Marks of a True Conversion was a sermon written and spoken by George Whitefield. George Whitefield lived from 1714-1770, which means he was alive during the Great Awakening which lasted from 1720-1780. According to Wikipedia, “George Whitefield, also known as George Whitfield, was an Anglican cleric and evangelist who was one of the founders of Methodism and the evangelical movement. Born in Gloucester, he matriculated at Pembroke College at the University of Oxford in 1732.” He was best known for being the central figure in the Great Awakening. According to Bartleby.com, “It (the sermon) is representative of the Great Awakening. It was a revival sermon, the goal was to gain conversions to Christ, the sermon used detailed imagery as rhetoric, it was Calvinistic. But, it didn’t focus on the role of the local church. It assumed the conventional preaching had not produced conversions.“
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God was a sermon written by Johnathan Edwards. According to Wikipedia, “”Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” is a sermon written by the American theologian Jonathan Edwards, preached to his own congregation in Northampton, Massachusetts, to profound effect, and again on July 8, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut. The preaching of this sermon was the catalyst for the First Great Awakening.” This was another sermon preached during the Great Awakening preached by Johnathan Edwards. According to Wikipedia, “Jonathan Edwards was an American revivalist preacher, philosopher, and Congregationalist theologian. A leading figure of the American Enlightenment, Edwards is widely regarded as one of America’s most important and original philosophical theologians.”
If you had heard the sermons “Marks of a True Conversion” and “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, would you have assumed that you were the target? If you read or listened to these sermons, would you assume that you were the target of the sermon? According to Bartleby.com, “His (Edwards’) sermons were intended as a wake-up call for those who underplayed the majesty of a holy God and overemphasized their own worthiness as a decent, hard-working, successful citizens. Edwards believed strongly that only a genuine conversion experience should qualify a person for church membership.” His and Whitefield’s sermons were intended as ‘wake-up’ calls for people who were already Christians. In fact, the sermons were intended for Christians. The goal of these sermons was not to convert people to Christianity, but to strengthen the faith of those who were already Christians. This was the entire reason for the Great Awakening.
So, if I had heard the sermons “Marks of a True Conversion” and “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, would I have assumed that I was the target? I feel like I was the target of the sermon. The target audience of the sermon were people who are Christians, and this sermon was not meant to convert people to Christianity, because that means that the sermon would be completely different, but rather to strengthen the faith of those who were already Christians. That refers to me and everybody else who is a Christian who read or listened to this sermon.