Whitefield/Wesley & Predestination Essay

2583 Words Nov 16th, 2012 11 Pages
John Wesley’s sermon, entitled “Free Grace” was published in August, 1739. In it he attempted to show how God’s grace is “free in all and free for all.” His message was strongly directed toward the doctrine of predestination and election, which was held to by many believers in Wesley’s day. He believed that this doctrine was a dangerous one and that it blasphemed the very person and nature of God. In response to Wesley, George Whitefield wrote “A Letter from George Whitefield to the Rev. John Wesley. Whitefield saw Wesley’s doctrine of “free grace” as being the one that was blasphemous and dangerous to the faith. He argued that the Bible clearly presents the doctrine of predestination, and that any doctrine that stated otherwise led to …show more content…
Scripture supports Whitefield on this matter, especially in Romans 10. Paul explains that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ,” and earlier he asks, “How are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” The Bible clearly states that the only way that the elect will come to faith in Christ is through evangelism. John Calvin also viewed evangelism and predestination in the same light as Whitefield. He concluded:
“Since we do not know who belongs to the number of the predestined and who does not, it befits us so to feel as to wish that all be saved. So it will come about that, whoever we come across, we shall study to make him a sharer of peace… even severe rebuke will be administered like medicine, lest they should perish or cause others to perish. But it will be for God to make it effective in those whom He foreknew and predestined.”

Calvin would have supported Whitefield’s view of evangelism over Wesley’s for certain. The second point of argument concerns predestination and holiness. Wesley says, “[Predestination] has a manifest tendency to destroy holiness in general; for it wholly takes away those first motives to follow after it, so frequently proposed in Scripture, the hope of future reward and fear of

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