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Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
Enfield, Connecticut • July 8, 1741
Modern English Author
Brent Riggs • www.seriousfaith.com
This is a modern English version of one of the greatest sermons of all time is the classic by Jonathan
Edwards, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” It fueled the Great Awakening
Christian revival in America in the 1700′s.
Sadly, and tragically, uncompromising preaching about HELL
is not only unpopular today, many people (including most Christians) actually
believe teaching about Hell is detrimental to the Christian message. They say
“you shouldn’t try to scare people into Hell. “Who says? Certainly not God,
Jesus, or the Apostles. The Bible has far more to say about Hell than Heaven.
I often say, “If you were standing on a train track about to
get run over by a train, should I tell you to get off the tracks because life
is so much better over there in the field or because I really love you? Or
should I jump up and down, holler and wave my arms letting you know that you
are about to get run over and die?” I can think of hardly a better reason
to accept Christ and repent of your sins than to avoid impending judgment and
doom. Yes, of course, accepting the free gift of eternal life out of gratitude
to God is a valid motivation but why have we reached a point where we call the
threat of Hell “fire insurance” in order to insult and diminish that reason?
Why do many Christians – including Preachers – think accepting Christ to avoid
Hell is insincere? Preaching Hell is not good marketing, that’s for sure; but
Jesus and Paul sure didn’t have a problem proclaiming it.
Every person who dies in their sin and rejects God’s offer
of forgiveness is condemned to eternity in Hell. That’s fact whether you
believe it or not, whether you like it or not, whether you agree with God’s
plan or not. To accept Christ to avoid Hell is not only valid, it is a reason
that God Himself gives us over and over in the Bible.
I’ve published many books and rewritten many older works for
easy reading (here’s a few: Puritan
Prayers, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, Declaration of Independence, Bill of
Rights). I realized that Edwards powerful sermon was something
sorely needed by the world of the 21st century. Make no mistake – the
thoughts and the outline of this message are originally Jonathan Edwards’ (from
God first, of course). As a preacher, I would not be worthy to do his
laundry. I just felt, given our different vocabulary and reading skills of
today, it was time to write a version of his sermon for the 21st-century
This is NOT a word-for-word translation, but a paraphrase of
Jonathan Edwards’ message in my own words and style. I have followed the
outline and thought pattern of his message, and added my own thoughts where I
believe them to be applicable to our times (my additions are identified by
This message by Jonathan Edwards is not only a classic, but
it was also the spark that lit a revival all across America. Why not a
revival today? America has been soft-pedaled a feel-good, “Jesus will
improve your life,” positive-self-esteem Word of God for many decades. The
result is a weak Church, a worldly people, and a far-too-casual attitude about
sin… accompanied by a lack of fear about the reality of Hell for those who do
not obey God.
Send this to your lost friends. Send it to those who profess
Christ both don’t actually live like Christians. Send it to the leaders of your
church and encourage them to make it available to everyone they know.