Of All Moral Choices
Salvation Is The Simplest
And Least Complicated
In the colonial era of American history, religion was very prevalent. The first settlers on American soil were religious dissenters, aka Pilgrims or Puritans. They lived by a very strict rule of life and church was the central point of their lives.
One well known minister from that era, Jonathan Edwards, preached a sermon titled Sinners In The Hands Of An Angry God. The topic was Hell and no one could describe it better than Edwards.
In response to that sermon, almost the entire congregation reacted in some way. They wept in their seats, moaned, begged for mercy, cried out, walked around, fell down and more. That service is thought to be the start of the great revival that swept the area.
What people don’t always point out is that the colonies were immersed in the doctrine of Calvinism and those early Christians took the belief to it’s logical end.
Calvinism is the belief that God alone determines which individuals will be saved and which will not, and these eternal choices were made before creation.
In other words, if you or any other person is a Christian now, it is only because God decided in eternity passed that He would save you. He saw you before you were conceived and chose or elected you for salvation. God was personally and intimately involved with you even before you were you.
In the colonial years, they believed that salvation was entirely a work of God. The Elect need do nothing, indeed could do nothing.
If any person approached a Christian leader and asked how they could be saved, the answer was simple. Nothing! You can do nothing to make it happen or to avoid it. If God has chosen you, you will be saved.
It is no wonder then that so many people responded so emotionally to Edwards sermon. If the listeners were longing for heaven – a reasonable assumption since they were in church – but were insecure about it, how could they not?
It doesn’t stop there. [Read more…]