Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ReformedBaptist, May 23, 2008.

  1. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
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    Many might be familiar with the title of this thread. To some, it might be new. And to others just the mere statement might be patently offensive. No offensive is meant.

    For those unfamiliar with with the title, it is the title of a sermon that was preached by the famous Jonathan Edwards in Enfield CT in July of 1741. The sermon is by far Edward's most famous, or as some would say..infamous. As people have read the sermon there have been mixed reactions from viewing such a sermon as outright sadistic, to heartfelt repentence.

    I posted this subject and sermon because in the years I have been a Christian I have hardly heard such preaching in churches, or where I have heard it, the spirit in which such a message was preached was done in anger and devoid of love.

    But how can such a message even hint of love? Of all things that may be said of Edwards and his sermon, it cannot be said that he didn't love and care for his congregation. His desire was to awaken men to their true condition apart from Christ and that the Spirit of God would make men to see the peril they are in when seperated from God.

    Such sermons and preaching are not in vogue today. And what does our reaction to such a sermon say about us...whether you love or hate it, it does square with the Scripture...

    Are we quick to lay a condemnation on such preaching but slow to examine our own hearts? So ask yourself, when you read or listen to the sermon...does it make you angry? Fearful? Does the concept of the wrath of God offend us and we are quick to resign it to an unenlightened age? Do we hate the concept of the wrath of God? If so, could it be that we are in a state of being the enemy of God and thus, truly, hate Him?

    R.C. Sproul wrote in his commentary on the subject, "We may say emphatically, "No, it is not God I hate; it is Edwards that I hate. God is altogether sweet to me. My God is a God of love." But a God of love who has no wrath is no God. He is an idol of our own making as much as if we carved Him out of stone."

    Strong words, but true.


    The sermon published to the interenet by Yale University http://edwards.yale.edu/images/pdf/sinners.pdf

    The sermon read by a great, great grandson of Edwards:
    http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=99077203310
     
  2. Zenas

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    This really takes me back. When I was in 11th grade we studied American literature and this sermon was in the text book as an example of one genere of early American literature. The teacher, who was married to a Church of Christ minister, brought in other examples of Edwards' work and we had a most enlightening unit. Thus I became a lifetime fan of Jonathan Edwards.

    Too bad they can't teach units like that today.
     
  3. nunatak

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    I really know nothing more about Edwards or this sermon that what is posted here. To me the title of the sermon refers to the Judgement of God at his white throne(?), and of course, sinners at that point will face God's wrath.

    If I get offended at the idea of the judgement of an angry God, then that only proves I am carnal, not spiritual, and don't believe the Scripture.

    The beauty of this sermon is that it can only be preached to sinners who are still alive! Not yet facing God's wrath. And as such, we sinners who are still alive hearing of God's future wrath can have hope in Christ alone.

    my two cents
     
  4. Rippon

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    Sinners are under the wrath of God continuously while alive, just not the full-blown magnitude of it that will be their experience in everlasting torment.
     
  5. J.D.

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    Edwards portrays the judgment of God as both pending and already executed on sinners. They are "presently" falling into God's hands, presently in judgment, and they are the objects of His anger as they live on earth. There is a measure of judgment in this world, an immediate judgment after death, and a final judgment at the Great White Throne. Read or listen to it again and see if you detect these different aspects in Edwards' sermon.
     
  6. J.D.

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    I see we both jumped on that one. Great minds.....
     
  7. nunatak

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    Got it. This makes me think of the question the disciples asked.
    Who then can be saved?
     
  8. Thinkingstuff

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    And it did start a great revival her in the US and abroad in England.
     
  9. J.D.

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    Right! And exactly the reason people used to cry out for mercy during the preaching of this sermon, and exactly why those converted knew the magnificence of the grace of God.
     
  10. Jon-Marc

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    We need more (in my opinion) of that kind of preaching today. Maybe then people would realize that they are facing the wrath of God, and that repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ is their only hope. Some say we shouldn't "scare' people into heaven. I say, why would anyone want to be saved if they're NOT scared of God's wrath? That's what brought me to him--fear of hell. That's why so few have come to the Lord; there is no fear of God in them, no fear of judgment, no fear of God's wrath. Until that fear is once again instilled in the hearts and minds of sinners, they will just go on content in their world of sin and hatred of God--not fearing God in the least.
     
  11. J.D.

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    Need more, yes, I agree. But what I've seen too many times is a preacher putting all the emphasis on the severity of God's wrath rather than the certainty of it. It's the certainty of it that instills that fear.
     
  12. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    Thus far this thread has been refreshing. In keeping with the subject of godly preaching this song may interest you:


    Song
     
  13. J.D.

    J.D.
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    That song gave me goose bumps, wet eyes, and a tight throat.
     
  14. rm1980

    rm1980
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    wow, who's this song by?...
     
  15. Revmitchell

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    A friend of mine Sherri White. Her site is down temporarily.
     
  16. nunatak

    nunatak
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    I listened to the song. I mused some thoughts when I heard her sing the words, "God is raising up a people..."

    I have heard this said before, too many times. I do believe that God has a church. But can we truly say that God is raising up a people, with leaders, who won't back down, compromise, sell out?

    And, if he is, will it include us Americans?

    Sorry, the song made me feel melancholy.
     
  17. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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  18. Allan

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    My mom bought her tape "Lonely Heart" back when she was selling her tapes to help her pay her way through college. We lived in Okeechobee, Fl for 11 years. Her buying the tape was back in like 90 or 91 or something. We LOVED her songs but since she was selling them by hand at the time we didn't know she continued on till earlier this year. My moms tape got lost between us siblings (since she hardly ever got it back :) ).

    Thanks for the post. I tried to listen to the song but no go. I went to her sight but couldn't get the songs there (the samples) to work either.

    That is ok though since now I can order her tape (one for my mom and me).
     
    #18 Allan, May 24, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2008
  19. Bob Alkire

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    Thanks for the song, it was great!!!
     

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