Sunday, January 22, 2012


This sermon recasts Wesley's order of salvation (Repentance-Faith-Holiness) as Honesty-Faith-Love.  The goal of the sermon is to introduce the congregation to Wesley's soteriology by using terminology and imagery that are familiar to them.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Heavens and New Earth

The order of events in the Wesleyan vision of the Eschaton is--
  1. Cataclysmic Signs and Wonders
  2. Christ Returns
  3. Stewardship Interviews
  4. Verdicts Implemented
  5. Destruction of Old Creation
  6. The New Creation
Wesley's description of the dissolution of the Heavens and the Earth is taken from Rev. 20:11 and 2 Peter 3:10-12; doctrinal Sermon 15 evaluates different theories on the physical mechanics of that fiery end.  This expectation does not lead to a devaluation of Nature.  Though this world is transitory, abuse of the natural world is not sanctioned by Wesley's eschatology rather the misuse of its resources is labeled by Wesley to be a kind of practical atheism (Sermon 23, par. I.11).

The New Creation is briefly described in Sermon 15.  Wesley's non-doctrinal sermons "The General Deliverance" and "The New Creation" go into more detail, and conclude that all creatures, not just human beings, will be present in the New Heavens and Earth.

Sermon 15 concludes with a quote from 2 Peter 3:12 and an answer to the "So What?" question.  So this Creation will pass away, what does that mean for us today?  To explain the relevance of this doctrine, Wesley quotes Peter, "Seeing then all these things are dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness."  And the way to get to godliness the sermon argues is by following the Wesleyan order of salvation (and his hermeneutical rule)-- Repentance, Faith, and then Holiness and eventually Heaven.