The sermon “Sinners in the hands of an angry God”, given by Jonathan Edwards many years ago, changed the lives of hundreds of people. If people read or heard this sermon today, there would be mixed reactions depending on differences in beliefs. Even to people that don’t believe in a God, the sermon is so powerful that it will leave them in terror. This quotation from the sermon is saying that god can kill anyone simply because it would please him leaves the people in panic “. . . 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.” (Perkins pg.98) This sermon caused terror even to the devoted Catholics who first heard it. These were people who would attend church functions at least weekly and lived very proper religious lives. To them the idea of not going to heaven was unheard of if you lived as Catholics “should”. In current times you have a great number of people who don’t go to church on a regular basis and religion doesn’t play an important part in their lives. They may feel that since they do not devote their lives to living by the words of the lord, God may be more likely to let them go to hell than more religious people. This sermon will cause almost everyone to be fearful no matter how religious they may be, because according to Edwards no one can escape the decisions of God and he will choose whoever he wishes to die because it has that power over everyone.
Perkins, George, and Barbara Perkins. The American Tradition in Literature. Ninth Edition ed. N.p.: The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., 1999. 97-98. Print.