Two major titans came out of the First Great Awakening which swept across Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies in America during the 1720s – 1750s. These two men worked well together early on, but the differences in their doctrine caused them to quit fellowshipping and talking to each other after a while.
Once, while one man was in England and the other in America, they decided to send letters to each other. Their mail ships even passed each other in the Atlantic Ocean. The opening line in both letters were similar: “The Lord has shown me that I’m right and you’re wrong!”
The two men finally reconciled after a few years. They agreed to differ on certain issues but to love each other as brothers in Christ.
The two men: John Wesley and George Whitefield.
John Wesley held Arminian beliefs and George Whitefield was a moderate Calvinist. The big snags for them was the issue of grace and eternal security.
John Wesley preached at George Whitefield’s funeral. A woman asked him afterward, “Dear Mr. Wesley, do you expect to see dear Mr. Whitefield in heaven?”
A lengthy pause followed, after which Wesley replied with great seriousness, “No, madam.”
The lady at once exclaimed, “Ah, I was afraid you would say so.”
“Do not misunderstand me, madam. George Whitefield was so bright a star in the firmament of God’s glory, and will stand so near the throne, that one like me, who am less than the least, will never catch a glimpse of him,” replied John Wesley.
38 John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone using Your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group.” 39 “Don’t stop him!” Jesus said. “No one who performs a miracle in My name will soon be able to speak evil of Me. 40 Anyone who is not against us is for us.” (Mark 9:38-40)
My prayer today:
Lord, help us Christians to make every effort to keep ourselves united in the Spirit with one another and also give us the understanding that there is one body, one Spirit, one hope for the future, one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through us all. (Based on Ephesians 4:3-6)
Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for the Body of Christ in America.