Jonathan Edwards – Sinners in the hands of an Angry God!
Jonathan Edward’s most recognizable sermon was entitled “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”. This was a very stimulating and reassuring speech containing religious instruction because as you read it you will be able to engage yourself easily. He used some statement that may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but it is rarely meant to be taken literally.
Just like the sinners that he spoke of briefly was illustrated as one that stood or walked in slippery places. We will never know the instantaneous or abrupt devastation waiting ahead of us because of the things or situations that might happen.
He never threatened anyone but he tried his best to imply the possible consequence or consequences. One more thing that he wanted to share with us was that the sinners that stood or walked on slippery ground needed nothing but their own weight to throw them down. They were liable to fall of themselves, without being thrown down by the hand of another. The sinners must decide on their own without being pushed or influenced by other. I never thought introducing fear gradually through sharing can be an effect means of bringing people to God. It was a matter of choosing the right strategy of convincing them.
I admired Edwards because during his time he delivered the sermon effectively. In my opinion, he wasn’t constraint the people or the listener to believe him but he just showed them the reality of what might happen if the wrath of God would not be suspended. On Calvinistic doctrine of predestination, it accented that humans were unqualified of adding anything to obtain redemption and that God alone was the initiator at every stage of salvation, including the formation of faith and every decision to follow Christ. Calvinism stressed the sovereignty or rule of God in all things — in salvation but also in all of life.
In this belief, the only choice that we have is to accept and have faith in God because he is the one and only way for us to be saved from hell. Because of God’s love, he gave his only begotten son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Thus, we must believe and follow Christ because He is the only way for us not to go to hell. There was no contradiction between the concept of predestination, central to Calvinism and Edward’s Covenant of Grace because both of them signify that salvation was not bestowed to us upon any condition, but freely and for nothing.
We were to do nothing for it; we were only to take it. This taking and receiving was faith. It is very improper to say that a covenant is made with men, any otherwise than in Christ; for there is an immeasurable difference between a free offer and a covenant. The promise was made with Christ, and in him with his mystical body; and the condition of the covenant is Christ’s perfect obedience and sufferings. The Covenant of Grace was described by Christ’s open and free offer of life, whereby he holds it out in his hand to sinners, and offers it without any condition.
Faith cannot be called the condition of receiving, for it is the receiving itself: That’s why, the only reason why Christ died on the cross was for our salvation. God loved us so much that He won’t allow us to go to hell. He offered the salvation freely just believe and have faith. I think Calvinistic Doctrine is popular because in the history of America, two-thirds of the colonial population was trained in the school of Calvin. It means most of the individuals were fascinated and knew the teaching of Calvinism. Never in the world’s history had a nation been founded by such people as these.
Furthermore, these people came to America not primarily for commercial gain or advantage, but because of deep religious convictions. It seems that the religious persecutions in various European countries had been providentially used to select out the most progressive and enlightened people for the colonization of America. Until now, the Christianity that spreads in America was born through the existence also of Calvinism. That’s why I was convinced that Calvinism is not dead but accepted and widely practiced by many.