But when [Christ] saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Matthew 9:36
During the First Great Awakening in colonial New England (1730s-1740s), a church in Enfield, Connecticut, had experienced almost no revival or awakening. The pastor invited Jonathan Edwards, a fellow pastor, to preach to his congregation on July 8, 1741. That sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” became the most famous sermon of the era and is still read and studied today. It laid out clearly the eternal consequences of not responding by faith to the grace of God in Christ.
Edwards’ sermon was not a shouting, “fire and brimstone” message. It was simply the result of his study of the Word of God combined with his compassion for those he knew to be lost. His compassion moved him to speak the truth, even at the risk of offending his hearers. Edwards’ compassion was like the compassion of Christ who wept over the lost sheep of the house of Israel because He knew the truth about their condition. Truth is not just for knowing, especially when it comes to eternity. Truth should make us reach out to those who are lost.
Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world. Francis Schaeffer
Matthew 9 (Part 6) :35-38 The Workers are Few
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