Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

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"Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is a sermon written by American theologian Jonathan Edwards, preached on July 8, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut. Like Edwards' other sermons and writings, it combines vivid imagery of the Christian concept of Hell with observations of the secular world and citations of scripture. It remains Edwards' most famous written work, and is widely studied both among American Christians and historians, due to the glimpse it provides into the theology of the Great Awakening of c. 1730–1755.



"There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God."

Most of the sermon's text consists of eleven "considerations". They are as follows:


In the final section of "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," Edwards wishes to show his theological argument at work throughout scripture and biblical history. This is done at length, invoking stories and examples throughout the whole of the Bible and comprises the bulk of this section. Edwards ends the sermon with one final appeal, "Therefore let everyone that is out of Christ, now awake and fly from the wrath to come." Without explicitly saying, Edwards indirectly gives a sense of hope to those currently out of Christ. Only by returning to Christ can one escape the stark fate outlined by Edwards.

Effect of the sermon

"Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is a typical sermon of the Great Awakening, emphasizing the widely held belief that Hell is a real and functional place. Edwards hoped that the imagery and message of his sermon would awaken his audience to the horrific reality that he argued awaited them should they continue without Christ.[1] The underlying point is that God has given humanity a chance to rectify their sins. Edwards says that it is the will of God that keeps wicked men from the depths of Hell; this act of restraint has given humanity a chance to mend their ways and return to Christ.[2] Jonathan Edwards' sermon continues to be the leading example of a Great Awakening sermon and is still used in religious and academic settings today.

See also

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