Contend Earnestly: Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God: Part II

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God: Part II

Application
The use of this awful subject may be for awakening unconverted persons in this congregation. This that you have heard is the case of every one of you that are out of Christ. -- That world of misery, that lake of burning brimstone, is extended abroad under you. There is the dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God; there is hell's wide gaping mouth open; and you have nothing to stand upon, nor any thing to take hold of; there is nothing between you and hell but the air; it is only the power and mere pleasure of God that holds you up.

You probably are not sensible of this; you find you are kept out of hell, but do not see the hand of God in it; but look at other things, as the good state of your bodily constitution, your care of your own life, and the means you use for your own preservation. But indeed these things are nothing; if God should withdraw his hand, they would avail no more to keep you from falling, than the thin air to hold up a person that is suspended in it.

Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf, and your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider's web would have to stop a falling rock. Were it not for the sovereign pleasure of 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 flame of life in your vitals, while you spend your life in the service of God's enemies. God's creatures are good, and were made for men to serve God with, and do not willingly subserve to any other purpose, and groan when they are abused to purposes so directly contrary to their nature and end. And the world would spew you out, were it not for the sovereign hand of him who hath subjected it in hope. There are the black clouds of God's wrath now hanging directly over your heads, full of the dreadful storm, and big with thunder; and were it not for the restraining hand of God, it would immediately burst forth upon you. The sovereign pleasure of God, for the present, stays his rough wind; otherwise it would come with fury, and your destruction would come like a whirlwind, and you would be like the chaff on the summer threshing floor.

The wrath of God is like great waters that are dammed for the present; they increase more and more, and rise higher and higher, till an outlet is given; and the longer the stream is stopped, the more rapid and mighty is its course, when once it is let loose. It is true, that judgment against your evil works has not been executed hitherto; the floods of God's vengeance have been withheld; but your guilt in the mean time is constantly increasing, and you are every day treasuring up more wrath; the waters are constantly rising, and waxing more and more mighty; and there is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, that holds the waters back, that are unwilling to be stopped, and press hard to go forward. If God should only withdraw his hand from the flood-gate, it would immediately fly open, and the fiery floods of the fierceness and wrath of God, would rush forth with inconceivable fury, and would come upon you with omnipotent power; and if your strength were ten thousand times greater than it is, yea, ten thousand times greater than the strength of the stoutest, sturdiest devil in hell, it would be nothing to withstand or endure it.

The bow of God's wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and justice bends the arrow at your heart, and strains the bow, and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry God, without any promise or obligation at all, that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood. Thus all you that never passed under a great change of heart, by the mighty power of the Spirit of God upon your souls; all you that were never born again, and made new creatures, and raised from being dead in sin, to a state of new, and before altogether unexperienced light and life, are in the hands of an angry God. However you may have reformed your life in many things, and may have had religious affections, and may keep up a form of religion in your families and closets, and in the house of God, it is nothing but his mere pleasure that keeps you from being this moment swallowed up in everlasting destruction. However unconvinced you may now be of the truth of what you hear, by and by you will be fully convinced of it. Those that are gone from being in the like circumstances with you, see that it was so with them; for destruction came suddenly upon most of them; when they expected nothing of it, and while they were saying, Peace and safety: now they see, that those things on which they depended for peace and safety, were nothing but thin air and empty shadows.

The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you was suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God's hand has held you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell.

O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment. -- And consider here more particularly,

Whose wrath it is: it is the wrath of the infinite God. If it were only the wrath of man, though it were of the most potent prince, it would be comparatively little to be regarded. The wrath of kings is very much dreaded, especially of absolute monarchs, who have the possessions and lives of their subjects wholly in their power, to be disposed of at their mere will. Prov. 20:2. "The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: Whoso provoketh him to anger, sinneth against his own soul." The subject that very much enrages an arbitrary prince, is liable to suffer the most extreme torments that human art can invent, or human power can inflict. But the greatest earthly potentates in their greatest majesty and strength, and when clothed in their greatest terrors, are but feeble, despicable worms of the dust, in comparison of the great and almighty Creator and King of heaven and earth. It is but little that they can do, when most enraged, and when they have exerted the utmost of their fury. All the kings of the earth, before God, are as grasshoppers; they are nothing, and less than nothing: both their love and their hatred is to be despised. The wrath of the great King of kings, is as much more terrible than theirs, as his majesty is greater. Luke 12:4,5. "And I say unto you, my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that, have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom you shall fear: fear him, which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell: yea, I say unto you, Fear him."

It is the fierceness of his wrath that you are exposed to. We often read of the fury of God; as in Isa. 59:18. "According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay fury to his adversaries." So Isa. 66:15. "For behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire." And in many other places. So, Rev. 19:15, we read of "the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." The words are exceeding terrible. If it had only been said, "the wrath of God," the words would have implied that which is infinitely dreadful: but it is "the fierceness and wrath of God." The fury of God! the fierceness of Jehovah! Oh, how dreadful that must be! Who can utter or conceive what such expressions carry in them! But it is also "the fierceness and wrath of almighty God." As though there would be a very great manifestation of his almighty power in what the fierceness of his wrath should inflict, as though omnipotence should be as it were enraged, and exerted, as men are wont to exert their strength in the fierceness of their wrath. Oh! then, what will be the consequence! What will become of the poor worms that shall suffer it! Whose hands can be strong? And whose heart can endure? To what a dreadful, inexpressible, inconceivable depth of misery must the poor creature be sunk who shall be the subject of this!

Consider this, you that are here present, that yet remain in an unregenerate state. That God will execute the fierceness of his anger, implies, that he will inflict wrath without any pity. When God beholds the ineffable extremity of your case, and sees your torment to be so vastly disproportioned to your strength, and sees how your poor soul is crushed, and sinks down, as it were, into an infinite gloom; he will have no compassion upon you, he will not forbear the executions of his wrath, or in the least lighten his hand; there shall be no moderation or mercy, nor will God then at all stay his rough wind; he will have no regard to your welfare, nor be at all careful lest you should suffer too much in any other sense, than only that you shall not suffer beyond what strict justice requires. Nothing shall be withheld, because it is so hard for you to bear. Ezek. 8:18. "Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity; and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet I will not hear them." Now God stands ready to pity you; this is a day of mercy; you may cry now with some encouragement of obtaining mercy. But when once the day of mercy is past, your most lamentable and dolorous cries and shrieks will be in vain; you will be wholly lost and thrown away of God, as to any regard to your welfare. God will have no other use to put you to, but to suffer misery; you shall be continued in being to no other end; for you will be a vessel of wrath fitted to destruction; and there will be no other use of this vessel, but to be filled full of wrath. God will be so far from pitying you when you cry to him, that it is said he will only "laugh and mock," Prov. 1:25,26,etc.

How awful are those words, Isa. 63:3, which are the words of the great God. "I will tread them in mine anger, and will trample them in my fury, and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment." It is perhaps impossible to conceive of words that carry in them greater manifestations of these three things, viz. contempt, and hatred, and fierceness of indignation. If you cry to God to pity you, he will be so far from pitying you in your doleful case, or showing you the least regard or favour, that instead of that, he will only tread you under foot. And though he will know that you cannot bear the weight of omnipotence treading upon you, yet he will not regard that, but he will crush you under his feet without mercy; he will crush out your blood, and make it fly, and it shall be sprinkled on his garments, so as to stain all his raiment. He will not only hate you, but he will have you in the utmost contempt: no place shall be thought fit for you, but under his feet to be trodden down as the mire of the streets.

The misery you are exposed to is that which God will inflict to that end, that he might show what that wrath of Jehovah is. God hath had it on his heart to show to angels and men, both how excellent his love is, and also how terrible his wrath is. Sometimes earthly kings have a mind to show how terrible their wrath is, by the extreme punishments they would execute on those that would provoke them. Nebuchadnezzar, that mighty and haughty monarch of the Chaldean empire, was willing to show his wrath when enraged with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; and accordingly gave orders that the burning fiery furnace should be heated seven times hotter than it was before; doubtless, it was raised to the utmost degree of fierceness that human art could raise it. But the great God is also willing to show his wrath, and magnify his awful majesty and mighty power in the extreme sufferings of his enemies. Rom. 9:22. "What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction?" And seeing this is his design, and what he has determined, even to show how terrible the unrestrained wrath, the fury and fierceness of Jehovah is, he will do it to effect. There will be something accomplished and brought to pass that will be dreadful with a witness. When the great and angry God hath risen up and executed his awful vengeance on the poor sinner, and the wretch is actually suffering the infinite weight and power of his indignation, then will God call upon the whole universe to behold that awful majesty and mighty power that is to be seen in it. Isa. 33:12-14. "And the people shall be as the burnings of lime, as thorns cut up shall they be burnt in the fire. Hear ye that are far off, what I have done; and ye that are near, acknowledge my might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites," etc.

Thus it will be with you that are in an unconverted state, if you continue in it; the infinite might, and majesty, and terribleness of the omnipotent God shall be magnified upon you, in the ineffable strength of your torments. You shall be tormented in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; and when you shall be in this state of suffering, the glorious inhabitants of heaven shall go forth and look on the awful spectacle, that they may see what the wrath and fierceness of the Almighty is; and when they have seen it, they will fall down and adore that great power and majesty. Isa. 66:23,24. "And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. And they shall go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."

It is everlasting wrath. It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God one moment; but you must suffer it to all eternity. There will be no end to this exquisite horrible misery. When you look forward, you shall see a long for ever, a boundless duration before you, which will swallow up your thoughts, and amaze your soul; and you will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance, any end, any mitigation, any rest at all. You will know certainly that you must wear out long ages, millions of millions of ages, in wrestling and conflicting with this almighty merciless vengeance; and then when you have so done, when so many ages have actually been spent by you in this manner, you will know that all is but a point to what remains. So that your punishment will indeed be infinite. Oh, who can express what the state of a soul in such circumstances is! All that we can possibly say about it, gives but a very feeble, faint representation of it; it is inexpressible and inconceivable: For "who knows the power of God's anger?"


27 comments:

Ike said...

This isn't very "seeker-sensitive"!

Seth McBee said...

Ike...

Good catch

:)

Christian Beyer said...

I remember the first time I heard this sermon, when I was a member of a fundamentalist congregation in Maryland, the church where I first accepted Christ. The pastor, a brilliant young man, now teaching at seminary, was a great devotee of Edwards.

He gave this same sermon, verbatim. And I imagine he threw as much invective and venom into his presentation as Edwards did. It was very impressive - it impressed me into reconsidering what I was being taught in that church.

I now see this sermon as being one of the greatest examples of 'false teaching' that the bible ever warned against. What a terrible portrait he paints of God. Jesus says, "If you know me, you know the father". This portrait and Jesus' presentation do not jive (John's Revelation aside).

Yet if Edwards hadn't written this, if my pastor hadn't presented it, then I might still be trapped in that little church. So I personally am thankful for this sermon, but I regret all those who it may have turned away from the Gospel.

Seth McBee said...

Christian...

This comment lands right up in the top five worst comments on this blog.

You come on here and just say that this sermon, given by one of the most faithful evangelists to ever live, is false teaching and give absolutely no evidence to state this.

Congrats for doing nothing but throw mud on your own face.

If you look at the Scriptures and then again at this sermon you will notice that this sermon is filled with God's own interpretation of what is happening and what will happen to those who don't repent.

I will admit, that this sermon is hard to swallow in parts, but when you look to Scripture you can see that Edwards didn't take any liberties with what he taught.

If you are going to come and comment, please come with Scripture or keep it to yourself.

natamllc said...

I suppose Seth we agree John understood God's wrath and was willing to risk the anger of man because of it?

Here is one that has troubled my soul for years until things began coming clearer. I cannot honestly say it is clear, just that I have a sense of more clarity as to these things. Even still, I do not haste to judge anymore.

Here:

Mat 10:24 "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.
Mat 10:25 It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.
Mat 10:26 "So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
Mat 10:27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
Mat 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Mat 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.
Mat 10:30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
Mat 10:31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Ok Jesus, fear? or fear not?

Which is it?

BOTH.

Turretinfan said...

CB:

I have to agree with Seth. When you label a faithful exposition of the gospel and a warning to hypocrites as "false teaching" (without even trying to say why), you reveal only the state of your own heart.

It is not surprising that the sermon provoked a powerful reaction in you, but perhaps you have not appreciated the full significance of that reaction.

-TurretinFan

Christian Beyer said...

"The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. " J. Edwards

As opposed to:

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."
1 John 4

I guess you want me to believe that Johnathan's is more faithful than John's? I think both these men have given us glimpses into the state of their hearts as well.

But why all the anger? (Edward's that is, not yours.)

Seth McBee said...

Christian...

Seriously? Congratulations, you know how to proof text...should I clap now or later for you?

There is still a fear of God if you are not a Christian. If you are a Christian there is also a fear of God, but the difference is that this kind of fear has turned from a "trembling" fear into a reverence fear. This is why Jesus tells Peter, James and John to stand up at the transfiguration. They were still fearful in a "trembling" way. This is why it is essential to look at the Greek in these instances to get the full meaning.

But, there is still the fear of God in a trembling way that Jonathan Edwards describes because there will be a day that those who have transgressed against God will be eaten by worms in the eternal flames of hell.

This is why Jesus is called both a Lion and a Lamb.

He is a Lion coming for consumption of the sinner and a Lamb coming to show salvation to the saved.

If you really need more Scriptural proof of why Christ and God are to both be feared and not feared, let me know...

But, Jonathan Edwards describes the fear of Christ throughout this sermon in a very God honoring way.

This is why Jonathan Edwards continues to speak of "you" in this sermon because he is talking of those outside of the New Covenant.

But, even in the end, Edwards brings it back for the sinner to understand that there is hope.

Towards the end of the sermon, Edwards states:

And now you have an extraordinary opportunity, a day wherein Christ has thrown the door of mercy wide open, and stands in calling and crying with a loud voice to poor sinners

I think you need to reread the sermon and get a clearer understanding of the Christ, who is both the Lion and the Lamb.

poopemerges said...

Ah Christian...You are a wonderful proof texter...So I have one for you:

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Revelation 19:11-16

Now which is right? Yours, Mine or both? I am going to go with both...So Jesus is not just the suffering servant he is also the righteous judge...

BTW: As much as you hate reformed theology and the like it is a beautiful thing that Jesus took the wrath of God on my behalf apart from any moralism...This is a very loving God not the hateful one you are suggesting.

poopemerges said...

BTW2: You note John's Revelation...so what is the deal with that you just don't believe it?

BTW3: What did Jesus mean when he said "unless you believe I am he you will die in your sins..." Not very nice

BTW4: What was the deal with big ole' meany Jesus tipping over all those tables?

In your mind did they Crucify Jesus out of anti-nice guy bias?

M. Van Drie said...

Christian it really is too bad that the Bible never talks about the wrath of God. Oh wait it does.

One needs to be reminded of the wrath of God. If it were not for the death of Jesus all would be subject to this wrath.

A preacher is foolish if they never talk about the wrath of God. Sermons need not be fuzzy wuzzy, lovey dubby, let's all dance to be good.

Christian Beyer said...

"If you are going to come and comment, please come with Scripture or keep it to yourself."

"Congratulations, you know how to proof text...should I clap now or later for you?"

"Ah Christian...You are a wonderful proof texter...So I have one for you:"

Are you guys for real?

Anyway, it's not about fear of God (how could one not? I fear the ocean and mountains and they are nothing compared to God) but about Edward's stressing God's hatred for us. It is hard to believe someone is righteous when they claim to hate those he is judging.

God's wrath is not hatred. When I 'discipline' my children I do not hate them. I am not even always angry. That of course is not their perspective.

Please, do not suggest that "Hell" is one manifestation of God's love. No matter how that has been worked and overworked, that goes against all god-given reason.

Seth McBee said...

Christian...

Do you not get it?

There is a difference between the relationship of the Father and His children (those in the New Covenant) and those outside of the covenant.

Please read the Bible...it would really help.

That is what we are trying to get across, that is what Edwards is trying to get across and that is what Christ is trying to get across...

Please...I plead...read the whole counsel of the word of God and not just what suits you.

It would really help in discussions.

natamllc said...

CB

Help me explain this verse then:::>

Psa 50:16 But to the wicked God says, "What right have you to tell of My statutes And to take My covenant in your mouth?
Psa 50:17 "For you hate discipline, And you cast My words behind you.
Psa 50:18 "When you see a thief, you are pleased with him, And you associate with adulterers.
Psa 50:19 "You let your mouth loose in evil And your tongue frames deceit.
Psa 50:20 "You sit and speak against your brother; You slander your own mother's son.
Psa 50:21 "These things you have done and I kept silence; You thought that I was just like you; I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes.
Psa 50:22 "Now consider this, you who forget God, Or I will tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver.
Psa 50:23 "He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God."

Especially verse 22?

Christian Beyer said...

Please read the Bible...it would really help.

C'mon, Seth. Patronizing lines like this should be beneath you. Unfortunately I run across this 'argument' very often with fundamentalists. It is so easy to assume that when someone doesn't agree with your interpretation of scripture that it is due to a lack of study. But I think the remark is merely meant to provoke.

Sure Natamllc. This psalmist is chastising and warning Israel because Israel (like all countries that consider themselves to be God's chosen) have been less than 'godly'. Of course, part of the beauty of scripture is that it has relevance for both society and the individual. We have seen people and cultures who have turned against God and have resultantly been 'torn to pieces'. In the past I myself have been in this situation and thank God this is no longer the case.

Seth McBee said...

Christian...
I didn't merely leave my remark at "please read the Bible." I went on to show just a mere glimpse of how Christ is described in the New Testament and the relation to God and those in the New Covenant and those outside of the Covenant...

You decided not to engage in any of them...

You can say what you will, but it wasn't merely there for a provoke, it was there to at least have you look at the references I made to the Scriptures afterwards...

If you would like, I could keep providing more...

Would you like more on the relationship between the two?

I suspect, no

Christian Beyer said...

Well thanks for clearing that up, Seth.

Sure, I'll hear more, if you think you have a new perspective on Covenant Theology. I understand the premise and think it is an excellent tool for helping us to understand God's faithfulness towards an unfaithful people. But as for how it is used to describe the sacrifice of Christ in order to uphold the legality of a bargain - then don't bother. If in some way you can find scriptural support for the idea that God somehow loves the 'saved' and hates the 'unsaved' I am sure you will be wasting your time as well. I have read the same scriptures as you but do not see it.

Seth McBee said...

Christian.

There is no reason for me to just go back and forth with you on this stuff if you aren't going to interact with Scriptures that I have put up. I really don't understand what is so hard to realize when it comes to seeing Christ as both a Lion and a Lamb.

There are many times in Scripture this picture is put forth in all of the different parts of literature in the Bible: The Law, Poetic, Wisdom and prophetic.

Here is a couple more that I will put forth:

The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes;You hate all who do iniquity.
Psalm 5:5


Just as it is written, “JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.”
Romans 9:13


And...just because someone doesn't agree with you, doesn't mean that they are a fundamentalist...which I know you mean more like a legalist...unless I am reading you wrong.

I should just call you a universalist then and "get even" unless, that is, you are one...

natamllc said...

CB

simple question:

Is God angry when He tears a creation of His to pieces as He warns He will do there in Psalm 50:22? Psa 50:22 "Mark this, then, you who forget God, lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!


And when Paul writes to some Greeks this wouldn't be safe to bet this will even reach to our day and hour?:

1Co 10:5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.
1Co 10:6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.
1Co 10:7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, "THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY."
1Co 10:8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.
1Co 10:9 Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.
1Co 10:10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
1Co 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
1Co 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.

I will guess now and don't make me angry, :), ...that you would agree with my assertion above?

And how about this no nonsense verse:

Psa 7:11 God judges the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.


And this one too:

Mat 25:41 "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.


Don't you get a sense of what this article is all about yet?

That is: Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God?


So another couple of questions:

What exactly are you having difficulty with, Jonathan Edwards sermon and it's content or God's Word as many of us in response to your comments have asserted?

Christian Beyer said...

You are right Seth. I shouldn't label. Sorry. And no, I am not a Universalist.

Malachi 1 - God must not have loved Esau because he turned his descendants "mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals." Whereas he blessed the Israelites. Don't you think this is an example of the prophet assuming God's hatred, because why else would these people suffer so? Or did God hate Esau so that he cursed generations to follow?

natmllc, I think the word anger is used anthropomorphically here. When we step off the path that God as proscribed we find ourselves immersed in the unfortunate results of our own selfishness or the selfishness of others -wars, famine, pestilence etc.

"Never build in flood plain" and old friend of mind used to tell young people. Even if that is where the rich bottom land is. We ignore good advice and seek our own ways and eventually we have disasters like Katrina. God's wrath?

natamllc said...

CB

thanks for your dodgie answers.

Could you answer my direct questions though? :)

Christian Beyer said...

natmllc - Sorry if you think my answers are 'dodgie'. Perhaps this is because I am not sure what you're questions are. Am I to take every one of your scripture references and provide you with my interpretation?

I do not take scripture literally; meaning that I do not think that it is all uttered by God nor do I think that God 'dictated' what has been written. I believe the people who wrote scriptures were inspired just as you might say that Edwards was inspired.

So when that scripture says that God was angry or jealous or vengeful I do not necessarily believe that this is the case. Just as when the psalmist has God saying that he will tear someone into pieces I do not think that he will physically rend someone limb from limb.

There is much to be learned from scriptures, all of scripture. But we need not read it like a text book to understand the truth within.

Earlier I offered some verses from 1 John (but I understand that this was prooftexting -sorry). What do you think of what John has to say about God, love and fear? How does this support the idea that we are spiders being dangled over the flames of hell?

Seth McBee said...

Christian
I feel like we finally got to the bottom of the mystery with you.

I believe you are making a fundamental error in your trying to understand Christ.

Why would you not take the letters and the history of the Bible literally? If you wrote a letter to someone wouldn't you want them to first read it literally and then look at which parts they are to take spiritually or as hyperbole?

Jesus took the Scriptures literally as he spoke about being in the belly of the fish for three days so will Christ be in the ground.

So, did Christ really die for our sin? Is that literal? Did God create you?

What about all the quotes in the OT, "thus says the Lord"

Were the hearers just to say, "God really doesn't mean that...wink...wink..."

You are going to be able to create your own religion based on your reading of Scripture.

I fear for your understanding, I truly do. You seem to have made Christ a great moral teacher and not the One who came and died for your soul. You sound a lot like Thomas Jefferson...he was an Arian, and was not saved.



I will be praying for you.

Christian Beyer said...

...he was an Arian, and was not saved.

I think that gets to the bottom of things as well. This is an assertion that no one other than God can make.

Did Jesus die for our sins? Absolutely, but I think that might mean something different to you and I. As I don't accept TULIP as being true, this is to be expected.

If someone wrote me a letter stating that their love for me was like a 'red, red rose' I wouldn't take that literally, although I might believe them (depending upon who said it). If the writer also said that "God spoke to me" I would not take that literally either, but I would still pay attention. I might believe, depending upon who said it as well. Time, tradition, prayer, personal experience and not doctrine has convinced me of the veracity of the scriptural authors. That being said, it all must be interpreted and everyone is looking through a glass made up of their own experiences. I believe, based upon the same criteria stated above, that some of these lenses are quite foggy.

Do I believe that God speaks to people, even today? Yes, I do. I think God "speaks' to everyone, just that there are many of us who are not listening. He does this through nature, scripture, other people, other bodies of work and art. It is important to be discerning and in prayer.

I appreciate your prayers. And I believe that God can and will act on them, since not everything is pre-ordained. And I have prayed for you as well (seriously), although I won't promise to remember in the future. But that's OK, God understands. ;)

M. Van Drie said...

"Sorry if you think my answers are 'dodgie'. Perhaps this is because I am not sure what you're questions are. Am I to take every one of your scripture references and provide you with my interpretation?"

Is that what allows you to come up with any crazy interpretations that you want. How do you pick and choose which parts are true and which aren't. Is it just if you like it or not?

That is why no amount of logic will help in this discussion. If someone points out 100 verses that go against what you are saying, then you just have to say well I don't take that to be literally.

Christian Beyer said...

What is it about you folks that you all seem to speak in such strident tones? And with such absolute certainty? (See, I just did the same thing. Naughty me.)

Let me give it a try;

Why can't you see what John is saying in the verses I gave you? Why must you ignore it? Why, oh why, can you not understand it? See the truth in it? Do you choose to do this or, (gasp) are without the Spirit to guide you? Are you blinded by the way your doctrine is wedded to this world of power and status?

Sarcasm is so beneath us, isn't it? I don't really believe any that -you just see things differently than I do, but the differences are very important. I doubt if I am the only one you have encountered to see things this way. In fact, you may get a sense that a select few of you are correct and the rest of the world has gone mad.

And logic? What does logic have to do with faith? Didn't Luther say that reason was the greatest enemy of faith?

I don't think God is as easy to quantify and qualify as you might like.

natamllc said...

cb,

If I might adventure, as in "add" "venture" to your words I do want to touch on two items hereon from your words above.

The first will be easy I hope as the second? Who knows? You will hopefully tell me? Gladly I hope? :)

You make reference to our dearly departed brother Martin and his insights during his hurried day!

Hurried you might think, huh? Why say that? Well death comes one day at a time for all. Tick, tock, tick tock! Hurried was slightly an exaggeration but hurried nevertheless. For me, hurried is when I am driving my car faster than the posted speed limit because I got behind in my work and I am late for my appointment. Hurried for Martin might be something like, you have been summoned by the Pope to give an account of your revelation and reformation. How fast did he walk to make it to that appointment? Was he hurried? :)

I like it when we do use logic and as Luther said reason was the greatest enemy of faith. I agree as long as I hold back a bit until I pass and ask Luther the following question to qualify what he meant. Well no, I won't wait. I will just assert what I mean by it instead and you be the judge of it and we then can debate it if it is not reasonable then, ok?:)

Here is what I mean then about what Luther said that reason is the greatest enemy of faith:

Two verses come to mind where two separate Apostles used that word "reason"/logic. These two Apostles, both men of Faith and of our Brotherhood, Peter and Paul, where, in their session of Apostolic authority on earth on Christ's behalf, used the Greek word logikos when writing to those they were given too to give the Gospel too on God's behalf through Christ and the anointing of the Holy Ghost. The Greek word then first then the verses where it is applied:

λογικός
logikos
log-ik-os'
From G3056; rational (“logical”): - reasonable, of the word.

Check it out at Romans 12:1 and 1 Peter 2:2.

With that I would assert that Luther did not intentionally mislead his followers to the Gospel but made a distinction as to the maligning of Scripture, which I might add herein we believe you have! :) Yes, I will say you have maligned the Scriptures or maybe our dearly departed brother Luther has, perhaps?

Anyway, take it for what it is worth. If what you just read from me is of God, it will hound you to repentance. If not, it wasn't worth much then was it? :)

Secondly, to your issue with 1 John 4 then. It is here that I want to now focus with you.

You wrote above:[[God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."
1 John 4]]


Might I take you by the proverbial hand now and venture with you into 1 John 3:16?

You probably have committed to memory John 3:16.

Are you confused then seeing you want us to believe you that your understanding here is correct? And it just might be correct! :)

Let's venture then and see?

You quoted J. Edwards above:

[["The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider,....J. Edwards]]

Yes, spiders and mankind. Yes. Hell, yes. Heaven, yes yes!!

Consider this then:

1Jn 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death/thanatos into life/zoe, because we love/agapao the brothers. Whoever does not love/agapao abides in death/thanatos.
1Jn 3:15 Everyone who hates/miseo his brother is a murderer/anthropoktonos, and you know that no murderer/anthropoktonos has eternal life/zoe abiding in him.
1Jn 3:16 By this we know love/agape, that he laid down his life/psuche for us, and we ought to lay down our lives/psuches for the brothers.

What is so significant with that distinction then?

Well the meanings here. I assert that both J. Edwards and John got it right and you simply have not understood the intent then of each one.

Is not Jesus Christ totally 100% God?

Is not Jesus Christ totally 100% man?

Yes.
Yes.

So how does Jesus both keep His "eternal" Life/Zoe and lose His life/psuche?

Well, John too used logic or reason to bring it out into the light of understanding.

Well. lookee see here, so has J. Edwards and Martin Luther! See?

It's a mystery.

Jesus suffered the death/thanatos of my Wrath at the HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD AGAINST ME! Our Lord was in the grip of an Angry God for a sinner as we! Ouch!

I deserve that Wrath of God right now and I deserve to be grabbed by that ANGRY GOD by His own Hands and torn to pieces right now!

Thankfully God has had mercy on me!

I believe!


I know His mercy is Just though it is not just for me! I deserve both temporal and eternal wrath, to be torn to pieces right now!!

Don't you?

But now I can safely say that it is by "His Faith" and not mine that I have come to believe that God's anger was placed on Christ already and simply by believing that He acted as His equitable deed, dying on the cross for me, I will not perish, John 3:16.

Now, as for 1 John 3:16, here is where the rubber meets with the proverbial road of this "life/psuche". Here, will I come under His wrath and judgment then? No. Now by the regeneration work of the Holy Ghost, His sanctifying work working in me daily, I too am laying down my life/psuche as Jesus laid His life/psuche down and now my focus is on this daily venture with Christ for the rest of my days:::>

Mat 10:21 Brother will deliver brother over to death/thanatos, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death/thanatos,
Mat 10:22 and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Mat 10:23 When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
Mat 10:24 "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.
Mat 10:25 It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.
Mat 10:26 "So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
Mat 10:27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
Mat 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul/psuche and body/soma in hell.
Mat 10:29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.
Mat 10:30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
Mat 10:31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.


So, back to my question about Christ,

"Jesus", "fear" or "fear not"? Which is it Lord?

Answer: "BOTH".

Got it CB?

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