Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Don't Treat the Gospel with Contempt

John Wesley was a serious man. The gospel, to him, was serious business and he treated it so. He records an event in Scotland in his Journal entry for May 20, 1776:

"I preached about eleven at Old Meldrum, but could not reach Banff till nearly seven in the evening. I went directly to the Parade and proclaimed to a listening multitude 'the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.' All behaved well but a few gentry, whom I rebuked openly, and they stood corrected."

Wesley put the ill-behaved under wraps, quickly, by a public rebuke. This may run counter-cultural to the philsophy of today:

Never make sinners feel uncomfortable.

Wesley didn't buy into that philosophy; the gospel was serious stuff to him. It had to do with the difference between eternal life and eternal death, heaven and hell, the sons of light and the sons of darkness. The gospel wasn't to be trifled with and it wasn't to be disrespected.

Was Wesley offended that some made light of him? Perhaps, but I feel that it went deeper than personal affront. I believe he became incensed that the rude gentry publicly dismissed the gospel with their behavior.

I'm the same way; yes, you may anger me if you make light of me, but don't make fun of my Jesus. I may rebuke you.