Terrorists in the Hand of an Angry God

Jim Allen

Jonathan Edwards preached a message so disturbing that it led to the First Great Awakening in America in the 1730s. Thousands hearing the message came under pronounced conviction, fell prostrate before the Lord, and pleaded for mercy and deliverance.

While some today would label this eighteenth-century message of repentance as terrorism, it was not. It was a warning, just like a mother warning a child about to cross the road. As the mother's warning is a message of love, so too was Edwards' passionate message to those in the hands of an angry God (Isaiah 26:21).

One of the most terrifying forms of evil today is religious extremism, a living serpent-like being slithering about in the shadow of its own darkness. These religious radicals accuse America of doing great wrongs against them and humanity. Unlike Edwards' message of repentance, the terrorists have a message for America and its message is judgment! Their intent is to bring jihad to America and place every American under Sharia law. To resist would be a fate too horrible to imagine.

If Jonathan Edwards could be transported to the 21st century and speak at the 9/11 memorial service in New York this week, what message would he send to Islamic terrorists who cloak themselves in black and dress American hostages in orange?

Edwards would say:
Were it not for the sovereign...God, the earth would not bear you one moment; for you are a burden to it; the creation groans with you; the creature is made subject to the bondage of your corruption, not willingly; the sun does not willingly shine upon you to give you light to serve sin and Satan; the earth does not willingly yield her increase to satisfy your lusts; nor is it willingly a stage for your wickedness to be acted upon; the air does not willingly serve you for breath to maintain the flames of life in your vitals, while you spend your life in the services of God's enemies.*
If Edwards were to change the audience for his 9/11 memorial service from terrorist to America, what message would he give us? His message would be the same because the church has lost its soul and America has thrown away its moral compass at the wish of some liberals who want nothing more to do with God. But, Edwards might also say to America:
There are black clouds of God's wrath now hanging directly over your heads, full of the dreadful storm...and were it not for the restraining hand of God, it would immediately bust forth upon you...and your destruction would come like a whirlwind, and you would be like the chaff of the summer threshing floor.*
After hearing these words of warning from Edwards, many would stand up and shout back, accusing the preacher of fear-mongering and terroristic threats.

But then Edwards would remind them of the unborn millions they have flushed down toilets, cremated, and discarded in landfills because the unborn are an inconvenience to them. Edwards would remind them (from the perspective of the unborn with no voice) that they are no different from ISIS that kills its own people. He would charge that the only difference between legalized American slaughter and Islamic slaughter (of the innocent) is method: one uses surgical tools in a sterile clinic and the other uses soiled knives in a dust-fill ditch.

The difference between ISIL and America is one kills innocents with surgical tools and the other with soiled knives.

How is it possible for men to reason and then justify such horror? It must be easy because America systematically exterminates thousands of children every day and has for the last fifty years. How is our "holocaust of innocent lives" any different from what ISIS is doing?

People who do evil are a burden to God. They cause all of creation to groan and the earth to mourn the great evil living upon it. Both the American and Islamic terrorists live in a common bond to evil and the difference between the two is hardly discernible. The sun does not willingly shine on either nor does the air willingly give both breath to live one moment more.

If this sounds harsh, it is meant to be on those who are sinning away the day of grace. While God is merciful and patient, the clock of judgment is ticking and the day of repentance for the American terrorists is far spent (2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 1:9).

Is there a Jonathan Edwards among us who could this day preach a message so disturbing that it would lead America to a new Great Awakening? Could millions hearing the message come under great conviction and fall prostrate before the Lord and plead for mercy and deliverance?

Let us pray it will be so (2 Chronicles 7:14).

*The cited text in this article from Jonathan Edwards is an excerpt from the actual message written in his book entitled "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." While Edward's hell-fire message would indeed be appropriate and fitting for today's terrorists, the actual message was given in Enfield, Connecticut on July 8, 1741 to regular church-goers.

Image Credit:
Aslan Media; "Sharia"; Creative Commons
Brianne; "Pro-Choice Supporter"; Creative Commons

TagsBiblical-Truth  |  Controversial-Issues  |  Current-Issues  |  Political-Issues  |  Sin-Evil

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Published 9-9-2014