Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Words Of J.C. Ryle

J.C. Ryle is one of my all time favorite authors, so I was very excited a few months ago when I found a ministry that sends out emails every weekday with a different quote by J.C. Ryle. Now each morning when I turn on my computer I am greeted by my daily Grace Gem (which I highly recommend that you sign up to receive) and a quote by Bishop Ryle.

And since it has been several weeks since I have posted anything here I thought that today I would take several of these quotes and post them so you can see what I am talking about and why I love to read the writings of J.C. Ryle.

Know Your Doctrine
Learn to know what you mean when you talk of believing the doctrines of Christianity. Be able to give a reason of your hope. Be able to say what you think true, and what you think false in religion. And never, never forget that the only foundation of soundness of faith, is a thorough textual knowledge of the Bible.
~ J.C. Ryle: Never Perish

Dying To Know Christ 
The story of Christ’s moral teaching, self-sacrifice, example, and the need of being earnest and sincere like Him, will never smooth down a dying pillow. Christ the Teacher, Christ the great Pattern, Christ the Prophet, will not suffice.

We want something more than this! We want the old, old story of Christ dying for our sins and rising again for our justification. We want Christ the Mediator, Christ the Substitute, Christ the Intercessor, Christ the Redeemer, in order to meet with confidence the King of Terrors and say, ‘Oh death, where is your sting? Oh grave, where is your victory?’
~ J.C. Ryle:The Upper Room

The Proper Mindset at the Table
The benefit of the Lord’s Supper depends entirely on the spirit and frame of mind in which we receive it. The bread which we eat, and the wine which we drink, have no power to do good to our souls, as medicine does good to our bodies, without the co-operation of our hearts and wills.
~ J.C. Ryle: Day by Day with J.C. Ryle

A View From the Pew
There are those, of whom their congregations have said, that when they were in the pulpit—they were so good, that never wished them to come out; and when they went out of the pulpit—they were so bad, they never wished them to go in!

May God give us all grace to take that to heart! May we seek so to live, so to preach, so to work, so to give ourselves wholly to the business of our calling, that this bitter remark may never be made about us.
~ J.C. Ryle: Give Yourself Wholly to Them

Three Essentials in a True Christian
There are three things which, according to the Bible, are absolutely necessary to the salvation of every man and woman in Christendom. These three are: justification, regeneration, and sanctification. All three meet in every child of God: he is both born again, justified and sanctified.

He that lacks any one of these things is not a true Christian in the sight of God, and dying in that condition will not be found in heaven and glorified in the last day.
~ J.C. Ryle: Faithfulness and Holiness: The Witness of J.C. Ryle

The Main Cause of Backsliding
Now what is the cause of most backslidings? I believe, as a general rule, one of the chief causes is neglect of private prayer. You may be very sure men fall in private long before they fall in public. They are backsliders on their knees long before they backslide openly in the eyes of the world.
~ J.C. Ryle: A Call to Prayer

Christ’s Demonstration of Salvation
There is one great work which the Lord Jesus Christ has done and finished completely. That work is the work of atonement, sacrifice, and substitution.

He saw us ruined by the fall, a world of poor, lost, shipwrecked sinners. He did not sit in heaven pitying us from a distance. He did not stand upon the shore and see the wreck, and behold poor drowning sinners struggling in vain to get to shore.

He plunged into the waters Himself. He came off to the wreck, and took part with us in our weakness and infirmity, becoming a man to save our souls.”
~ J.C. Ryle: Old Paths

The Dissatisfaction of Money 
Money, in truth, is one of the most unsatisfying of possessions. It takes away some cares, no doubt; but it brings with it quite as many cares as it takes away.

There is trouble in the getting of it. There is the anxiety in the keeping it. There are the temptations in the use of it. There is the guilt in the abuse of it. There is the sorrow in the losing of it. There is the perplexity in the disposing of it.

Two-thirds of all the strifes, quarrels, and lawsuits in the world, arise from one simple cause – money!
~ J.C. Ryle: Practical Religion

Take Heed What You Read
Do not let newspapers, novels, and romances be read, while the prophets and Apostles be despised. Do not let the exciting and sensual swallow up your attention, while the edifying and the sanctifying can find no place in your mind.

Young men, give the Bible the honor due to it every day you live. Whatever you read, read that first. And beware of bad books: there are plenty in this day. Take heed what you read.
~ J.C. Ryle:Thoughts For Young Men

Let Us Glory in the Cross 
Let us ever glory in the cross of Christ; let us regard it as the source of all our hopes, and the foundation of all our peace. Ignorance and unbelief may see nothing in the sufferings of Calvary but the cruel martyrdom of an innocent person: faith will look far deeper; faith will see in the death of Jesus the payment of man’s enormous debt to God, and the complete salvation of all who believe.
~ J.C. Ryle: Day by Day with J.C. Ryle

Our Compassionate Savior 
Let us remember that the eye of our loving Savior is upon us, morning, noon and night. He will never suffer us to be tempted above that we are able to bear. He can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, for He suffered Himself being tempted.

He knows what battles and conflicts are, for He Himself was assaulted by the Prince of this world. Having such a High Priest, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
~ J.C. Ryle: Faithfulness and Holiness: The Witness of J.C. Ryle

Hold Your Possessions Loosely 
Are you prosperous in the world? Have death, sickness, disappointment, poverty, and family troubles passed over your door up to this time and not come in? Are you secretly saying to yourself, ‘Nothing can hurt me much. I shall die quietly in my bed and see no sorrow.’ Take care.

You are not yet in harbor. A sudden storm of unexpected trouble may make you change your note. Set not your affection on things below. Hold them with a very loose hand and be ready to surrender them at a moment’s notice. Use your prosperity well while you have it; but lean not all your weight on it, lest it break suddenly and pierce your hand.
~ J.C. Ryle: Practical Religion

Never Be Ashamed of Christ! 
Live a courageous life, my brethren. Confess Christ before men. Whatever station you occupy, in that station confess Christ. Why should you be ashamed of Him? He was not ashamed of you on the cross. He is ready to confess you now before His Father in heaven. Why should you be ashamed of Him?

Be bold. Be very bold. The good soldier is not ashamed of his uniform. The true believer ought never be ashamed of Christ.
~ J.C. Ryle: Warnings to the Churches

Do You Ignore the Lord’s Table? 
Nothing can possibly be of small importance which the Lord Jesus Christ ordained and appointed. Our Lord most distinctly commanded His disciples to ‘eat bread’ and ‘drink wine’ in remembrance of Him. What right has any Christian to disobey this commandment?

No doubt a man may be saved, like the penitent thief, without having received the Lord’s Supper. It is not a matter of absolute and indispensable necessity, like repentance, faith, and conversion. But it is impossible to say that any professing Christian is in a safe, healthy, or satisfactory condition of soul, who habitually refuses to obey Christ and attend the Lord’s Table.
~ J.C. Ryle:The Upper Room

Take Heed What You Read
Do not let newspapers, novels, and romances be read, while the prophets and Apostles be despised. Do not let the exciting and sensual swallow up your attention, while the edifying and the sanctifying can find no place in your mind.

Young men, give the Bible the honor due to it every day you live. Whatever you read, read that first. And beware of bad books: there are plenty in this day. Take heed what you read.
~ J.C. Ryle: Thoughts For Young Men

Humbly Believing In God’s Election 
Is the doctrine of Election plainly stated in Scripture? This is the whole question which an honest Christian has to do with. If it is not in the Book of God, let it be forever discarded, refused and rejected by man, no matter who propounds it.

If it is there, let us receive it with reverence, as part of Divine revelation and humbly believe, even where we are not able to understand completely or explain fully.
~ J.C. Ryle: Old Paths

The First Mark of Conversion 
A habit of prayer is one of the surest marks of a true Christian. All the children of God on earth are alike in this respect. From the moment there is any life and reality about their religion, they pray. Just as the first sign of the life of an infant when born into the world is the act of breathing, so the first act of men and women when they are born again is praying.
~ J.C. Ryle: A Call to Prayer

Dying With The Bible in Hand
There is but one fountain of comfort for a man drawing near to his end, and that is the Bible. Chapters out of the Bible, texts out of the Bible, statements of truth taken out of the Bible, books containing matter drawn from the Bible – these are a man’s only chance of comfort when he comes to die.
~ J.C. Ryle: How Readest Thou?

The Key to Your Salvation 
You may be saved, and reach heaven without many things which men reckon of great importance — without riches, without learning, without books, without worldly comforts, without health, without house, without land, without friends — but without Regeneration you will never be saved at all.
~ J.C. Ryle: Are You Regenerate?

Bring Your Mind to Church
Let us take with us to church, not only our bodies, but our minds, our reason, our hearts and our consciences. Let us often ask ourselves, ‘What have I got from this sermon?’, ‘What have I learned?’, ‘What truths have been impressed on my mind?’.

The heart is unquestionably the main point: but we must never forget that the Holy Ghost generally reaches the heart through the mind. Sleepy, idle, inattentive hearers are never likely to be converted.
~ J.C. Ryle: Expository Thoughts on the Gospels

Careless Christianity? 
Sanctification is a thing which depends greatly on a diligent use of Scriptural means. When I speak of ‘means’, I have in view Bible-reading, private prayer, regular attendance on public worship, regular hearing of God’s Word, and regular reception of the Lord’s Supper.

I lay it down as a simple matter of fact, that no one who is careless about such things must ever expect to make much progress in sanctification. I can find no record of any eminent saint who ever neglected them.
~ J.C. Ryle: Faithfulness and Holiness: The Witness of J.C. Ryle

Examining Your Debt to Christ 
How is it that many who profess and call themselves Christians, do so little for the Savior whose name they bear? How is it that many, whose faith and grace it would be uncharitable to deny, work so little, give to little, say so little, take so little pains to promote Christ’s cause and bring glory to Christ in the world?

These questions admit of only one answer. It is a low sense of debt and obligation to Christ, which is the amount of the whole matter. Let us daily pray that we may see the sinfulness of sin, and the amazing grace of Christ, more clearly and distinctly.
~ J.C. Ryle: Day by Day with J.C. Ryle

Boldly Proclaiming God’s Word
Let us pray to be kept from corrupting God’s Word. Let neither fear nor favor of man induce us to keep back, or avoid, or change, or mutilate, or qualify any text in the Bible. Surely we ought to have holy boldness when we speak as ambassadors of God. We have no reason to be ashamed of any statement we make in our pulpits so long as it is Scriptural.
~ J.C. Ryle:Warnings to the Churches

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Revelation Chapter 1, Part 1 - Introduction

I was looking back over some of the studies that I have already posted here on The Christian Journey and I realized that when I began posting the study of the book of Revelation is was as a study on the seven churches which begins in chapter two and I never went back and picked up chapter one. Instead I have just continued on and posted studies on chapters four and five. So before I move on to chapter six in that study I thought I would go back and post a series of studies on chapter one. I pray that you find this helpful and that through this (and everything else I post) that you will grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Revelation Chapter 1, Part 1

Chapter one begins with the words “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” and this is what we need to remember as we study this book. This book was not given to us so that we can debate over the chronology of end time events, or so that we can speculate on what the ten horns on the beast might be. The purpose of this book is to reveal Jesus Christ. In this book we will see Jesus not as the suffering servant of the Gospels, but as the risen King, and the Judge of the world.

We will break this chapter down into three sections as follows:

    Introduction (verses 1-3)
    Greeting (verses 4-8)
    John’s vision of Jesus (verses 9-20)

Let’s jump right in and see what we can learn.

Introduction (Verses 1-3)
The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
Revelation 1:1-3
As I have already pointed out, Revelation begins with the words “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” and that is, first and foremost, what this book is. Merriam Webster defines the word Revelation this way:
An act of revealing or communicating divine truth: something that is revealed by God to humans. 1
The word comes from the Greek word apokálupsis, which means to reveal, uncover, unveil, disclose. Dr Zodhiates says that this is:
One of three words referring to the Second Coming of Christ. The other two words are epipháneia appearing and parousía coming, presence. Apokálupsis, a grander and more comprehensive word, includes not merely the thing shown and seen but the interpretation, the unveiling of the same. 2
So what we will see here is the unveiling of Jesus Christ. This is telling us that the book of Revelation is an open book, that is, it is a revealing of God’s plan.  By way of comparison let’s look at what Daniel was told when his prophecy was written:
But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.
Daniel 12:4
When Daniel was given his prophecy he was told that the book was to be sealed, or shut up, until the end of time. When John received this prophecy; however, he was told that he was to write it down and share it with his fellow servants because he was going to be shown the things that “must soon take place.”

Daniel also tells us “there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries” (Daniel 2:28) and that is exactly what He is doing here; God is revealing to the church the mystery of what is to come. But as we will see in a few verses that is actually that third part of the book; first John will tell us the things that he has seen, and then the things that are.

Next notice that this is the Revelation that God the Father gave to His Son Jesus. The use of the word “gave” here implies that this was a gift from the Father to the Son, but for what purpose would God the Father give a gift to Jesus? Some have tied this back to Mark 13:32 where Jesus said, speaking of His second coming, “Of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” John MacArthur points out that there are two “insurmountable difficulties” with this view; he writes:
The most obvious one is that the book of Revelation nowhere gives the day or hour of Christ’s return. Thus, it does not contain the very information the Father was supposedly revealing to the Son. Further, the glorified, ascended Son resumed the full use of His divine attributes more than half a century before the book of Revelation was written. Being fully God and omniscient, He had no need for anyone to give Him any information.3
So why is Jesus receiving this gift from His Father? To see the answer to this question we must go back to Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Speaking of Jesus, Paul said:
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:6-11
Here what we see is that because Jesus humbled Himself to become a man, and because He was obedient to the Father’s will even to the point of death, His Father highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name. Every knee will one day bow before Him, and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. Again John MacArthur writes:
Christ’s exaltation, promised in the last three verses (9–11) of that passage, is described in detail in the book of Revelation. It thus contains the full disclosure of the glory that will be Christ’s at His return—His ultimate reward from the Father for His faithfulness during His humiliation.4
So the answer to the question then is this; the Father, by giving this Revelation to Jesus to show to His followers, is telling us that Jesus, because of His faithfulness and obedience, has been exalted to the highest place of honor, and this Revelation lays out, in detail, what that exaltation looks like.

The next thing we see in these verses is the progression of the message. Verse one tells us that God gave this Revelation to Jesus to show to His bond-servants. The word that is translated here, as “bond-servant” is the Greek word doúlos, and it means:
A slave, one who is in a permanent relation of servitude to another, his will being altogether consumed in the will of the other.5 
This word, according to Dr. Vine was:
Originally the lowest term in the scale of servitude, came also to mean “one who gives himself up to the will of another.” 6
What a perfect picture of what it means to be a Christian. As a bond-servant we willingly put ourselves in into a permanent relationship of servitude under the authority of Jesus. Our will becomes subject to His will and we give ourselves up in service to Him. This is not a concept that is unique to the book of Revelation; Paul used this term many times to describe himself and his relation to Jesus.

To understand the concept of a bond-servant we need to look back to the Old Testament books of Exodus and Deuteronomy where we can see the Jewish origins of this position.
Now these are the rules that you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,6 then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.
Exodus 21:1-6

If your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you, he shall serve you six years, and in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. And when you let him go free from you, you shall not let him go empty-handed. You shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your winepress. As the Lord your God has blessed you, you shall give to him. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today. But if he says to you, ‘I will not go out from you,’ because he loves you and your household, since he is well-off with you, then you shall take an awl, and put it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your slave forever. And to your female slave you shall do the same.
Deuteronomy 15:12-17

From these two passages we can see that a bond-servant was one who has chosen to be in a relationship of subservience to his master. This is not one who has been forced into bondage, but one who has, because of his love for his master, chosen to submit himself to his masters will. As a bond-servant he has forever and willingly given up all of his own rights and his own will to do the will of his master.

Paul uses this term to describe himself at the beginning of three of his epistles (Rom. 1:1, Phil 1:1, Titus 1:1) and in each of these instances it precedes his mention of apostleship indicating that his position as a bond-servant of Christ was of greater significance to him than his position as an apostle. And this is the term that is used here in Revelation to describe the followers of Christ; we are told that this is the Revelation of Jesus Christ that God gave Him to show His bond-servants. (For more on this topic see the post Servants or Slaves)

Continuing in verse one we see is that this revelation was given to show us the things “which must shortly take place.” This is an interesting phrase, and it is the reason that some scholars, know as preterits, believe that this book was written to prophesy the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. They reason that the book was written during the time of Nero (about 65 A.D.) before the fall of Jerusalem, and that it was a warning to the Jews living at that time about the things that were about to happen. They also argue that since the book doesn’t contain anything about this event, one of the most significant in Jewish history, it therefore stands to reason that this is what the book was warning about.

Those with a pre-tribulational position also use this phrase to support their position that the return of Christ is imminent. They argue that this phrase means that the events contained in the book of Revelation will take place “soon.” But this Greek phrase can also mean that once the events described in this book begin they will continue in a rapid-fire fashion, and will all be accomplished in a very short period of time. This point can definitely be argued since all of the judgments contained herein will come to completion in the span of just seven years. Warren Wiersbe says here:
The phrase… “shortly come to pass” (v. 1) [does] not mean that these prophecies were to be fulfilled right away in John’s day. Rather, they indicate how swiftly time will transpire when they are fulfilled. 7
So the question that must be answered here is this: is John talking about how the events will happen, or when the events will happen? Robert Van Kampen in his commentary on Revelation put it this way:
Theologically, for John to state that the events depicted in Revelation will happen soon, with reference to time, contradicts Matthew 24:36. Matthew 24:36 states, ‘But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.’ Therefore, John could not say how soon the Lord might return or how soon the events connected with His return might transpire unless God gave him direct revelation.8
For this reason I believe that John is telling us how and not when these events will take place.

Continuing then in verse 1 we see that Jesus sent and communicated this message, by means of His angel, to His bond-servant John. As we move throughout the book we will see that at several times John is receiving this message from an angel, but we will also see John getting pieces of it from the elders, the living creatures and from Jesus Himself. But Jesus communicates the majority of this revelation to John through His angel. The Greek word translated angel here is the word ággelos, which simply means messenger.

We also see here in verse one the use again of the term bond-servant. This time used to describe John himself. Just like Paul, James, Jude, and Peter, John does not bring any special attention to himself. He doesn’t say that he was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, he doesn’t draw attention to his apostleship, he simply says that he is John, the bond-servant of Jesus.

Now, moving into verse two we are told that John “bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ”. With this simple sentence John is telling us that he took no literary license with the recording of this book – he didn’t embellish anything; he simply bore witness to what he saw – the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Like the prophets in the Old Testament, who received the “word of the Lord”, John is also receiving the word of God, and the word that he is receiving is the testimony of the risen and glorified Son of God; Jesus Christ the Almighty.

This is not the first time we have heard this from John. This is the same way he began his first epistle:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:1-3

This should be the passion of every Christian. We know God, and we know His Son. All that we need to do is share what we have seen and heard with this lost and dying world. Jesus said that if He is lifted up He would draw all men to Himself (John 12:32). Getting people ‘saved’ is not our responsibility - that is the work of the Holy Spirit. We are simply to lift up Jesus and declare what we see and hear as we grow closer to Him through His word; He will draw men to Himself. This is what John is doing here; it was the pattern of His life.

In verse three we see the first promise of blessing in the book of Revelation. This blessing is promised first to the one who reads the book, and then to the one who hears, and heeds, what is written in it. In the church of the first century it was very uncommon for the congregation to have in there possession more than one copy of the Scriptures since all copying was done by hand and the expense of doing so was beyond the means of most people. So it was the practice of these early Christians to have someone, usually the leader of the congregation, read aloud from the Scriptures whenever they assembled together. What we are being told here is that there is a blessing promised to the one who reads aloud the book of Revelation.

Secondly, we are also told that there is a blessing for those who hear and heed what is written here. Note that this promised blessing is not promised to these who hear only, but to those who act upon what they hear. This is no different than what we read in the letter of James:
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
James 1:22-25 (NASB)
John then ends his introduction by telling us that the time is near. He is not here telling us that he has knowledge as to when the events he is describing will take place; what he is pointing out is that the events contained in this prophecy are the next events to take place in the plan of God. Again, Robert Van Kampen writes:
Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost indicated that the coming of the Holy Spirit is a mark of the ‘last days.’ We are presently living in the ‘last days.’ Thus, a literal physical reign (kingdom) of God is the next event on the agenda of God. It is near. 9

1 Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary. Includes index. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, Inc.
2 Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.) (G602). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.
3 MacArthur, J. (1999). Revelation 1-11 (17). Chicago: Moody Press.
4 MacArthur, J. (1999). Revelation 1-11 (18). Chicago: Moody Press.
5 Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.) (G1401). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.
6 Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W. (1996). Vine's complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words (2:73). Nashville: T. Nelson.
7 Wiersbe, W. W. (1997, c1992). Wiersbe's expository outlines on the New Testament (795). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.
8 Van Kampen, Robert.  Revelation Commentary Ch1 Pg2 (© Orlando Fl.: Sola Scriptura
9 Van Kampen, Robert.  Revelation Commentary Ch1 Pg3 (© Orlando Fl.: Sola Scriptura

Next time we will look at John's greeting in verses 4-8.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God

In 1741 Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon that many feel is the greatest sermon ever preached - Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. While I take some time to study and write some new posts I encourage you to take some time and read the outline to this great sermon below, and if you have a few minutes click on the link at the bottom of the page and give it a listen.

Sinners in the hands of an angry God!
Jonathan Edwards

"Vengeance belongs to Me--I will repay! Their foot shall slide in due time, for their day of disaster is near, and their doom is coming quickly!" Deuteronomy 32:35

OBSERVATION: There is nothing which keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell--but the mere pleasure of God.

 1. There is no lack of power in God, to cast wicked men into hell at any moment.

 2. They deserve to be cast into hell.

 3. They are already under a sentence of condemnation to hell.

 4. They are now the objects of that very same anger and wrath of God, that is expressed in the torments of hell.

 5. The devil stands ready to fall upon them--and seize them as his own--at whatever moment God shall permit him!

 6. There are those hellish principles reigning in the souls of wicked men, which would presently kindle and flame out into hell fire--if it were not for God's restraints.

 7. It is no security to wicked men for one moment--that there are no visible means of death at hand.

 8. Unsaved men's prudence and care to preserve their own lives--do not secure them from death for a single moment!

 9. All wicked men's pains and contrivances which they use to escape hell, while they continue to reject Christ--do not secure them from hell for one moment!

10. God has laid Himself under no obligation, by any promise--to keep any unsaved man out of hell, for one moment!

1. Consider more particularly--WHOSE wrath it is!

2. Consider--that is the fierceness of God's wrath, which you are exposed to!

3.  Consider--that the misery you are exposed to, is that which God will inflict to that end--that He might show what His almighty wrath is!

4. Consider--that it is EVERLASTING wrath!