Five Keys to Wesley's Success
Steve Stanley
THE ARMINIAN MAGAZINE. Issue 1. Spring 2013. Volume 31.
Date Posted July 4, 2013

The Second Key: His Passion for a Godly and Useful Life

In an age distinguished for its apathy toward heart-felt religion and spiritual things, John Wesley was a man of strong spiritual desire. Long before he knew that God's grace could save a man so well that he could know it, he determined to do all that was in his power to live a life that was pleasing to God and useful to others.

While Wesley was no fanatic, neither was he indifferent about the Christian's obligation to the whole mission of God. The widely-known description of his experience of grace as having his "heart strangely warmed" could well characterize his disposition toward all the will and work of God. Fueled by the passion to share the message of God's redeeming, transforming love for all, Wesley bore his fiery witness across the length and breadth of Great Britain. Said to have traveled nearly a quarter of a million miles preaching the Gospel and promoting the work of the Methodists, he was no mere armchair theologian or theoretician.

His constant urging to his preachers was, "You have nothing to do but to save souls: therefore spend and be spent in this work: and go always, not only to those who want you, but to those who want you most. It is not your business to preach so many times, merely, or to take care of this or that society; but to save as many souls as you can: to bring as many sinners as you possibly can to repentance, and with all your power to build them up in that holiness without which they cannot see the Lord."

John MacArthur said in a sermon:

I read about the passion of John Wesley. His passion for the lost is really astounding. Let me give you a little of the biographical data on John Wesley. The writer [Charles L. Goodell] says, "He went out to do for England more than was done by the armies and navies of England in the whole length of his life. What courage and what toil. Ease and he had parted company. And as for money, he lived on a pittance and gave away more than $200 thousand. Abused and maligned in his time, he could say I leave my reputation where I leave my soul, in the hands of God. He said to his brother, Charles, 'When I devoted to God my ease, my time, my labor, did I exempt my reputation?' So John Wesley on foot and horseback traveled 225,000 miles, preached 2,400 sermons and amid misrepresentation and abuse, never knowing the delights of love at home, subject to incessant attacks of the mob, the pulpit and the press. He did not abate a jot of heart or hope until he had reached the age of 88 and ceased at once to labor and to live."