In "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," whom is God prepared to send to Hell?

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jeffclark eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The time during which this sermon was presented and the conditions of the religious world must be understood in order to get the true picture of Edwards' sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God."

There was so much going on in the church both in Europe and America that prompted this sermon. King Henry VIII had started his own church after the Pope would not let him do what he wanted in divorcing his wife and marrying another, giving the impression that the king was above religion. Others were discouraged over the political and economic conditions on both sides of the Atlantic, causing people's convictions concerning religion to wane.

Edwards, being a Reform Theologian, was concerned about all of this and wanted to make the point that, in answer to the question, God was prepared to send anyone to hell who did not obey him. No exceptions. The only thing that kept anyone at any time from being sent to Hell is the Grace and Mercy of God.

He does give a "come to Jesus" moment at the end, so the sermon is not all "gloom and doom", but it is a very clear appeal to shake to awareness.

Read the study guide:
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

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