Summary: Is there really any hope left for America to be a nation "under God"?
THE PASTOR’S POINTS
sermon ministry of
CEDAR LODGE BAPTIST CHURCH
A fellowship of faith, family and friendships.
July 6, 2003
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven
against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,
who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Romans 1.18-32 (NASB)
The date was July 8, 1741, two-hundred, sixty-two years ago (minus two days). From a celebrated pulpit in Enfield, Mass, a little man with thick spectacles preached one of the most famous sermons of the last millennium.
The man’s name was Jonathan Edwards. The sermon was entitled, Sinners In the Hands of an Angry God. With a full manuscript of the message held close to his face, the preacher read to the gathered auditors a description of the awful wrath of God. He depicted God as an archer, bow drawn, arrow aimed at the sinner’s heart. He pictured the sinner as an ugly spider, hanging -- with soft underside exposed, by a single thread of silken web over the eternal fires of brimstone.
That topic is not popular today; it wasn’t then, either. Was Jonathan Edwards some unlearned stump preacher? No, he was one of the most brilliant men of his time. He later became president of Princeton University.
What happened? How did the people receive such a message? Historians of religious movements record that during Edwards’ sermon, there could be heard from this uptown, well-educated, aristocratic audience, wailing and cries for mercy. Many begged Edwards to leave off his preaching before they lost all hope. They were being brought to the brink of Hell, and could sense the anguish of being lost and forever in torment.
By the end of that prophetic word many in the audience had found Christ. The result was what has been called The Great Awakening. People changed the way they lived. Marriages were restored; the bars and brothels went out of business. Sin took a gigantic hit, and the foundation for One Nation Under God was laid. This nation had its Christian underpinnings on the heels of a Godly revival because people had to face the prospect of living holy lives, or being sinners in the hands of an angry God. Today we are facing the same charges of a heavenly court. From today’s headlines…
Bio-Technological Moral Failure. According to a recent news piece, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE)….reported that…Scientists in the United States have created hybrid human "she-males," mixing male and female cells in the same embryo….
Promiscuity - Moral Failure. A news source described today’s hookup culture. "Dating and romance today has been replaced by casual, serial hookups….one-third of 11th graders who had engaged in sexual intercourse said their sexual partner was merely ’a friend’ ."
Heterosexuality Moral Failure. In Texas this week the anti-sodomy laws were put aside. One news source reported that, "Lawrence v. Texas could have implications far beyond the closed doors of private homes," The Washington Post noted in a news story Friday. ’In an unexpectedly large step, the court said traditional morality is no justification for making legal distinctions among sexual behaviors of consenting adults…. a majority’s opinion about what is or is not moral cannot justify the state’s intrusion into the most intimate details of people’s lives.’"
If time permitted the list could go on and on. We all ask the question sooner or later -- Is God mad at me? Have I offended Him once too often, or too badly? Is there any hope, or am I a sinner in the hands of an angry God?
The answer for each of us individually today is YES! And the answer for our nation today is YES! You know it, and so do I. We have all offended God. There is no hope. We are helpless spiders hanging by that thread over Chernobyl’s atomic waste heap. It is over -- the verdict is guilty, and the wrath of God is near.
Now, that’s not popular preaching today. Most people want to hear something to make them feel good and forget their problems. We don’t want to be told we are guilty.
When the verdict came in the civil suit O.J. didn’t like it ($32 million worth).
NBA superstar Magic Johnson didn’t like it when the doctor said AIDS.
Suspected Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph won’t like it if the jury says "guilty".
We all want to lessen the impact, mitigate the circumstances, and soften the blow.
The problem is we can’t:
Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, Romans 2.1a
Now, the final word is that God is indeed angry over sin. He has always been that
These six things doth the LORD hate:
yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.