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Hellfire and Brimstone

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I had to get permission from my boss and Senior Pastor to preach the sermon that I will be preaching at four services this weekend. When I first heard the sermon in my car a couple of months ago, I got very scared. When my administrative assistant, Barbara, typed it up for me, she cried, then was bothered for the next four days.

When Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” was first preached in Enfield, Connecticut, in 1741, it was one of the pivotal events that helped bring about The Great Awakening, a massive revival among the British colonies. People moaned, wailed, and cried out for mercy, some even fainted when they heard the horrifying imagery of the torments of Hell that Edwards used to convey the terrible truth of God’s wrath that would be visited upon unrepentant and unconverted sinners.

500 were converted that day.

R.C. Sproul says that “this sermon is not for the faint of heart; surely it will offend some, possibly many who listen to it. But I believe that any Christian who has affection for Christ and reverence for God will hear in this sermon the ring of truth. And will gain an intense insight into the awful majesty of God, and to the terror of His wrath, and our desperate need for the gospel.”

I suppose that every preacher who has preached this wonderful, terrible sermon has hoped for a revival to break out after he preached it. I’m certainly hoping for the same.

Hey! Anything but Bentley and Benny!

(The sermon will be available on this blog Monday or Tuesday. I am using, with permission, a version by John Jeffery Fanella that is easier to read and comes with the commendation of John MacArthur. Click here to find out more.)

4 Comments

  1. looking forward to hearing this!

  2. Awesome, Steve!

    “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” is, as you say, both wonderul and terrifying. For me, already a Christian when I first read and then heard it, this sermon did two things: 1) It left me shaking to the point where I almost started to wonder if I really was truly saved. 2) It went on to confirm that I, indeed, was. That’s what made it both terrifying and wonderful at the same time. A very humbling and sobering experience to say the least.

    I pray God’s Spirit be with you in His power to do to your hearers what this sermon was intended to do: convict the lost and confirm the saved.

  3. I gave an MDB to a guy on the train that I found out right away attends HC, and doesn’t know you NOW HE WILL !! Yes, amazing sermon – I was just telling someone about this the other day. Definitely not a sermon you want to listen to before going to bed.

    This guy I met says he’s involved in a ministry that goes to mosques in Anaheim and OA’s to the Muslim’s as they leave… surprised he doesn’t know you . . . it was cool that he thought I attended HC …

    I pray for the Holy Spirit’s anointing on you as you preach it !

  4. The coolest thing (okay one of the coolest things) is that SITHOAAG is included in all American Literature anthologies so I can have students read it and write about how it and even discuss it.
    http://edwards.yale.edu/graham/
    takes you to a site with a recording of the young Billy Graham giving his take on this brilliant, terrifying sermon.
    Edwards life is also fascinating; he was a scientist as well as a theologian and a child prodigy.
    Bring it Steve.
    Bring it Holy Spirit!

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