Sinners in the hands of an angry god notes. Jonathan Edwards (Theologian) 2022-10-27
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"Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is a sermon written by Jonathan Edwards, a theologian and preacher in colonial America. The sermon was delivered on July 8, 1741, to a congregation in Enfield, Connecticut, and it quickly gained popularity due to its powerful and emotive language.
Edwards begins the sermon by discussing the precarious position of sinners in the hands of an angry God. He explains that God's wrath towards sinners is just and deserved, and that it is only by His mercy that sinners are not immediately destroyed. Edwards compares the situation of sinners to that of a spider suspended over a fire by a slender thread, or a person hanging over the pit of hell by a thin rope. In both cases, the slightest disturbance could cause the spider or the person to fall into the fire or the pit. Similarly, Edwards argues, sinners are constantly in danger of being cast into hell by the slightest act of disobedience or sin.
Edwards goes on to describe the nature of God's wrath and how it is revealed in the world. He speaks of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the plagues of Egypt, and the destruction of the Canaanites as examples of God's anger towards sin. He also cites the Bible as evidence of God's wrath, citing passages such as Romans 1:18, which states that God's wrath is revealed "from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men."
Edwards then turns to the question of how sinners can escape God's wrath and be saved. He argues that salvation is only possible through faith in Jesus Christ, and that it is the duty of every person to repent of their sins and turn to Christ. Edwards emphasizes the urgency of this call to repentance, arguing that no one can be certain of their own salvation or the length of their life. He exhorts his listeners to consider the consequences of rejecting Christ and to make a choice for salvation while they still have the opportunity.
Overall, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is a powerful and compelling sermon that seeks to awaken its listeners to the reality of their sin and the need for repentance. Edwards' use of vivid imagery and emotive language helps to drive home the message that sinners are in a precarious position and that only faith in Jesus Christ can bring salvation.
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Analysis
Divine justice says of the tree that brings forth such grapes of Sodom, "Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground? The truth of this observation may appear by the following considerations. Those that are gone from being in the like circumstances with you, see that it was so with them; for destruction came suddenly upon most of them; when they expected nothing of it, and while they were saying, Peace and safety: now they see, that those things on which they depended for peace and safety, were nothing but thin air and empty shadows. That they were always exposed to destruction; as one that stands or walks in slippery places is always exposed to fall. Are not your souls as precious as the souls of the people at Suffield, where they are flocking from day to day to Christ? The unseen, unthought of ways and means of persons' going suddenly out of the world are innumerable and inconceivable. That they were always exposed to destruction; as one that stands or walks in slippery places is always exposed to fall. He will not only hate you, but he will have you, in the utmost contempt: no place shall be thought fit for you, but under his feet to be trodden down as the mire of the streets. The last date is today's date — the date you are citing the material.
However, many people in the congregation will have this very experience, and yet some of those people are doubtless flattering themselves that they will escape it because of their righteousness, even without accepting Christ. O my cursed foolishness! They are now the objects of that very same anger and wrath of God, that is expressed in the torments of hell. If it were only the wrath of man, though it were of the most potent prince, it would be comparatively little to be regarded. Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. Under all the cultivations of heaven, they brought forth bitter and poisonous fruit; as in the two verses next preceding the text.
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards Plot Summary
They belong to him; he has their souls in his possession, and under his dominion. We know not who they are, or in what seats they sit, or what thoughts they now have. Provided by: University of North Georgia. This that you have heard is the case of every one of you that are out of Christ. Who can utter or conceive what such expressions carry in them! This, divine providence and universal experience does also bear testimony to. Authored by: Wendy Kurant.
What is the thesis of "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"?
I was flattering myself, and pleasing myself with vain dreams of what I would do hereafter; and when I was saying peace and safety, then sudden destruction came upon me. The observation from the words that I would now insist upon is this. Finally, God has no obligation to shield sinners as he has been doing from the myriad threats and hazards Edwards has described—not even for even one more moment. There is this clear evidence that men's own wisdom is no security to them from death; that if it were otherwise we should see some difference between the wise and politic men of the world and others, with regard to their liableness to early and unexpected death; but how is it in fact? The "prudence and care" of disbelievers cannot protect them from sudden death and damnation. Their case is past all hope; they are crying in extreme misery and perfect despair; but here you are in the land of the living and in the house of God, and have an opportunity to obtain salvation.
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Quotes by Jonathan Edwards
If God should only withdraw his hand from the floodgate, it would immediately fly open, and the fiery floods of the fierceness and wrath of God would rush forth with inconceivable fury, and would come upon you with omnipotent power; and if your strength were ten thousand times greater than it is, yea, ten thousand times greater than the strength of the stoutest, sturdiest devil in hell, it would be nothing to withstand or endure it. But the greatest earthly potentates in their greatest majesty and strength, and when clothed in their greatest terrors, are but feeble, despicable worms of the dust, in comparison of the great and almighty Creator and King of heaven and earth. Instead of one, how many is it likely will remember this discourse in hell? Whose hands can be strong? And now you have an extraordinary opportunity, a day wherein Christ has thrown the door of mercy wide open, and stands in calling and crying with a loud voice to poor sinners; a day wherein many are flocking to him, and pressing into the kingdom of God. God seems now to be hastily gathering in his elect in all parts of the land; and probably the bigger part of adult persons that ever shall be saved will be brought in now in a little time, and that it will be as it was on that great outpouring of the Spirit upon the Jews in the Apostles' days, the election will obtain and the rest will be blinded. You probably are not sensible of this; you find you are kept out of hell, but do not see the hand of God in it; but look at other things, as the good state of your bodily constitution, your care of your own life, and the means you use for your own preservation.
What are we, that we should think to stand before him, at whose rebuke the earth trembles, and before whom the rocks are thrown down? Those that are gone from being in the like circumstances with you see that it was so with them; for destruction came suddenly upon most of them; when they expected nothing of it, and while they were saying, Peace and safety: now they see, that those things that they depended on for peace and safety were nothing but thin air and empty shadows. The arrows of death fly unseen at noon-day; the sharpest sight cannot discern them. Many are daily coming from the east, west, north and south; many that were very lately in the same miserable condition that you are in, are now in a happy state, with their hearts filled with love to him who has loved them, and washed them from their sins in his own blood, and rejoicing in hope of the glory of God. The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. . And now you have an extraordinary opportunity, a day wherein Christ has thrown the door of mercy wide open, and stands in calling and crying with a loud voice to poor sinners; a day wherein many are flocking to him, and pressing into the kingdom of God.
How can you rest for one moment in such a condition? Stout , New York: Oxford University Press, 186-204. The congregation has an opportunity right now to avoid this terrible fate and obtain salvation, an opportunity that those in hell would giving anything to have. The wrath of Almighty God is now undoubtedly hanging over great part of this congregation. You had need to consider yourselves, and awake thoroughly out of sleep. Fifth, the devil is always ready and waiting, ready to fall upon them like "greedy hungry lions. If it were so that we could come to speak with them, and could inquire of them, one by one, whether they expected, when alive, and when they used to hear about hell, ever to be subjects of that misery, we, doubtless, should hear one and another reply, "No, I never intended to come here: I had laid out matters otherwise in my mind; I thought I should contrive well for myself: I thought my scheme good: I intended to take effectual care; but it came upon me unexpected; I did not look for it at that time, and in that manner; it came as a thief: death outwitted me: God's wrath was too quick for me. Are not your souls as precious as the souls of the people at Suffield, where they are flocking from day to day to Christ? God has laid himself under no obligation, by any promise to keep any natural man out of hell one moment.
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Summary and Analysis of Summary and Analysis
In 1727, after several years of preaching intermittently around the northeastern United States, Edwards became the minister of a congregation in Northampton, Massachusetts. Oh, that you would consider it, whether you be young or old! There is reason to think, that there are many in this congregation now hearing this discourse, that will actually be the subjects of this very misery to all eternity. Edwards does offer hope though; through acceptance of God's mercies and repentance of sin through Jesus the soul can be saved. The devils watch them; they are ever by them, at their right hand; they stand waiting for them, like greedy hungry lions that see their prey, and expect to have it, but are for the present kept back; if God should withdraw his hand by which they are restrained, they would in one moment fly upon their poor souls. The expression that I have chosen for my text , their foot shall slide in due time, seems to imply the following things relating to the punishment and destruction that these wicked Israelites were exposed to. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Themes The main themes in "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" include the danger of damnation, the justice of God's wrath, and the opportunity for redemption. And he has no obligation to offer them salvation.