Was John Wesley a Pretender?

The Voice of Elijah® Newsletter, October 1994

Excerpt From Newsletter

Repentance does not come at all to the one who has not experienced the heavenly rebuke or the one who has refused to agree with God’s assessment of his or her despicable character. So don’t pay any attention to the arrogant Pretenders who contradict what I have written here. They speak from total ignorance, not knowing anything at all about the new birth.

If you have been born again, you know beyond a shadow of all doubt that the Holy Spirit has accomplished a sovereign work of God in your life. After all, how can anyone apologize to God with a “broken and contrite heart” (Ps. 51:16–17) and not know that God has forgiven him?

As you read what John Wesley has written in his Journal, keep in mind that he preached to hundreds of thousands during his lifetime and saw great multitudes saved as the Holy Spirit sovereignly convicted them of their sin. Yet, amazingly, what Wesley has written may well indicate his own conversion experience lacked that single all-important ingredient: repentance. Be that as it may, God nevertheless used him to preach the Truth concerning salvation because he was willing to be used. Will John Wesley hear those horrifying words “I never knew you” when he meets Christ face to face? I don’t know. I’ll let you decide that question for yourself.

The portion of the Journal, included here begins immediately after Wesley returned from Georgia, where he had served as an Anglican missionary for two years and three months. His work in the colony had been a failure, but during that time he had come under the influence of several Moravian missionaries from Herrnhut who taught him concerning the Protestant doctrine of salvation by faith. These, in turn, evidently put him in touch with Peter Böhler, a Moravian missionary to England.

Wesley’s Journal indicates he wasted no time in contacting Böhler upon his return to England. It also tells us he set out for Herrnhut less than five months later. It is clear from all this that he gained the things he preached concerning salvation by faith from the Moravians. It is not nearly as clear that he experienced the new birth personally. Did he “repent and believe in the Gospel” when he was rebuked by the Holy Spirt? Or did he decide that all he needed was to believe that he believed? That is, did he decide to believe a delusion? You decide.

“Was John Wesley a Pretender?” The Voice of Elijah®, October 1994, p. 5

Newsletter Details

Contribution of $6.00
Pages 20
Author Larry Dee Harper
Language English

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