Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

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Benjamin Town
31 August 2012

A Ray of Hope
“Sinners in the hands of an angry God” was preached by Jonathan Edwards during a time when the people were relying on science more than their saviour in heaven, a time when people were lacking in their spiritual needs. This speech opened the eyes of many, and was so powerful it may very well have been the trigger of the great awakening. But why was this speech so powerful? Why did this speech change the lives of thousands? As we can see he used plenty of persuasive techniques, he is very descriptive in his imagery and uses simple metaphors to persuade thousands to repent of their sinful ways and turn to Christ. He planted fear and guilt into their hearts. This sermon is a sermon full of anger and fright, a sermon powerful enough to make the strongest man cry and weep. But the true purpose of this sermon was to bring hope to a nation in need. It ultimately was a message of redemption, a message that Jonathan Edwards believed people needed to hear. Although Edward’s message was designed to torment and terrify the listeners it was ultimately a message of hope to all people who were sinning and turning on God. He uses simple imagery to connect to his audience who were mostly illiterate. He compares God’s wrath to “Great Waters” he says “the wrath of God is like great waters that area dammed for the present, they increase more and more and rise higher and higher”. Just by knowing that an all-powerful God is mad at you would cause fear, but to know that His wrath towards you is growing greater and greater would cause even more fear and uneasiness to the listeners. But he then says God’s wrath will flood the earth only if he chooses to open the flood gates which give the listeners a glimpse of hope. Jonathan Edwards uses metaphors to connect to the people’s everyday lives. He tells them that their sin is as “heavy as led” and will pull them straight down to hell. “Your wickedness makes you as it were as heavy as lead, and...
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