December 15, 2018

CHRIST the PASSIONATE PREACHER: “Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Mt 3:7). Christ did! Though they were a “brood of vipers,” He still wept over them and warned them. Take John Wesley’s Journal as an expression of passion turned to compassion by the love of Christ for the lost. “There is hardly any book like it,” says Dr. Robertson Nicoll; “its shrewdness, its wit, its wisdom, its knowledge are bordered with a pale edge of fire—the spiritual passion of the great apostle’s soul.” Let one revealing sentence speak for the whole book. In 1742, Wesley visited Newcastle-on-Tyne for the first time. Never, he says, had he witnessed so much drunkenness, cursing and swearing, from the mouths of little children as well as of adults, in so short time. “Surely,” he writes, “this place is ripe for”—what? judgment? no, but—“for Him who came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” “When we were ENEMIES we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son” (Rom 5:10).