“There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.” This quote is from Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards, an awe-inspiring sermon that is still very relevant in today’s society. God does not want to send people to hell, but He can do so very easily. Everyone, unless saved by God’s grace through Christ, is condemned to go to the place of forever flames. Also, God is the only one who keeps the devil from taking sinners to hell. Men cannot do anything to keep from that place, and the time to go comes when one is not looking.
One of Edwards’ main points is that God does not ever wish to send a person to hell. Though this sermon is from the year 1741, this point is still true today. God loves everyone and His never-changing grace is infinite. Though, as Edwards says, ‘We find it easy to tread on and crush a worm,’ and we are like that worm, God does not wish to crush us. God created us and does not want to destroy His creation, as an artist does not wish to destroy his artwork, his creation.
Everyone, according to Jonathan Edwards, is, ‘…already under a sentence of condemnation to hell.’ This quote can be backed up by Romans 5:12 which says, ‘Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.’ We are born into sin and the only way to be out of sin is to accept Christ as your savior. God has a fixed canyon between us and Him and His righteousness. There is only one way to cross the canyon, and that is on the bridge of Christ.
The devil is always ready to take another victim with him to hell. 1 Peter 5:8 says, ‘…the devil walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.’ God’s Word never changes so this verse is still true today. God keeps His holy hand between His creation and Satan. If God withdraws His hand the devil would take that person down to hell instantly. God holds us as a spider over the flames and all He has to do is let go.
Wicked men will use anything to try and keep from hell, except asking Jesus into their lives. Edwards says that they believe their own schemes, strength, and wisdom will keep them from hell. He concludes that, ‘…they trust to nothing but a shadow.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:3 says, ‘For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them…and they shall not escape.’ Edwards puts this verse in his sermon but from a different point of view. This phrase is what, according to Edwards, the sinners in hell would say if we could ask them if they ever thought if they would be in hell.
God does not wish for even one of His creations to go to hell. We are all born in sin though and the only way out is through salvation in Jesus Christ. The devil is always waiting for God to remove His hand so he can take sinners to Hades. God is still the only one who can keep us out of hell, definitely not earthly schemes.