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.
(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.)