SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD
“For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”
My first encounter with Jonathan Edwards was in my tenth grade English class, Edwards’ classic sermon “Sinners” was required reading, even in public school. I didn’t think much of it at the time, just another irrelevant, ranting preacher is all he was to me. After years went by, many years, I began to read the writings of Edwards once again. This time I was introduced to him in the framework of revival, his work was at the epicenter of the Great Awakening that had a profound effect on the birth of our nation. Edwards’ writings provided a foundation for me, historic, orthodox Christianity became more and more appealing to me in this modern world of the get rich quick, have it all now, relevant, purpose driven, modern christian world. I needed something with some teeth. Recently this modern, relevant theological experiment has begun to question the foundational teaching on eternity, Edwards has plenty to say about that. Listen to a short exerpt from the historic sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”
“Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf, and your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider’s web would have to stop a falling rock. Were it not for the sovereign pleasure of God, the earth would not bear you one moment; for you are a burden to it; the creation groans with you…”
This is probably Edwards best known work today, but in his world, he was known more for his preaching on the born again experience. His most famous sermon in his lifetime was “A Divine and Supernatural Light”. I think this generation is crying out for a Christianity with substance, a longing to return to the faith of our fathers. How is it with your soul today? Have you seen that “Divine and Supernatural Light” or are you still dangling by the web of the spider over the flaming gorge of hell. Maybe you are longing for a faith with some “teeth”. If so, open the Bible again, I’ve heard that Jesus still walks through the pages of that old trusted book.