One of the most influential Christian men of the seventeenth century during the Great Awakening period was John Wesley. He and his younger brother Charles founded the "Holy Club". From this, he united with George Whitfield in Britain, traveling with him during his outdoor gatherings. He went on to continue this method of meetings in the outdoors to the unreached of the colonies when he returned to America. He traveled extensively, covering thousands of miles every year, preaching anywhere people would gather to hear him. This was his answer to the many churches that would ban him, and not allow him to preach in their pulpits.
He is an inspiration to many street preachers today, who use the same approach he did in those early years of the birth of the country.
"John Wesley - born June 28, 1703-died March 2, 1791 (age 87) was an English cleric, theologian, and evangelist, who was a leader of a revival movement within the Church of England known as Methodism. The societies he founded became the dominant form of the independent Methodist movement that continues to this day.
Educated at Charterhouse and Christ Church, Oxford, Wesley was elected a fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, in 1726 and ordained as an Anglican priest two years later. He led the "Holy Club", a society formed for the purpose of the study and the pursuit of a devout Christian life; it had been founded by his brother Charles and counted George Whitefield among its members. After an unsuccessful ministry of two years, serving at Christ Church, in the Georgia colony of Savannah, he returned to London and joined a religious society led by Moravian Christians. On 24 May 1738, he experienced what has come to be called his evangelical conversion, when he felt his "heart strangely warmed". He subsequently left the Moravians and began his own ministry.
A key step in the development of Wesley's ministry was, like Whitefield, to travel and preach outdoors. In contrast to Whitefield's Calvinism, Wesley embraced Arminian doctrines. Moving across Great Britain and Ireland, he helped form and organize small Christian groups that developed intensive and personal accountability, discipleship, and religious instruction. He appointed itinerant, un-ordained evangelists – both women and men – to care for these groups of people. Under Wesley's direction, Methodists became leaders in many social issues of the day, including the abolition of slavery and prison reform.
Although he was not a systematic theologian, Wesley argued for the notion of Christian perfection and against Calvinism—and, in particular, against its doctrine of predestination. His evangelicalism, firmly grounded in sacramental theology, maintained that means of grace sometimes had a role in sanctification of the believer; however, he taught that it was by faith a believer was transformed into the likeness of Christ. He held that, in this life, Christians could achieve a state where the love of God "reigned supreme in their hearts", giving them not only outward but inward holiness. Wesley's teachings, collectively known as Wesleyan theology, continue to inform the doctrine of Methodist churches.
Throughout his life, Wesley remained within the established Church of England, insisting that the Methodist movement lay well within its tradition. In his early ministry years, Wesley was barred from preaching in many parish churches and the Methodists were persecuted. He changed his approach, and went to the out of doors, meeting in fields, public areas in villages, and street corners, and people came from surrounding areas to hear him, as word of mouth spread the times he planned to preach."
The extent of John Wesley's ministry, and his influence can't be fully grasped in this short excerpt, but links have been added below of articles and videos of biographies which give deeper details of his achievements, struggles, dedication to Christ, and his untiring service during his entire life.
His moral imprint on the founding of America is deep. In this day I live in, it is a sad commentary of what America has become.
The Life of John Wesley-
John Wesley and His Ministry (biography) - J. C. Ryle / Audio Book-
Founder of Methodism and Missionary to America, 1736-1737
John Wesley- https://biography.yourdictionary.com/john-wesley
Comment: I've gotten some feedback about using Wikipedia-that its not reputable, and not a good source of information that can be trusted. I know it isn't, and I rarely use it for anything. But, even Wikipedia has to hold to at least the basic principles of research and information-and what they have posted about John Wesley in the section I used is accurate enough to prove it's true-it can be found in other sources to back it up-including the links to this blog-if anybody wants to take the time to listen to them, and read them.
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No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me,
saith the LORD.
is born of God overcometh the world: and this is
the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Who is he that overcometh the world,
but he that believeth
that Jesus is the
Son of God?
But they that wait
upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
The Whole Armor
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all,
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
The Prayer Room