Racists in the Hands of an Angry God:

A Response to The Buffalo Shooting.

By Joe Johnson

May 16th, 2022


On July 8, 1741, Pastor and Puritan preacher Jonathan Edwards delivered the sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. Jonathan Edwards’s purpose in delivering the sermon, was to warn his congregation in particular, and presumably, by extension, his nation as a whole, that they must repent of their sinful ways and turn to God for forgiveness before it is too late - so that they can escape death by hellfire. The sermon subsequently, became one of the most well known in American Church history.

It is of my earnest belief, that America, following the murder of those 10 souls in Buffalo, that there exists a need to re-examine not only this sermon, but the saddening reality that all racists men, or as it states in our passage, “Those whom hate their brother…” are walking in darkness, and are walking in danger of the darkness of eternal damnation.

The sermon, sinners in the hands of an angry God, was made classic by its vivid imagery of judgment. But more than the sermon, it is the Bible, the very Word of God – that makes clear to us that all forms of racism, injustice, oppression, bigotry, Racial supremacy, apart from repentance and faith in Jesus Christ – will face a sure and swift retribution from the wrath of a good and holy God.

 

This judgment transcends time and space. Whether this racism happened in 1941 Germany, during the Holocaust, or 1994 in Rwanda, or 1619 when the first slaves were brought to Jamestown, or just a few days ago in Buffalo New York. All guilty men and women will have their day in God’s court to be held accountable for their racist deeds.

 

And therefore, as a church in this dispensation of grace, it is our job to call out sin – including that of racism, (partiality) to warn against its temporal and eternal consequences, - all the while, preaching the glorious person and work of Christ. For it is he and he alone, that is able to perform the miracle of saving the hearts that although our sins be red as scarlet, they shall be whiter than snow.

SERMON TITLE:

RACISTS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD: A RESPONSE TO THE BUFFALO SHOOTING.​


But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them. (1st John 2:11)

Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. (1st John 3:15)

In this verse is revealed the reality of the eternal state of racists, even within the context of those within the church Church. It is this self-same church, who were God's visible people, and who lived under the means of grace. We see that these hates of brothers, within and without the church, are in God’s eyes, “Murders.” This reality is emphasized all the more in seeing the amendum – ye know that no murder hath eternal life. We glean two things from this passage:

Racism is the equivalent of hating one’s brother by failing to honor the same-God given image that is placed within him. Racism, both explicit and complicit – is equivalent to murder. (Ye know) that know practitioner of murder has eternal life. (1 John 3:15)

 

Moving on to John 2:11, We also see both the condition and destination of darkness in John 2:11. That Racists or “hater of the brethren”  are at this moment walking in darkness, without eternal life, thus at any moment, exposed to sudden destruction; As you know, Scripture says much about spiritual darkness, but mainly, darkness is not only a spiritual condition, but it is also a destination.  As Jesus says in Matthew 8:12, But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

  1. It implies, that racists are in a state of ignorant self-destruction. As he that walks in darkness is every moment liable to fall, he cannot foresee one moment whether he shall stand or fall the next; and when he does fall, he falls at once without warning:

    2. Another thing implied is, that they are liable to fall of themselves, without being thrown down by the hand of another; as he that stands or walks in darkness can at any moment be impeded by an outside force that he cannot see. This immovable force being invisible to their eyes is that of the judgment of God. It should be a sobering reality that, that the judgment of racists in this life, will not primarily come from a law, but a Law-Giver – A Lion – and a Lord.

Final justice for Emmit Till did not come from a Mississippi courtroom,  it will come from a heavenly one. 

 

Final justice for Trayvon Martin will not come from Justice Department it will come from the Just One, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Final Justice from the Charleston 9 will not come from a new gun law, but new heaven and earth. And final justice for those in Buffalo will not come in this life, but I guarantee that it will come.

  1. That the reason why racists are not fallen already and do not fall now is only that God's appointed time has not come. As Proverbs 8:11 states, Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil. Racists think that because they are getting away with their complicit evil they are not guilty. But they will soon see, that will be held accountable for every word they speak on the day of judgment.

The observation from the words that I would now insist upon is this. -- "There is nothing that keeps racists at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God." -- By the mere pleasure of God, I mean his sovereign pleasure, his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation - - The truth of this observation may appear by the following considerations.

  1. There is no lack of power in God to cast racists into hell at any moment. Kanye West makes a statement in his song Power that says, “No one man should have all that power.” But Kanye, let me tell you, there is one man that has all that POWER – HIS NAME IS JESUS. And it is Christ himself that says, For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, (John 5:22-23)

 

The strongest racists in the history of the world, have no power to resist him, nor can any deliver out of his hands. -- He is not only able to cast racists into hell, but he can most easily do it. For the Lord neither becomes faint nor weary. Though hand join in hand, and vast multitudes of God's enemies combine and associate themselves, they are easily broken in pieces.

Even if the world’s leaders set themselves up against the Lord and his Christ, the Lord shall laugh at them and have them in derision. There is no man nor country, that can ever stop Christ from bringing judgment against those who mistreat the foreigner or stranger. (Psalm 12:5), For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD;

1. Racists deserve to be cast into hell; Racism is a sin against the very image of God. For it fails to appreciate, reflect, or honor the self-same image that God has placed within all men, and dishonors the universal law that – all men are created and will be judged equally.

2. They are already under a sentence of condemnation of Racists to hell. Yea, racist men will not only BE judged (future tense) for their racist acts. But they are already condemned –

 

(James 5:1) Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you.  Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.  Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.  Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you.

The devil, the very first racist, stands ready to fall upon them, and seize them as his own, at what moment God shall permit him. They belong to him; he has their souls in his possession and under his dominion. As Jesus told the unbelieving Pharisees, “You do your work of your father” – the devil. “For if God were your father, you would love me.” The devils watch the racists, playing with them, and maneuvering them as if they were tin soldiers; and if God should permit it, they would be hastily swallowed up and lost.

  1. Racists already have the spark of hell principles reigning in themselves, that would presently kindle and flame out into hell fire, if it were not for God's restraints. As James tells us, the very tongue is the spark, by which the seeds of hell become more manifest. 

All racists’ pains and contrivance which they use to escape hell, they do in the name of our good and godly faith. Proverbs 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart. Racists are able to wickedly justify and twist their perversions even in the name of our Lord Jesus himself.

The Doctrine of Discovery (A “Christian Doctrine) was introduced and promoted by European monarchies in order to legitimize the colonization of lands outside of Europe. Between the mid-fifteenth century and the mid-twentieth century, this idea allowed European entities to seize lands inhabited by non-whites under the guise of discovery.[3] In 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas declared that only non-Christian lands could be colonized under the Doctrine of Discovery.

This doctrine of discovery basically was a justification for slavery. This self-deceptive justification of evil sears the conscience into believing that the racist shall avoid damnation. And this deception goes even further when the racist seeks to condemn those whom he despises for the same wickedness that is pent up in the bowels of his heart. This foolishness fails to take into account, that God is not altogether like you (and) God has laid himself under no obligation, by any promise to keep any racist person out of hell one moment.

So that, whatever some have imagined and pretended about promises made to natural men's earnest seeking and knocking, it is plain and manifest, that whatever pains a natural man takes in religion, whatever prayers he makes, till he believes in Christ, God is under no manner of obligation to keep for a moment, that racist person, from eternal destruction. It matters not whether that racist person is a pastor, prince, or a president.

Application

O Racist! Whether you are Black or White, on the right or the left. Whether liberal or conservative, Consider the fearful danger you are in. Your hatred for your brother places you in danger of a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. The wrath of God is upon our neck and soon it will be YOU that will be unable to breathe. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment. -- And consider here more particularly,

CLOSE

1. Whose wrath it is: it is the wrath of the infinite God and of the Lamb. If it were only the wrath of man, though it were of the most potent prince, it would be comparatively little to be regarded. If it were the wrath of God alone, man would be helpless. But this is the wrath of him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb. It is wrath and anger that are eternal, fierce, miserable, and without pity. – Just like the sufferings of Christ.

2. As it states in Revelation 19: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew but himself. (13) And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood and his name is called the Word of God. (14) And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. (15) And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the winepress of the fineness and wrath of the Almighty God."

Yea, you who have racist hearts – you are in danger at this very moment of an eternal, conscience, miserable and eternal payment for your hatred of your brothers.

BUT GOD…
But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God-not because of works, lest any man should boast.”

And now you have an extraordinary opportunity, a day wherein Christ has thrown the door of mercy wide open and stands in calling and crying with a loud voice to poor sinners; a day wherein many are flocking to him, and pressing into the kingdom of God. And whether you are a complicit racist – meaning that you have turned a blind eye to you’re the injustice of your brothers and sisters, or whether you are an explicit racist – there is room at the cross for you.

There is room for both White Supremacists, and Black Supremacists

There is room for the Anti-semitic, There is room for the Black Hebrew

There is room for the White Klansmen, and the Black Pan-African

There is room…

 

And you murderer, Payton Gendron, if you ever hear this message – there is room for you. And there is room for me. Because all of us, are inherently racist. Our very Sin nature – causes us to despise one race above them all – that is the divine race of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. As Romans 1:30 states, we naturally hate

God.

 

But, there is room for us at the cross.
The cross upon which Jesus died
Is a shelter in which we can hide
And its grace so free is sufficient for me
And deep is its fountain as wide as the sea.
 
There's room at the cross for you
There's room at the cross for you

Though millions have come, there's still room for one
Yes there's room at the cross for you.
 
Though millions have found him a friend
And have turned from the sins they have sinned

The Savior still waits to open the gates
And welcome a sinner before it's too late.
 
The hand of my Savior is strong
And the love of my Savior is long

Through sunshine or rain, through loss or in gain,
The blood flows from Calvary to cleanse every stain.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joe Johnson is the creator of SMS Novel. He is also on staff at Frederick Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) as the Family Education Director. He has a B.A. in Biblical Studies and a Master of Divinity from Westminster Seminary.