“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.” (Job 19:25)
The town of Enfield, Conn., was unaffected by the First Great Awakening in the 1700s.
The people were of a stubborn and proud heart, much like today. They were faithful in matters of religious duties, but insolent in matters of true piety. Going to church was a social event where the community gathered to gossip. They thought themselves worthy and accepted by Christ because they graced Him with their presence each week.
How wrong could they have been? They had no more knowledge, nor understanding of Christ than a deaf, dumb and blind field mouse. Though the Gospel had been faithfully proclaimed to them, it served only to harden their hearts because they refused to obey its content.
They did not lay the axe to the root of their good pleasure in sin. That was, until a man by the name of Jonathan Edwards was invited to speak at one of their services. The continual prayer of this saintly man of God was, “Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs.” In essence his request was, “Lord, let me not live for a single minute when I’m not pondering the matter of eternity.”
The people of Enfield, much like our present-day world, lived for the moment. Edwards introduced to them the other side of the gospel coin in his infamous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”
As Edwards spoke in his typical calm and collective manner, the Holy Spirit arrested the attention of the 500-member congregation. He spoke in such a fashion that the word of the Lord seemed like a sharp two-edged sword dividing the soul from the spirit. Not halfway through the preaching, men and women began calling out to God, “What must I do to be saved? What can I do for Christ?”
The existence of forever had decisively settled upon them. What was it that caused the people of Enfield to call out to God? Why this particular sermon and why this man? The man was yielded to Christ and the convicting power of the Holy Spirit was present.
Edwards minced no words as he proclaimed the reality of Hell. The result, rebels were born again, and the blind received their sight. Gossipers were convicted and converted. A hunger and thirst to know Christ was birthed for the first time in their midst.
The Enfield congregation was never the same. Revival started when people were made aware of Hell. This is not our best life now, and not everyone who dies rests in peace. There is a time limit on our life and when it expires, we will stand without excuse before the face of a thrice Holy God.
How will it go with you?
“The Sun will singe your eyes from 92 million miles away, and do you expect to casually stroll into the presence of its maker?” — C.H. Spurgeon
Sue West is available to speak at churches and home Bible Study groups. Contact her at email@example.com