Sinners in the hands of an angry God, is a sermon by the preacher Jonathan Edwards. A very powerful message to the unconverted and the backslider. Listening and reading this great sermon gripped my heart so much so, that I live my life everyday with the fear for hell more than I have ever done.
Edwards took his lead text from Deuteronomy 32:35 and focused on the first part of that verse “their foot shall slide in due time”; this statement formed the basis of his message.
The verse itself was God’s word of vengeance to the disobedient children of Israel, of which Deut 32:28 tells us “For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them”. Isn’t this the reality of many today; that are void of counsel, and have no understanding of God’s majesty and power?
‘Their foot shall slide in due time’ God here is implying that; the fall of the disobedient children of Israel is imminent, relating to the punishment and destruction to which the Israelites were exposed and so of many unconverted souls of today, it implies the following:
1) Sinners are always at all times exposed to destruction, as one that stands or walks in slippery places is always expected to fall. This is expressed by the psalmist in Psalm 73:18 “Surely thou didst set them in slippery places; thou castedst them down into destruction.”
2) It also suggests that sinners are liable to fall at any moment, they cannot tell form one minute to the other when they will fall, for their fall comes without warning. Psalm 73:19 tells us “How are they brought into desolation as in a moment!”
3) It also implies that sinners are liable to fall on their own without any assist, not even that of God, but by the sheer weight of the iniquity, as one that stands or walks on slippery ground needs nothing but his own weight to throw him down.
4) And the reason their fall has not come upon them is that, God’s appointed time for them to fall has not come. For when the time is due their foot shall slide, for they shall fall by their own weight. God will not for a moment hold them up in these slippery places anymore.
To this I quote from Edwards that “There is nothing that keeps wicked men (sinners) at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.” By the mere pleasure of God implies God’s sovereign pleasure, his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation, hindered by no manner of difficulty.
The following statements will to many come across as harsh and unforgiving, but nonetheless a true statement, that sinners deserve to hell and there is no power that can stop God from turning sinners in destruction. The strongest have no power to resist him, nor can any deliver out of his hands. We find it easy to tread on and crush a worm that we see crawling on the earth, thus easy is it for God, when he pleases, to cast his enemies down to hell. What is man that we should think to stand before him, at whose rebuke, the earth trembles, and before whom the rocks are thrown down?
Because of God’s divine justice hell is inevitable for sinners, the sword of divine justice is every moment brandished over their heads, and it is nothing but the hand of arbitrary mercy, and God’s mere will, that holds it back.
Sinners are already on their way to hell, for they are already under a sentence of condemnation. John 3:18 tells us “He that believeth not is condemned already.” So that every unconverted man properly belongs to hell; that is his place; from thence he is, John 8:23. “Ye are from beneath.”
Hell is the expression of God’s wrath and anger. The reason sinners are still breathing today is not because God is no less angry with them than those already in hell, for “…God is angry with the wicked everyday.”(Psalm 7:10). I tell you God is angry a great deal more with sinners on earth, even more so with those who profess to be Christians and are at ease in the congregation of the righteous. The wrath of God burns against them, their damnation does not slumber; the pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive them. The glittering sword is sharpen, and held over them, and the pit hath opened its mouth under them.
The devil stands ready to fall upon the fallen sinner and seize him as his own, at what moment God shall permit him. The sinner and backslider belong to him; he has their souls in his possession, and under his dominion.
The ignorance of man often thinks that he alone can elude death and destruction, he looks upon himself as one in good health he looks, but there is no visible means of death at the horizon, how foolish is he who thinks like this. The unseen, unthought-of of ways and means of persons going suddenly out of the world are innumerable and inconceivable. Unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering, and there are innumerable places in this covering so weak that they will not bear their weight, and these places are not seen. The arrows of death fly unseen at noon-day; the sharpest sight cannot discern them. God has so many different unsearchable ways of taking wicked men out of the world and sending them to hell. All the means that there are of sinners going out of the world, are so in God’s hands.
No wisdom or knowledge of man can keep sinners out of the fiery pit at the appointed time, Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 2:16 “How dieth the wise man? even as the fool.” Oh how foolish the man thinks upon himself and deludes himself in his own schemes, and in confidence in his own strength and wisdom; he trust to nothing but a shadow.
I finish with this; let everyone that is out of Christ, now awake and fly from the wrath to come. REPENT AND BE CONVERTED.