Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Short Summary
Jonathan Edwards delivers a theological sermon that is divided into three parts. In the first section, he describes the way followed by humans as a “slippery path.” The meaning, in this case, is that people find it hard to live a moral life and keep sinning. When walking on a slippery surface, one is bound to fall or fail. The only way humans can prevent themselves from falling if they trust in God. He warns that people should not commit even the sins they consider small. His conclusion of this section is that it is only by the pleasure of God that people who sin are not in hell today.
In the second path, the author goes on to give further elaboration on the issues of sinning, the nature of God, and religion. He says that it is only God that can determine what happens to people after they die. His main point is to emphasize on the omnipotence of God’s power. The author maintains that all laws should be constituted according to the will of God. Besides, being intellects do not prevent people from committing sins. When people believe with their hearts and emotionally engage with God, they can become transformed.
The third section forms a bulk of this sermon. He addresses not only the audience listening but also the global crowd. Jonathan describes hell as an uncomfortable place where there are fire and brimstone. If people do follow the commandments of God, there is no other option but to go to hell. He does not understand the logic behind people who do not follow the ways of God. Edwards describes them as people who are running away from the truth and are thus being judged.
To try and persuade people to move to God, the author states that God is mighty. The only way people can avoid walking the slippery slope is if they follow God’s ways. He insists that God does not separate sins by measuring their degrees. Instead, He punishes people equally.
In the last part, Edward encourages people that they should go back to God. He says that God is always ready to receive those who want to be forgiven. The author invites people regardless of their background or age to receive salvation as the only way to avoid the wrath of God is to follow the commandments. People should make an emotional decision immediately.