Archive: Rescued, Refurbished, & Rededicated

By Charles W. Keysor, Editor, Good News Magazine

As all the world knows, Wesley Chapel in London has been rescued, refurbished, and royally rededicated. Now, a congregation functions in what had almost become a pile of historic rubble.

Is there a parable here?

Before restoration, the old Wesley Chapel was a building close to collapse. Now it survives, stronger than ever. It was rescued in the nick of time and so Wesley Chapel endures as a kind of manger of Methodism, a place which importantly reminds us of our roots in the great Wesleyan revival which reached from this place around the world.

So the place has been preserved. What is the condition of the faith which made Wesley Chapel important? In what condition is the message of Scriptural Christianity, the wellspring of this and every other true revival of religion?

ls it, like the old Wesley Chapel, crumbling away? How many among us, pastor or laypeople, retain a passionate zeal to save the lost and sanctify the saints? How many among us are warning people to flee from the wrath to come? How many are stressing that United Methodists are a holy people, raised up in the providence of God to spread Scriptural holiness throughout the land? How many among us are going on to perfection? How much of our preaching, teaching, and personal witness focusses on the free grace of God in Jesus Christ … the inward witness of the Holy Spirit … and blessed assurance—all wrapped in an awesome, reverential sense of eternity?

These great Bible truths were to original Methodist faith what roof, timbers, and bricks are to Wesley Chapel.

I suspect it is much easier to resurrect a decrepit building than to refurbish a faded faith. Yet, with God all things are possible, even this. So we should regard the rescue, restoration, and rededication of Wesley Chapel as a parable of what needs to happen in the faith of our church.

Unless this faith can be vitally rescued, refurbished, and rededicated, our church will become a zombie—alive in body but dead in spirit. Unless real faith is supernaturally renewed within us, all claims of renewal in the church will ring false.

So the new Wesley Chapel presents a challenge to “a people called Methodist.” If a building can live again, why not the faith of a church? God asked the prophet Ezekiel,

“Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “O Sovereign Lord, you alone know.

Then He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! . . . I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’ ” (Ezekiel 37:3-6, NIV)


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