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Heaven

The teaching of John and Charles Wesley on the final state of bliss of those with true faith in Christ had several aspects. First, they stressed the close fellowship of believers in the Church below with 'our friends above' (HP 812). Second, Christian fellowship and love were affirmed as a foretaste (or 'antepast') of heaven, experienced especially in worship: 'the heaven of heavens is love' (Methodist Hymn Book (1904), 687). John Wesley believed strongly in the eschatological transformation of all nature in 'the new heaven and new earth' promised in the Apocalypse: 'To crown all, there will be ... a constant communion with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, through the Spirit; a continual enjoyment of the Three-One God, and of all creatures in Him.'

Sources

  • William Strawson, 'Wesley's Doctrine of the Last Things', in London Quarterly and Holborn Review, July 1959 pp.240-49
  • Oliver A. Beckerlegge, 'Heaven and Hell: in Charles Wesley's Hymns', in Epworth Review, September 1993, pp.25-37
  • R.L. Maddox, Responsible Grace; John Wesley's Practical Theology (1994), ch. 9

Entry written by: DJC
Category: Subject

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