If you’ve never read the famous sermon by Pastor Jonathan Edwards entitled “Sinners in the Hand of and angry God” you should. Here’s a link where you can read it when you’re done reading this blog.
Edwards preached this sermon in 1741 in the midst of a revival that became known to history as the “First Great Awakening” because it was so widespread in the English speaking world. Many scholars say that it was the foundation of the Evangelical movement that most of the readers of this blog identify with. So it’s part of our theological DNA.
But even more than that, I think this sermon from 277 years ago is HIGHLY relevant to what’s happening in our world today.
It is truly astounding how Western countries which maintained a Biblically-based culture for hundreds of years have, in just a few decades, completely jettisoned it and have even become radically post-Christian. We watch in alarm and sadness as the countries where we grew up rapidly dive deeper and deeper into the Abyss and we wonder how it happened so quickly.
I think “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” answers the question.
The central thesis of this sermon is that all of humanity is being drawn towards Hell by the power of Sin and that it is only the mercy and “pleasure” of God which allows us to sit in His Hands for a time, time we should make use of by repenting and living lives holy and pleasing to God so that when our inevitable death comes we can avoid being cast into everlasting torment.
Edwards was saying this about individual sinners like me and you but he was also saying it was true of humanity as a whole. The theme of URGENCY, because God’s patience could run out and He could remove His Hand from underneath us at any moment, runs through the entire sermon.
Brothers and sisters, I’m not a prophet, but I think it’s very likely that that moment Edwards was warning about has come. God has removed His Hands from underneath the Human Race, and we’re plunging towards Hell at spectacular and increasing velocity.
So, with this in mind, read the sermon and if it speaks to you, share it with your pastor (who might have already read it in seminary) and share it with others who maybe don’t yet feel a sense of urgency. Because of all the things that is sorely lacking in the Church today a sense of urgency to be about the work of the Kingdom is the thing which I believe is most badly needed.
The Age of Grace is rapidly coming to an end and the time before our Lord Jesus Christ returns to this Earth, at which point it will be too late for anyone who has not yet accepted the Gospel, is imminent.