Run to Christ and Fly Out of Sodom

The following is the conclusion of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (1741). It contains a loving invitation for the lost to come to Christ, and a dire warning for those who refuse. This version has been updated for today's readers. The entire updated sermon is available in book form (along with Love the Sum of All virtue) on Amazon. To read, Edwards' original, visit The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University (the original of this section is reproduced below for quick comparison).

 

As a final plea, let everyone who is still outside the grace of Christ, who is hanging over the pit of hell, listen now as God calls you through his Word and providence. It doesn’t matter whether you are older men and women, middle aged, young people, or little children. This acceptable year of the Lord is a day of such a great blessing for some of you. You are listening to his voice and heeding his call. However, for others of you, this day will doubtless be just as remarkable, but in an extremely negative way, for you must face the vengeance of the Lord.


Remember this truth: At times like this, when people neglect their souls, their hearts grow hard and their guilt increases rapidly. There has never been such a great danger of people simply giving in to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds.


It seems like God is currently and quickly gathering in his elect from every part of the land. Most likely the vast majority of all adults who will ever be saved will be brought in shortly. It will be like the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Jews during the time of the apostles. Those who are the elect of Christ will obtain their salvation, but the rest will be blinded.


Listen, if you are in this blind condition, you will eternally curse this day! Indeed, you will curse the very day you were born! When you are in hell, you will think how terrible it is that you witnessed such a remarkable season, when God was lovingly pouring out his Spirit, but you did not benefit from his mercy or receive his grace. You will wish you had died early and entered hell before you had the chance to see it.


No doubt, we live in a day like the days of John the Baptist. The ax is laid at the root of the trees in an extraordinary manner. If any tree does not bring forth good fruit, it will be chopped down and cast into the fire. Therefore, let each of you who is outside of Christ wake up right now and flee from the coming wrath! It is certain that the wrath of almighty God is now hanging over a large part of this congregation. So run to Christ and fly out of Sodom: “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.”

 

Edwards Original


And let everyone that is yet out of Christ, and hanging over the pit of hell, whether they be old men and women, or middle aged, or young people, or little children, now hearken to the loud calls of God's Word and providence. This acceptable year of the Lord, that is a day of such great favor to some, will doubtless be a day of as remarkable vengeance to others. Men's hearts harden, and their guilt increases apace at such a day as this, if they neglect their souls: and never was there so great danger of such persons being given up to hardness of heart, and blindness of mind. God seems now to be hastily gathering in his elect in all parts of the land; and probably the bigger part of adult persons that ever shall be saved, will be brought in now in a little time, and that it will be as it was on that great outpouring of the Spirit upon the Jews in the apostles' days, the election will obtain, and the rest will be blinded. If this should be the case with you you will eternally curse this day, and will curse the day that ever you was born, to see such a season of the pouring out of God's Spirit; and will wish that you had died and gone to hell before you had seen it. Now undoubtedly it is, as it was in the days of John the Baptist, the ax is in an extraordinary manner laid at the root of the trees, that every tree that brings not forth good fruit, may be hewn down, and cast into the fire.


Therefore let everyone that is out of Christ, now awake and fly from the wrath to come. The wrath of almighty God is now undoubtedly hanging over great part of this congregation: let everyone fly out of Sodom. Haste and escape for your lives, look not behind you, escape to the mountain, lest you be consumed [Genesis 19:17].

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