What’s it like to preach the most famous American sermon, written nearly 300 years ago, to a contemporary congregation of about 1200 people? What would the reaction be? How many would walk out? Would anyone repent and trust in the Savior or would they fall asleep in their chairs? Might they even stone the preacher?
The results were both disappointing and immensely satisfying as I preached “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” over the weekend to four different services.
I didn’t know what to expect. Could this be the start of another Great Awakening, as happened when Jonathan Edwards himself preached this message in 1741? I’m sure every preacher over the last 260 years had hoped as much…
Well, I’m way to bushed right now to give you the details, astounding as they are, so you will have to wait till Tuesday. But my wife did say that after hearing this hellfire and brimstone message, she was heading straight to the store to get some chocolate—to lift her spirits.
Another woman, Elizabeth Hughes, got the point of this terrifying sermon, then wrote a poem after hearing Edwards “speak”:
The Lord has kept my life afloat.
My life’s not mine, I may not gloat.
He may take my life when he sees fit.
My days have been numbered as I sit.
I can’t save my life by my own power.
I don’t know the minute, or the hour.
It’s only by Jesus I may be saved.
For it’s only Heaven that I have craved.
By God’s grace, I may not go to hell.
This is why everyone I must tell.
If only every Christian took to heart this holy and horrible sermon…