii) to melt the heart of stone that caused them to do evil things replacing it with the heart of flesh.

(iv) He will allow the Holy Spirit to give them spiritual power to obey God and to become righteous.


  1. Outline how the people of Nineveh responded to the call to repentance.
  2. What was the theme of John the Baptist message?

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