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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Summer Edition, 2014

Did John Wesley Have A Clear View Of The Second Coming?

The above questions expose our attitudes to both tradition and Scripture. Yet, because both Scripture and tradition are vital to our contemporary understanding of Christianity, it is necessary for us to deal honestly with them.

The prevailing liberal attitude is that neither Scripture nor tradition are really that important; what matters is our own personal experience of God and our commitment to what we feel within ourselves that God wants us to do. This prevailing influence of experience-oriented (existential) philosophy among us fosters an “I don’t really care about these issues” attitude across the board.

But for the sake of those who still consider themselves to be biblical fundamentalists, and who do care about the authority of Scripture and the influence of tradition among us, these questions concerning the perspectives of John Wesley on eschatology, or “last things,” must still be addressed.

And the reason and relevance for addressing them is quite obvious. There is a large segment of current American Christianity that still goes by the name “Wesleyan” ---The Wesleyan Church, for example---, as well as many other denominational groups that trace their ecclesiastical origins back to primitive Methodism, which itself was the outgrowth of John Wesley’s understanding of Christian theology. It is not logical therefore that any of these modern groups should still claim any affinity to their own professed heritage, if they are not interested in what John Wesley actually believed and taught.

Given what we have said about the influence of liberal philosophy among us, we now come full-circle again to the question: did John Wesley have a clear view about the second coming of Jesus Christ?

The answer is absolutely positive and unambiguous. John Wesley indeed had a very clear view of the second coming of Jesus Christ, and it was what both Roman Catholics and Protestants had long held as Christian orthodoxy. It can be summarized like this: “Jesus will come in the end of the world when conditions are just as He said they would be. The purpose for His coming is to resurrect and judge all mankind on the basis of the one standard of true righteousness already fully revealed in the Christian gospel.”

Such a view is called by modern scholars “post” tribulationalism slash “post” millennialism. This means that Jesus will come at the complete end of everything for the general resurrection and the universal final judgment.

We have given specific proofs that this was indeed John Wesley’s understanding of eschatology in several previous articles on this web site, which you may review for details.

The majority in the modern Holiness movement are non-Wesleyan dispensationalists and thus ideologically inconsistent. We are challenging all who really care among us to more intellectually engage.

 

Related Article Links

A Summary Of John Wesley's Understanding Of The Second Coming
Where John Wesley's Understanding Of Eschatology Will Take Us