Posts Tagged ‘John MacArthur’

Leaving A ‘Legacy’

29 April 19

What does it mean to leave a ‘LEGACY’? Maybe a better question is, when you think about people who have left a legacy, who comes to mind, and what did they leave behind?

Legacy is defined as “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.” Broadly considered, that could mean something like that much of Western civilization—law, philosophy, and aesthetics—could be called the undying legacy of ancient Greece. However, most of us, when asked what legacy means to them, they would most likely say it is about someone of great importance who made the world a better place.

The following is a list of people—assembled by a leading crowd-sourced opinion company “Ranker.com”—who were voted to be the ones who have left the most substantial, long-lasting legacies that have inspired others to enact change for the better. All of the people on this list have greatly affected society, whether intentionally or not. [ The list is in descending order starting with #1 ].

Leonardo da Vinci; Marie Curie; Jesus Christ; Johannes Gutenberg; Leo Tolstoy; Elsa Brändström; Joan of Arc; Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn; Francis of Assisi; Albert Schweitzer; Fridtjof Nansen; Desiderius Erasmus; Oskar Schindler; Benjamin Franklin; Meister Eckhart; Dag Hammarskjöld; Thomas Edison; Vera Lynn; Tenzin Gyatso; 14th Dalai Lama; Maria Montessori; Marlene Dietrich; Bernard of Clairvaux; Nikola Tesla; Johann Bernhard Basedow; Bruno of Cologne; Florence Nightingale; Benedict of Nursia; Henry Dunant; Mahatma Gandhi; Johannes Tauler; Thomas Jefferson; Diana; Princess of Wales; Arnošt of Pardubice; Paul the Apostle; Louis Pasteur; Marcel Junod; Friedrich Karl Kleine; Confucius; Augustine of Hippo; Joseph Lister; Buddha; Walther von der Vogelweide; Helen Keller; Nicholas of Cusa; Gotthold Ephraim Lessing; Ignaz Semmelweis; Abraham Lincoln; Jeremy Bentham; Alexander the Great; Ulrich von Hutten; Moses; Edward Snowden; Martin Luther King; Jr.; Mother Teresa; Rosa Parks; Jacob Riis; Avicenna; John Adams; Umar; Anne Frank; Aung San Suu Kyi; Emiliano Zapata; Nelson Mandela; Eleanor Roosevelt; Khalid ibn al-Walid; Bill Gates; Nancy Barry; Maya Angelou; Desmond Tutu; William Tecumseh Sherman; Upton Sinclair; Jr.; Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi; Muhammad; Thurgood Marshall; Kofi Annan; Eugene V. Debs; Franklin D. Roosevelt; Nigel Farage; Al-Biruni; Oprah Winfrey; Tupac Shakur; Daniel Dennett; John Lennon; Karl Marx; Harvey Milk; Subcomandante Marcos; Gustavo Gutiérrez.

[ For details on each person, visit:
https://www.ranker.com/list/people-who-made-the-world-a-better-place/josh-heller ]

 

Well, for me, there was a person that was left off that list that has left a legacy far beyond just what the company he lead did. That would be Steve Jobs of Apple (and Edward Snowden made the list?!) His legacy reaches WAY BEYOND just what Apple does.

Analyst Michael Gartenberg of Gartner (a leading management consulting company) said to then COO, Tim Cook, in August after Jobs ceded the company’s ‘helm’ to him for health reasons, “His legacy goes way beyond Apple.” Gartenberg continued, “The whole idea that a computer is something that a consumer might want comes from Jobs; the way we compute today wouldn’t be what it is without him.”

 

Former rival and head of Microsoft, Bill Gates, also praised Jobs saying, “The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.”

Although Jobs is known for ‘saving’ Apple Computer—guiding Apple from the brink of financial ruin to the world’s most valuable company—he will be remembered as one of the rare few who actually ‘changed’ the world. Jobs transformed ‘how’ we live modern life. Here are a few of the highlights of his legacy:

– Back to the 1970s, he and Steve Wozniak introduced home computers.

– Jobs is credited with raising the standard for animated films by bringing his vision to Pixar (i.e. “Cars“ and “Toy Story”).

– He transformed the music industry with the “iPod,” and the “iTunes” online ‘shop’, where people could buy digitized music. Jobs reinvented the music business ‘model’.

 

– With the launch of the iPhone, Jobs set in motion a shift to mobile computing on handheld gadgets for the consumer, and with that came the “app economy”—games, health, exercise, navigation, and much more—that created fortunes for entrepreneurs and changed the way business is done.

– Jobs proclaimed the arrival of a “post personal computer era” with the “iPad,” which reinvigorated the ‘moribund’ computer market. With the iPad, Jobs revolutionized again the way consumers compute.

– The iTunes ‘portal’ then expanded to include movies as people increasingly turned to mobile devices for entertainment.

– Jobs even left his mark on the retail industry, with real-world Apple stores that bring in more profit per-square-foot than any other merchant.

Steve Jobs definitely left a ‘HUGE’ LEGACY!

 

Now, as a ‘tech guy’, I can appreciate all that Steve Jobs did. However, everything he did were ‘things’—material possessions—but I think that, since we ‘can’t take it with us’, a more important legacy should be about WHO you ‘were’ and HOW you ‘touched’ people’s lives. Rosa Parks said about legacy: “Each person must live their life as a model for others.”

Lisa Haisha, the creator of “Transformative Therapy,” “SoulBlazing,” and the host of “The Legacy Series,” suggests that one must purposely ‘create’ a legacy, and advises one to think about the following three questions:

“1) Twenty-five years after my death, what, if anything, will those beyond my family remember me for?

2) If I had to give everything I own to a cause (not a person), what cause would that cause be?

3) If I could snap my fingers and acquire an experience or talent, it would be ___________ because ___________ .”

Haisha then comments that although, on the surface, these questions sound simple, when it comes to answering them, one will realize that they require much thought—with most people having to think about them for days before they really know what the answers are for them.

She goes on to say that “it’s not what we leave FOR others that matters; it’s what we leave IN them that matters most.” Possessions and wealth are not the most important ‘things’ a legacy is made of, it’s about leaving behind the ‘ESSENCE’ of you—hopefully, something that will make the world a bit better off.

 

So then, why is leaving a legacy so important? Well, first off, it’s a part of the ongoing ‘foundation’ of life. Those who came before us have left us this world we live in, and we will leave this world to the ones who will come after us. We are ‘stewards’ of this world, and we have a ‘calling’ on our lives to leave it better than how we found it.

Secondly, a legacy has the ‘power’ to propagate either good or bad. There are people who have changed the world for good and have spurred others on to new heights. Conversely, there are people who have caused massive destruction for countless millions—people who left a wake of pain behind them wherever they went. What we do affects others.

Thirdly, it breaks the downward pull of selfishness that inherits us all. When we strive to leave a legacy, we are acting with a selflessness that can only be beneficial for everyone, to make life better for those who come after us, and it not being about our own fame or recognition but about helping others. To build that which will outlast us is selfless, and living with that in mind breaks the ‘power’ of selfishness that tries so desperately to engrain itself in our lives.

Lastly, when we are acting based on selfishness, personal expediency and the like, we are focusing on the “myopic picture”—whatever is pragmatic right now. However, when we are building a life that will ‘give’ for many years to come, we are thinking “big picture.”

So, I think that creating a legacy is about learning from the past, living in the present, and building for the future.

Consider this: Where do you think it’s best to plant a young tree: a clearing in an old-growth forest or in an open field? Well, ecologists tell us that a young tree grows better when it’s planted in an area with older trees. The reason, it seems, is that the roots of the young tree are able to follow the pathways created by former trees and implant themselves more deeply. Over time, the roots of many trees may actually graft themselves to one another, creating an intricate, interdependent foundation hidden under the ground. In this way, stronger trees share resources with weaker ones so that the whole forest becomes healthier. That’s how I would define what a legacy is: an interconnection across time, with a need for those who have come before us and a responsibility to those who come after us.

 

So, it seems that a legacy is ‘fundamental’ to what it is to be human. Research shows that without a sense of working to create a legacy, adults lose meaning in their life.

Even though the idea of legacy usually reminds most people of death, it’s really not about that. However, being reminded of death is actually a good thing, because death ‘informs’ life and gives one a perspective on what’s important—it’s about life and living. It helps us decide the kind of life we want to live, the kind of world we want to live in, and what kind of world we want to ‘bequeath’ to our children.

The giving and receiving of legacies can evoke, all at once, the entire spectrum of basic human emotions: hope, longing, regret, anxiety, fear, dread, jealousy, bitterness, rage, a sense of failure, a sense of accomplishment, pride, contentment, joy, gratitude, humility, and love. When you start thinking about legacies, you take stock of what you’ve learned from what you’ve done in the past, what you’re doing now, and what you still hope to do.

 

Most of us will not be one of the people in the previous list—with our name and accomplishments remembered forever in the history books—but that does not lessen the need to create some meaning in our lives, to have what we’ve done and thought live on after us, and to be remembered in some ‘substantial’ way—-if only to our immediate family.

From a purely practical standpoint, if you don’t pass on your life experience by leaving a legacy, the wisdom you’ve gained through decades of difficult learning will disappear as your physical body goes back to ashes.

A legacy may take many forms—children, grandchildren, a business, an ideal, a book, a community, a home, or some ‘piece’ of ourselves. It’s perfectly understandable that we would want to know how the world will remember us after we’re gone. But, how many of us are living our lives so that our legacy reflects all that we truly hold most near and dear—passing on the lessons of the past in order to create a better future?

 

So, let me suggest that you ask yourself this question: “If I died today, what would I be remembered for?

Now, take a minute and ask yourself that question. To help you answer it, envision your funeral and who would be there. But more importantly, envision the words that each would say about you in front of everyone else?

Despite being somewhat of a dark thought, it is sometimes necessary to take such a drastic approach to realize if we are indeed ‘on track’ to making the impact we seek.

In most cases, the answer to the question you ask yourself will be somewhat disappointing. For most of us, it is a ‘wake up call’ of how self-centered we are. For others, it is a ‘game changer’ that encourages immediate change on their part.

 

Last month I ended the post with a song by Nicole Nordeman titled “Legacy”—a planned ‘precursor’ to this month’s post about LEAVING A ‘LEGACY’. Nicole’s song chorus said it well:

“I want to leave a legacy,
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love?
Did I point to you enough?
To make a mark on things
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace
Who blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy.”

 

LEAVING A ‘GODLY’ LEGACY
As I have noted at the top of my ‘post’ for the past few months, the new animated movie, “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” premiered on 18 APRIL 19 in the United States (which I went to see). Producer Steve Cleary said that he was just casually talking with his long-time friend and business associate, Robert Fernandez, about what would they do if they did their own film project “to leave a legacy for our grandkids.”

The next day they met and decided upon the timeless story by John Bunyan, “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” since it had never been done for a theatrical release. They made this decision in 2014. Later on during the project, they realized that this was not going to be just for their grandkids, it was becoming something they could leave for the ‘world’—especially the Christian “mission field.”

Both Steve and Robert have a vision to have this film translated into 100 languages in the next 3 years (they already have done English, Farsi, Mandarin, and Spanish). They envision that this film would be shown first, and then “The Jesus Film” would be shown after it—showing the ‘working out’ of Bunyan’s allegory of every Christian’s journey to Heaven.

Well, the book that they made their movie from, “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” is the second most published book in history—behind the Bible—has been translated into over 200 languages, and has never been out of print since it’s initial edition in 1678.

It was written by John Bunyan when he was confined to the Bedfordshire county prison for violations that prohibited the holding of “religious services outside the auspices of the established Church of England.”

It powerfully expresses that this present life is primarily a ‘spiritual’ journey—from the first awareness of our sinfulness and spiritual need, to our personal ‘conversion’ as a believer in Jesus—a ‘path’ that is riddled with many trials, dangers, and obstacles. However, the journey to our true ‘home’, Heaven (the “Celestial City”) is also laden with displays of God’s grace and faithfulness.

Benjamin Franklin once said about leaving a legacy: “If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” “The Pilgrim’s Progress” is DEFINITELY A GREAT ‘LEGACY’ of John Bunyan all by itself, even though he wrote over 60 other books!
(https://banneroftruth.org/us/store/collected-workssets/the-works-of-john-bunyan-4/).

Hopefully, to encourage you to read/listen (links to audiobooks are below) this SEMINAL work of literature, and to inform you of what to expect as a Christian on your ‘JOURNEY’ to Heaven, the following is my summary of the entire book “The Pilgrim’s Progress” (Parts 1 and 2).

 

PILGRIM’S PROGRESS (Part 1) [ “Christian” ]

The following is the first verse of a ‘soliloquy’ that one of the main characters in “Part II” of the book, “Mr. Valiant-for-truth speaks to “Mr. Great-heart,” that will give you an idea of the ‘essence’ of the entire story (how to ‘get over’ the “stumbling blocks” in one’s life):

“Who would true valor see
Let him come hither;
One here will constant be
Calm wind come weather.
There’s no discouragement,
Shall make him once relent,
His first about intent
To be a Pilgrim.”

 

THE CITY OF DESTRUCTION
The story starts off with “Pilgrim” (“Graceless”) reading the Bible, and he is awakened to his ‘state’ of spiritual peril—it was ‘convicting’ him, and he was in a state of distress. Then, on his back, appears a ‘backpack’ called a “burden” (his sins and the shame associated with them). [ This conviction of sin parallels Bunyan’s own spiritual awakening, when as a young man, he was self-absorbed, vulgar, and hostile to God (similar to the life of John Newton at I wrote about a few posts ago) ].

Now, it was because Pilgrim’s conscience was more sensitive than most that he ‘felt’ the burden—even though he had not yet become a Christian, nor understood the “Gospel”—but he was feeling that God was going to judge his sin. Others, like his wife and kids, dod not have this sensitivity.

He tried with all his might to warn his family of the impending doom, but they don’t have the ‘burden’ he does over their sins, and mock him. His wife gives him an ultimatum—to change back to how he was or leave.

Pilgrim wants very much to ‘escape’ from the judgment to come, but didn’t know what to do or where to go. So, he cries out, “What shall I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30-32).

Then, he meets a man named “Evangelist.” He tells Pilgrim that he must repent, turn from his sins, and believe in Jesus to escape the judgment of God. Pilgrim accepts his advice, and Evangelist instructs him to follow the shining light that will lead him to a small gate (“Wicket Gate”) where Pilgrim can go through to receive his ‘salvation’. (Matthew 7; Psalm 119:105; 2 Peter 2:29; Luke 14:16).

As he runs toward the gate, his wife, kids, and neighbors all are mocking his decision, but Pilgrim runs all the faster, blocking his ears so he is not persuaded to go back. He is determined to rid himself of this ‘burden’. (It’s often our relatives and friends that try to hinder us from following Jesus).

Obstinate and Pliable
Two people do catch up to Pilgrim, “Obstinate” (immovable stubbornness) and “Pliable” (fickleness). They tried their best to have Pilgrim return to the city and his family, but Pilgrim would have nothing of it. Obstinate gives up and goes back home, whereas Pliable continues on with Pilgrim.

As they walk along, Pilgrim explains to Pliable how very serious the judgment of God is, so Pliable suggests they walk faster. But, Pilgrim responds that he cannot since the great ‘burden’ on his back is heavy and very ‘weighty’—very taxing. See, ‘compromisers’ don’t carry much of a burden of sin.

 

The Swamp of Despond
Not being aware of their surroundings while they were talking—being careless—and they both fall into a ‘mire’ and both start to sink. Because Pliable had not a ‘burden’ on his back, he was able to scramble out of the muck. (You see, when ‘compromisers’ find things to get a bit difficult, they give up – Matthew 13:20-21). So, Pliable leaves to go back to the city, and leaves Pilgrim to fend for himself.

So, Pilgrim cries out, and suddenly a man stretches out this hand and pulls Pilgrim out of the mire (Psalm 40:2). His name is “Help” (Hebrew 4:16). Help explains that those who bear such a burden like Christian does, often fall into ‘despondency’. He then cleans Pilgrim up a bit and encourages him to press on.

 

Mr. Worldly Wiseman
Pilgrim then comes upon a ‘stylish’ man sitting on a bench. He introduces himself as “Mr. Wordly Wiseman.” (People who have their own ideas about how one can be reconciled and accepted by God that are not in the Bible—making comfort the most important ‘virtue’ for their lives).

He tells Pilgrim that he needed to go see a man named “Mr. Legality” in the next town called “Morality” to rid himself of his ‘burden’. (However, the Bible adamantly proclaims that no one can be “saved” by their good works – Ephesians 2:8-9). Trying to do so is kind of like one of the “mirror mazes” at the carnival—you will be ‘trapped’ in it for life!

[ For more details about “good works,” view last month’s “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/outworkings-of-grace-v241/ ].

The thing is, the Bible says that our best ‘works’ are like “filthy rags” in God’s eyes—so just imagine how much worse or bad deeds are to Him! (But don’t ‘fret’—there is Good News for this!).

So, Pilgrim starts to climb the mountain—which was on fire—and immediately realizes that he will never make it to the top—the burden of ‘keeping’ all of the law perfectly seemed to grow greater and heavier—and it will only ‘burn’ him up (Exodus 19:18’ Hebrews 12:11).

Just at this time, Evangelist appears and ‘rebukes’ him for not following his instructions—the “Gospel”—and for Pilgrim to give up all his ideas of relieving himself of his burden with legalistic ideas, and the righteous will ‘live’ by faith (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; and Hebrews 10:38). Evangelist reaffirms to Pilgrim that there is no ‘shortcut’ to the Kingdom go God, and directs Pilgrim back onto the narrow way.

 

THE WICKET GATE
Pilgrim approaches the “Wicket Gate” (Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 13:24), and over the door, it says: “Knock and it shall be opened to you” (Matthew 7:8). Christian knocks a few times and says:

“May I now enter here? Will he within open to sorry me, though I have been an undeserving rebel? Then shall I not fail to sing his lasting praise on high.”

Just after Christian says this, Beelzebul (Satan) starts firing arrows at him to try to take him out before he goes in the Gate—and just before it looks like one of the arrows is going to hit Pilgrim, “Good-will” pulls him inside the door (John 10:7-9).

By entering through the “Wicket Gate,” Pilgrim’s sins are forgiven, he is ‘justified’, and ‘accepted’ by God. His name is now changed to “Christian” (from “Graceless”). However, Christian does not yet understand the basis of his forgiveness, so his conscience continues to bother or burden him (Christian’s burden represents not sin per se, but it represents the shame and doubt that he feels because of his sin—in ‘technical’ terms, the burden represents psychological guilt not forensic guilt). [ When a person has been ‘awakened’ to their need for a savior, they need to learn about the fundamental realities of the Gospel and the Christian life, and Jesus cautioned that those who decide to follow Him must carefully ‘count the cost’ of discipleship (Luke 17:27-33). Sadly, many don’t do this and, in time, abandon their pilgrimage ].

[ For more details on the ‘cost’ of discipleship, read this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/it-will-cost-you-v233/ ].

 

THE HOUSE OF THE INTERPRETER
Good-will then directs Christian to a house where “Mr. Interpreter” (symbolizing the Church/Holy Spirit) lives—who will teach Christian some lessons he will need in his journey to the “Celestial City” (Heaven).

First, he shows Christian a picture of a man holding a Bible with a crown over his head and a globe behind him. [ This represents ‘reliable’ pastors totally free from the spirit of the ‘world’ and lead with people to receive Jesus as their Savior ]. Interpreter tells Christian to listen to such preachers of the Word of God (1 Corinthians 4:15; Galatians 4:19).

The second room was full of dust, and a man with a broom was trying to sweep it into a pile (Romans 7-9; 1 Corinthians 15:56; Romans 5:20) [ The “Law” is ‘stirring’ up the acute awareness of sin ]. The woman was then told to ‘cleanse’ it with water (John 15:3; Ephesians 5:16; Acts 15:9; Romans 16:2-26; John 15:13). [ Though the Law reveals the nature and power of sin, a person can only be ‘cleansed’ through the “Gospel” ].

Next, Christian is shown two boys—one angry, stamping his feet and yelling (“Passion”), and one calm and collected (“Patience”). Passion are people always upset when they don’t get their own way, and don’t get things exactly when they want and how they want. Whereas Patience represents those who are heavenly-minded and are content and even grateful with what they have and when they get it (Matthew 11:28; Colossians 1:11; Romans 8:28).

The next room shows someone pouring water on a fire and another luring oil on it. [ This is Satan trying to quench the fervent love (“fire”) of the believer for Jesus, whereas the Holy Spirit is constantly encouraging the devotion of the believer and their love for Jesus with grace ].

[ For more info about this “amazing grace,” view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/amazing-grace-v239/ ].

Next Interpreter shows Christian a man who has totally given up on life. His name is “Despair.” He is sitting in a cage (his own ‘prison’) because he has so hardened his heart against God that he has ‘backslidden’ and given up on his faith in Jesus (Proverbs 29:1; Hebrews 10:26-29). He has locked himself in this ‘prison’ such that he cannot escape!

A battle is raged in the fifth room, in which a man in a ‘suit’ of armor vanquishes any foes. [ This represents the “Armor of God” of the Christian in Ephesians 6 ].

[ For more details on the “Armor of God,” take a look at this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/ready-for-battle-v235/ ].

The sixth room contains a man—a previous Pilgrim—in an iron cage who’s ‘heart’ had become so hardened that he could no longer repent of his sins. [ This warns believers of the danger of apostasy (Hebrews 6:6; Luke 19:14; Hebrews 10:28-29) ].

The last room had a frightened man who had just awakened from a dream that depicted God’s day of reckoning, and he was distraught! [ This reminds Christians to closely examine their own hearts and to work out their salvation with “fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12-13) ].

So, after receiving all these instructions, Interpreter sends Christian on his way.

As Christian continues along the ‘narrow way’, on each side of the road are walls (the ‘walls’ of salvation – Isaiah 26:1; Isaiah 60:18). Then, as he comes around a corner he sees, on a hill, a “Cross.”

 

CROSS AND SEPULCHER
Many people who have embraced Jesus as their Savior and Lord continue to question whether or not they are truly “saved.” Sometimes this struggle is rooted in intellectual uncertainties, while others might ‘wrestle’ with it due to the Devil’s ‘attacks’ or a continued presence of sin in their lives. Like many other believers, Christian has continued to be ‘burdened’ by the conviction of his sins. [ Many people embrace the Gospel ‘outwardly’ without experiencing ‘regeneration’—“easy believeism”—however, this was not the case with Christian, who continued to grapple with the reality of his sins even after they were forgiven ].

 

As Christian reaches the top of the hill, in front of the “Cross,” his burden releases off his back and rolls into a nearby ‘tomb’ (grave). [ This represents Christian losing his shame and doubt caused by sin, and the ‘assurance’ of his salvation ]. When Christian gazed at the Cross, he finally understood “substitutionary atonement” and “imputed righteousness”—giving him the assurance that his sins were finally totally forgiven! [ The Cross represents a ‘declaration’ the Jesus has atoned for all human sins, and the believer’s ‘identity’ is in Him ].

The song “Rock of Ages” says it well, that when you come to the Cross, all you can say is: “Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to thy Cross I cling.” (Just like the “Prodigal Son” came back to his father—a representation of God the Father—empty-handed – Luke 15:11-32).

[ For more details on the Prodigal Son, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/amazing-grace-v239/ ].

 

As Christian is freed from his burden, three angels (“Shining Ones”) appear, and assure Christian that his sins are forgiven and give him a new ‘identity’ (Mark 2:2). They also give him new beautiful clothes the replace the ragged ones he had on (Zechariah 3:4), and put a ‘seal’ on his forehead (Ephesians 1:8,13) [ This represents the Christian ‘belonged’ to God ]. They also gave him a “scroll” (certificate/passport) that showed that he qualified for entrance into Heaven (the “assurance of salvation”). They told him that he should protect the scroll and not lose it, since he would need it to enter Heaven.

Christian, then knowing he is now free of his burden, exclaims:

“Thus far did I come laden with my sin,
Nor could anyone ease the grief that I was in,
Until I came here. What a place is this!
Must here be the beginning of my bliss?
Must here the burden fall from off my back?
Must here the cords that bound it to me crack?
Blessed Cross! Blessed sepulcher! Blessed rather be
The Man that there was put to shame for me.”

 

Simple, Sloth and Presumption
After a bit of a respite at the Cross, Christian continued on his journey. Not long after, he comes upon three men fast asleep—with chains on their legs. Their names were “Simple” (Deceived), “Sloth” (Laziness), and Presumption” (Presuming everything is alright) [ Three attitudes an ‘undisciplined’ Christian can ‘latch onto’ if they are not careful ].

So, Christian woke them all up and warned them of the dangers of their careless way of life (1 Peter 5:8) [ God will ‘warn’ us when He wants us to take something seriously in our lives ]. They, however, respond with sleepy indifference, are were interested, and go back to sleep. [ This illustrates the significance of persevering in the faith, and that the believer should examine themselves regularly to discern the ’state’ of their heart (2 Corinthians 13:5). However, believers can find ‘rest’ in the fact that God promises that He will never relinquish his claim on His ‘children’ (Romans 8:28-29; Philippians 1:6) ].

Continuing on his journey, Christian comes upon two men climbing over the wall, “Formalist” (formal religion) and “Hypocrisy,” who had just come from the land of “Vain-glory.” Christian asked why they hadn’t come in by the Wicket Gate and humbled themselves at the Cross. They responded that it was out of the way, and that many people from their land had taken this shortcut (John 10:1). [ This represents people who are actually interested in ‘saving’ religion, but substitute their own ideas for God’s truths ].

Christian then raises some doubt about them not having a certificate to present being at the Celestial Gate and being denied entry, but they said they wouldn’t need it, and that he wasn’t any better than them. [ Represents people sitting in churches all their lives and never ‘coming’ to the Cross for forgiveness, depending on their “good deeds” to get them into Heaven (Titus 3:5) ].

 

DIFFICULTY HILL
Though the Christian journey often contains unique moments of joy and ‘closeness’ to God, most of day-to-day life challenges a believer’s seal, joy, and sense of purpose. After Christian’s arrival at the Cross, his journey brings him into contact with people who do not share the same Gospel-centered focus that he has. Several dangers and pitfalls usually threaten to undermine a believer in their spiritual journey, and Christian is about to experience a few of them.

Christian, Formalist, and Hypocrisy proceed until they are at the foot of “Difficulty Hill,” where there are three different paths to take—and they need to make a decision on which one. The three ways were: Difficulty (up the hill), Danger (around the base of the hill to the left), and Destruction (around the base of the hill to the right). Both Formalist and Hypocrisy take the ‘easy’ level paths around the hill and both get lost and perish.

Concerned he was too tired to climb all the way up the hill, Christian knees down to take a rest, and discovers a spring of water coming out of the hill. So, her refreshes and strengthens himself with it. [ This represents the Holy Spirit aiding the believer when they are faced with a difficulty ].

Reaching about halfway up the hill, Christian comes upon a “pleasant arbor made by the Lord of the hill for the refreshing of weary travelers.” Exhausted, he sits down to rest, and is comforted by reading his scroll. But this makes him drowsy, and he falls asleep (Proverbs 6:6) [ This represents sometimes when a believer falls ‘asleep’ spiritually and becomes proud—thinking they are better than everyone else because of all the stuff they do for God, kinda like the Pharisees in Jesus’ time ].

He is awakened by another Pilgrim going by, and hastily gets up and runs to the top of the hill—where he meets two Pilgrims running back, Timorous (fearful) and Mistrust (doubting). They tell Christian that there is much danger ahead (lions), and they are returning home.

So Christian, becoming a bit scared because of the lions ahead, remembers that his scroll gave him solace at the arbor, so he thought he should read it again now—but he cannot find it anywhere [ This represents when the believer gets scared, they lose the comfort and assurance that God said that we ‘belong’ to Him and He will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5-6) ].

Panicked and overcome by guilt and fear, Christian retraces his steps hopeful to find it. Not finding it right away, Christian ‘plops’ himself down on the ground crying in utter despair. Suddenly, through his tears, he spots the Roll under the bench where he had fallen asleep. After thanking God for helping him find the Roll, and repenting for his carelessness (Revelation 2:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:7-8), he tucks it ‘securely’ into his clothing and runs back up the hill since it is getting dark.

 

THE PALACE BEAUTIFUL
Amidst the challenges and difficulties of a believer’s journey through life, it is important to note that it is not for solitary travelers. After Christian experienced the setbacks on the Hill Difficulty, his travels led him to a place where he finds some rest, refreshment, and encouragement. [ This symbolizes the spiritual ‘riches’ of the Church ‘community’. John Calvin is known for saying that a believer cannot have God for their Father, who does not have the Church as their ‘mother’ ].

As Christian looked into the distance at the top of the hill, he spots a Palace, and says to himself that it could be a place of shelter for the night. As he approached the Palace, he sees the lions that the other two returning Pilgrims (“Timorous” and “Mistrust”) mentioned—and they look fierce! [ This again represents fearful opposition and/or the Devil ].

As Christian is ready to turn around and go back, the Porter (“Watchful”) of the lodge calls out to him and asks if his faith is so small (Mark 13:14). He encourages Christian not to be afraid, since the lions are chained and can only come to the very edge of the walkway. He said they will roar and frighten, but they cannot harm you (The Devil cannot ‘touch’ the believer if they are living without fear – Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 35:9). [ The Porter represents an ‘overseer’, or “elder,” that governs the Church ].

Safely inside, Watchful introduces Christian to the women in charge of the palace, “Discretion” (Wisdom), soon followed by three other virgins—“Prudence” (Godliness), “Piety” (Carefulness), and “Charity” (Divine love). [ Characteristics of the virtuous believer ]. They mention that this Palace was established by the Price of the Celestial City for travelers to be encouraged and strengthened. [ This is a representation of the Church—to hear and learn the truths of God’s Word and the Gospel ]. Christian is shown to his bedroom called “Peace.” (Philippians 4:7; Colossians 3:15).

After lengthy discussions around the dinner table, Christian retires to sleep. The next morning, the sisters take Christian to the “armory”—the place where Christian will be fitted for ‘battle’—the sword of the Spirit; the shield of faith; the breastplate of righteousness; the helmet of salvation; and the shoes of peace (Ephesians 6:12-18). These are all required if the believer is going to successfully ward off the Devil.

The virgins then escorted Christian to the roof of the Palace to point out the beautiful mountains in the distance (Isaiah 33:16-17)—the “Delectable Mountains” (“Emmanuel’s Land”)—and tell him that the narrow way will take him there, and he will be able to find great comfort among the Shepherds of the Lord there. They again warn Christian that the path there will be difficult, and the next stretch will be particularly dangerous, so don’t take off his armory.

 

THE VALLEY OF HUMILIATION
In the wake of Satan’s rebellious struggle against God’s rule on earth, believers do not remain ’neutral’. As soon as a person is united, by faith, to Jesus, they have become a potential ‘target’ of the Devil’s spiritual attacks. At times, these attacks can be ‘direct’ and apparent, and at others times they are ‘indirect’ and subtle. That’s why the believer must be firmly ‘grounded’ in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and ‘put on’ the full ‘armor’ of God so that they can withstand Satan’s ‘onslaughts’.

Just beyond the Palace Beautiful lies the “Valley of Humiliation,” where Christian meets up with a “foul fiend,” “Apollyon,” (the Devil himself), the “prince and god of the City of Destruction” (where Christian lived with his family).

 

Battle with Apollyon
They battle for over a half a day, and Christian is getting tired, weak, and losing blood. Seeing this, Apollyon rushes Christian and knock his sword from his hand, throws him down, and pins his shoulders to the ground. Thinking this is it, Christian gives a last-ditch effort and grabs his sword—plunging it into Apollyon just before he is going to finish Christian off. Apollyon staggers back and escapes by flying off—but not before threatening Christian that the will be back! (Romans 8:8-9) [ The sword represents God’s Word, the Bible, and it THE way to fight off the Devil—just as Jesus did in the desert when the Devil tempted Him. Jesus used three Scripture verse to defeat the Devil then, and believers can do the same today ]. The Devil will flee from you when you quote Scripture to him (Ephesian 6:17b; James 4:7; Romans 8:37; Luke 10:19). [ The battle between Christian and Apollyon is ’set’ within the larger struggle between Jesus and Satan, and the Kingdom of God against the kingdom of darkness. Believers periodically experience “evil days” when Satan is especially on a ‘rampage’, unleashing particularly deadly’ attacks. Again, using the Word of God (quoting Scripture – the “sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17) wards off the enemy ].

Thanking God for his deliverance, the exhausted Christian’s wounds are healed immediately by some leaves from the “Tree of Life.” Haven then consumed the bread and win that he was given to him at the Palace (representing “The Lord’s Supper,” “Holy Communion”).

 

THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH
After Christian leaves the Valley, his path leads him to an ever ‘darker’ and more foreboding place—often the case for the believer, as one difficulty follows another. In these times, believers can be particularly vulnerable to temptation, discouragement, and spiritual ‘desolation’. However, God has promised that He will not desert His ‘children here. Faithfulness is often revealed most poignantly in the midst of doubt and hardship.

Christian now enters “a wilderness, a land of deserts abad pits, a land of drought and the shadow of death, a land that no man (but a Christian) passeth through, and where no man dwelt” (Jeremiah 2:6).

With his sword drawn, Christian walks down the middle of a very narrow path, with steep cliffs on either side going down thousands of feet (Psalm 69:14) [ Represents error of belief on one side, and carnal sin on the other ].

Halfway through the valley, Christian come to the ‘mouth’ of Hell, which is spewing out flames, sparks, and clouds of smoke. He finds out that his sword is of no use now, and takes out another formidable ‘weapon’, prayer (Ephesians 6:18), praying Psalm 71:16: “I walk in the strength of the Lord God. I tell everyone that you alone are just and good.”

As he was going along, two invisible demons come near to whisper all types of evil suggestions into Christian’s ears. Thoughts of unbelief to scare him, thoughts of bitterness to defile him, and thoughts of discouragement to weaken him. [ Sometimes the believer hears things in your mind which are not from the Holy Spirit to give you a wrong attitude towards somebody or something. Confessing God’s Word makes the ‘demons’ flee! ]. The hymn “Begone, unbelief” has a few verses that say this well:

“Though dark be my way,
Since He is my Guide,
’Tis mine to obey,
’Tis His to provide;
Though cisterns be broken,
And creatures all fail,
The word He hath spoken
Shall surely prevail.

His love, in time past,
Forbids me to think
He’ll leave me at last
In trouble to sink:
Each sweet Ebenezer
I have in review
Confirms His good pleasure
To help me quite through.”

Suddenly, coming from in front of him, a voice calls out: “Though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me” (Psalm 23:4). As that cry could have been only uttered by a Pilgrim, Christian is “exceeding happy” and hastens forward to see who it is. [ Christian reasoned that if God had attended to others in the Valley, then He would attend to him as well ].

 

Christian Meets Faithful
To Christian’s surprise, the cry came from an old friend, “Faithful,” one of his neighbors in the city where he lived with his family. As they walk along the path, Faithful tells about his adventures along the way—which differed a bit from Christian’s. [ Faithful lends a ‘communal’ aspect to s Christian’s pilgrimage—to counter the “lone wolf” misconception of Christianity ].

One that stood out to Christian was when Faithful was accosted by “Wanton” (Lustful), a woman with a very flattering tongue. She had tried hard to seduce him to turn aside with her, promising him “all carnal and fleshly content.” But he closed his eyes to her bewitching looks, and ran away (Just like Joseph ran away from Potiphar’s wife when she seduced him – Genesis 39:1-15).

Another different experience was at the foot of Difficulty Hill, where Faithful met a very aged man by the name of “Adam the First,” who lived in the town of Deceit (Ephesians 4:22). He invited Faithful to come and live with him and his three beautiful daughters: “Lust of the Flesh,” “Lust of the Eyes,” and “Pride of Life” (1 John 2:15-16). If Faithful would marry one or all of these, he would become his heir. Faithful thought about it at first but, thinking more about it, decide to go on, with old Adam cursing and reviling him as he went. [ Adam the First represents Adam in the Garden of Eden who ‘fell’ and imputed sin to the entire human race. He also represents the futile attempt to ‘gain’ salvation/forgiveness of sins through human works. It’s only through the “Second” Adam (Jesus) that people are “saved” and put in right relationship for God the Father ].

Related to these two episodes was the one when Faithful was at the arbor on Difficulty Hill. A man “swift as the wind” knocked Faithful down over and over again. When Christian heard this, he interrupted Faithful and said that the man was Moses, and that he “spareth none, neither knoweth he how to show mercy to those that transgress his law.” He was punishing Faithful for even having so much as looked at Wanton and for “secretly inclining to Adam the First.” [ This represents how the Law ‘condemns’ one for any ever-so-slight inclination toward any sin—with no grace and mercy at all ].

Faithful continued telling Christian about one more adventure—when he met up with one called “Discontent” and another called “Shame.” Discontent complained about everything, but especially about how he was ‘fed up’ with walking on such a narrow path, and having to resist all the wonderful temptations he really wanted not to resist. So, he bid Faithful adieu, and went back to the City of Destruction.

Shame, on the other hand, really wanted to go to Heaven, and even walk the ‘narrow way’, but was ashamed to call himself a Christian, and tried to ‘hide’ the fact that he was trying to follow Jesus (Luke 16:15). [ Just remember, Jesus was not ‘ashamed’ to hang on a Cross, naked, and be mocked for the believer’s sake! (Isaiah 53:3) ].

 

Talkative
While Christian and Faithful are still discussing Faithful adventures, they meet a very tall man named “Talkative.” When he says that he is bound for the Celestial City, Faithful invites him to join them. However, that becomes a mistake, since Talkative, son of “Say-well,” (from the town “Foolish Talk”) monopolizes the conversation, talking about useless things, lying, and having no place for religion in his heart. [ The Apostle Paul had a term for these kinds of people: “a sounding brass and tinkling cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1b). Talking a good ‘game’, but not living it. He is all ‘head’ knowledge and no ‘heart’ knowledge. Some say Talkative may have been Bunyan’s ‘self-portrait’ before his conversion to Christianity ].

So, after many long ‘arguments’, Christian and Faithful attack Talkative as a ‘masquerading’ Christian and liken him to a “whore,” Talkative goes off in a ‘huff’, dismissing Christian and Faithful as ‘unfit’ to have discussions with.

Christian commends Faithful for how he dealt with Talkative (an “imposter”). Faithful responds:

“How Talkative at first lifts up his plumes! How bravely does he speak! How he presumes to drive down all before him! But so soon as Faithful talks of heartwork, like the moon that’s past the full, into the wane he goes; And so will all, but he that heartwork knows.”

 

Evangelist
Suddenly, Evangelist appears to warn both Christian and Faithful of some impending tragedy in the next town, “Vanity Fair,” and that one or the other of them may be killed. But, Evangelist has some comforting words of assurance saying that if one of them is killed, they “will have the better of his fellow,” since he will get to Heaven sooner and be spared “the many miseries the other will meet with in the rest of his journey.” (It’s just like God to warn the believer sometimes in advance that they are going into experience something ‘dangerous’—primarily while the believer is reading their Bible, and sometimes by another believer they know).

 

VANITY FAIR
Christian has withstood much spiritual ‘warfare’ against Apollyon and safely traversed the Valley, some dangers are less obvious—like the seductive temptations and the violent opposition to the King that he will face in one of the most ‘perilous’ places Christian has visited in his travels so far.

Emerging from the wilderness, Christian and Faithful enter the town of “Vanity Fair,” a place of entertainment, empty pride, and worthlessness (Isaiah 40:7; Ecclesiastes 1:2, 11, 17). The townspeople taunt and revile them because Christian and Faithful are crying out, “Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity” (Psalm 119:37). [ Vanity Fair represents the snare of ‘worldliness’, and is a metaphor for cheap and trivial ].

They are unfairly arrested and placed into a cage in the middle of town to be made a spectacle of (they were considered troublemakers because they valued truth above the ‘enticements’ of the city). However, not all of the townspeople mock them, because of their “soberly conduct,” they begin to sympathize with them and urge for they release (because of their gracious conduct). The town splits over this. The authorities than blame them for this, and bring them to trial.

After the testimonies of “Mr. Envy” (Jealously), “Mr. Superstition” and “Mr. Pickthank” (Filthy Talk), Faith defends himself against all the false witnesses, saying that neither he nor Christian ever harmed anyone in the town.

However, after hearing what the jury has to say (“Mr. Blind-man,” “Mr. No-good,” “Mr. Malice,” “Mr. Love-lust,” “Mr. Live-loose,” “Mr. Heady,” “Mr. High-mind,” “Mr. Cruelty,” “Mr. Liar,” and “Mr. Impacable”), the Judge “Lord Hate-good” orders for Faithful to be executed. (John 16:33). [ All values and behaviors that are in conflict with those who desire to live the Christian life ].

While Faithful is being burned at the stake, Christian is being taken back to the prison. He sees a fiery chariot waiting for Faithful—then it streaks through the sky. Remembering what Evangelist said, Christian knew that it was taking Faithful to Heaven (“Be faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life” – Revelation 2:10). Christian sings:

“Well Faithful, you have faithfully professed unto your Lord: with him you will be blessed; When faithless ones, with all their vain delights, are crying out under their hellish plights. Sing, Faithful, sing; and let your name survive; For though they killed you, yet you are alive.”

[ FYI: Probably the best source for information about many of the more well-known past Christian martyrs would be “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs” (pub. 1563) ].

Christian escapes with help from a man named “Hopeful,” a native of Vanity Fair, who had been so impressed by Faithful’s words and behavior that he decided to become a Pilgrim himself. (Many more in Vanity Fair would follow their path in due time). A bit down the road, Hopeful thanks Christian for helping him break the ‘grip’ of Beelzebub on him, as both of them.

 

Mr. By-ends and His Friends
Christian and Hopeful have not gone very far when they catch up to a man known as “Mr. By-ends” (Mr. Christianity for Personal Profit), from the town of “Fair-speech” (Proverbs 26:25). Fair-speech is a wealthy place, and By-ends boasts of his fine connections there. His wife is the daughter of “Lady Feigning,” and he is on the best of terms with “Lord Turnabout,” “Lord Time-server,” “Mr. Smooth-man,” “Mr. Facing-bothways,” “Mr. Anything,” and the parson of his parish, “Mr.Two-tongues.”

When questioned about his beliefs, he says he is all about comfort and profit. Christian comments that his sin is in making “religion a stalking-horse to get and enjoy the world.”

Mr. By-ends drops behind them and meets up with three old friends: “Mr. Hold-the-World,” “Mr. Money-love,” and “Mr. Save-all”—all of them students of one “Mr. Gripe-man,” their schoolmaster, in the county of “Coveting.” [ By-ends represents a ‘shallow’ person without any strong convictions who ‘worships’ worldly success, and religion is of secondary or incidental importance ].

 

A Plain Called “Ease”
Very quickly after having left Mr. By-ends, they come upon a “delicate plain” called “Ease” (Easy Way). But, it was a very narrow path and it was very quickly behind them. [ This represents the times that God reduces the ‘pressure’ on the believer for a short while so they can be refreshed and comforted. However, these are but brief and infrequent in a believer’s life ].

 

Demas, and the Silver Mine
They then came upon a hill called “Lucre” (Money), and a man named “Demas” appears. He invites them to stop and do a little digging for treasure, such that they can become rich and provide for themselves. Christian objects (recognizing that Demas is the son of Judas Iscariot, whose idol was money – 2 Timothy 4:10) and Hopeful follows begrudgingly. But as they go on their way, they notice that Mr. By-ends and his friends accept Demas’ invitation, and go off to the silver mine to dig for treasure—they were never seen on the Holy Way again. [ A result when one is ‘bitten’ by the “Prosperity Gospel” ].

 

Lot’s Wife
They come upon a statue in the shape of a woman, with a placard that said: “Remember Lot’s wife” (Genesis 19:26). [ This represents looking ‘longingly’ back to one’s past with a ‘covetous’ heart—a reminder of the dangers of ’selling’ one’s soul for worldly riches and not to ‘look back’ when you’re following Jesus (Luke 9:62) ].

 

The River of God
Christian and his companion, Hopeful, happen upon a peaceful place. They find green meadows surrounding crystal streams of clean, pure water. In this place, they find lush, fruit-bearing trees on either side of this River of Life. Here, the weary Pilgrims are greatly refreshed by drinking the “water of Life” (Psalm 65:9; Revelation 22; Ezekiel 47), and come away for a time, from the troubles and the turbulent events of their arduous journey. [ This represents the comforting and encouragement of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life and a peaceful rest and comfort from time to time, in perfect accordance with the soul’s need. Once the believer is rejuvenated, they can go on and go back out into the ‘wilderness’ to struggle ].

Thankful to God for this respite, they sing this song:

“Behold ye how these Chrystal Streams do glide,
(To comfort Pilgrims) by the High-way side.
The Meadows green; besides their fragrance smell,
Yield dainties for them; and he that can tell
What pleasant Fruit, yea, Leaves, these Trees do yield,
Will soon sell at, that he may buy this Field.”
[ An allusion to Matthew 13:44 ]

 

By-path Meadow
The Holy Way then veers off the river onto a very rough path that is hard on their very sore feet. Walking a long way on this path, they start to get a bit discouraged when they come upon another meadow called “By-path Meadow.” Christian persuades Hopeful that the meadow is right beside the path, but will be easier on their feet. [ This represents the thought that when the going gets a bit tough, the believer can sometimes look for easier ways and compromise, and the Devil is wanting to lead you away from the ‘right’ path. Alluring pleasantness that turns out to be a ‘temptation’ that lures Pilgrims away from their ‘quest’—Heaven ].

Making much better time in the Meadow, they catch up to another Pilgrim named “Vain-confidence” (Empty Self Confidence). He assures them that he knows a shortcut to the Celestial City, and they follow him.

Night falls and they lose sight of him, until they hear a loud cry and a heavy ‘thud’—Vain-confidence had been killed by falling into a deep pit—which was dug by “the prince of those grounds to catch vainglorious Fools withal” (Isaiah 9:16). Suddenly there was a great storm and the flooding didn’t allow them to go back to the path (Jeremiah 31:21), so they stayed the night there. [ This symbolizes Christian’s ‘false’ confidence in his own judgment in taking the easier way, even though Hopeful urged them not to do so—adversely affecting someone else, and getting both of them in trouble ].

 

DOUBTING CASTLE
The pilgrimage of the Christian life carries the believer through all types of ‘terrain’ and sometimes, because of all of the troubles, they veer off the ‘hard way’ to try an ‘easier path’—and most of the time, it will get them into deep, deep trouble.

In the morning, Christian and Hopeful are awakened and seized by the owner of the Meadow, “Giant Despair” (Great Discouragement), and he charges them with trespassing—dragging them into the dungeon of his stronghold, “Doubting Castle.” [ This is what sometimes happens to the believer when they try to take a shortcut and/or follow the advice of ‘worldly’ people ].

They are locked up in a dirty stinking dungeon in his castle, beaten unmercifully, without food or light for many days, and they become discouraged and depressed. (Sometimes when discouragement ‘grips’ a believer, it feels like they are in a ‘prison’ and ‘beats us up’). [ The dungeon represents spiritual ‘darkness’ (Psalm 88) ].

When Giant Despair talks with his wife, “Diffidence” [ spiritual despair in regards to a lack of confidence in God’s ability to “save” a person ] about what to do with the prisoners, she suggests that he might save himself some exertion if he did not kill the prisoners himself but counseled them to take their own lives with “either knife, halter (hangman’s noose), or poison.” When his counsel is rejected, he rushes at the Pilgrims to kill them right then and there. But, since he is subject to ‘fits’—and it appears he is seized with one right then—he temporarily loses the use of his hands. So he withdraws, leaving Christian and Hopeful to ponder their dilemma.

Christian is uncertain about what to do and is tempted to follow Giant Despair’s advice (Job 7:15), but Hopeful persuades him to wait for God’s deliverance. Hopeful says, “for one to kill himself is to kill body and soul at once,” [ Despair is considered to be the worst and most heinous of sins (even more than the murder of another), because it ‘paralyzes’ the person’s will and leads them to view themselves as beyond the ‘arm’ of God’s ability to save them. In effect, it is the choice of eternal damnation, and nothing can be worst than that ].

Hopeful suggests that perhaps their case is not so desperate. Maybe the giant will die, forget to lock the dungeon doors, or be permanently disabled by one of his ‘fits’. So they begin to pray and continue throughout the night until almost daybreak.

Suddenly, Christian’s memory is jogged and he remembers a key (called “Promise”) he was given by one of the Shining Ones at the Cross.

They try it on the dungeon door, which opens easily, as do all the other doors in the castle. However, on the big iron gate, it does open it but as they push it open, its rusty hinges creak so loudly that Giant Despair is awakened. Jumping up, he tries to pursue his prisoners but suffers another one of his ‘fits’ and has to go back to bed. [ This teaches the believer that discouragement does not have greater power than the promises of God, and there’s a ‘key’ in God’s Word that can open every ‘door’ of discouragement and doubt ].

Running as fast as they can, they finally reach the place where they entered By-path Meadow, ‘tumble’ over it, and are once again back on the Holy Way. But, before going on, they decide to erect a warning notice all other Pilgrims that will come by this ’shortcut’: “Over this stile is the way to Doubting Castle, which is kept by Giant Despair, who despiseth the King of the Celestial Country, and seeks to destroy his holy Pilgrims.” [ As a believer, one of the ‘blessings’ of failure is that you can warn others so that they can be ‘saved’ from the same failure you had, So, don’t get discouraged over your failures. It just might encourage another to have a greater ‘zeal’ for their journey to Heaven ].

[ They were in Giant Despair’s dungeon from Wednesday morning to Sunday at daybreak, likely alluding to the period of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection ].

 

THE DELECTABLE MOUNTAINS
Though God’s people are often ‘called’ to walk difficult paths, God is faithful to supply moments of rest in order to strengthen and sustain His Pilgrims.

Thanking God for helping them through of the perils they have just passed through safely, Christian and Hopeful come upon the “Delectable Mountains,” which Christian had seen in the distance from the roof of Palace Beautiful. [ Some suggest that these mountains represent spiritual maturity, and once more describing the Church and the ‘blessings’ that come to God’s people ’through’ the Church ].

They had gardens, orchards, vineyards, and fountains of water. Climbing upward, they come upon four shepherds—“Knowledge,” “Experience,” “Watchful,” and “Sincere.” They explain that these mountains are “Immanuel’s Land”—for the ‘sheep’ that He laid His life down his life for. [ The Shepherds represent godly men, “elders” in churches, who guide and ‘feed’ the ‘flock’ with their knowledge, experience, watchfulness, and sincerity ].

After a restful sleep, the Shepherds take Christian and Hopeful to the top of a hill called “Error.” Peering over the edge, they see at the bottom of it the bodies of those who will remain unburied as an “example to others to take heed how they clamber too high, or how they come too near the brink of this mountain.” [ This represents the error of false doctrine—which takes people down the wrong path (2 Timothy 2:17-18) ].

The Shepherds take them to the top of another mountain, named “Caution,” and they see many blind people roaming around the tombs of the cemetery—not knowing where they’re going, where to turn. The Shepherd mention that these are the Pilgrims who were caught by Giant Despair, who didn’t kill them but just blinded them. [ This represents a believer’s life that was ruined by discouragement, and that will blind them to the truth (Proverbs 21:16) ].

They are then taken to another place called, “Bottom,” where they are led into a door in a hollow. They tell Christian and Hopeful that, “This is a by-way to Hell,” and is “a way that hypocrites go in at.” Christian says to the Shepherds that they definitely “need to cry out to the strong for strength.” [ This is telling us that hypocrites who pretend who try to act spiritual are the ones who are in danger of falling away—although sincere people, no matter how many weaknesses they have, will not fall away (Hebrews 3:12 and Revelation 3:5). Pride is primarily the reason that the hypocrites ‘lose’ their salvation. (They were never ‘really’ saved!) ].

Next, they are taken to the top of a very high hill, named “Clear,” where the shepherds give them a telescope—and they are able to see the gates of the Celestial City! It gives them great confidence that they will finally get there. [ A glorious hope awaits those who persevere in their pilgrimage of faith ].

As the Pilgrims prepare to depart, the shepherds give them written instructions on what to do and what to avoid—especially to beware of the “Flatterer,” and be sure not to sleep on the “Enchanted Ground.”

 

Ignorance
On their way again, just beyond the mountains, the Holy Way is joined by a little crooked lane which comes down from the country of Conceit. Just as they reach this point, they are met by a man named, “Ignorance” (who came from the country of “Pride”). He says he is also bound for the Celestial City.

However, Christian asks him why he hadn’t come in at the Wicket Gate. Ignorance said that he felt he didn’t need to do that since he had always led a good life, knows God’s will, prays fasts, pays tithes, and gives alms. Hopeful mentions that this is not enough, but Ignorance ‘poo-poo’s’ him and tells them to mind their own business: “be content to follow the Religion of your Country, and I will follow the Religion of mine. I hope all will be well.” [ Many believers live a “good” life for many years, become ‘proud’ and then believe their good “works” will get them into Heaven—which leads them astray, and they end up in Hell ].

They find Ignorance a man “wise in his own conceit” (Isaiah 5:21; Proverbs 3:7; Proverbs 26:12) and not worth talking to, and walk ahead of him. [ This symbolizes a person that dislikes anything that requires self-discipline and the ‘curbing’ of one’s natural desires ].

Soon they enter a very dark lane, where they see a man who has been bound with seven strong cords by seven devils, and they are carrying him back to throw him through the “by-way” to Hell in the Delectable Mountains. Christian recognizes the man as “Turn-away,” from the city called “Apostasy” (Falling Away), and he was “a wanton professor and damnable apostate” (Matthew12:45; Proverbs 5:22). [ This relates to what Jesus said about a man from whose heart a demon had been cast out but he did not fill that empty place with the Holy Spirit and so that demon went and called seven other demons to possess him (Matthew 12:45). It’s possible to ‘turn away’ from Jesus—even towards the end of a believer’s life—for the one who thinks they can stand by doesn’t “take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). There are three secrets of the Christian life on how to escape all this: Humility humility, and humility! ].

 

Little-Faith
This reminds Christian of a story he once heard about “Little-faith,” from the town of “Sincere.” A pilgrim that fell asleep on “Dead Man’s Lane.” [ This means that even a sincere person can fall spiritually asleep ].

While Little-faith was sleeping, three wicked ‘gangsters’ (“Faint-heart,” “Mistrust,” and “Guilt”) came by and knocked him out with a club, then and stole all his money (1 Peter 4:18). [ This means that we cannot afford to fall asleep spiritually—even if we are an ‘upstanding’ person—because we could chance losing everything. However, God is good, even when we ’stray’, and will send grace in the time of need if you cry out ]. Hearing that someone was approaching on the Road—and fearing it was “Great-Grace” from the town of “Good-confidence”—they scrambled away.

 

The Flatterer
While Christian was relating this story to Hopeful, they come to a fork in the path. Wondering which path to take, they are approached by a man in a very light robe, and says that he knows the right way and that they should follow him—which they do.

After a while, Christian says that it seems that they are being lead away from the Celestial City. Just then they become helplessly entangled in a great ‘net’ (Proverbs 29:6), and the white robe falls off the man’s back. They both instantly recognize that they have been seduced by “Flatterer,” “a false apostle that hath transformed himself into an angel of light” (Proverbs 29:5). [ Flattering is a favorite way how Satan ‘traps’ many believers, and it is much better to listen to a man who rebukes you in love rather than someone who flatters you ].

After a bit of time, a Shining One appears, tears the net open, frees the prisoners (Proverbs 29:5; Daniel 11:32; 2 Corinthians 11:13-14), and then disciplines them for ignoring the advice they had been given by the godly Shepherds. [ This means that the believer shouldn’t think that they have come so far that they cannot ever “fall away” from the faith. So, the believer must always be open to disciple from mature Christians, and be thankful for them who correct them ].

 

Atheist
Christian and Hopeful continue on their way until they see someone coming toward them, who turns out to be “Atheist.” When he learns of their plans, he starts laughing, saying that they will have only their pains for their journey. He mentions that he had once heard and believed it, but after spending twenty years searching for the Celestial City, it was nowhere to be found (Jeremiah 22:!3; Ecclesiastes 10:15). Laughing again at them, Atheist continues on his way toward home, leaving Christian and Hopeful behind, shaking their heads in disbelief. [ Can you imagine coming all this way in your Christian life and then question it all? Well, it happened to John the Baptist when he sent word from prison to Jesus—since Jesus didn’t deliver him from prison—to ask Him whether or not He was the Messiah. Doubt is very powerful and it can happen anytime—so one must be vigilant! ].

 

THE ENCHANTED GROUND
Continuing on, the pair comes to a place where Hopeful, becoming very drowsy and wants to lie down to take a nap. But Christian says “By no means!” (This is the Enchanted Ground the Shepherds had warned them about, and those who fall asleep here never wake up – 1 Thessalonians 5:6). So they stay awake by talking about the Lord and singing this song:

“When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither, and hear how these two Pilgrims talk together; Yes, let them learn of them in any wise [way] thus to keep open their drowsy slumbering eyes. Saints’ fellowship, if it be managed well, Keeps them awake, and that in spite of Hell.”

[ Sleepiness in a believer’s spiritual life can come after many years of following Jesus and looking back at one’s accomplishments with pride, and losing that passion and ‘fervent’ love for Him and for their holiness. That’s why we need others (in our church community) to help us stay ‘awake’, be watchful, and to press on (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10; Proverbs 18:24) ].

Hopeful then testifies to Christian about his conversion to the faith when he was in Vanity Fair, and talks about his continual ‘resistance’ before Christian and Faithful came to town:

1) Ignorant to the ‘awakening’ of his sin.
2) Sin was ’sweet’, and he was reluctant to forsake it.
3) He didn’t want to lose his friendships.
4) The ‘convictions’ were troublesome and fearful.

Then, even when he loses his ’sense’ of sin, many things brought his sins back to mind:

1) If I merely met a good man in the street; or,
2) If I heard anyone read from the Bible; or,
3) If my head began to ache; or,
4) If I was told that some of my neighbors were sick; or,
5) If I heard the bell toll for someone who had died; or,
6) If I thought of my own dying; or,
7) If I heard that others had suddenly died; or,
8) But especially, when I considered my own imminent
appointment with judgment.

After much ‘instruction’ and much praying, he “saw Jesus looking down from Heaven upon [him], and [said], “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:30-31). However, he replied that he was a “very great sinner,” and Jesus replied that His “grace is sufficient for thee” and that those who “cometh to Me” will never hunger or thirst again (Job 6:35-37).

Hopeful finally ‘came to his senses’ and surrendered all to Jesus—and was “born again.”

 

Ignorance Rejoins the Pilgrims
The “good discourse” is interrupted when Hopeful happens to look back and sees Ignorance coming up behind them. When he catches up, Christian asks him what he has been thinking about. Ignorance says he keeps thinking of God and Heaven all the time. When Christian remarks, “So do the devils and damned souls,” Ignorance objects at the comment and says that his case is quite different—for he not only thinks of God and Heaven constantly, but desires them and has left all for them.

Christian then asks Ignorance what reason he has to suppose that he has given up everything in his desire to go to Heaven, and Ignorance responds, “My heart tells me so.” Christian sharply replies that the Scriptures say: “He that trusts his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26).

Ignorance becomes somewhat annoyed and declares that their notions about the correct meaning of the Word are “but the fruit of distracted brains,” and says, “That is your faith, but not mine; yet mine, I doubt not, is as good as yours; though I have not in my head so many whimsies as you.” (Ephesians 1:18-19).

Ignorance complains that they are going to fast and drops behind again. Christian and Hopeful resume their “good discourse.”

 

The Story of Temporary
Christian then tells Hopeful about a man named “Temporary,” who was religious and also resolved to go on a pilgrimage, but his resolve only lasted a short time, until he met someone named “Mr. Saveself.” Hopeful then asks that they discuss the causes of spiritual backsliding in general. Hopeful explains that fear, shame, and guilt are all causes for the devout to lose sight of their salvation.

He lists four key symptoms of backsliders:
1) Their minds are not changed (2 Peter 2:22).
2) They are slavish to their fears (Proverbs 29:25).
3)They are proud and haughty.
4) They have grievous guilt.

[ Christian’s discussion of Temporary displays his spiritual confidence that he is near the end of his journey. Like his earlier tale about Little-Faith, his story about Temporary demonstrates that Christian possesses the certitude necessary to analyze cases of pilgrims who fail. In earlier chapters, he was not sure enough of his own success to make such judgments. After all, Temporary’s story reveals the risk of Christian’s own position, since Temporary also felt saved until he failed to follow through on his spiritual achievement. Christian could backslide also, at least theoretically. Temporary’s fate could be his own. But he understands himself and his progress enough to trust that he will succeed where Temporary failed ].

Christian then explains to Hopeful the actual ‘process’ the apostate goes through when they fall away (as a warning to others of what not to do):
1) They ‘disengage’ their thinking about God, death, and the judgment to come.
2) They gradually ‘neglect’ private prayer and watchfulness.
3) They start to shun the company of Christians.
4) They discontinue going to corporate worship.
5) They criticize believers for their weaknesses.
6) They begin to ‘hang out’ with the carnal, immoral, and depraved.
7) They give way to ‘secret’ sins.
8) They then ‘play’ with sins more openly.
9) They now have become ‘hardened’ (and unless a miracle of Sovereign grace prevents it, they will perish eternally because of their own deceit).

 

BEULAH LAND
The pair leave the Enchanted Ground and enter “a delightful land” the country named “Beulah.” Here the sun “shineth night and day,” the air is sweet and pleasant, flowers bloom everywhere, birds sing continually, and “the voice of the turtle is heard in the land” (Isaiah 62:4; Song of Songs 2:10-12) [ A foretaste of the final bliss of the Celestial City ]. They get a clear view of the Celestial City and were greatly encouraged that they were reaching the end of their journey now.

They are met by the “Gardener,” who tells them that the Lord Himself comes down from the City now and again to enjoy a bit of rural peace and beauty, and to rest in one of the arbors (Deuteronomy 23:24).

 

The River of Death
Suddenly two angels appear and they accompany Christian and Hopeful to the “River of Death,” which was wide and had a swift current—with no bridge to go over it. Christian then asked if it was deep, and if it was all the same depth everywhere. One of the angels answered, “You shall find it deeper or shallower as you believe in the King of the Palace.” Crossing the River of Death is a test of Faith. [ This is a bit unnerving, since it seemed that there would be an easy transition to the Celestial City from here, but instead, the last obstacle is a very great one—and Christian is overwhelmed with fear as he stands on the shore ].

Apprehensively, they wade in. However, only a few feet from the shore, the bottom drops off and the water gets very turbulent. Christian cries out that he is sinking and doesn’t think he can make it across. [ For some believers, they get a bit afraid on their deathbed, concerned whether or not they are a ‘true’ Christian that will be ‘let into’ Heaven ].

Hopeful calls out that he has found good footing and he will help him. But Christian goes down in “a great darkness and horror” as he recalls all of his sins. Somewhat losing his senses, he begins to see evil spirits. Hopeful has all he can do “to keep his brother’s head above water.” This goes on until Hopeful persuades him that he is not lost, that his faith in Christ will save him—which it does after he overcomes his misgivings about salvation (Isaiah 40:2), glimpses his Redeemer once again, and thereupon walks safely ashore through shallow water (The Shining Ones said that they would “find it deeper or shallower as you believe in the King of the Place). [ This also suggests that it is an absolute necessity and a wonderful thing to have a deep and strong ‘fellowship’ with another believer right until the end of our life, so that you can encourage one another to press on in their faith ].


THE CELESTIAL CITY

Eventually, each believer’s pilgrimage in the world comes to an end, and as Christian and Hopeful discover, it brings with it a variety of emotions and experiences. Just as each Christian’s life is different from one another, so also is each believer’s departure from this life is different. Yet, the anticipation of going to Heaven is something that all true Pilgrims can share, as the fear of death gives way to the joy of entering God’s presence.

Christian and Hopeful finally reach the far bank of the river, and Shining Ones are waiting for them. They say: “You are going now to the Paradise of God; wherein you shall see the tree of life, and eat of the never fading fruits thereof. And when you come there, you shall have white robes given you; and your walk and talk shall be every day with the King, even all the days of eternity” (Hebrews 12:22-23; Revelation 2:7; Revelation 3:4).

Christian asks a Shining One if he can show his wife and children the way. The Shining One responds that the King had heard Christian’s prayers in this regard, and had an invitation sent to her and the children.

Since their ‘mortal garments’ were left in the River, they are given new Heavenly garments to wear.

The ascent to the Celestial City is steep, for it stands “on a mighty hill…higher than the clouds.” However, the Shining Ones, taking them by the arms, help them up.

As they are climbing, a company of the Heavenly Host comes out to greet them, as well as several of the King’s trumpeters, who make the Heavens ring “with melodious noises and loud” (Revelation 19).

Finally reaching the Celestial Gates, they notice, above them, written in letters of gold, is: “Blessed are they that do His Commandments, that they may have right to the Tree of Life; and may enter in through the Gates into the City” (Revelation 22:!4).

A Shining One asks them for their certificates. Satisfied after examining them, the Lord orders the gate to be opened so that those “that keepeth Truth, may enter in” (Isaiah 26:2).

As the Gates open, with bells pealing joyously, Christian and Hopeful walk into the city and are ‘transfigured’. They are provided new ‘clothes’ that shine like gold, and each is given a golden harp and a gold crown. They are soon marching along the gold-paved streets with many of the Heavenly Host, some of whom have wings. They then heard said to them: “Enter ye into the joy of the Lord.” [ Matthew 25:14-23; 31-40; Revelation 21 and 22:1-5 ].

All are playing their harps and, “without intermission,” singing in chorus: “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord”—which is the last seen of Christian and Hopeful in the Paradise they have been seeking.

[ As the gate swings open to admit Christian and Hopeful to the Celestial City, one is rather surprised and disappointed that Bunyan offers only the briefest glimpse into his solid-gold, jewel-encrusted Heaven. One expects to be shown something more interesting and inspiring than bands of angels with gold crowns walking up and down gold-paved streets playing gold harps and incessantly singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” However, later in Part II (reviewed just below), Bunyan comes back to the subject and tells us a bit more about what life is like on Mount Zion and how well Christian is faring there ].

 

Ignorance is Cast Away
Not long after the gate was closed behind them, Ignorance, having been rowed over in a boat by “Vain-hope” without any difficulty, approaches the Gates and knocks. When the keepers of the Gate ask him for his certificate, Ignorance fumbles around as if he had it, but now cannot find it. When pressed about this, he does not answer. [ As you might remember, Ignorant had not entered the Holy Way at the Wicket Gate (receiving salvation and being “born again”), so he also hadn’t gone the “Cross” (eradication of his shame and the assurance of Heaven) ].

On being informed of this, the King orders several of the Shining Ones to seize Ignorance, bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the door to Hell (just outside the Celestial City). [ This is to warn everyone about false consolations and to ‘steer’ them away from religious attitudes and practices that deceive people into thinking that they are bound for glory when they are not. One will only be accepted into God’s Heaven if they ‘play by His rules’! ].

Bunyan then awakes, and “behold it was a Dream.”

 

“THE CONCLUSION
Now Reader, I have told my Dream to thee;
See if thou can’st interpret it to me,
Or to thyself, or Neighbor; but take heed
Of mis-interpreting; for that, instead
Of doing good, will but thyself abuse:
By mis-interpreting, evil ensues.

Take heed also, that thou be not extreme,
In playing with the out-side of my Dream:
Nor let my figure or similitude
Put thee into a laughter or a feud;
Leave this for Boys and Fools; but as for thee,
Do thou the substance of my matter see.

Put by the Curtains, look within my Vail;
Turn up my Metaphors, and do not fail
There, if thou seekest them, such things to find
As will be helpful to an honest mind.

What of my dross thou findest there, be bold
To throw away, but yet preserve the Gold;
What if my Gold be wrapped up in Ore?
None throws away the Apple for the Core.
But if thou shalt cast away all as vain,
I know not but ’twill make me Dream again.”

 

The narrator’s conclusion gives a final emphasis of interpretation running throughout Part 1 of the book. The Interpreter warned Christian at the outset about the importance of interpreting signs and events correctly, and spoke ominously about the dangers of misinterpreting them. The narrator delivers a similar warning here. He says that one must not ‘play’ with the surface details of his story, but look behind the surface to the ‘essential’ meaning. The difference is that now the one who must interpret is no longer Christian, but the reader. The reader now takes on the role of a “reader of meanings” that Christian once was responsible for. Christian’s quest for understanding is the reader’s hands now—YOU and me!

 

THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS JOURNEY MAP
(For Part 1 – “Christian”)

 

 

PILGRIM’S PROGRESS (Part 2) [ “Christiana” ]

Wherein is set forth the manner of the setting out of Christian’s wife and children; their dangerous journey, and safe arrival at the desired country. I have used similitudes (Hosea 12:10).

“The author’s way of sending forth his second part of The Pilgrim…

“Go, now, my little Book, to every place
Where my first Pilgrim has but shown his face:
Call at their door: if any say, Who’s there?
Then answer thou, Christiana is here.
If they bid thee come in, then enter thou,
With all thy boys; and then, as thou know’st how,
Tell who they are, also from whence they came;
Perhaps they’ll know them by their looks, or name:
But if they should not, ask them yet again,
If formerly they did not entertain
One Christian, a Pilgrim? If they say
They did, and were delighted in his way;
Then let them know that these related were
Unto him; yea, his wife and children are…

“…Now may this little Book a blessing be
To those who love this little Book and me;
And may its buyer have no cause to say,
His money is but lost or thrown away.
Yea, may this second Pilgrim yield that fruit
As may with each good Pilgrim’s fancy suit;
And may it some persuade, that go astray,
To turn their feet and heart to the right way,
Is the hearty prayer of the author, John Bunyan”

“Courteous companions,
Some time since, to tell you my dream that I had of Christian the pilgrim, and of his dangerous journey towards the Celestial country, was pleasant to me and profitable to you. I told you then also what I saw concerning his wife and children, and how unwilling they were to go with him on pilgrimage; insomuch that he was forced to go on his progress without them; for he durst not run the danger of that destruction which he feared would come by staying with them in the City of Destruction: wherefore, as I then showed you, he left them and departed…”

 

A NEW JOURNEY BEGINS
After a follower of Jesus has departed from this life, God may continue to use their ‘influence’ to change the lives of others—by the memory of the believer’s ‘testimony’ and how they lived their life for Jesus. [ The story of Christiana and the boys illustrates the way that God can bring spiritual life to an entire family, even though some family members may initially show great resistance to the Gospel ].

Christian’s wife (who is later named “Christiana” when she leaves on pilgrimage) begins to be convicted and regrets her decision not to go with him when he set out on his pilgrimage. After a tormenting night of sleep and a dream in which she ‘sees’ her husband “in a place of bliss,” [ Dwelling contently in the City and enjoying great honor and daily fellowship with the King, ‘beckoning’ her to repent of her ‘lost’ state ]. She awakes the next morning ‘worried’ about the salvation of her soul and those of her four boys, but she can’t make up her mind whether or not to set off on pilgrimage. Providentially, an “emissary” (“Secret”) knocks on her door to deliver a ‘note’ that helps make up her mind.

Written “in letters of gold” and “smelt after the manner of the best perfume” (Song of Solomon 1:3), it was a note from “the Merciful One” (God). The gist of it was that “the King” wanted her to dwell in His presence forever. So, she decides to take her four boys and “pack up and begone to the Gate that leads to the Celestial Country.”

After many neighbors try to dissuade her (Mrs. Timorous; Mrs. Bat’s-eyes; Mrs. Inconsiderate; Mrs. Light-mind; and Mrs. Know-nothing), one of the young women, “Mercy,” decides to go with Christiana.

The Swamp of Despond
Though they slipped several times, courage bolsters their faith and they all pass without much difficulty through the Swamp of Despond—in which Christian floundered so badly. They stepped on the “stones that have been ordered by command of the King to make this place for Pilgrims good.”

 

THE WICKET GATE
As Christiana and her companions approach the “Wicket Gate,” they encounter unexpected opposition from the ‘forces of darkness’. [ The symbolizes that all believers much remain vigilant and sober-minded even when everything seems to be going marvelously ].

Arriving at the Wicket Gate, Christiana knocks on the door but none answers. As she continues to knock, a dog is awakened and scares the group with its ferocious barking. Undeterred, Christiana keeps knocking and eventually the gatekeeper appears and asks who they are. Christiana tells him that she is Christian’s wife. The gatekeeper opens the gate, expressing admiration for Christian. She asks him why he keeps such a dog in his yard. He responds that it is not his dog, but is owned by Satan, who uses it to scare ‘weak’ Pilgrims from the Holy Way—but is actually ‘frightens’ true Pilgrims into a courageous resolve to press on to the Celestial City.

However, Mercy remains outside fearing her call to conversion and pilgrimage did not come directly from God. “As my Lord sees, I am come. And if there is any grace and forgiveness of sins to spare, I beseech that I thy poor handmaid may be partaker thereof.” Christiana pleads with the gatekeeper on Mercy’s behalf, and he leads Mercy by the hand and gives her some smelling salts to revive her.

 

FOES AND FRIENDS
As they set out once again on their journey, they spot an Orchard on the other side of the wall. The boys mischievously climb over the wall and steal some fruit from it. Despite their mother’s warnings that they have no right to it, the boys continue to eat the fruit from the Orchard. [ This represents the fruit from a forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Life, from which Eve takes the fruit that casts the first couple out of paradise forever ].

Just after leaving the Orchard, Christiana sees two “ill-favoured” ones approaching, who are hinting at raping them. She cries for help and “Reliever” arrives just in time to save them all. Reliever asks why they didn’t have a “Conductor,” since the Gatekeeper would have sent one if they had but asked (Matthew 7:7-12 ). Christiana blames herself for the oversight and apologizes (since she had a dream that foretold of this “plotting how they might prevent my salvation”). They emerge unscathed and consider themselves lucky. [ Believers on ‘pilgrimage’ ought to be on their guard, not letting the ‘blessings’ on the journey to distract them from the ‘dangers’ on the path ].

 

THE HOUSE OF THE INTERPRETER
They all then arrive at the house of the “Interpreter.” After introducing herself as Christian’s wife, they all “leaped for joy.” The Interpreter then shows the group the same things he had shown Christian years before, but then shows them some new things.

First off, he shows them a man raking muck, oblivious to the golden crown over his head. Christiana realizes that this man represents humans who are overly absorbed in carnal matters (worldly-mindedness), never looking up to Heaven [ People who believe that Heaven is a fable and they don’t take it seriously ].

Next, the Interpreter shows Christiana an empty room with a spider on the wall [ The spider’s venom represents the sneaking power of sin, and that it can take hold even in the King’s Palace ]. The Interpreter shows them that their faith can overcome even the deadly venom of such a spider.

The next room holds a hen and her chicks. The hen looks up to heaven when she takes a drink, which teaches the pilgrims to be thankful for the source of their mercy. She also instructs her chicks, which speaks to the teaching role of a pious woman. [ The hen represents a virtuous king ].

The following room has a sheep that remains passive as the butcher slaughters it. [ This means that Pilgrims must calmly endure difficulties without complaint ]. The pilgrims must be ‘sheep’ to their King.

In the garden, there are a great variety of flowers, diverse in stature, quality, color, and smell. [ This represents glimpses of the ‘moral life’ and that the Christian needs to bear ‘fruit’ in their life ]. They then see a robin eating a spider, which allows the Interpreter to warn the Pilgrims to beware of those who seem social and good in public, but sin (eats spiders) in private. [ Represents ‘nominal’ rather than genuine Christians who secretly ‘feed’ upon their sins ].

Then, they see a tree that looks strong, but is rotten on the inside. [ Warning the Pilgrims again to be wary of people who pretend to be holy but inside, their hearts are “good for nothing but to be tinder in the devil’s tinderbox” ].

Finally, they all sit down to dine with the Interpreter. Christiana relays the tale of her pilgrimage thus far. Mercy adds her own motivations, too. That night, Mercy is so joyful and full of praise for God that she cannot sleep.

In the morning, the Interpreter sends the pilgrims to the “Bath of Sanctification” in the garden. A damsel named “Innocent” leads them into the garden to “wash them, and make them clean,” so that they would be able to come into the Lord’s presence. Then the Interpreter gives him his mark as well as new white clothing.

Finally, the Interpreter bestows upon them a guide, “Mr. Great-Heart” (their “Conductor”), bearing weapons and armor, so he was prepared to protect the group from enemies and perils during their pilgrimage tot he Celestial City.

After the six Pilgrims set off, Christiana asks Mr. Great-heart about the different ways of obtaining pardon—by word or by deed (the theology of the “atonement”). Great-heart launches into a speech about the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and the application of that righteousness to believers who claim it by faith in Christ’s substitutionary atonement. (Romans 5:17-19; Romans 3:13; Galatians 3:13).This is why His obedience can make many others righteous, because He has suffered for the sins of man.

[ Though no two Christians have identical spiritual ‘biographies’, there are certainly points of similarity in the journeys. Even though Christiana and the group are following the same route Christian took, and they encounter many of the same people and landmarks, there are numerous differences and developments ].

 

THE HILL DIFFICULTY
They soon come upon Simple, Sloth, and Presumption now hanging by the neck by the side of the road. (Christian had once offered to help these men, but they refused). However, because the bodies of these men remain by the side of the road. [ They serve as a reminder to Pilgrims not to err from their purpose ].

Coming to the base of Hill Difficulty, Great-heart shows the group the bypaths by which Formalist and Hypocrisy, traveling with Christian, had hoped to get around the hill and had perished. It prompts Christiana to remark: “The way of transgressors is hard” (Proverbs 13:15). [ Even though the false paths that Formalist and Hypocrisy took were blocked off, they could see that they were still being taken by travelers who didn’t want to ‘exert’ themselves going up the hill. They also noticed that the spring that refreshed Christian here had since been contaminated by the King’s enemies ].

Great-heart leads them to climb the steep hill. All begin to pant. Mercy wants to sit down, and the youngest boy (“James”) begins to cry. Picking up the child, Mr. Great-heart urges them to keep going until they reach the Prince’s arbor halfway up the “breathing hill.”

Having refreshed themselves and feast on the provisions sent by the Interpreter, they start climbing again. But, they soon stop when Christiana discovers that she has forgotten her bottle of spirits and sends one of her boys back to fetch it. (This must ‘run’ in the family, since this is where Christian left his Roll). Mr. Great-heart explains that the cause is sleep and forgetfulness: “Some sleep when they should keep awake; and some forget when they should remember,” and says that Pilgrims should take caution of this.

Then, they see the place where Mistrust and Timorous tried to steer Christian towards the lions. There now stands a ‘sign’, which marks the place where Mistrust and Timorous’ tongues were burned with a hot iron as punishment for interfering with Christian’s journey.

After passing this site, the Pilgrims eventually come to the lions that were asleep when Christian passed them. The lions are awakened this time, and alert “Grim” (or “Bloody-Man,” as he’s also called), who comes to prevent the Pilgrims from continuing on their way. With his sword drawn, Mr. Great-Heart forces Grim to retreat and then he slays the angry giant. Because the lions are chained, the Pilgrims and Mr. Great-Heart then leads the trembling women and boys past the lions and up the lane to the gatehouse of the Palace Beautiful.

That accomplished, Mr. Great-heart announces that he is returning to Interpreter’s House that night. They all plead with him to stay and escort them the rest of the way. Mr. Great-heart explains that he cannot, because of his orders are from the Lord. But, he adds consolingly, that if he were again assigned to escort them, he would be very willing to do so.

 

THE PALACE BEAUTIFUL
Christiana’s group arrives at the porter’s lodge of the Palace Beautiful. The porter (“Watchful”) admits them and asks who and where they are from. Christiana mentions that she is the widow of Christian. Watchful expresses his admiration for Christiana’s husband and rings the bell.

The mistress of the house, a virgin named “Humble-mind” leads the group into a very large room to be greeted by Prudence, Charity, and Piety. [ These women represent the ‘gentler’ side of the functions needing to be performed in the church ]. Though the Pilgrims are very tired and anxious for rest and sleep, they are persuaded to refresh themselves “with a morsel of meat (Exodus 12: 3, 8) for they had prepared for them a lamb (John 1:29) with the accustomed sauce belonging thereto.” [ This symbolizes the admission of new members into the Church and the partaking of Holy Communion together ]. They sleep in the same room Christian slept in.

After they decide to stay at the Palace for the next month, one of the maids, Prudence, asks Christiana for permission to quiz her sons on their faith. (We learn their names are James, Joseph, Samuel, and Matthew—youngest to oldest).

Prudence starts wight he youngest, James. She asks him, “How does God the Father save him?” He answers, “By His grace.” Then she asks him, “How does God the Son save him?” James answers, “By His righteousness, death, blood, and His life.” So Prudence asks one more question of James: “How does God the Holy Spirit save him? He says, “By His illumination, by His renovation, and by His preservation.” She is impressed and commends Christiana for teaching James so well.

Prudence then quizzes the other boys and is subsequently impressed by the education their mother has given them. The sons all appear well versed in their faith. Prudence encourages them to keep listening to their mother, and offers them further religious education during their stay in the palace.

After the pilgrims have been at the Beautiful Palace for a week, a man named Mr. Brisk tries to woo Mercy, thinking that she would be a good wife. The other women in the house know of him, and they tell her that he only pretends to be religious. Mercy heeds their advice and rejects his overtures. Prudence warns Mercy that Mr. Brisk might slander her as a result, but Mercy is strong in her decision to refuse him. She vows that she will not compromise her principles for any man, even if it means she dies an old maid. She recalls that her sister, “Bountiful,” married a man who drove her out of the house for her religious activities.

While they are still at the Palace, Matthew, Christiana’s oldest son, falls ill. A doctor, “Mr. Skill,” comes to see him. They discover his illness is from the forbidden fruit that he ate from the Orchard (which so happens to be owned by Satan), and has been ‘poisoning’ him from within. [ This represents “original” sin ]. If he does not purge, he will die. [ This is trying to say that those who do not purge their souls of the evil within will die in their sins, and will not attain everlasting life in Heaven ].

Unfortunately, Matthew is too weak to do so, and so the doctor makes some pills for the boy, which he must take “three at a time fasting, in half a quarter of a pint of the tears of Repentance.” Christiana purchases several boxes of these “universal” pills that are “good against all the diseases that Pilgrims are incident to.” [ This represents the body and blood of Christ ]. The doctor says that the pills will cure all the diseases that they might face on their journey.

After Matthew has fully recovered, Christiana is preparing to end their long stay at the Palace. She sends a note to Interpreter, petitioning him to send back Great-heart to escort her and group on the rest of their journey. The request is granted.

Before the company of pilgrims takes to the road, the damsels show Christiana Jacob’s Ladder, which some angels ascending and descending to and from Heaven, and give her a Golden Anchor, to help her “stand steadfast” in case she meets up with turbulent weather.

Mr. Great-Heart arrives at the palace with fruit and wine, and the Pilgrims set out on their way, joined by Piety and Prudence.

 

THE VALLEY OF HUMILIATION
As they get down the “Valley of Humiliation,” Mr. Great-Heart explains that even though Pilgrims are often afraid of it and think that it is haunted, it is actually quite beautiful. However, other Pilgrims fail to recognize that “here is nothing to hurt us unless we procure it to ourselves.” [ It now appears that Christian had brought Apollyon upon himself, as it were, because of his slips and derelictions along the Holy Way. He had been too proud, too self-satisfied, and needed a bit of humiliation, which was arranged by the Lord, or rather, by Satan, always willing to oblige in punishing sinners ].

Mr. Great-heart then shows them a sign warning them of Christian’s ‘slips’ going down the hill into the valley, and a monument commemorating Christian’s successful battle over Apollyon: “Let Christian’s slips, before he came hither, and the battles that he met with in this place, be a warning to those that come after.” In other words, the nature of one’s experience in the Valley depends on the spiritual ‘state’ of the person. [ We can infer from this that Christian had been beset with sins in a way that Christiana is not ]. They could see Christian’s bloodstains on the ground, and Apollyon’s broken arrows lying nearby. They all experienced a sense of grace in that hallowed spot.

Just then, they see a boy feeding his father’s sheep, in ‘tattered’ clothes but with a thankful heart was singing:

“He that is down, needs fear no fall;
He that is low, no pride:
He that is humble, ever shall
Have God to be his guide.
I am content with what I have,
Little be it or much;
And, Lord, contentment still I crave,
Because thou savest such.
Fulness to such, a burden is,
That go on pilgrimage;
Here little, and hereafter bliss,
Is best from Age to Age.”

Mr. Great-heart comments that this boy lives a “merrier life” than does a wealthy man of ease.

Mr. Great-heart then explains that the Lord had a Country-House in this valley, as it is peaceful and the air is pleasant (Hosea 12:4-5). It also is a place where, in addition to further encouragement for Pilgrims on their way, He provided food, drink, and lodging (Matthew 11:29).

 

THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH
The Pilgrims now enter a place filled with the sound of painful groaning, the “Valley of the Shadow of Death.” They are quite afraid, and James get sick. His mother gives him the pills that Mr. Skill gave her, as well as the spirits the Interpreter gave her.

When they arrived at the middle of the Valley, Joseph cries out that there is an “ugly thing” up ahead, and Mr. Great-heart said for all to get behind him. But, when the menacing fiend was upon them, it suddenly vanished before them. [ This symbolizes the promise in James 4:7: “Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you” ].

So, now very afraid, they continue on with Mr. Great-Heart, through the darkness, the fire, the smoke, the terrible smells, proceeding cautiously to avoid falling into the pits and being caught by the snares, and see a man named “Heedless” that was in a ditch “with his flesh all rent and torn.” But this initial terror is minor compared to what was emerging from the cave.

 

The Battle with Giant Maul
A giant named Maul appears, who’s ‘specialty’ is kidnapping women and children and carrying them away from God’s Kingdom. He speaks reproachfully to Great-heart, telling him that Great-heart has been forbidden many times from guiding Pilgrims through this region and ironically accuses Great-heart of kidnapping Christiana and the others. Great-heart and Maul fight for over an hour, and Great-heart finally cuts off the giant’s head. [ This can be seen as the victory of truth over falsehood ]. The Pilgrims rejoice and fasten the giant’s head onto an inscribed “pillar,” for future Pilgrims, before successfully crossing the valley.

 

Mr. Honest
Traveling onward, they meet an old Pilgrim named “Mr. Honest” asleep under a tree. He wakes up scared, mistaking Christiana’s group for thieves. Learning that Christiana is the wife of Christian, he calms down. Though from the Town of Stupidity, he has seen the Light, he says, and is now on his way to the Celestial City.

 

The Story of Mr. Fearing
Great-heart asks Mr. Honest if he knew a Pilgrim named “Mr.Fearing,” who’s hometown was “Stupidity” (which was even worse than the “City of Destruction” that Christiana came from). It turns out that Mr. Fearing was his former companion.

Mr. Great-heart mentions that he was Mr. Fearing’s guide on his excessively difficult pilgrimage, with a crippling fear of death and Hell. Mr. Great-heart recalls that Mr. Fearing kissed the ground in the Valley of Humiliation, but in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, he nearly died from his fear. He did, however, successfully complete his pilgrimage. Mr. Great-heart concludes that Mr. Fearing was terrified mostly of offending others. This kind of fear is the productive kind—the fear of God—and thus, is the beginning of wisdom.

Mr. Great-heart says that Mr. Fearing boldly faced the challenges that terrify others, but feared Hell—because he was unsure of his commitment to the Celestial City, even though, in spite of his weak faith, he did reach the Celestial City. Christiana, the boys, and Mr. Honest discuss how fear is a ‘spur’ to goodness and the love of God, if used properly. [ But for all of his ineptitude as a spiritual Pilgrim, he never quit his journey, reaching the Celestial City and entered almost in spite of himself. (Mr. Great-heart had said that he “never had a doubt about him,” despite the burden he was to himself and others) ].

 

The Story of Mr. Self-will
Mr. Honest then presents the tale of another man, “Mr. Self-will,” who claimed to be a Pilgrim, but never succeeded in his journey. Mr. Self-will had his own interpretation of Scripture, and used it to justify his continued sinful behavior, even while he was on pilgrimage. This presumptive attitude is worse than sinning itself. Mr. Honest has seen all kinds of Pilgrims in his day, and many of them crumble because of the difficulty of the journey. [ We are led to ponder the ways in which sensual indulgence can keep a person from attaining Heaven ].

After recapping both stories, Old Honest adds that many who consider themselves Pilgrims fail in some basic way.

 

The Three Robbers
The three robbers who robbed “Little-Faith” before (in Part 1) approach the group, but it seems that they had heard previously about Mr. Great-heart, so they went the other way.

 

GAIUS’ INN
Christiana then asks Mr. Honest if he knows of an inn where they all could rest themselves, for they are very wary. Mr. Honest directs them to Gaius’ Inn (a man who loved the King, and frequently sheltered weary Pilgrims). [ Gaius’ inn is a representation of the blessings Jesus gives His followers through the Church ].

They are readily welcomed by Gaius, and he mentions that he only opens his doors for Pilgrims. Gaius invites them to eat and talks at length about various religious matters. He proves himself to be a pious and learned man in the ways of the Lord.

He delivers a long defense of women, arguing that although sin came into being through a woman, so too did salvation when Mary mothered Christ.

The Pilgrims remain at Gaius’ Inn for a month, and during that time, he informs Christiana, to her surprise, that her husband, whom she had only known as a poor, ragged man, came of most distinguished stock. His ancestors, who “dwelt first at Antioch” (Acts 11:26), included many an ancient saint and martyr: the apostles Paul, Peter and James, Stephen, Romanus, Ignatius, and Marcus of Arethusa. [ By placing these martyrs in Christian’s lineage, we are to understand the strength of commitment that has characterized his lineage ].

In view of this, he said that Christian’s name and character should never be forgotten, and his family ‘line’ should be perpetuated. In light of this, Gaius suggests to Christiana that Mercy should marry her oldest son, Matthew, since this could a “way to preserve you a posterity on the earth.” Mercy is delighted with the idea, and they are married. Then Gaius gives his daughter Phoebe in marriage to young James.

Gaius then tells Mr. Great-Heart of a local menace, the giant “Slay-good,” and Mr. Great-Heart agrees to accompany the mission to dispense with the villain. Mr. Great-Heart and Gaius soon come upon the giant in the process of tormenting “Mr. Feeble-mind.” They kill the giant and leave his head displayed near the inn as a warning to other monsters. Meanwhile, they rescue Mr. Feeble-Mind and take him back to the inn as well.

Before the Pilgrims finally leave the inn for good, Mr. Great-heart asks Gaius how much it would be for their stay. Gaius refuses any kind of payment for his hospitality, citing that the Good Samaritan promised to pay for any Pilgrims’ stay when he returned (Luke 10:33-35).

So, as the time for departure nears, Mr. Great-heart invites Mr. Feeble-mind to accompany them. Mr. Feeble-mind resists, commenting that he is too ignorant for pilgrimage. Mr. Great-heart insists that he is obligated to help the feeble-minded. A handicapped Pilgrim named “Ready-to-halt” also joins them. On the road, Mr. Honest and Mr. Great-heart discuss the many characters that Christian met on his pilgrimage, including “Faithful” and “Hopeful.”

[ Though we may not know what the ‘road’ ahead of us may hold, God’s Pilgrims can be confident that He knows their needs and will provide for them ].

 

VANITY FAIR
By this time they have come within the outskirts of “Vanity Fair,” and they halt there to consider the best way of passing through the town where Christian and Faithful had been given such a rough time (Faithful, after a trial before Lord Hate-good, and having been mercilessly beaten, was then burned at the stake). Mr. Great-heart says that he knows a place where they might perhaps find lodging—at the house of Mr. Mnason, “an old disciple.” Now that it is dark, they enter the town without being noticed, and make their way to Mnason’s house, where he welcomes them.

Mr. Mnason and his daughter, Grace, take the pilgrims in and arrange for “Mr. Contrite” and some other “good men” (“Mr. Holy-man,” “Mr. Love-saints,” “Mr. Dare-not-lie,” and “Mr. Penitent”) to dine with them. Contrite says that the locals feel a burden of guilt after the unjust execution of Christian’s friend, Faithful, and have since become more moderate, and has changed the environment of Vanity Fair for the better. They also discourse with these men about the virtues and difficulties of the pilgrimage.

The pilgrims spend a long time with Mnason, and during this time, Mnason’s daughter Grace marries Christiana’s son Samuel, and his daughter Martha marries Christiana son’s Joseph.

[ The marrying of Christiana’s sons emphasizes how much time has passed on the pilgrimage. At the beginning of the pilgrimage, they were young boys. At the opening of Part II, Bunyan portrays Christiana as a young mother. By showing her sons now as young adults of marriageable age, Bunyan displays that the Pilgrims’ journey is their life itself. Children grow up and generations shift ].

Also during their stay, Mr. Great-Heart joins forces with Mnason’s friends to go and wound a fierce dragon with seven heads that had been emerging from the woods to frighten the Pilgrims and menace the children of the village. So then, just like Christian and Faithful, they leave Vanity in a much better state than they found it—as heroes.

Now, as they all are just outside of the Vanity Fair city limits, they erect a monument in honor of Faithful. They then climb the hill called Lucre where Demas tempted Christian with silver, and was the downfall of Mr. By-ends.

Taking to the road again, the Pilgrim company comes to the River of God, or the River of the Water of Life, with its banks lined with fine trees and meadows that remain green the year round. Here, by the riverside, are sheepfolds and a house, kept by “Compassion” and “built for the nourishing and bringing up of those lambs, the babes of those women that go on pilgrimage.” [ This is a foreshadowing of what they will find in the Celestial City (Heaven) ]. Christiana instructs her daughters to leave their babies with the “One,” a trusted Man who will give the children a good life “so that, by these waters, they might be housed, harbored, succoured, and nourished, and that none of them might be lacking in time to come.”

[ Christiana’s ‘abandonment’ of the babies has some good reasons behind it. Babies cannot go on pilgrimages because they are not mature enough to understand the spiritual meaning of everything. Since pilgrimage is more than just mere travel and requires ‘understanding’ too, Puritans believed that only young adults like Christiana’s sons can be Pilgrims ].

 

DOUBTING CASTLE
When the group arrives at By-path Meadow, where Christian and Hopeful had erred and were captured by Giant Despair, almost losing their lives in his “Doubting Castle” dungeon. After some discussion, it is decided that an attempt should be made to slay Giant Despair and his wife Diffidence, tear down his castle, and rescue any Pilgrims in his dungeon.

Mr. Great-Heart, Mr. Honest, and the four boys decide to put an end to the evil of Doubting Castle. First, they slay Despair and his wife Dissident, and then free all of the Pilgrims in the dungeon—who were nearly starved. This included “Despondency” and his daughter, “Much-Afraid.” They then demolish Doubting Castle. [ Symbolically, the reader sees that the community of the church comes together powerfully to defeat despair. Strength in numbers gives them the ability to overcome even the fiercest of giants. It also symbolizes the constant role of spiritual ‘warfare’ in the life of a believer ].

Like they have done so many times before, the Pilgrims put the head of the defeated giant on a stake and created, in stone, a monument of deliverance to serve as a warning for those Pilgrims who would pass by in the future:

“This is the head of him, whose name only
In former times did Pilgrims terrify.
His castle’s down, and Diffidence his wife
Brave Master Great-heart has bereft of life…
This head also, when doubting cripples dance,
Doth show from fears they have deliverance.”

[ The killing of Giant Despair displays the heroic effectiveness of Christiana’s group. In Part I, Christian, for all his fortitude, did not slay Giant Despair, but was nearly killed by the monster. Christiana’s pilgrimage is way more successful overall than Christian’s—owed to her capacity for encouraging teamwork. Christian was more or less a loner, rarely accompanied by more than one fellow Pilgrim at a time. In contrast, Christiana has a huge group. Wherever she goes, her group multiplies. Her example shows that spirituality must be private, but pilgrimage can be social ].

 

THE DELECTABLE MOUNTAINS
Arriving at the “Delectable Mountains,” Christiana and her party are welcomed by the Shepherds as warmly as Christian and Hopeful had been. The Shepherds show special concern about the weaker in the company—Mr. Feeble-mind, Mr. Ready-to-halt, Mr. Despondency and his daughter Much-afraid. These are singled out by name, and invited to be the first to enter the Palace on the mountains.

The next morning, the leading Shepherds, “Knowledge,” “Experience,” “Watchful,” and “Sincere,” take the Pilgrims to see the sights—not only those shown to Christian and Hopeful, but others that they did not see.

“Mount Marvel,” was first, from which they perceived in the distance a man who tumbles “the hills about with words…set there to teach Pilgrims how to believe down, or tumble out of their ways, what difficulties they shall meet with, by Faith” (Mark 11:23-24).

Then they were shown “Mount Innocent,” where they see “a man clothed all in white” (“Mr. Godly-man”) and two men, “Prejudice” and “Ill-will,” continuously casting dirt on him, but the dirt does not stick and his clothes remain shining because of the “innocency of his life.”

Then finally, “Mount Charity,” where a man sits with a bundle of cloth before him, cutting out coats and garments for the poor, yet his bundle of cloth never runs out. “He that watereth shall be watered himself. And the cake that the widow gave to the Prophet did not cause that she had ever the less in her barrel.”

Mercy then asks if she might see the “By-way” to Hell, and the Shepherds do so. The door is opened and she hears souls in Hell lamenting the choices they made that sent them there. “Then there was as if the very earth had groaned and quaked under the feet of this young woman for fear; so she looked white, and came trembling away, saying, ‘Blessed be he and she that is delivered from this place.’” [ This symbolizes that one should repent before it is too late! ].

Mercy, being pregnant, sees something in the Palace that she longs to have, but is ashamed to ask for it. It is a looking glass in the dining room. Having set her mind on having it, she tells her mother-in-law, Christiana, “that if I have it not, I think I shall miscarry.” Perhaps the shepherds would be willing to sell it. Christiana says that she will see what can be done about it.

“Now the glass was one of a thousand. It would present a man one way, with his own features exactly, and turn it but another way and it would show one the very face and similitude of the Prince of Pilgrims himself—the very Crown of Thorns upon his head—the holes in His hands, in His feet, and His side.” The mirror reflects the face of Christ back to any gazer [ The Word of God, the Bible ]. The shepherds are very pleased to present Mercy with the wonderful glass, in thanks for the Pilgrims killing Giant Despair, and also bestow gifts on Christiana and the other women—bracelets and necklaces, and “earrings for their ears, and jewels on their foreheads.”

[ Bunyan’s depiction of the mirror demonstrates the generous attitude toward women that runs throughout Part II. In Part I, a pregnant woman gripped by an irrational desire for a mirror could be an accumulation of many negative stereotypes, including female vanity, emotionalism, and a general tendency to cause trouble. Yet Bunyan gives the scene a positive ring and portrays Mercy’s desire as religious and commendable. The mirror does not play into human vanity, since it reflects the image of Christ back to the viewer. The shepherds are delighted to give it to her, implying that the mirror is a worthy possession of faith ].

[ Note also that Mercy looks into the By-way to Hell, immediately before this mirror ‘episode’. As a preface to the Mirror reflecting the ‘Prince of Pilgrims,’ it is a little more. Mercy looks into a cave or place of ‘darkness’. She sees no light (John 1:9). She comes to the home of the Shepherds and looks in the dining room mirror, and sees Christ as her reflection, the Light of the World, because she has “a mind to see him.” ].

As a reminder, when Christian and Hopeful were leaving the Delectable Mountains, the Shepherds gave them written instructions on what to do and what to avoid on the rest of their journey. By forgetting to read these “cautions,” Christian and Hopeful had stumbled into serious troubles. However, there is no need for the Shepherds to give Christiana’s party any cautions, for it is led by Great-heart, who, having frequently passed this way, knows all about them.

 

Mr. Valiant-for-truth
Proceeding, they arrive at the spot where Christian once met “Little-Faith.” There they meet a man standing in the road with his sword drawn and his face all bloody. When questioned, the man replies that his name is “Valiant-for-truth,” a Pilgrim from “Dark-land,” bound for the Celestial City. He adds that he had just been attacked by three men, “Wild-head” (headstrong and chaotic), “Inconsiderate” (closed to reason), and “Pragmatic” (opinionated and dictatorial), who tried to prevent him from going forward. After a fierce three-hour battle, he finally defeated them. Great-heart expresses amazement that one man could turn away three attackers and asks why Valiant-for-truth did not call for aid. Valiant-for-truth says he asked the Lord for help silently and received it. He then tells the story of his pilgrimage and how he passed through the same obstacles that Christian did. When Valiant-for-truth admits he learned from Christian’s example, Great-heart is pleased that Christian’s story has spread so widely—another example of the wide and powerful reach of Christian’s LEGACY.

[ The pilgrims’ encounter with Valiant-for-truth demonstrates again how Christian’s earlier pilgrimage affects the present one. They meet Valiant-for-truth at the exact spot where Christian met Little-Faith, whom the same thieves attacked. Bunyan directly contrasts the two characters by involving them in distinctly parallel situations. Where Little-Faith is known for his cowardice, Valiant-for-truth is known for his courage and skill ].

Asking to see his sword, Great-heart examines it and exclaims: “Ha, it is a right Jerusalem blade” (Isaiah 2:3) that never grows blunt. “It is so.” Valiant-for-truth concedes. “Let a man have one of these blades, with a hand to wield it and skill to use it, and he may venture upon an angel with it…Its edges will never blunt. It will cut flesh and bones and soul and spirit and all” (Ephesians 6:12-17; Hebrews 4:12). [ Valiant-for-truth symbolizes how the believer will always be in ‘battle’ with the ‘world’, the ‘flesh’, and the Devil (Ephesians 2:2-3; Ephesians 6:10-20; Romans 12) ].

[ For more details on “the ‘world’, the ‘flesh’, and the Devil,” read the is previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post about the “armor of God”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/ready-for-battle-v235/ ].

Mr. Great-Heart tells Valiant-for-truth that his ability to tune out those who would dissuade him from his journey “was your victory, you faith even.” [ In this remark, Bunyan shares a way in which he believes faith manifests itself. He provides a tangible example of what faith, that most abstract of concepts, actually looks like in practice, which allows Bunyan to show the reader that Faith is attainable for anyone ].

 

THE ENCHANTED GROUND
Respecting his courage, Great-Heart invites him to join the group of Pilgrims, and Great-heart is happy to have him come along since they are about to enter dangerous territory, the “Enchanted Ground.” With swords drawn, Great-heart walks in front, Valiant-for-truth behind “lest per-adventure some fiend or dragon or giant or thief should fall upon their rear.”

In the Enchanted Ground, they become weary, and the landscape grows dark around them. They stumble, drag their feet, and eventually they come upon a pleasant arbor furnished with benches and couches. The weary Pilgrims are tempted to stop, but Great-heart warns them against this place, called “Slothful’s Friend,” since it is set up to entice Pilgrims to sit down and fall into a deep sleep from which they would never awaken.

Proceeding on, they find another arbor with two pilgrims, “Heedless” and “Too-bold,” asleep on couches inside. The Pilgrims try to awaken the sleepers, who make nonsensical replies to them. Great-heart says they talk in their sleep and that their words are spoken without reason. [ Bunyan insists that pilgrimage demands understanding as well as travel. These two failed pilgrims have done almost everything right, having reached the very outskirts of the Celestial City. Obviously, they made it through the Slough of Despond, past Giant Despair, and survived all the challenges facing the other pilgrims. Clearly Heedless and Too-bold are admirable characters. However, the pilgrims’ only failing is that they talk in their sleep. This flaw summarizes their failure to communicate rationally and their failure to deeply understand pilgrimage. They may have performed all the deeds of a good pilgrim, but they can only babble about the meaning of their achievements. In the end, they have failed ].

Great-heart then lights a lantern to brighten the group’s way onward through the darkness and to look a this ‘map’ (the Bible), and they carry on to safety. [ This symbolizes that as the pilgrims huddle together, the ‘light’ of the Word of God shows leads them to safety ].

 

Mr. Standfast
Beyond the Enchanted Ground, they find a pilgrim kneeling in prayer. His name is “Mr. Standfast.” Valiant-for-truth asks him why he is on the ground, and Mr. Standfast explains of his ‘run-in’ with a tall, attractive dark woman, “Madam Bubble,” the enchantress who oversees the Enchanted Grounds. She was wealthy, well-spoken, attractive, greedy, and promiscuous. She offered him her bed, her money, and herself. “I am the Mistress of the World, and men are made happy by me.” The woman spoke smoothly, smiling at the end of each sentence, and fingered her purse while talking [ Madam Bubble with her physical charms and great purse filled with gold which she scatters like dust to her favorites, is Bunyan’s personification of all that is alluring but ephemeral in the ‘world’, things that burst like a soap bubble. She embodies everything that represents a threat to the Church—the most severe stumbling block for Pilgrims. If one can stand fast and wait for deliverance (the Church arrives to save him), ‘she’ (sexual temptations, gross indulgences of the ‘flesh’, and the love of riches) can be defeated ].

Mr. Stand-fast resists her advances once, twice, many times, but still, she follows him with inducements and enticements. Becoming angry, Mr. Stand-fast takes to his heels, falls on his knees, raises up his hands, lifts up his eyes, and prays to God to rescue him from this “witch.”

Mr. Stand-fast says he rejected her, and Great-heart commends him for it. [ Madam Bubble’s threat—the threat of the vain world—is too pervasive to destroy. It can only be avoided with vigilance, principle, and community ]. This leads Great-heart to a bit of ‘sermonizing’: “Whoever doth lay his head down in her lap has as good lay it down upon that block over which the axe doth hang; and whoever lay their eyes upon her beauty are counted as the enemies of God” (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15).

With this, the Pilgrims begin to sing:

“What danger is the Pilgrim in,
How many are his foes,
How many ways there are to sin,
No living mortal knows.
Some of the ditch shy are,
yet can Lie tumbling in the mire;
Some, though they shun the frying-pan,
Do leap into the fire.”

 

THE LAND OF BEULAH
Stand-fast joins Christiana’s party, and now they are sixteen as they come into the Land of Beulah, home of the Celestial City, “where the sun shineth night and day,” as it did in Christian’s time. The locals clothe the pilgrims in fresh garments. The local children bring them perfumed bouquets.

Resting here a while, they are invited to help themselves to the luscious fruits and all else growing in the Lord’s orchards, gardens, and vineyards.

Among other things, they gather all the chief spices to anoint their bodies against the time when they will be called to cross the Dark River.

Altogether, Beulah Land is, quite literally, a divine spot, though there is so much ringing of bells, sounding of trumpets, and singing of angels that the Pilgrims can get no sleep. But they do not mind this, for they feel as fresh at all times as if they had not missed a wink of sleep.

 

THE CELESTIAL CITY
Christiana and her group have reached the River of Death, but they do not all cross the River at the same time. (This reflects the actual experiences of believers). Just as God ‘raises up’ new disciples, He ‘calls’ the ones that are ready to depart this life to be with Him.

The pilgrims remain there until they are summoned, in writing, by their Lord.

 

Christiana Crosses Over to the Celestial City
A messenger has arrived from the Celestial City, summoning Christiana, who hastily opens the message and reads: “Hail, good woman, I bring thee tidings that the Master calleth for thee and expecteth that thou shouldest stand in his presence, in clothes of immortality, within this ten days.” Christiana will be the first to “cross over” to the Celestial City.

[ Note: This is a recollection Gaius’s justification of why women are saved—because they believed first in God. The men are summoned subsequently, but the stronger and more virtuous men are summoned after the weaker ones. This would suggest strongly that the promise of Heaven is not earned in proportion to one’s virtue, highlighting Bunyan’s egalitarian view of the nature of salvation ].

The messenger gives Christiana a token to assure her of his legitimacy: an arrow that enters her heart and spreads love there.

As Christiana prepares to depart, she bequeaths what little she had to the poor, and speaks to all in the company, wishing each of them well: A blessing for her children; To Valiant-for-truth: “Be faithful unto death, and my King will give you a Crown of Life”; To Mr. Stand-fast she gave her ring; To Mr. Honest: “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom no guile”; To Mr. Ready-to-halt: “But watch, and be ready; for at an hour when you think not, the Messenger may come.”; To Mr. Despondency and his daughter “Much-afraid: “Be ye watchful, and cast away fear; be sober and hope to the end”; and to Mr. Feeble-mind: “I advise thee to repent of thy aptness to dear and doubt of His goodness before He send for thee.”

The day came that Christiana was to go over. Being escorted by all of her group and everybody in town to the Dark River, when she was at the edge of the bank, it could be seen that the far bank was crowded with horses and chariots filled with “Shining Ones.” Wading into the stream, Christiana waves farewell to her friends and beckons a farewell: “I come Lord, to be with Thee and bless Thee.” She was then carried out of sight and entered the Celestial Gate, with “ceremonies of joy.”

[ Sometimes a person’s last words are very ‘insightful’ and should be written down and considered. For the Puritans, they called it “holy dying,” and it consisted of “mannerisms” to be emulated. For more background on people’s ‘last words’, view this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post: https://markbesh.wordpress.com/ones-last-words-v232/ ].

 

Mr. Ready-to-halt Crosses Over
The next to be summoned is Ready-to-halt, who throws away his crutches as he enters the river and cries out: “Welcome, life.” [ Psalm 73:4-5 ].

 

Mr. Feeble-mind Crosses Over
Then follows Mr. Feeble-mind, who bequeaths his mind to Mr. Valiant-for-truth with the request that he bury it in a dunghill, for it is of no use to anybody. His last words were: “Hold out faith and patience.” [ Ecclesiastes 12:3 ].

 

Mr. Despondency and His Daughter Much-afraid Cross Over
Having dealt with melancholy all of his life and knows well what it can do to a person, he does not bequeath it to anyone. His daughter was very eager to be free from fear and despair. The last words of Mr. Despondency were, “Farewell night, welcome day.” His daughter was singing something but no one could understand what she was saying. [ Ecclesiastes 12:5 ].

 

Mr. Honest Crosses Over
As Honesty leaves the world, he says “Grace Reigns.” [ This a concise summation of the crux of Bunyan’s theology, which is authoritative because of the Name and Identity of the Person who uttered it ]. [ Ecclesiastes 12:4 ].

 

Mr. Valiant-for-truth Crosses Over
He gives his sword and his forage and skill to him who shall succeed him, but takes his marks and scars with him, “to be a witness.” His last words are: “Death, where is thy sting? Grave, where is thy victory?” [ 1 Corinthians 15:55 ]. ***What the editor, Mark Besh wants on his ‘gravestone’*** (and then to hear: “Well done good and faithful servant”!)

 

Mr. Stand-fast Crosses Over
He asks Mr. Great-heart to tell his wife and five children of his happy arrival in Heaven, and that he wishes for them to follow him here. After a long discourse, his last words were, “Take me, for I come unto Thee.” [ Josiah 3:17 ].

 

[ Note: The detail about Christiana and the others meeting their maker suggests that their final destination is death. Unlike Christian in Part I, Christiana’s group not only arrives in the Celestial City but actually die and meet their Maker, the “Master,” God Himself. They fulfill their pilgrimage more dramatically and solemnly than Christian did at the end of Part I. Christian arrived at his joyous destination but without any mention of an ‘encounter’ with God. “Ready-to-halt” seems to understand that he will not return from his trip to see the Master, and this is evident when he arranges to give his crutches to his son. While Christian’s tale ended with his heavenly joy, Bunyan suggests in Part II that this joy comes after life is over ].

 

Christiana’s sons and their wives are temporarily left behind to propagate “the increase of the Church in that place where they were for a time.”

‘Timing’ is important in Christianity, and it is not their appointed time to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (as it also will be for Mr. Great-heart). They realize their responsibility is to further the Kingdom of God on earth. The community of the faithful must be sustained, especially in trying times, and their choice of vocation serves as a model and final instruction from Bunyan to his readers.

 

With this, the story ends. The author-dreamer does not give us the slightest glimpse of anything beyond the Celestial Gate-not even the picture offered in Part I of Christian and Hopeful joining the angels parading the gold-paved streets in the jewel-encrusted city, strumming their golden harps and singing.

But the author offers us no glimpse into the heavenly Jerusalem the Pilgrims had struggled so hard to attain. He does not even show us Christian and Christiana embracing. Excusing himself for this, Bunyan concludes his book with this sentence: “Shall it be my lot to go that way again, I may give those that desire it, an Account of what I here am silent about; meantime I bid my Reader Adieu.”

[ The French, “Adieu,” is a truncation of a 14th-century phrase that means “I commend you unto God,” a fitting benediction for the reader as he begins their own pilgrimage ].

 

FINAL THOUGHTS
For many of us, leaving a legacy means being ‘remembered’. But a legacy is much more than people knowing our name. Our legacy is made up of everything we leave ‘behind’—the good as well as the bad.

The truth is that we will ALL leave a legacy, regardless of whether anyone remembers our name. (In fact, some of the most important people in the history of the world are effectively anonymous). We probably won’t leave a legacy like the ones on the list at the beginning of this post, yet EVERYONE’S legacy matters—because we can’t know the full extent of the impact we will have on the world around us. John Bunyan had NO CLUE the extent to which his book, “The Pilgrim’s Progress” would impact the world!

 

So then, what about you? What sort of legacy do you want to leave? How will you touch the lives around you? Will you leave the world a different place than you found it?

The thing is, there is often a gap between how we WANT to be remembered and how we WILL be remembered. However, I believe that when we ‘center’ our legacy around the GOSPEL of Jesus, we become a part of SOMETHING ETERNAL!

 

Well, I’m trying to ‘practice what I preach’. Since being “born again” back in 1998, as I mentioned, my personal “MISSION STATEMENT” for my life has been to “Take as many people to Heaven with me as I can.” I could die in peace if I knew every one of my ‘descendants’ (and of course ‘acquaintances’) had been “born again,” had the ‘full’ knowledge of the amazing grace and love of Jesus, had entered into a ‘covenant’ relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ, was avidly serving God as He was ‘directing’, and was in the process of making disciples of Jesus—essentially being a ‘follower’ of Jesus and a ‘light’ to the world, modeling God’s unconditional love to others. I am ‘avidly’ working on LEAVING THIS ‘LEGACY’!

[ Note: Here’s my life’s mission statement rewritten in response Joan Peterson “six word legacy” challenge (in the “Articles” section): “Take people to Heaven with me.” ]

 

Since the Apostle Paul is my primary ‘human’ mentor, I try to emulate what he did and believed (especially since I believe that the Holy Spirit ‘inspired’ him to write what he did, so it’s the best ‘advice’ one can obtain).

At the end of his life, giving his final instructions to his ‘pupil’ Timothy, he made some statements about what he wanted his legacy to be—which so happen to be similar to what Christian, in “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” essentially proclaimed at the Celestial Gate:

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” [ 2 Timothy 4:6-8 ].

– Go and “preach the Word”: Be ready at all times, study to be ‘approved’, and know that there will be persecutions when you do so.

– Do the “work of an evangelist”: Tell people how they can have their sins forgiven and obtain eternal life after they die.

– He had “fought the good fight”: Stand firm as a spiritual warrior, clothed in the armor of God, faithfully defending the truth of the Gospel.

– He had “finished the race”: That he was neither disqualified nor disheartened in the ‘marathon’ of life and ministry.

– And most importantly, he had “kept the faith”: He remained true, committed, and loyal to God who rescued him from sin and darkness.

Now, notice that Paul wanted to pass on to Timothy a legacy of relying on the Word of God to get him through life and prepare him for Heaven, to tell others how they can have this ‘hope’, and to persevere to the end—just what Christian ‘taught’ us in his pilgrimage.

 

Then, my ‘primary’ mentor, Jesus Christ, said these last words to His disciples just before He ascended into Heaven: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” [ Matthew 28:19-20 ]. So, He ‘commanded’ His disciples to make followers of Him who will then go make other disciples.

 

So, I have to ask myself, “If that’s the kind of legacy I want to leave, how would I pursue it today?” Well, it means that my choices need to be more about “fighting the good fight.” I need to put on the spiritual armor each morning, as Paul told the Ephesians to do, and live to be victorious in all that comes my way. I need to be running the race to win, putting off all that hinders, and the sins that entangle (Hebrews 12:1). It also means that in every situation I want my attitudes, my words, and my actions to be loyal and true to my “King,” Jesus.

I desire to do what Paul told the Philippians, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Hebrews 3:13-14).

So, adding a bit to the question I asked in the ‘intro’ of this post, “What will you be remembered for in relation to Jesus?

While you are contemplating that, consider that after a follower of Jesus has departed from this life, God may continue to use their ‘INFLUENCE’ to change the lives of others—by the ‘LEGACY’ they leave, and how they ‘LIVED’ their life for Jesus.

 

MY DESIRED ‘LEGACIES’
Just as John Bunyan did with his “The Pilgrim’s Progress” book—which I am not comparing myself to its influence in any way—here’s a few ‘goals’ for the legacy I would like to leave:

– To leave behind ‘DISCIPLES’ of Jesus that will follow me to Heaven (Remember my life’s goal: “Take as many people to Heaven with me as I can”). [ This, of course, would include sending people ‘ahead’ of me, too! ].

– Another way I am working to achieve my life goal is to leave to my family, close friends, and acquaintances (and even people I will never meet here on earth that read this blog), this monthly “LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS.” [ http://lifesdeepthoughts.com ]. It is to present—to the best of my learning at the time of writing—the ‘confessional’ Reformed (Calvinistic) viewpoint of the Christian faith, in a ‘simple, but not simplistic way’, backed up by widely accepted ‘experts’ (pastors and theologians since St. Augustine). Its sole intent is to ‘point’ the reader to THE ‘CONDUCTOR’ (Jesus) that can lead them through their ‘pilgrimage’ to the “Celestial City” (Heaven) to be with Him, His Father, and the Holy Spirit for ETERNITY!!!

– I also want to leave a ‘GODLY’ EXAMPLE, focusing daily on loving God with my whole heart, mind, soul, and strength, and loving my neighbor as myself (Luke 10:27). Specifically, I will concentrate on, to the best of my ability, to portray the ‘attitudes’ of Jesus (the “Beatitudes” – Matthew 5:1-12) and manifest the ‘character’ of Jesus (the ‘fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23). [ http://fruitsofthebeatitudes.org/ ]. Essentially, to BECOME MORE ‘LIKE’ JESUS, and desire to hear Him say to me when I am at the “Celestial Gate,” “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

 

So, even before you can answer the ‘updated’ question of what kind of ‘godly’ legacy you want to leave, another question is, are you ‘READY’ TO DIE? Are you ‘PREPARED’ to meet your Maker? Are you sure you will be ‘ACCEPTED’ (biblically) into Heaven? Are you TRULY “born again” and have ‘EMBRACED’ the Gospel? If not, I would strongly suggest you work on that before you invest any time on developing your ‘LEGACY’!

 

However, if you answered “Yes” to all of those questions, then I just have one more question: How are YOU going to leave a ‘GODLY’ LEGACY???

 

 

[ Excerpts from: Wikipedia; John Tweeddale; Got Questions; Daniel St.Pierre; Dr. Paul M. Elliott; Jerry Bridges; Chris Hendrix; Paul Tautges; Brandon Hilgemann; Barclay Bank; Joe Wittwer; John MacArthur; Jim Rohn; Susan V. Bosak; Lisa Haisha; Jack Hoey III ]

 

RELATED POSTS:

‘Growing’ In Grace”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/growing-in-grace-v240/

‘House’ Of Horrors”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/house-of-horrors-v237/

Ready For ‘Battle’?”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/ready-for-battle-v235/

Go ‘Tell’ All The World”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/go-tell-all-the-world-v234/

New ‘Identity’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/new-identity-v220/

‘Real’ Love”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/real-love-v216/

The ‘Fruitful’ Life”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-fruitful-life-v204/

The ‘Blessed’ Life”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-blessed-life-v203/

 

‘PRAYER’ OF REPENTANCE
In the Bible, there is a parable that Jesus told about a Pharisee and a tax collector praying in the Temple. He notes that the tax collector didn’t even dare to lift his eyes toward Heaven as he prayed. Instead he “beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner’”—and Jesus said that the tax collector “went home justified,” he had been “born again” and ‘reconciled’ by God. (Luke 18:9-14).

If you are ‘sensing’ something like that right now, let me strongly encourage you to HUMBLE YOURSELF, CRY OUT to God, and PLEAD for Him to mercifully ‘SAVE’ YOU! None of us have a ‘claim’ on our salvation, nor do we have any ‘works’ that would cause us to deserve it or earn it—it is purely a gift of Divine grace—and all any of us can do is ask. So, CONFESS YOUR SINS and acknowledge to God that you have no hope for Heaven apart from what He provides through Jesus.

There is no ‘formula’ or certain words for this. So just talk to God, in your own words—He knows your ‘heart’. If you are genuinely sincere, and God does respond to your plea, one will usually have a sense of joy and peace.

Jesus said, “He that comes to Me, I will not cast out” [ John 6:37 ].

[ NOTE: If you have ‘tasted the kindness of the Lord’, please e-mail me—I would love to CELEBRATE with you, and help you get started on your ‘journey’ with Jesus! ].

 

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RESOURCES:

—————-
Leaving a Legacy: An Inspirational Guide to Taking Action and Making a Difference
Will You Leave A Legacy? Caring enough to take action and make a difference is what Leaving A Legacy is all about. You will learn through the lives of its seven wonderful characters that life’s experiences give us all the wisdom we need to leave a legacy when we find the courage to take action.Jim Paluch is an energizing speaker and has earned the right to be called a motivational novelist. His first book, Five Important Things, released in 1996, has touched thousands of people around the world with an unforgettable story about a young entrepreneur, his family, and their journey toward success.In Leaving A Legacy Paluch carries on the style deemed riveting, spell-binding, and heartwarming with another life-changing story that causes readers young and old to realize it’s never too early or late to apply wisdom, take action and make a difference!

By: Jim Paluch – Mark Victor Hansen (Foreword)

https://www.amazon.com/Leaving-Legacy-Inspirational-Taking-Difference/dp/0937539325/

—————-
Leading Without Power: Finding Hope in Serving Community
By: Max De Pree

Simple yet profound, Max De Pree’s observations are often quoted by America’s top CEOs, educators, and opinion makers. The best-selling author of Leadership Is an Art and Leadership Jazz, he has done no less than revolutionize leadership thinking and practice. Now, in Leading Without Power, De Pree finds that the most successful organizations of the Information Age operate not as controlled collections of human resources, but as dynamic communities of free people. And in order to mobilize these communities, leaders must know how to lead without power, because free people follow willingly or not at all.

“This is a book to be read, reread, shared widely within any organization. Every chapter has pictures for our mind that will remain vivid long after the book is closed. A vibrant testament to human potential, the why of work.”
—Frances Hesselbein, president and CEO, Leader to Leader Institute formerly the Drucker Foundation

De Pree holds up nonprofits as mirrors of our greatest aspirations places where people work for the opportunity to contribute to the common good, and for the chance to realize their full human potential. He calls such organizations movements and challenges others to follow their example. Movements, De Pree maintains, transcend “the deceptive simplicity of a single bottom line” and set standards for leadership and service all organizations should reach for. They lead not with the power of the paycheck or with bureaucratic carrots-and-sticks, but with the promise of meaningful work and lives fulfilled. For that reason, nonprofit or otherwise, they are the most successful organizations of all. Brimming with rich, warm, and wise advice, Leading Without Power takes an enlightened look at the forces that drive selfless accomplishment. It offers encouragement and hope for creating organizations that inspire the very best in people. And it provides leaders at every level with a new context for effecting positive change.

Table of Contents:
– Places of Realized Potential
– What’s a Movement?
– A Context for Service
– What Shall We Measure?
– The Language of Potential
– Service Has Its Roots
– Attributes of Vital Organizations
– Vision
– Trust Me
– Why Risk It?
– The Function of Hope
– Elements of a Legacy
– Moral Purpose and Active Virtue

https://www.amazon.com/Leading-Without-Power-Community-Paperback/dp/0787967432

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Inspired Philanthropy: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Giving Plan and Leaving a Legacy
By: Tracy Gary – Suze Orman (Foreword)

This newest edition of the classic book shows how anyone can align and integrate values, passions, and dreams for their communities and families into their plans. Inspired Philanthropy explains how to make a difference by creating giving and legacy plans, tells what questions to ask nonprofits, and spells out how to help partner with advisors and nonprofit leaders for inspired outcomes. In addition to overall updates to statistics, the new edition includes a discussion of the implications of the Buffett gift to the Gates Foundation; new legacy planning tools; expanded resources on youth, giving circles, and communities of color; key questions for advisors and donors; and worksheets and resources available on the enclosed CD.

—————-
Your Heritage – How To Be Intentional About the Legacy You Leave
By: J. Otis Ledbetter and Kurt Bruner

Your Heritage shows you how to be intentional about leaving a heritage for your children. This book teaches how to strengthen your roots by understanding the heritage you were given and charting a new course for the future by building a positive heritage for yourself, your children, and coming generations.

—————-
Pillars of Grace (Long Line of Godly Men Profile)
By: Steven J. Lawson

The doctrines of grace are often known as the five points of Calvinism, but they were not the invention of John Calvin or his reforming cohorts of the sixteenth century. Rather, they are biblical doctrines, as Dr. Steven J. Lawson demonstrates in his book Foundations of Grace. Now, in Pillars of Grace, Dr. Lawson shows that the doctrines of grace have been understood and taught—sometimes in embryonic form, sometimes with great clarity—throughout church history. From the time of the early church fathers to the era of the Reformers, key men in the church stood on the foundation of Scripture and upheld the truth of God’s sovereign role in salvation. The inescapable conclusion is that the doctrines of grace are no innovation, but the consistent witness of some of the greatest men of the church.

—————-
The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God’s Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin
By: John Piper

We admire these men for their greatness, but the truth is Augustine grappled with sexual passions. Martin Luther struggled to control his tongue. John Calvin fought the battle of faith with worldly weapons.

Yet each man will always be remembered for the messages he declared-messages that still resound today. John Piper explores each of these men’s lives, integrating Augustine’s delight in God with Luther’s emphasis on the Word and Calvin’s exposition of Scripture. Through their strengths and struggles we can learn how to live better today. When we consider their lives, we behold the glory and majesty of God and find power to overcome our weaknesses.

If ever you are complacent about sin, if ever you lose the joy of Jesus Christ, if ever you are dulled by the world’s influence, let the lives of these men help you recapture the wonder of God. Book 1 in The Swans Are Not Silent series.

—————-
St. Augustine of Hippo: Father of the Christian Church
By: Charles River

“You are known throughout the world; Catholics honor and esteem you as the one who has established anew the ancient Faith” – St. Jerome in a letter to Augustine, 418

The Christian Church has no shortage of revered figures and saints, but it is difficult to find one that had a more decisive impact on the course of the Church’s history than Augustine of Hippo. Augustine was a bishop of Hippo Regius in Africa, but his works, sermons and writings helped hold the Church together even as the Western Roman Empire was in its death throes, to the extent that every major branch of Christianity recognizes him today. The Catholic Church has venerated him as a saint and a Doctor of the Church, Orthodox Christians also consider him a saint, and Protestants and Calvinists cite him as one of the fathers and inspirations of the Protestant Reformation. In many respects, Augustine has provided the theological bedrock for Christians for nearly 1600 years, and as theologian John Leith noted in 1990, “Augustine, the North African of Berber descent, is today the spiritual father of multitudes who are remote indeed from him racially, politically, and culturally.”

Augustine’s voluminous writings also had the effect of making him one of antiquity’s most influential philosophers. Though he will always be remembered within the context of Christianity, Augustine studied the works of Virgil, Cicero, and the ancient Greek philosophers, providing a critical bridge between religious and secular philosophy that would in turn inspire St. Thomas Aquinas and similar thinkers. In addition to framing the concept of original sin, it was Augustine who first wrote at length on the theory of just war. Paul Henry, S.J. noted, “In the history of thought and civilization, Saint Augustine appears to me to be the first thinker who brought into prominence and undertook an analysis of the philosophical and psychological concepts of person and personality. These ideas, so vital to contemporary man, shape not only Augustine’s own doctrine on God but also his philosophy of man…”

Augustine’s legacy would have been impressive for anybody to accomplish, but it was made all the more amazing by the fact that he spent most of his early years living irreverently. Though raised a Christian, he abandoned his faith until he was in his early 30s, and one of his prayers would become notorious: “Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet” He was teaching rhetoric in Africa before a series of experiences led to his conversion back to Christianity in 386, thus spending the last 45 years of his life in the service of God.

St. Augustine of Hippo: Father of the Christian Church chronicles the life, writings, and legacy of the influential Christian saint. Along with pictures, a bibliography, and a Table of Contents, you will learn about St. Augustine like you never have before, in no time at all.

—————-
John De Wycliffe: The First of the Reformers, and What He Did for England
By: Emily S. Holt

Some men are famous only while they live, and are scarcely heard of afterwards. Some, who were hardly known while they lived, become very famous afterwards. And for some of this latter class, the afterwards is long in coming; centuries may go by, and the world seems to have forgotten them. But at last some discovery bursts upon a following age, and it awakes to find out that such a man was a hero, though he might be no prophet in his own country or century, and the green moss of many a year may have obliterated his epitaph. Not seldom are such men regarded as the reverse Of heroes while they are alive. Their own world at least disdains, if it do not revile and persecute them. There have not been many in the ranks of those of whom the world was not worthy, whom the world as they were passing through thought at all worthy of it.

https://www.amazon.com/John-Wycliffe-Reformers-England-Classic/dp/1331744016/

—————-
The Daring Mission of William Tyndale
By: Steven J. Lawson (Author)

In The Daring Mission of William Tyndale, Dr. Steven J. Lawson traces this daring mission, which was ultimately used by God to ignite the English Reformation yet would cost Tyndale his life. From one man’s labor, we’re reminded of God’s faithfulness to preserve His Word and equip His people.

Chapters:
– A Dangerous Passion
– Grounded in Sovereign Grace
– The Perilous Work Begins
– New Testament for a Plowboy
– Producing the Pentateuch
– Always Improving
– The Historical Books
– Conclusion: We Want Again Tyndales!
– Resources and Tools

Part of A Long Line of Godly Men Profile series
Subject index
Bibliography

—————-
The Legacy of Luther
By: R.C. Sproul and Stephen J. Nichols

He was the most influential man of his day. The movement that began with his posting of the Ninety–Five Theses reshaped Europe, redirected Christian history, and recovered the truth of God’s word. Five hundred years later, what is Luther’s legacy? In this volume, R.C. Sproul, Stephen J. Nichols, and thirteen other scholars and pastors examine his life, teaching and enduring influence. Meet Martin Luther, the mercurial Reformer who, out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, set the world ablaze.

—————-
The Legacy of John Calvin: His Influence on the Modern World
By: David W. Hall

David Hall identifies 10 seminal ways that Calvin’s thought transformed the culture of the West, complete with a nontechnical biography of Calvin and tributes by other leaders. The Legacy of John Calvin is brief enough for popular audiences and analytical enough to provide much information in a short space.

—————-
The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards: American Religion and the Evangelical Tradition
By: D. G. Hart (Editor); Sean Michael Lucas (Editor); Stephen J. Nichols (Editor)

Three hundred years after Edwards’ birth, experts on Edwards examine the vision, theology, and legacy of this theological giant. Scholars contributing essays include Harry S. Stout, George M. Marsden, Gerald McDermott, and Douglas Sweeney. The first part of the book focuses on the vision of Jonathan Edwards, discussing how Edwards understood Native American mission, preaching, and Christian spirituality. A second section looks at Edwards’ theology and its relevance for contemporary church issues, including the crisis of character and open theism. The third section examines how Edwards’ legacy was carried on by later church leaders. And the final section offers personal reflections by long-time Edwards scholar George S. Claghorn and a survey of the best literature on Edwards.

https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Jonathan-Edwards-Evangelical-Tradition/dp/0801026229/

—————-
George Whitefield: Life, Context, and Legacy
By: Geordan Hammond (Editor); David Ceri Jones (Editor)

George Whitefield (1714-70) was one of the best known and most widely travelled evangelical revivalists in the eighteenth century. For a time in the middle decades of the eighteenth century, Whitefield was the most famous person on both sides of the Atlantic. An Anglican clergyman, Whitefield soon transcended his denominational context as his itinerant ministry fuelled a Protestant renewal movement in Britain and the American colonies. He was one of the founders of Methodism, establishing a distinct brand of the movement with a Calvinist orientation, but also the leading itinerant and international preacher of the evangelical movement in its early phase. Called the “Apostle of the English empire,” he preached throughout the whole of the British Isles and criss-crossed the Atlantic seven times, preaching in nearly every town along the eastern seaboard of America. His own fame and popularity were such that he has been dubbed “Anglo-America’s first religious celebrity,” and even one of the “Founding Fathers of the American Revolution.”

This collection offers a major reassessment of Whitefield’s life, context, and legacy, bringing together a distinguished interdisciplinary team of scholars from both sides of the Atlantic. In chapters that cover historical, theological, and literary themes, many addressed for the first time, the volume suggests that Whitefield was a highly complex figure who has been much misunderstood. Highly malleable, Whitefield’s persona was shaped by many audiences during his lifetime and continues to be highly contested.

—————-
The Shadow of the Broad Brim: The Life and Legacy of Charles Haddon Spurgeon
By: Richard Ellsworth Day

Still regarded today as the Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon preached to tens of thousands of people. His printed sermons–widely circulated immediately after he preached them–continue to be read and loved today. But what do you know of Spurgeon’s life outside of the pulpit? What influences and events shaped the man who would become such a great preacher? What factors molded his love for Christ and his ability to so eloquently exalt his Saviour? You have read Spurgeon’s messages and shared his quotes. But who was he? Discover for yourself in this compelling biography written on the one hundredth anniversary of Spurgeon’s birth.

https://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Broad-Brim-Charles-Spurgeon/dp/1598942220/

—————-
Classic Teachings on the Nature of God: The Holiness of God; Chosen by God; Pleasing God
By: R. C. Sproul

R. C. Sproul has committed his life to clearly communicating deep, practical truths from God’s Word to students and laypeople. His lucid teaching style brings clarity to the most difficult–and often contentious–biblical and theological questions. Gathered here in one volume are three of his best-selling books–over $40 worth of reading at a great low price.

From Rudolf Otto’s” mysterium tremendum” to Martin Luther’s “insanity”and Jonathan Edwards’s fiery sermons, Sproul’s classic “The Holiness of God”illuminates history and Scripture to help readers understand–and live with–the tension that exists between God’s terrifying holiness and his inexplicable grace.

In “Chosen by God,” Sproul tackles the divisive subject of predestination, and discusses God’s sovereignty and the problem of evil, human freedom, and the task of evangelism. He explains that there is a mystery in God’s ways but not contradiction; and paints a picture of a loving–not spiteful or whimsical–God who provides redemption for radically corrupt people.”Pleasing God” explores the topic of sanctification–how we satisfy God by pursuing righteousness. Sproul examines the constant battle Christians wage against sin–pride, slothfulness, dishonesty. He reveals how many Christians have tragically abandoned the struggle, but that God delights in those who press on.

Although Sproul brings a Reformed background and approach to topics, his work is not just for Calvinists but for all Christians who want to understand and build on the foundations of their faith.

https://www.amazon.com/Classic-Teachings-Nature-God-Holiness/dp/1598564684/

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Leaving A Godly Legacy” (Life Principles Study Series)
by Charles F. Stanley

As we walk through life, we make an impression on the people around us–we leave “footprints” where we walk.

The footprints that we make in life are our legacy, the lasting mark that we make on the world around us. This legacy is most profound in the influence that we have on our own children, since the character which we develop will be reflected in the lives of our children and grandchildren.

In this book, author Charles Stanley teaches how to make that legacy both lasting and godly. He shows you how to teach your children to walk with the Holy Spirit, how to relate to others in a godly way, how to place a high value on God’s Word, and much more. These Bible studies are for any parent, grandparent, teacher, or anyone who works with children, and they will equip you to leave behind a lasting and godly legacy.

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Legacy Devotional: Leaving a Legacy of Faith
By: Tim Chapman

Fathering is one of the most challenging but rewarding roles! If you are a father, you need regular encouragement. Tim was motivated to write this book because young fathers asked him for daily encouragement. Out of his own brokenness he has learned the Gospel is the nourishment father’s need to parent their children. The family is the ideal setting to drive a father to Christ. So grab a cup of coffee, a Bible, Legacy Devotional – and be encouraged.

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Leaving a Legacy of Hope
by: Mark Gregston

Teens today are stuffed with information, yet starving for wisdom. They act distant, but the truth is, they need you now more than ever. You have a place in their lives your gray hair, your wisdom, your relationship, your involvement in their lives to help counter the contrary influence in today s teen culture. They need you to touch their hearts, even if their behavior hurts your heart. Your life can transform their life and change the destiny of your family!
Leaving a Legacy of Hope is a must read for every grandparent s library. With wit and wisdom, Mark Gregston helps you better connect and engage with your grandchildren. For both young and old grandparents alike, chapter titles include:

– Changing Gears When You re Almost Out of Gas
– Why Gray Hair Works to Your Benefit
– Making Memories Before You Lose Yours
– Losing Battles but Winning Wars
– Don’t Save the Best for Last
– Remember, you can be the connection that offers hope.

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Your Legacy: Designing a Life That Honors God, Blesses Others, and Brings Joy to Your Own Soul
By: David Hodge

Every person can make a difference! This message and similar ones are commonplace in the world today but how do you actually make a difference? And how do you make a difference that lasts?

In Your Legacy, leadership expert David Hodge outlines a blueprint for just that—how you can make a difference that lasts. Hodge walks you through how to intentionally build a life of godly influence to bless others, impact future generations, and ultimately glorify God. Learn from biblical principles of leadership as well as real-life examples and put into practice what you learn with guided exercises and reflection questions.

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

https://www.amazon.com/Your-Legacy-Designing-Honors-Blesses/dp/162707953X/

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The Family God Uses: Leaving a Legacy of Influence
By Tom Blackaby and Kim Blackaby – Henry Blackaby (Foreword)

The divide between generations has never been greater. In The Family God Uses, the Blackaby family provides churches and families with a tool to intentionally bring families back together by challenging them to creative involvement in ministry and missions. Through the stories of Christian families who have accepted God’s challenge to be involved in His kingdom work locally and around the world, your family will be inspired to work together and serve together with Christ in the center. Your family will see the possibilities of what can happen through them as you seek the Lord together.

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Man of Influence: Following the Master, Leaving a Legacy
By: Jim Cote

Jim Coté focuses on the traits and priorities Jesus emphasized during his years of public ministry as an example for all men of how to live a life of lasting value and become a man of influence. He is the Chaplain for the Dale Earnhardt racing team.

https://www.amazon.com/Man-Influence-Following-Master-Leaving/dp/0830822984/

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The Pilgrim’s Progress

Often rated as important as the Bible as a Christian document, this famous story of man’s progress through life in search of salvation remains one of the most entertaining allegories of faith ever written. Set against realistic backdrops of town and country, the powerful drama of the pilgrim’s trials and temptations follows him in his harrowing journey to the Celestial City.

Along a road filled with monsters and spiritual terrors, Christian confronts such emblematic characters as Worldly Wiseman, Giant Despair, Talkative, Ignorance, and the demons of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. But he is also joined by Hopeful and Faithful.

An enormously influential 17th-century classic, universally known for its simplicity, vigor, and beauty of language, The Pilgrim’s Progress remains one of the most widely read books in the English language.

[ John Bunyan ]

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Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress
By: Leland Ryken

We’ve all heard about the classics and assume they’re great. Some of us have even read them on our own. But for those of us who remain a bit intimidated or simply want to get more out of our reading, Crossway’s Christian Guides to the Classics are here to help.

In these short guidebooks, popular professor, author, and literary expert Leland Ryken takes you through some of the greatest literature in history while answering your questions along the way.

Each book:

– Includes an introduction to the author and work
– Explains the cultural context
– Incorporates published criticism
– Defines key literary terms
– Contains discussion questions at the end of each unit of the text
– Lists resources for further study
– Evaluates the classic text from a Christian worldview

This volume leads readers through John Bunyan’s classic Christian allegory, The Pilgrim’s Progress, offering insights into the nature of faith, the reality of temptation, and the glory of salvation.

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The Pilgrim’s Progress
(In Modern English)

IN EPUB. MOBI & .PDF FORMATS

https://www.monergism.com/pilgrims-progress-modern-english

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Pilgrim’s Progress – Journey To Heaven” (2008 Movie)

“The Pilgrim’s Progress” (Part 1). Danny Carrales (Director); Daniel Kruse (Actor); Jeremiah Guelzo (Actor)

https://www.amazon.com/Pilgrims-Progress-Journey-Daniel-Kruse/dp/B001AYJ2Y0/

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Christiana” (2007 Movie)

“The Pilgrim’s Progress” (Part 2). Ken Anderson (Director); Liam Neeson (Actor)

DVD: https://www.amazon.com/Christiana-Various/dp/B000EQHX7I/

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Little Pilgrim’s Progress: From John Bunyan’s Classic
By: Helen L. Taylor

Fifty-five years ago, Helen L. Taylor took John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and simplified the vocabulary and concepts for young readers while keeping the storyline intact. The result was a classic in itself, which has now sold over 600,000 copies. It’s both a simple adventure story and a profound allegory of the Christian journey through life, a delightful read with a message kids ages 6 to 12 can understand and remember. A new look and fresh illustrations for today’s children enlivens the journey to the Celestial City.

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The Pilgrim’s Progress
By: John Bunyan; John Newton (Preface), and Leland Ryken (Forward)

Only the Bible has sold more copies than The Pilgrim’s Progress. Bunyan’s classic, first published in 1678, quickly became a hallmark among English readers and beyond, enduring down to our day as a unique resource for spiritual edification. This new edition from Desiring God contains Bunyan’s original version, unabridged and designed for modern readability.

Featuring an introduction by John Piper to Bunyan’s life and ministry, as well as a foreword by Leland Ryken, this volume also includes a preface by John Newton written in 1776, which was nearly lost in history until recently rediscovered.

Download:
https://www.desiringgod.org/books/the-pilgrims-progress

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The Pilgrim’s Progress
Read by Max McLean

The Pilgrim’s Progress (Listener’s Collection of Classic Christian Literature) /// This is a great Christian product sourced from BIML – Bible In My Language, the leader in foreign language Bibles and outreach materials from Baltimore, Maryland in the USA. BIML stocks Bibles in more than 600 languages.

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Pilgrim’s Progress, Part 2: Christiana
By: John Bunyan (Author); Jim Pappas and Jim Pappas Jr. (Adapters),

The journey continues, as Pilgrim’s wife, Christiana, disregards the ridicule of her neighbors and follows in her husband’s footsteps toward the Celestial City. Accompanied by her four sons and Mercy, a young neighbor, Christiana is in for an adventure. Travel with them as they gather wisdom and confront internal and external dangers along their path of faith. They meet up with Great Heart, a noble warrior with the Sword of the Spirit, as he defeats the deceitful Giant, Grim, and his pair of fierce lions. The insight of the Interpreter comforts them when he explains that God sees not the faults of the sinner, but the perfect likeness of His Son, in whom the pilgrims believe.

Travel with Christiana and her little troupe as they encounter Vanity Fair, the Enchanted Forest, and the Great Chasm, experiencing perils and triumphs on their quest of faith for the Celestial City.

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The Pilgrim’s Progress Audiobook by John Bunyan

Translated into over 100 languages, The Pilgrim’s Progress is one of the most famous classics of literature. It is an allegorical novel, describing a Christian’s journey through life to reach heaven. Part 1 was written by John Bunyan in 1679 whilst he was imprisoned for conducting unauthorised religious services, whilst Part 2 was not written until 1684, and is not included in many versions of this text. This recording includes both parts, and inline scripture references.

[ Joy Chan – Audiobook recording ]

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6nVY89aDlM
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylhJT7qka_I
Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idxyvv6EdzQ
Part 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76sio_DWFqo

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The Pilgrim’s Progress

“The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World, to That Which Is to Come” is a 1678 Christian allegory written by John Bunyan. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature, has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print.

[ Wikipedia ]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pilgrim%27s_Progress

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Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners – Updated Edition (Illustrated): A Brief Account of God’s Exceeding Mercy through Christ to His Poor Servant
By: John Bunyan

Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he has done unto my soul. (Psalm 66:16)

This is a short and honest account of how God demonstrated His exceeding great mercy to His unworthy servant, John Bunyan.

This story specifically tells how Bunyan was converted. John Bunyan was a companion of sin and was troubled by sin. He fought temptation and sin in his own strength and lost, and in despair he gave up hope of ever finding God’s mercy; but the Lord Jesus Christ at last delivered him from the guilt and terror that so often and so viciously troubled him.

In addition to this, a short account of Bunyan’s call to the work of the ministry is told, along with the trials and trouble he encountered – including some of the difficulties he faced while in prison.

This is all taken from his writings and is now published for the encouragement and support of others who are weak and tempted and need strength and hope and victory in Jesus.

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The Life and Death of Mr. Badman” (A companion to “The Pilgrim’s Progress”)
By: John Bunyan

“Courteous Reader,

As I was considering with my self, what I had written concerning the Progress of the Pilgrim from this World to Glory; and how it had been acceptable to many in this Nation: It came again into my mind to write, as then, of him that was going to Heaven, so now, of the Life and Death of the Ungodly, and of their travel from this world to Hell. The which in this I have done, and have put it, as thou seest, under the Name and Title of Mr. Badman, a Name very proper for such a Subject: I have also put it into the form of a Dialogue, that I might with more ease to my self, and pleasure to the Reader, perform the work.

And although, as I said, I have put it forth in this method, yet have I as little as may be, gone out of the road of mine own observation of things. Yea, I think I may truly say, that to the best of my remembrance, all the things that here I discourse of, I mean as to matter of fact, have been acted upon the stage of this World, even many times before mine eyes.

Here therefore, courteous Reader, I present thee with the Life and Death of Mr. Badman indeed: Yea, I do trace him in his Life, from his Childhood to his Death; that thou mayest, as in a Glass, behold with thine own eyes, the steps that take hold of Hell; and also discern, while thou art reading of Mr. Badman’s Death, whether thou thy self art treading in his path thereto.”

John Bunyan

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The Works Of John Bunyan
(Three Volume Set)

John Bunyan is best known for his famous allegorical works. He was prepared to suffer the hardship of imprisonment, in order to expound these great works. But his exposition of them was not confined to allegory, and in his many other works, like, ‘Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ’ and ‘An Exposition of the First Ten Chapters of Genesis’, we find Bunyan writing as the outstanding pastor-evangelist he was. These three quality volumes, first edited by George Offor (1853 and 1862) constitute the only available standard edition of his works.

The Works Of John Bunyan

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Foxe’s Book of Martyrs
By: John Foxe

Today, Christian persecution is worse than any other time in modern history. It is the global issue of our day.

But it is not new.

Throughout Scripture and world history, we see God’s people enduring violence, war, discrimination, isolation and eventually martyrdom—all because they have chosen to follow the triune God.

For generations, John Foxe’s classic has inspired and opened the eyes of millions of Christians to persecution, both past and present.

Throughout the pages, the 16th-century theologian chronicles history to show us how Christ followers willing to lose their lives have built His Church. In this collection, he brings us up close to disciples we know (Peter, Paul, John, Luke, Mark, Barnabas)—and introduces us to the stories of numerous Christians you likely haven’t heard. Men and women who lived out their faith to their last breath.

You’ll be encouraged by these real-life accounts in this book that still lives today. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs is more than a record of persecution…it is a powerful display of the footprints of an omnipotent, omniscient God.

Sign up to get your free ebook.

[ Open Doors ]

https://www.opendoorsusa.org/foxes-book-of-martyrs-ebook/

 

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THE SEARCH FOR MEANINGWEBSITE

This site presents discussions on the 12 most commonly asked questions about the Christian faith.

The 12 discussions are accessed by the “tabs” at the bottom of the page. The tabs are numbered 1-12. Roll your mouse over them and you will see the question displayed at the right. Click on the number to select that question.

Within each question (i.e. tabs 1-12), there are subtopics (or dialogues) to select that appear as smaller tabs underneath the numbered tabs. Roll your mouse over them and the title of these topics is also displayed to the right. Click on the open rectangle to select that dialogue.

For each question (1-12), a link to related resources and an optional flowchart is provided. To access this material, click on the respective words, “Related Resources” or “Options Flowchart.”

To play a more detailed discussion of the subject, between two people, select the desired dialogue and click on “Play Audio Dialogue.”

In the upper right-hand corner of the page, there is an icon that looks like binoculars looking at a question mark. Click on this icon to return to the homepage.

In the upper right-hand corner of a “Related Resources” page, there is an icon that looks like some books. Click on this icon to get to an “overview” page that has links to all of the resources for all of the questions. There also are additional “appendices” for most of the questions.

In the upper right-hand corner of a “Flowchart” page, there is an icon that looks like an Org chart. Click on this icon to get to an “overview” page that has links to all of the flowcharts.

http://4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q1_d1_1of10.html

[ Content by: Bill Kraftson and Lamar Smith; Website by Mark Besh ]

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“FRUITS OF THE BEATITUDES” WEB SITE
(The ATTITUDES of Jesus that produce the CHARACTER of Jesus)

CLICK ON THE LINK to view:
http://fruitsofthebeatitudes.org/

FACEBOOK PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/FruitsOfTheBeatitudes/

[ Mark Besh ]

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[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about how to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant” from God, visit the following link:
http://www.4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q11_d8_1of10.html ].

 

ARTICLES:

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Where Life Stories Live On

Legacy.com is the place where the world pauses to embrace the power of a life well-lived. We believe that a single life story can provide extraordinary inspiration, even after that person has died. So we champion every life, knowing it can connect us in unexpected, powerful ways.

https://www.legacy.com/

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The Legacy You Leave

[ Rick Beneteau ]

Illustration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRmyW-ejqcQ

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Leaving a Legacy Through Intent
(TEDxBirmingham talk in 2014)

What kind of legacy will you leave behind? In this personal and motivating talk, Jim Cavale modifies a tried and true formula for intensity to build the case for living a life of intent, so that we can all leave behind a lasting legacy.

A technologist and entrepreneur of many passions, Jim is the COO at IronTribe Fitness, devoted to scaling the client experience during their rapid franchise growth. http://irontribefitness.com

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Highlights (by the Editor):
– You are co-authoring your ‘chapter’ in the grand scheme of a larger ‘story’.

– Steve Jobs had his best stint at Apple when he faced death—when he had to
think about how can I create something or a series of things and products that
can change the way people do things—the way people think.

– Let’s face it, all of these chapters they work together like a puzzle—a perfect puzzle—crafted by the Master Author to which we are co-authors of. And it’s our
responsibility to make that chapter as impactful as it can be.

– Affecting our kids and their kids that’s what defines success—that’s what defines leaving a legacy.

– The Bible has stories of past lives that have been lived, and of present lives that we are living, and future lives that will be lived by our kids and their kids. And if you can live with intent your chapter can leave a lasting impact—a legacy. It ‘lives on’ well after you’re gone.

– Healthy urgency—we don’t know how many years months days hours or minutes we have left. We all have only an allotted amount of time that we can live this out in this larger story.

– From Shakespeare to Hollywood the best stories began with the end in mind.

– So, plan now so that you don’t have any “shoulda,
woulda, coulda” regrets. Don’t let that be you!

[ Jim Cavale ]

TED Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2C83h2U-Y4

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Leaving a Legacy – The Time is Now
(TEDxSugarLand talk in 2016)

What clues are you leaving the next generations? What knowledge is going to be lost? Melanie talks about the importance of documenting and recording your stories and insights.

Melanie Churella Johnson owned and operated two independent TV stations in Houston and Dallas. She has been in front of and behind the camera. She built and marketed the Houston Mansion. Melanie is currently the owner of Elite Online Publishing and Charity Auction Consignments, which has raised close to $400,000 for nonprofits. Melanie is a five-time best-selling author. She has two teenage boys and resided in Houston Texas. She loves spending time with her family and traveling.

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Highlights (by the Editor):
– Steve Jobs before he left this planet started Apple University—to record the horrific failures that Apple had so his community and employees can learn from those failures moving forward.

– In the course of your lifetime you’ll have over a million experiences

– Because your information your knowledge your wisdom your information and inspiration is the most valuable currency that we have to move the human race forward

– “Should ask” questions are the ones that if they knew what you knew this is what they would be asking. this is where you show your expertise. then you want to come up with three stories that answer those questions—to teach a ‘lesson’.

– It’s not just within your abilities it’s your responsibility—to leave this gift this precious present of your legacy.

[ Melanie Johnson ]

TED Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXyLNrnl7OE

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The Ultimate Legacy

A self-absorbed young man is challenged to grow a conscience and change his ways in order to receive an inheritance from his grandmother. The question before the law firm responsible for its execution is which will come first: the demise of the estate, or the realization of the heir that dealing with the past is the only path to true freedom?

And when we teach something, we change another’s life. But when we teach people to teach, we change the world.

[ Hallmark Movies & Mysteries ]

Movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Pk17IJo7qc

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What Is Your Legacy?

Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway was challenged to write a sow-word story. He came back with this: “For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.”

It is just incredible that these few words have such an emotional reaction in his reader.

Most leaders don’t think about their leadership legacy until they are approaching the end of their careers. At Bluepoint, we encourage leaders to take the time early on in their leadership journey to consider their long term goals and draft plans to create a legacy that will leave an indelible mark on the careers and lives of those they lead. This exercise can have a transforming effect on leaders, their teams, and the entire organization.

In Bluepoint’s new video, Joan Peterson challenges leaders to craft their own leadership legacy and encourages leaders to use that legacy to guide the choices they make about how to lead others.

Joan’s six-word story for her life: “Left the pile higher every day.”

[ Joan Peterson ]

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj7RUEv-XFc

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Is It True We Can’t Take It With Us?

Occasionally we hear the cliché, “You can’t take it with you.” The implication is that on the day we pass from this life, we will not be taking suitcases filled with our belongings. No moving van will be following the hearse. Following the death of a wealthy, internationally famous entrepreneur, when asked how much the businessman had left behind, a company spokesman accurately responded, “All of it!”

Strangely, however, often we do not act as if that is true. Many of us accrue as many material things as our incomes allow. For some people this means multiple homes, numerous cars, closets filled with attire that could clothe entire villages in Third World countries, expensive vacations, enough gizmos and gadgets to occupy several lifetimes. We fret over investment portfolios, agonizing when returns drop and rejoicing (temporarily) when they soar.

Yet, upon taking our final breath, everything we have amassed remains behind, left perhaps to family members and loved ones, or even to the government in the form of inheritance taxes. So if in reality we can’t take it with us, why does our behavior make it appear we think otherwise?

This is not to say material things – TVs, cell phones, computers, houses, various forms of transportation, shirts and skirts and slacks, books, boats, even bowling balls – are inherently wrong. But if they demand our full attention and devotion, it might be good to re-examine our priorities and passions. We find a decidedly different perspective on “stuff” in the Bible, one worthy of our consideration:

Material possessions make a poor master. We can use the things we possess as tools, or servants, enabling us to do the good things we have the opportunity to perform. Or they can become objects of worship, consuming our time, talent and energy. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the others. You cannot serve both God and Money” (Matthew 6:24).

Material possessions demand our affections. Having enough money in our bank accounts is not bad, unless we have trouble defining what “enough” means. Too many people, however, have been driven by their obsession with bank balances and bottom lines, at the expense of deserving people around them. This is one reason Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). What did He mean by “treasures in heaven”?

Material possessions are never enough. How many people have you met who have sincerely stated, “I have everything I need. I never want another thing”? Probably not many people, if any at all. In answer to the question, “How much is enough?”, most of us if we were honest would reply, “Just a little bit more.” About this Israel’s King Solomon, reputed to be the wisest man who ever lived, wrote, “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income…. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them…. Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand” (Ecclesiastes 5:10-15).

[ Robert J. Tamasy – “Legacy Leaders” ]

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About Leaving a Legacy

[ Chris Alex ]

Illustration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0MkaN7Bu-U

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7 Principles for Leaving a Legacy

– Know thyself
– Don’t judge; Seek to understand
– Know your impact
– Letting go
– Others always have a choice
– They need what you need
– Care for the heart

[ By Susan Steinbreche, based on the book, Heart-Centered Leadership by Joel B. Bennett, Ph.D ]

Illustration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9Dx0YHA5-w

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What Kind of Christian Legacy Will You Leave Behind?

[ The Baptist Foundation of Alabama ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fOr70i0GCY

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Leaving a Legacy: 10 Things I Want To Be Remembered For

My legacy will continue after I’ve moved onto the next life. I will be remembered for my attitude, presence, words, and actions that left a pleasant fragrance or putrid stench. In order to establish a great legacy, there needs to be an intentional effort every day with the help of the Holy Spirit. There are 10 things for which I want to be remembered by my family, friends, and co-workers:

#1) Legacy of joy in the midst of difficulty
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” (James 1:2-3).

In this life, we are going to have troubles even when we aren’t the instigators of it. Rather than attempting to live a trouble-free life, it’s much better to expect bumps in the road and dig deep in our spirit to find joy in the midst of it. There’s joy that comes from knowing that God is in control of every single situation in our lives.

#2) Legacy of receiving and giving grace
“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care” (1 Corinthians 3:10).

God gives us great grace to accomplish His will right where we are. Being on the receiving end of undeserved grace and mercy makes it easier to pass it on to others. Giving grace is the ability to release our loved ones to experience everything God has created them to be and allowing them to make mistakes along the journey without being condemned.

#3) Legacy of encouraging and inspiring others towards greatness
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” (Hebrews 3:13).

There’s always something to bring people down—a discouraging word, a disapproving look, or disrespectful actions. Sometimes we have to bring the joy with us when we show up in the home, work, church, or community. Great personal joy happens within us when other people are inspired by our words and actions.

#4) Legacy of giving my time, treasures, and energy for kingdom work
“But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving” (2 Corinthians 8:7).

As believers in Christ Jesus, our legacy should be one of incredible generosity of our time, money, and energy. We are promised by God that He will supply all our needs and grant our desires according to His will. Our legacy is bolstered when we live unhindered by selfish ambition or hoarding earthly treasures for ourselves.

#5) Legacy of modeling forgiveness
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

It’s much easier to talk and think about forgiving others than actually doing it. However, God gives an incredible freedom to those who choose to forgive those who’ve offended them. Christ’s sacrifice at the cross is most modeled when we forgive as He has forgiven us.

Everyone leaves a legacy whether they plan to or not.
Everyone leaves a legacy whether they plan to or not.

#6) Legacy of unconditional love for my family and friends
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).

Many of us grow up believing that people love us when we do something worthy of their affection. However God has called us to love unconditionally as He has loved us. Through His grace, the legacy of agape love can reach throughout many generations of family and friends.

#7) Legacy of leading and discipling people to Christ
“Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well” (1 Thessalonians 2:8).

It’s easy to take for granted the amazing gift of salvation given from God the Father through Jesus Christ. Yet every time I share the gospel and witness a transformed life—I’m more determined to reach out to the lost. It takes time and effort to disciple people in Christ, but God gives us the wisdom and strength when we trust in His direction.

#8) Legacy of hearing and doing God’s word
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).

If I could choose, I would rather leave a legacy of doing God’s word rather than just sitting around accruing knowledge about it. God’s word is a powerful motivator to get us moving in the right direction. However it’s only possible when I surrender my inability in the flesh and trust the Lord to give me what I need to follow through.

#9) Legacy of doing good and productive work
“Their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work” (1 Corinthians 3:13).

I’ve gained much satisfaction from giving my best in the work God has given me to do. It isn’t always easy and sometimes I’m tempted to quit. However through perseverance and strength from the Holy Spirit, I’ve accomplished my goals and aspirations in the different seasons of my life to give a good day’s work in and outside of the home.

#10) Legacy of looking towards my heavenly home
“But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13).

If there was only one legacy I could leave—it would be the hope I have in Christ for eternal life. Every day I must live as if it were the last one on this earth considering the question: what would I bring to heaven? The answer: nothing, except what I did in the name of Jesus leading towards heavenly riches.

What’s your Legacy?
Everyone leaves a legacy whether they plan to or not. Everything we say or do leaves the imprint of our lives on those around us. As long as there is breath in your body, there’s an opportunity to leave a rich legacy of hope. Start your legacy list today and begin to live in the fullness that God created you to experience.

[ Crystal McDowell ]

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A Further Defense

“Some say the Pilgrim’s Progress is not mine,
Insinuating as if I would shine
In name and fame by the worth of another,
Like some made rich by robbing of their brother.
Or that so fond I am of being sire,
I’ll father bastards; or, if need require,
I’ll tell a lie in print to get applause.
I scorn it: John such dirt-heap never was,
Since God converted him. Let this suffice
To show why I my Pilgrim patronize.

It came from my own heart, so to my head,
And there into my fingers trickled;
Then to my pen, from where immediately
On paper I did dribble it daintily.

Manner and matter too was all my own,
Nor was it unto any mortal known
Till I had done it; nor did any then
By books, by wits, by tongues, or hand, or pen,
Add five words to it, or write half a line
Thereof: the whole, and every part, is mine.”

[ John Bunyan, “The Holy War” ]

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Pilgrim’s Progress – Journey To Heaven” (2008 Movie)

STORYLINE:
An allegory of the life of a Christian believer on a journey from the “City of Destruction” (this ‘world’) to the “Celestial City” (Heaven).

SYNOPSIS:
“Pilgrim’s Progress, Journey to Heaven” is a modern adaptation of John Bunyan’s beloved classic. It is the #1 Children’s fantasy of all time. The novel has been heralded as a literary masterpiece around the world, as it has been published in over 100 languages and is the most read book other than the Bible.

Amazing visual effects, beautiful locations, and a wonderful cast bring to life the story that has inspired each generation for hundreds of years. Follow Christian and his companions on a great Journey from the City of Destruction to the gates of Heaven as they face obstacles large and small, man-made and demon spawned.

Beyond the gripping drama, Bunyan’s powerful allegory teaches us all the hazards and hopes of the Christian life, and it features the triumphant glory that awaits all who faithfully follow the King of kings!

————-

Produced by DRC FILMS (Danny R. Carrales) in 2008, in my opinion, is the most ‘faithful’ rendition of part one of John Bunyan’s classic “Pilgrim’s Progress” book (even including the new 2019 animated version by Revelation Media).

For more information about this movie, and to buy the DVD, visit their website:

HOME

[ NOTE (Editor, Mark): In my opinion, this is the most ‘faithful’ rendition of “The Pilgrims Progress” book by John Bunyan I have ever seen ].

Movie Trailer:

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The Pilgrim’s Progress” (2019 Animated Movie)

Based on one of the best-selling books of all time, The Pilgrim’s Progress is the one story that can give our children the courage to stay on the straight path in a culture that often stands against them. Watch and share the trailer and make plans to take your children to see The Pilgrim’s Progress Easter 2019!

An epic tale of a pilgrim and his burden. Journey with Christian as he travels from the city of Destruction to the Celestial City. In Theaters Easter 2019. Find your theater and get tickets at http://www.Pilgrims.Movie

Trailer:

Countdown-Day 10: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDJHhahdRH0
Countdown-Day 9: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpCQ-Ozy1dA
Countdown-Day 8: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwY3MQUy608
Countdown-Day 7: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypDhjT4k_A0
Countdown-Day 6: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j12pBe4YHLI
Countdown-Day 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phZj4lkpkMo
Countdown-Day 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvsQII4mJZk
Countdown-Day 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3Dr7UwKhV8
Countdown-Day 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UI0ku1aVeU
Countdown-Day 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0meoG76G3Q

[ NOTE (Editor, Mark): After seeing the movie on opening night, I was impressed and disappointed. They did such a good job with the CGI animation—on a very small budget—so the quality was very good. But, they took some very extreme “artistic license” with some items/scenes, and put things in the movie that are not in the book.

The version produced by DRC Productions (“Pilgrim’s Progress – Journey To Heaven”) in 2008 (the previous article) would be the better one to watch, since it is the most ‘faithful’ rendition available ].

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The Way To Glory” (Podcast)

If the Christian life is an adventure, it’s a precarious one. Each week, we’ll take a fresh look at Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan’s 300-year-old masterwork. Come alongside Christian, as we remember, or even meet for the first time, characters on our shared journey to the Celestial City.

THE PODCASTS:

“The Way To Glory”: https://www.christianitytoday.com/partners/revelation-media/way-to-glory/

[ CT Creative Studio – Richard Clark; Abby Perry ]

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Pilgrim’s Progress with Steve Cleary and Robert Fernandez

The producer and writer/director of a new animated movie talk about their ambitious and evangelistic film.

[ Life Today with Randy Robison ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdzaQMJ9jGs

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The Pilgrim’s Progress – Steve Cleary Interview

This is an interview with Steve Cleary, Executive Producer of “The Pilgrim’s Progress.“

[ John Wilkerson ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkdsa02gok4

Movie Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEI-bAYyLnE

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Robert Fernandez & Rabbi Walker discuss his animated movie The Pilgrim’s Progress

[ Igniting A Nation ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vibovP74Lv4

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The Pilgrim’s Progress

Full Feature Film (2017 Musical)

An adaptation of John Bunyan’s classic allegory.

[ Rogue Valley Fellowship ]

Movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faeen3y7PV0&t=2s

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The Pilgrim’s Progress

“Brian Sibley’s adaptation of The Pilgrim’s Progress, the new Classic Serial is very good, the acting is first-rate, and Pam Fraser Solomon’s production the best she has ever done.” [ Gillian Reynolds’ review in The Telegraph ]

[ BBC 2004 ]

Episode 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FUwcRiPvzc
Episode 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZIz0Gtmn-Y
Episode 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2XYahnJxAk

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What is The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan?

Answer: The Pilgrim’s Progress (full title, The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come, Delivered Under the Similitude of a Dream) was written by John Bunyan (1628–1688) and since its publication has encouraged countless believers in their walk with God.

From a purely literary viewpoint, The Pilgrim’s Progress is without a doubt the greatest allegory ever written. Critics have called it “a hybrid of religious allegory, the early novel, the moral dialogue, the romance, the folk story, the picaresque novel, the epic, the dream-vision, and the fairy tale” (Lynn Veach Sadler, John Bunyan, Twayne Publishers, 1979). The world over, The Pilgrim’s Progress is the second best-selling book in history (the first is the Bible) and has been translated into over 200 languages.

The publication of The Pilgrim’s Progress represented a pivotal event in the history of literature. The lengthy prose allegory was unique in its time, and it helped lead to the creation of an entirely new genre, the novel. Three formulaic elements of the novel are present in Bunyan’s masterpiece: 1) One main character (the protagonist), whose exploits are followed throughout; 2) A secondary character who assists the protagonist; and 3) A journey with a beginning, middle, and end. The novel is the most popular form of literature today, and all novels contain those three elements from The Pilgrim’s Progress.

But there is much more to The Pilgrim’s Progress than literary excellence. The book presents an unforgettable and universal picture of the Christian life, from the time of the soul’s first awakening to the truth of the gospel to the entrance into heaven. Readers find that, no matter where they are in the Christian journey, they will see themselves in The Pilgrim’s Progress. Repeated readings reveal additional treasures. Charles Spurgeon loved the book and quoted it often: “Next to the Bible, the book I value most is John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. I believe I have read it through at least a hundred times. It is a volume of which I never seem to tire; and the secret of its freshness is that it is so largely compiled from the Scriptures” (from the preface of Pictures from Pilgrim’s Progress: A Commentary on Portions of John Bunyan’s Immortal Allegory).

John Bunyan was a Reformed Baptist and Puritan who lived in Bedford, England. He was a tinker by trade and part of the working poor. Three years after his conversion in 1653, Bunyan began to preach at the Bedford Meeting House. The problem was that Bunyan was not a state-sanctioned preacher—he had no government license to preach, and he refused to follow the king’s requirement to use the Book of Common Prayer in his services. Bunyan was jailed in 1660, and it was in jail that he began writing The Pilgrim’s Progress. All total, Bunyan spent more than 12 years in jail. He published The Pilgrim’s Progress in 1678 and followed it with Part Two in 1684. John Bunyan wrote over 30 books, including Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, an autobiography; The Life and Death of Mr. Badman; and The Holy War; as well as many tracts and sermons. Bunyan died in 1688.

As an allegory, the characters and events in The Pilgrim’s Progress are symbolic of spiritual truths. Part One tells the story of Christian, a man living in the City of Destruction and bearing a great burden, symbolic of conviction of sin. He knows he must escape the City of Destruction, but he knows not where to go until he meets Evangelist, who points him in the right direction. As Christian comes to the cross, the burden falls off his back on its own accord, rolls down a hill, and disappears into a tomb. Three Shining Ones give Christian gifts to aid him on his journey to the Celestial City. Along the way, Christian visits many places (e.g., the Interpreter’s House, the Palace Beautiful, the Delectable Mountains, the Valley of Humiliation); he meets many people (e.g., Faithful, Hopeful, Mr. Worldly Wise-man, Obstinate, Atheist, Money-love, By-ends, Mistrust, Formalist, Sloth, Discretion, Charity, Lord Hate-good, Talkative, Ignorance); and he encounters many dangers (e.g., the Slough of Despond, Vanity Fair, the Hill Difficulty, the Valley of the Shadow of Death, Apollyon, the Giant Despair, the Flatterer, the Enchanted Ground). Christian experiences times of mortal danger, refreshment, and blessing. At the end of his journey, he crosses a River, symbolic of physical death, and is welcomed into the Celestial City with great fanfare.

Part Two of The Pilgrim’s Progress follows the story of Christian’s wife, Christiana, and their four sons as they, too, leave the City of Destruction and set out on pilgrimage to reach the Celestial City. A few characters from Part One return, but there are many new characters introduced: Mercy, Great-heart, Feeble-mind, Much-afraid, Sagacity, Reliever, Mrs. Bat’s-eyes, Mr. Brisk, Giant Maul, Giant Slaygood, Mr. Skill, Honest, Contrite, Self-will, Valiant-for-truth, Heedless, Tell-truth, etc. Faithfully following the promises of God, Christiana also arrives safely at the Celestial City.

Throughout both Part One and Part Two of The Pilgrim’s Progress, Bunyan presents profound truths and illustrates them in memorable ways. The journey from the certainty of eternal destruction to a condition of spiritual blessedness is one that all believers can relate to. The characters Christian meets are easily identifiable both as social types and spiritual and psychological realities. The book is also full of songs (see Ephesians 5:19) and poetry, including eleven poems of celebration, five of warning, and one elegy.

Most notably, The Pilgrim’s Progress is replete with Scripture. It quotes and alludes to the Bible through and through. No doubt this infusion with Scripture is the reason The Pilgrim’s Progress has so much staying power and has impacted millions of believers in the past 300 years. The very concept of a Christian as a “pilgrim” or sojourner in this world comes from 1 Peter 2:11 (KJV). Spurgeon comments on Bunyan’s knowledge and use of the Bible: “Read anything of [Bunyan’s], and you will see that it is almost like the reading the Bible itself. He had read it till his very soul was saturated with Scripture; and, though his writings are charmingly full of poetry, yet he cannot give us his Pilgrim’s Progress—that sweetest of all prose poems—without continually making us feel and say, ‘Why, this man is a living Bible!’ Prick him anywhere—his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God. I commend his example to you, beloved” (“Charles Spurgeon as a Literary Man” in The Autobiography of Charles H. Spurgeon, Compiled from His Letters, Diaries, and Records by His Wife and Private Secretary, vol. 4, 1878–1892, Curtis & Jennings, 1900, p. 268).

Most world-class literary masterpieces are produced by the literary elite, that is, well-educated “men of letters” of high social standing and some influence. In such elite company, The Pilgrim’s Progress stands out. No one from Bunyan’s social status (uneducated, working-class poor) has ever written a book the caliber of The Pilgrim’s Progress. The hand of God has been upon this book, and Bunyan’s masterpiece continues to bless millions more pilgrims in their journey.

[ Got Questions ]

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Pilgrim’s Progress – Puritan John Bunyan

Pilgrim’s Progress – Puritan John Bunyan / Full Classic Christian Audiobooks

1 Peter 2:11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.

Matthew 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

[ Read by: Christopher Glenn ]

Audio Book Reading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36mSsYUAGoE

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Dangerous Journey” (Cartoon)
(Adapted from “The Pilgrims Progress” by John Bunyan)

The Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory of a Christian’s journey (here represented by a character called ‘Christian’) from the “City of Destruction” to the “Celestial City”. Along the way he visits such locations as the Slough of Despond, Vanity Fair, the Doubting Castle, and the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Bunyan, the author, had very little formal education and a humble background. Nonetheless Pilgrim’s Progress is considered one of the masterpieces of English literature, and is required reading for Christians who are on the spiritual path in a world of temptations.

[ Yorkshire Television Production ]

Movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcQvf3sKpcg

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The Pilgrim’s Progress: A Guided Tour

[ Derek Thomas ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEMtUOdztQg

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pS7PTd94mkY&t=2s

Google Hangout: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WU33qe2_ElI

Lecture Series – DVD/Study Guide:
https://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/pilgrims-progress-guided-tour/
https://www.ligonier.org/store/pilgrims-progress-guided-tour-dvd/

Book:
https://www.ligonier.org/store/the-pilgrims-progress-paperback/

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The Pilgrim’s Progress
Podcast Series

John Bunyan’s allegory of the Christian life is in many ways the story of his own journey. Derek Thomas provides some helpful background on The Pilgrim’s Progress with this podcast series.

The City of Destruction:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2018/10/20/the-city-of-destruction
The Wicket Gate:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2018/10/27/the-wicket-gate
The Interpreter’s House:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2018/11/03/the-interpreters-house
The Cross & the Sepulcher:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2018/11/10/the-cross-the-sepulcher
The Hill Difficulty:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2018/11/17/the-hill-difficulty
The Palace Beautiful:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2018/11/24/the-palace-beautiful
The Valley of Humiliation:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2018/12/01/the-valley-of-humiliation
The Valley of the Shadow of Death:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2018/12/08/the-valley-of-the-shadow-of-death
The Godless City: Vanity Fair:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2018/12/15/the-godless-city-vanity-fair
The Castle of Giant Despair:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2018/12/22/the-castle-of-giant-despair
The Delectable Mountains:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2018/12/29/the-delectable-mountains
The Celestial City:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2019/01/05/the-celestial-city

The New Journey Begins:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2019/01/12/a-new-journey-begins
Foes & Friends: The Road to Interpreter’s House:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2019/01/19/foes-friends-the-road-to-interpreters-house
The Trek to the Palace:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2019/01/26/the-trek-to-the-palace
The Road to Vanity Fair:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2019/02/02/the-road-to-vanity-fair
From Vanity to Doubting Castle:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2019/02/09/from-vanity-to-doubting-castle
On to Enchanted Ground:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2019/02/16/on-to-enchanted-ground
On to the Celestial City:
https://renewingyourmind.org/2019/02/23/on-to-the-celestial-city

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Pilgrim’s Progress

[ J Vernon McGee ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znwsinRmGEs

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An Encouragement to Read (or Reread) John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress

[ J. Edward Glancy ]

http://www.cslewisinstitute.org/An_Encouragement_to_Read_John_Bunyans_The_Pilgrims_Progress_FullArticle

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Will This Be the Generation in Which “Pilgrim’s Progress” Disappears?

Today at 3:30pm EST pastor-theologian Dr. Derek Thomas will be doing a Google Hangout with Ligonier, talking about one of the most widely-circulated books ever published in the English language, John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. They plan to ask Dr. Thomas about the role of fiction literature in the life of a Christian and what’s so significant about this novel, one Charles Spurgeon said, next to the Bible, he valued most.

Dr. Thomas—who is writing Bunyan on the Christian Life for the Theologians on the Christian Life series with Crossway—has a new video & audio teaching series with Ligonier on Bunyan’s classic.

J. I. Packer offers many of us a gentle rebuke:
For two centuries Pilgrim’s Progress was the best-read book, after the Bible, in all Chrisendom, but sadly it is not so today.

When I ask my classes of young and youngish evangelicals, as I often do, who has read Pilgrim’s Progress, not a quarter of the hands go up.

Yet our rapport with fantasy writing, plus our lack of grip on the searching, humbling, edifying truths about spiritual life that the Puritans understood so well, surely mean that the time is ripe for us to dust off Pilgrim’s Progress and start reading it again.

Certainly, it would be great gain for modern Christians if Bunyan’s masterpiece came back into its own in our day.

Have you yourself, I wonder, read it yet?

—J. I. Packer, “Pilgrim’s Progress,” in The Devoted Life: An Invitation to the Puritan Classics, ed. Kapic and Gleason (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press: 2004), p. 198.

If you’re looking for a classic and complete edition of the work, you can do no better than this edition produced by the Banner of Truth, which they describe as follows:

This de luxe edition of Bunyan’s great work comes as near as possible to the ‘ideal’—with the original marginal notes and references from Scripture, both parts of the Progress, and a series of magnificent and evocative etchings by William Strang. It is not a luxury to possess a de luxe edition of a work which, though we may not, like Spurgeon, read it a hundred times, ought to be the companion of a lifetime.

For those who want to study the book with a wise guide, note Leland Ryken’s forthcoming Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress” in the Crossway Christian Guides to the Classics series.

[ The Gospel Coalition ]

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The Pilgrim’s Progress

Contents
1 Plot summary
1.1 First Part
1.2 Second Part

2 Characters
2.1 First Part
2.2 Second Part

3 Places in The Pilgrim’s Progress

4 Geographical and topographical features behind the fictional places

5 Cultural influence
5.1 Context in Christendom
5.2 Foreign language versions
5.3 The “Third Part”
5.4 Dramatic and musical settings
5.5 Art and Poetry
5.6 References in literature

6 Dramatizations, music, and film

7 Editions
7.1 Abridged editions
7.2 Retellings

8 References

9 External links

[ Wikipedia ]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pilgrim%27s_Progress

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The Pilgrim’s Progress: A Dream That Endures

“As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a den; and I layed me down in the place to sleep: and as I slept, I dreamed a dream.”

THIS GREAT AND SIMPLE OPENING of The Pilgrim’s Progress may remind us that in 1678 Bunyan’s dream was delivered to a reading public ready to receive it. For not only the British but Europeans generally had become all too familiar with the moral complexity of the natural world and the hardness of its going; their every path was a perplexity, their wandering footsteps stumbled in a maze, a labyrinth, a wilderness. Already John Amos Comenius, that great educational reformer of international renown, had published his Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart (1631), in which he hoped to show “both the vanity of the world and the glory, happiness and pleasure of the chosen hearts that are united with God,” while a host of other hortatory works in English with titles suggestive of Bunyan’s were in widespread circulation during the first half of the seventeenth century. [more…]

[ James F. Forrest ]

https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/issues/issue-11/pilgrims-progress-dream-that-endures.html

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Leaving A Legacy

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7 … Do you ever wonder what kind of legacy you’ll leave behind?

I remember an older gentleman from one of the churches I pastored. He was the epitome of grace toward others; and he was deeply loved by his wife, his daughters, and his sons-in-law. In fact, his sons-in-law kneeled by his bed as he died. Afterward, one of his daughters wrote me a letter. At the end of the note, she concluded with these powerful words: “Our world has lost a righteous man, and in this world, that’s no small thing.”

I love the legacy expressed in those simple words from the pen of an admiring daughter. It reminds me of the heart of Paul as he wrote to his friend Timothy. Paul had expended himself in the service of Christ and had a keen sense that he was nearing the end of his life. We know from his writings to other churches that he was not afraid of death. In fact, he clearly stated that if he were absent from the body, he would be present with the Lord (1 Corinthians 5:3). The resurrection had defeated the sting of death (1 Corinthians 15:55), and Paul couldn’t wait to meet his Savior.

As Paul pondered the end of his life, he made three very simple statements about his legacy. He had “fought the good fight”—standing firm as a spiritual warrior, clothed in the armor of God, faithfully defending the truth of the gospel. He had “finished the race”—ensuring in the process that he was neither disqualified nor disheartened in the marathon of life and ministry. Most importantly, he had “kept the faith”—remaining true, committed, and loyal to the One who rescued him from sin and darkness.

Notice that Paul’s brief statements here say nothing about the education he had received, the places he had traveled, the letters he had written, the people he had preached to, or the churches he had planted. He flat out wanted his legacy to be labeled as “faithful.” I love that! It’s what I want to aspire to as a follower of Jesus.

So, I have to ask myself, “If that’s the kind of legacy I want to leave, how would I pursue it today?” Well, it means that my choices need to be more about “fighting the good fight.” I need to put on the spiritual armor each morning, as Paul told the Ephesians to do, and live to be victorious in all that comes my way. I need to be running the race to win, putting off all that hinders and the sins that entangle (Hebrews 12:1). And, it means that in every situation I want my attitudes, my words, and my actions to be loyal and true to Jesus.

As Paul told the Philippians, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Hebrews 3:13-14). There’s no better time than the start of this New Year to set our sights on new goals that will, over time, develop a legacy worth leaving.

Building a legacy worth leaving behind begins today and is made one decision at a time. Live this year to hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” In my book, that’s a legacy worth living for!

YOUR JOURNEY…

• Spend a few minutes thinking about the legacy you would like to leave. How does that compare to Paul’s desired legacy expressed in 2 Timothy 4:1-22?
• What type of legacy will the current choices and priorities of your life lead to? Are there some changes that need to take place today to move you back toward a legacy of faithful service to Christ?
• The good news for each of us is that God’s grace is available to forgive, cleanse, and refocus us today! He can use whatever time you have left to bring glory and honor to Him.

[ Joseph Stowell ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNUyk4I0t6s

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Succeed in Passing On a Godly Legacy

Consciously or unconsciously, we all leave a legacy. Your legacy will be anchored on what proves to be the most important thing to us. Life is too short to be wasted on the wrong goals. That is why it’s important to leave behind a godly legacy. A godly legacy is anchored on what is eternal — something that will outlast our lifetime But how do we pass on a godly legacy?

To pass on a godly legacy, we must first have a personal relationship with Jesus simply because we cannot give what we do not have. We can also influence people by modeling a godly life, one person at a time. Our main preoccupation should be to know Jesus experientially and to make Him known. This means we are to make disciples who will make disciples. What legacy are you leaving? Keep in mind what C.T. Studd said, “Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ia_F42UObc

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Augustine

Ryan M. Reeves (PhD Cambridge) is Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XplwbTqzSc
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cI-DYrWLVsg

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John Wycliffe

Ryan M. Reeves (PhD Cambridge) is Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtSgqKp5lfE

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William Tyndale Documentary

He risked his life to translate the Scriptures into English

Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_whF2WlyDE

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Luther’s Legacy

Ryan M. Reeves (PhD Cambridge) is Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f021uI1y4jM

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The Legacy of John Calvin

For many people in and outside the church, the name John Calvin is the namesake of a cold, hard theology called Calvinism. Yet for many others, John Calvin represents a hero of the faith who is worthy of being studied and honored five hundred years after his death. What has John Calvin really done for the church that he should deserve so much attention? In this message, Dr. Steve Lawson shows us that the benefits of Calvin’s contributions to the church and society at large are incalculable, as he discusses “The Legacy of John Calvin.”

[ Steven Lawson ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx1g5WfM6Xw

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Jonathan Edwards

Ryan M. Reeves (PhD Cambridge) is Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhmzD9fnBSE

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First Great Awakening – George Whitefield

Ryan M. Reeves (PhD Cambridge) is Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IBEXiIjmps

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Through the Eyes of Spurgeon

The lives of millions of Christians around the world have been changed through the ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon. But how much do those of us who esteem him so highly really know about Charles Spurgeon, the man?

What were the events that shaped his life and made him the man who would be known as the Prince of Preachers? Through the Eyes of Spurgeon invites you to explore with us where and how Spurgeon lived, to follow his steps, to embrace the legacy he has left us.

Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a6R96XhPaA

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Reflections on the Life of RC Sproul

In this panel, four close friends of the late RC Sproul reflect on his life and legacy. Sharing stories and lessons from his ministry, the panel celebrates the many ways God has used RC to strengthen and edify the church.

Reflections: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuZGeLarR_Q

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‘Leaving A Legacy’ – Life Lessons From King David

[ Jeff Greco ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5JjtfE2LEo

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Leaving a Legacy

When we live a life of faith and obedience, we leave a legacy of blessing to our children and to our children’s children.

[ Jonathan Arathon ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKGzB_8HhkY

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Living A Life That Lasts

In this sermon, Tony Evans challenges us to ask the question, “How much of God am I leaving behind?” A true legacy transcends material things and makes a big deal about God. It is within this context that we find Elijah transferring the power of God to Elisha. (Psalm 71:18) Tony will show you the necessary components needed to pass the baton of faith to those who follow you and how to leave something that will truly last forever.

[ Tony Evans ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oj6GUoKTOs

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Leaving a Legacy of Faith

Pastor Rick shares the six indispensable biblical principles we need to pass on to the next generation in order to ensure their spiritual success

[ Rick Warren ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25ong4lAYpU

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Leaving a Legacy

When you reach the end of your life, what legacy will you leave to the next generation? Has your life reflected your faith in God’s providential care? We’re considering these important questions as we continue our study of Joseph on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg!

Reflecting on the life of the patriarch Joseph, Alistair Begg describes the key to remaining steadfast through the years. On Truth For Life, we are learning how to leave a legacy of godliness for the next generation.

[ Alistair Begg ]

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cg-tVTRXvA
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-hif4jLyWg

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Living with Grace & Leaving a Godly Legacy

[ Interview with Priscilla Shirer, author of “The Resolution for Women” ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVkqlx65XnE

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Leaving a Legacy – Teaching Your Children the Christian Faith

Part Sixth and final of the “Learning To Fly” series. Proverbs 22:6.

[ Kory Knott ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRku17QQsoI

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Leaving a Legacy

It is so important that we understand God’s plan for the family because you are passing on a torch to your children and family. A child gets a picture of himself and of God from the family. What are priorities in your family?

Scripture References: Deuteronomy 5:29

[ Adrian Rogers ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxNSjldg4lw

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Leaving A Godly Inheritance

[ Charles Stanley ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERpScenotkU

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Leaving A Legacy

[ Gov. Mike Huckabee on Life Today program ]

Interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhWbClIwkwA

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How to Leave a Legacy for Generations

Whether it’s positive or negative, you are leaving a legacy for future generations. What will your legacy be? God wants to give you a dream to do something great to connect you with other dreamers.

[ Jimmy Evans ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oF-ibrVTJZE

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Leave Your Legacy

Legacies transcend the boundaries of time.
We create them with or without our knowledge.
Our words, our deeds, all pieced together will form the history we leave behind.
They are told, shown, held, felt—memories we absent-mindedly create for countless tomorrows.

Legacies are roads left paved for those that will follow.
They leave trails filled with reflective ideals.
They are monumental. They are minimal. But, they are never forgotten.

Children, grandchildren, neighborhoods, coworkers, friends, enemies—the lives of those around us, inherit the story we leave behind.
They make their way to everywhere—through tale or virtue.
Legacies stand tall in the face of trial…they prevail.
They’re found in risk that clings to the promise of hope.

Legacies can be found in tattered soles and wrinkles aged with wisdom.
They make their way to empty rooms and trailing heartbeats.
They find their way into the back of our minds…sit with us. Lingering, waiting to be remembered.
They nudge, some carry, others push.
Found in humbled homes, inherited mansions, and tin roofed rooms.
Legacies extend past the limited hours of your life and mine.

Where have you seen them?

Where have you taken them in?

…What will your name leave behind?

Legacies test all boundaries.

Legacies find no limits.

Legacies light the way.

Legacies lead.

The choice is yours.

What will be your legacy?

[ Fellowship Stories ]

Illustration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgjmjqrIuy4

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Making an Impact & Leaving Your Legacy

Pastor Rick Warren gives a special challenge to the men of Saddleback, from all nine Southern California campuses at the historic launch of Kingdom Builders- Band of Brothers. Learn more about making an impact and leaving a legacy with your life.

[ Rick Warren ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J443SFRLONo

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Leaving A Godly Legacy

…I’ve told my children over the full extent of their lifetime that the most valuable thing to me is their service to Jesus and their faithful communication of faith in Him to others—especially their children.

There’s nothing more valuable than faith in God and when a child lives for Jesus, it ultimately brings glory to their father and joy to the grandparents….

As an older man, I can rightly say concerning my faith in Jesus, that it’s the most valuable thing that I have. And in many ways it’s the greatest legacy I can give to my children and grandchildren.

In many ways it’s a faith that is lived out for the blessing of my children.

May we all live in such a way that others will see the blessings and benefits of living for Jesus. Remembering that our faith is not simply for ourselves to enjoy, but also to be passed on to those we love.

[ David Rosales ]

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-BXXzPQl0c

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Leaving a Legacy that Matters

[ Glen Rowden ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgwHO6EwUYQ

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What Legacy Do You Want To Leave?

[ Trip Lee ]

Illustration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkllirMrOrQ

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Succeed in Passing On a Godly Legacy

Consciously or unconsciously, we all leave a legacy. Your legacy will be anchored on what proves to be the most important thing to us. Life is too short to be wasted on the wrong goals. That is why it’s important to leave behind a godly legacy. A godly legacy is anchored on what is eternal — something that will outlast our lifetime But how do we pass on a godly legacy?

To pass on a godly legacy, we must first have a personal relationship with Jesus simply because we cannot give what we do not have. We can also influence people by modeling a godly life, one person at a time. Our main preoccupation should be to know Jesus experientially and to make Him known. This means we are to make disciples who will make disciples. What legacy are you leaving? Keep in mind what C.T. Studd said, “Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

[ Peter Tan-chi ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ia_F42UObc

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Leaving a Legacy

[ Charles R. Swindoll ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR-XzuSK9_I

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A Pilgrim’s Progress with Dr. Steve Lawson

During the OnePassion Ministries Scottish & British Reformation Tour, Dr. Steven Lawson led the group to Bunhill Fields. Here, John Bunyan, the writer of Pilgrim’s Progress is buried among other giants of Church history.

Teaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA_4XqE4ICQ

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John Bunyan’s Biography

[ John Piper ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUe4ke4tQl4

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The John Bunyan Story

Joe and Jimmy take some time to introduce you to John Bunyan, the baptist puritan who became a gifted preacher and the most famous and best selling author in England. You have probably heard of, and maybe even read his classic, The Pilgrim’s Progress. But Bunyan’s story is one of dramatic conversion, righteous suffering, and faithful ministry.

[ Doctrine and Devotion ]

Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9MqUSb971g

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John Bunyan: The Peoples Pilgrim” [Official Trailer]

The inspiring life story of John Bunyan comes alive in this new docudrama. Bunyan was put in Bedford county jail for preaching the gospel during a time of great religious persecution.
While in prison he wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress – one of the most famous and influential literary works in English history. Since its first publication in 1678, it has never been out of print and continues to be popular today with new audiences. Watch as the story of this bold evangelist unfolds, from his personal struggles to triumphs. Discover more about his Christian literary influence and legacy. Journey through his life in historical locations with historians
and powerful drama re-enactments.

Movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSXULVc_FK4

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John Bunyan Pilgrim’s Progress

[ Museum of the Bible ]

Illustration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx2tQUFKvrI

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PURITAN: All of Life to the Glory of God

Joyless. Severe. Fanatical. “Haunted by the fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” That’s the Puritan reputation. But to what extent is that reputation deserved? Drawing on the latest research, and featuring interviews with some of the most celebrated scholars in the field, this beautiful and atmospheric new documentary takes us from the birth of Puritanism all the way through to its influence in the present day. By Media Gratiae in partnership with Reformation Heritage Books and Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, directed by Stephen McCaskell.

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/311272059

https://puritandocumentary.com/

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Puritan Preaching: The Pilgrim’s Progress

An awesome action pic! As I begin a mini-series on “Puritan Preaching,” I want to begin with the image of the Puritan preacher from John Bunyan’s, The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678). This will serve as an enticing introduction to an approach that remains so relevant in the church today. [more…]

[ Bob McKelvey ]

http://www.meetthepuritans.com/blog/puritan-preaching-the-pilgrims-progress

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Pilgrim’s Progress

Sermon series (72 parts)

[ Jim Gables ]

https://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?seriesOnly=true&currSection=sermonstopic&sourceid=gabm&keyword=PILGRIM%27S+PROGRESS&keyworddesc=PILGRIM%27S+PROGRESS

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Your FREE Parent’s Guide to Pilgrim’s Progress

You’ve seen the movie now get the guide!

John Bunyan’s novel is one of the most popular books of all time (the Bible is number one). It has never been out of print, and it’s been turned into a comic book, a 2-part Adventures in Odyssey episode, and, most recently, an animated film from Revelation Media. Through all this attention, however, is there anything we can still glean from this story? After all, this book is really old—like 17th century old—and the main character is named Christian. Talk about thinly veiled allegory. Could this story still be applicable to our lives? If we ask the right questions, there is still much we can learn and teach our teens about trials and tribulations that we as Christians must face on our path to sanctification.

https://axis.org/pilgrim

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Pictures From Pilgrim’s Progress

[ Charles Spurgeon ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dt6e1VtKVs&list=PLzOwqed_gET0d3wj7Tp1KD-bIG-cLFS_O

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Jacob: A Pilgrim’s Progress

[ Calvary Chapel ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NNXjtzOzPM

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The Pilgrim’s Progress Summary

Illustration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65_hIQHvNFY

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Pilgrims in Progress

2015 Ligonier Regional Conference.

As our culture becomes more secularized and hostile to the Christian faith, it’s easy for us to believe that we are the first generation to face this kind of world. However, church history shows us that this is not the case. People such as Augustine, the Puritans, and many others faced cultural collapse, persecution, and various events that threatened to shake their faith in the Lord. In each case, they turned to Scripture to be reminded of our heavenly citizenship.

Today, the church must recover its understanding of pilgrimage, the notion that we are citizens not of this world but of the world to come. By doing this, we will be strengthened to stand firm in the faith as we join with the saints of all ages (Heb. 11:13-16). With them, we will look for a “heavenly country” that is the final destination of all Christians. We will also be equipped to reach those who see that this world cannot provide lasting satisfaction.

Ligonier Ministries hosted its 2015 Regional Conference Pilgrims in Progress in the San Francisco Bay area. Drs. W. Robert Godfrey, Steven J. Lawson, R.C. Sproul Jr., and Derek Thomas joined us to talk about what our heavenly citizenship means for our earthly pilgrimage, our pursuit of truth, and our future hope, among other topics.

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/conferences/pilgrims-in-progress-2015-regional-conference/we-buy-the-truth/

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Progress Redefined

The world measures success in terms of that which is tangible — by what is bigger, faster, and by what draws the most attention. For many people, success is defined solely by numbers and circumstantial outcomes. True success, however, cannot be measured merely by what is perceived by the eyes of men. We measure our success according to economic and sociological standards, which at times is certainly appropriate considering that we are to be good stewards of our time, talents, and finances; however, the problem lies in that we measure our Christian lives according to the same principles — evaluating our success in the Christian life based on what is bigger, faster, and, especially, on what draws the most attention. However, often what is considered “successful” by the world’s standards is entirely unsuccessful according to the standards of God. Though it could be said that the measure of a man in terms of his success is based upon the subjective standards of others, true success is measured objectively by God, whose standard is impartial and immutable.

According to the prophet Micah, God has provided us with His standard of success: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). Simply stated, God is not first and foremost concerned with our success; rather, He is concerned with our faithfulness. Herein is the standard of the pilgrim’s progress: As pilgrims of God, we progress not in our successfulness but in our faithfulness to God. Our standard for faithfulness does not come from the world, it does not come from those around us, and it certainly does not come from within us.

Our standard is from God alone and is found in the cross of Christ alone, and it is upon the cross that Christ took the burden from our backs and set us free to live, move, and have our being in Him.

As we learn from Bunyan’s classic, our progress as Christians is not measured on the scale of man’s justice but on the scale of God’s grace. For His burden is easy and His yoke light, and to walk humbly before God is to be lifted up by God (James 4:10), to know weakness is to know the perfection of God’s strength (2 Cor. 12:9), to bear the cross is to wear the crown (Gal. 6:14), and to live for Christ coram Deo, before the face of God, is to die to ourselves (Mark 8:34).

[ Burk Parsons ]

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Pilgrims Who Make No Progress

To describe life as a journey is such a perfect metaphor that writers in every age return to it again and again. Western culture is full of pilgrims, headed in different directions, to different destinations. Before John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, there was Piers Plowman by an anonymous medieval writer. Both are allegories that are, at the same time, highly realistic. Instead of reflecting the sophisticated society of the courts and the universities, both come out of the world of peasants, craftsmen, and farmers. Both authors were poor and uneducated, and yet both were literary geniuses.

But they write about very different pilgrimages. The pilgrim in Piers Plowman goes through a tortuous path to find “Do-Well.” When he does, he next has to go on another trip to find “Do-Better.” But that is not enough. When he attains “Do-Better,” he next must go through another labyrinthine and confusing journey to find “Do-Best.” And he never finds what he is looking for. The author was never able to bring his story to a finish.

Piers Plowman reflects the spiritual conundrums of the late middle ages. The problem with salvation by works is that one never knows how many works are enough. The plot in Piers Plowman goes around in circles, goes off on puzzling side-paths, and gets lost in bewildering tangles.

An even greater work of literature than either of these is Dante’s Divine Comedy. It too is an allegorical pilgrimage. Dante as the pilgrim journeys through the depths of hell, then laboriously climbs the mountain of purgatory, then flies up through the heavenly spheres until he finally reaches God.

Dante’s allegory is profound. For example, the punishments of hell are symbolic of the sins in their nature. (The wrathful cut each other apart, just as they did on earth. Those who betray the ones who loved them are frozen in ice, mirroring their cold, cold hearts. The damned are in hell because they choose to be there. The saved in heaven are mirrors, reflecting the light and the love of God.)

But at its essence, again, is the arduous works-righteousness of medieval Catholicism. God is far above and far away. The pilgrim must somehow come to Him, slogging through hell, climbing up the mountain, transcending the world to reach God. In Bunyan, writing in the shadow of the Reformation, God comes down to the pilgrim in Christ, who is known personally through His Word.

Another allegorical pilgrimage that came out of the Reformation is Spenser’s Fairie Queene. The first book of that sprawling, dream-like epic is about the journey of a pilgrim named Red Crosse Knight who seeks to attain holiness. Its subject is thus sanctification.

The Red Crosse Knight starts out on the right road, accompanied by a maiden named Una, symbolic of the one, true faith. He gets confused by a man who looks holy on the outside but is, in reality, an evil wizard, Archimago. This symbol of the Church of Rome makes Red Crosse disillusioned with Una, so that he, literally, leaves his faith behind. He takes up instead with Duessa, a woman who appears beautiful but is really a wicked witch, a symbol of false belief. Poor Red Crosse thinks he is holy, through his pride and works-righteousness, but he only gets further and further off the path. Eventually, after confrontations with three knights named Without Faith, Without Law, and Without Joy, he is thrown into the dungeon of the giant Pride, where he wastes away in despair.

Red Crosse has to be rescued. On his own, he is in bondage. But symbols of God’s grace — light from heaven, the balm from a tree, a fountain of water — not only free him from the dungeon but enable him to be re-united with Una and to defeat the dragon of Satan.

After Bunyan, when a new vision of “progress” emerged, writers wrote about new kinds of pilgrimages. The great American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote a takeoff of Bunyan called The Celestial Railroad. Reflecting nineteenth-century technology and liberal theology, the more modern pilgrim finds an easier way to the Celestial City: he takes the train.

After all, engineers have built a bridge over the Slough of Despond and installed gas lights to illuminate the Valley of the Shadow of Death. The pilgrim has it easy. He goes to church in Vanity Fair, where he listens to the sermons of Rev. Stumble-at-Truth and Rev. Shallow-Deep. Guided by Mr. Smooth-it-Away, he makes fun of the handful of pilgrims he sees out the train window living the Christian life in the old way. Unfortunately, at the end of the line, his train plunges into a tunnel straight to hell.

Today, people tend to see the journey of their lives as, in the words of a TV show, a Highway to Heaven. We drive on in our isolated automobiles, in a world of our own, on a vast interstate highway, to our own private destinations. That is not progress.

[ Gene Edward Veith ]

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The Narrow Gate” (Sermon Jam)

[ Paul Washer ]

Sermon Jam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE0uzJQrQ2o

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Legacy

I don’t mind if you’ve got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
And you could take my picture and hang it in a gallery
Of all the who’s-who’s and so-and-so’s
That used to be the best at such and such,
It wouldn’t matter much.

I won’t lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights,
We all need an ‘Atta boy’ or ‘Atta girl’
But in the end I’d like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world.

I want to leave a legacy,
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love?
Did I point to you enough?
To make a mark on things
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace
Who blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy.

I don’t have to look too far or too long awhile
To make a lengthy list of all that I enjoy
It’s an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile
Where moth and rust, thieves and such
Will soon enough destroy.

I want to leave a legacy (repeat chorus)

Not well-traveled, not well-read
Not well-to-do, or well-bred.
Just want to hear instead,
Well done, good and faithful one.

I want to leave a legacy (repeat chorus)

I don’t mind if you’ve got something nice to say about me.

[ Nicole Nordeman – “Woven & Spun” album ]

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Legacy

Looking in a looking glass
Do I have to ask myself
Who I really am
It’s easy just to wear a smile
And hope that maybe
I can hide the struggles in me
Love has to make a choice
Following one voice
That our hearts long to hear

Just to know
That everything we’ve done
Every word we’ve said
Every song we’ve sung
In this world
Where truth is hard to find
All we have to offer
Is the legacy we leave behind

Children see us as we are
Not a distant star in their eyes
There’s no pretending
Their lives are waiting to discern
All that they can learn from us
And who we’ve trusted
Love has to make a choice
Following one voice
That our hearts long to hear

Just to know
That everything we’ve done
Every word we’ve said
Every song we’ve sung
In this world
Where truth is hard to find
All we have to offer
Is the legacy we leave behind

We want You to find us
Living what is true
Lord, remind us
Of who we are in You

Just to know
That everything we’ve done
Every word we’ve said
Every song we’ve sung
In this world
Where truth is hard to find
All we have to offer
Is the legacy we leave behind.

[ First Call ]

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Thy Word

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

When I feel afraid,
Think I’ve lost my way,
Still you’re there right beside me.
And nothing will I fear
As long as you are near.
Please be near me to the end.

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

I will not forget
Your love for me and yet
My heart forever is wandering.
Jesus be my guide,
And hold me to your side,
I will love you to the end.
Nothing will I fear as long as you are near.
Please be near me to the end.

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path,
And a light unto my path.
You’re the light unto my path.

[ Amy Grant – “Straight Ahead” album ]

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Legacy

[ Written by Christian ]

*****************************
Less Traveled Road

Verse 1
This road I’m on
A road less traveled
I left the world behind
For a home on celestial shores
For the wind it blows
And the dust gets heavy
Not always clear but I know it leads me home

Chorus
So I’ll keep pressing on
You’ve called me heavenward
This weary traveler passing along
To a home on this less traveled road

Verse 2
I’ve been through valleys
Faded fields of glory
But I see the hills of where
My help comes from
You’ve made known the path
A lamp before me
A Father’s home
You prepared a place for me

Bridge
It’s there I’ll see my Father
In the light of the Savior’s smile
And there along the river
Is a home filled with love

[ Ryan Clair ]

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Only Jesus

Make it count, leave a mark, build a name for yourself
Dream your dreams, chase your heart, above all else
Make a name the world remembers
But all an empty world can sell is empty dreams
I got lost in the light but it was up to me
To make a name the world remembers
But Jesus is the only name to remember

And I, I don’t want to leave a legacy
I don’t care if they remember me
Only Jesus
And I, I’ve only got one life to live
I’ll let every second point to Him
Only Jesus

All the kingdoms built, all the trophies won
Will crumble into dust when it’s said and done
‘Cause all that really matters
Did I live the truth to the ones I love
Was my life the proof that there is only One
Whose name will last forever

Jesus is the only name
Jesus is the only name
Jesus is the only name to remember
Jesus is the only name
Jesus is the only name
Jesus is the only name to remember

I don’t want to leave a legacy
I don’t care if they remember me
Only Jesus

[ Casting Crowns ]

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Who Would True Valour See

Who would true valor see
Let him come hither
One here will constant be
Calm wind come weather.

There’s no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first about intent
To be a pilgrim.

Who so be said him wrong
with dismal stories

Do but themselves confound;
He is strength the more is.

No lion can him fright,
He’ll with a giant fight,
He will have our right
To be a pilgrim.

Hobgoblin nor foul fiend
Can daunt his spirit,
He knows he are the end,
Shall life inherit.

Then fancies fly away
He’ll fear not what men say,
He’ll labor night and day
To be a pilgrim.

[ John Bunyan ]

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The Pilgrim’s Comfort Song

“Behold ye, how these crystal streams do glide,
To comfort pilgrims by the highway-side;
The meadows green, besides their fragrant smell,
Yield dainties for them; and he who can tell
What pleasant fruit, yea, leaves, these trees do yield,
Will soon sell all, that he may buy this field.”

[ John Bunyan ]

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Little Pilgrim

Little Pilgrim walking down the road of life
I find that in your heart, you’re just a lonely one
For you see, upon that very road
My search for good and truth had its beginning
You take a little turn to the left
And you see what that path has to offer you
Then you gotta make it back to the main road anyhow
And you have all that lost time to make up for
And it’s a sad thing… to realize
That you’re all alone, that you’re on your own again

Little Pilgrim, walking down the road of life
Can’t you see that there are many others
Who are just like you
I was lookin’ in that same direction
But all I ever found were others
Who were searching just like me
And we didn’t find the way or the answers
To the questions that were buried deep down in our souls
We just found that the ways of men have no answers
Anyhow

Oh, don’t you wonder now
What you’re tryin’ to do
Oh, don’t you wonder now
Where that path is takin’ you

Little Pilgrim, walking down the road of life
I know that deep down in your heart that you are just like me
What you’re seekin’ is a better way
And you’re reachin’ out for temporary resting places
And you’re glad to find a little peace of mind here and there
But it won’t last no, no, cause you’ll have to move along someday
‘Til you’re resting in the arms of the only one who can help you
‘Til you give your heart and your soul and your body
And your mind and your life to the Lord
And it’s a glad thing to realize
That you’re not alone no more
That you found your way back home
Back home.

[ Chuck Girard ]

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Rock of Ages

Rock of ages, cleft for me
Let me hide myself in Thee
Rock of ages, cleft for me
Let me hide myself in Thee

Let the water and the blood
From Thy riven side which flowed
Be of sin the double cure
Cleanse me from it’s guilt and pow’r

Nothing in my hand I bring
Simply to Thy cross I cling
Nothing in my hand I bring
Simply to Thy cross I cling

Naked, come to Thee for dress
Helpless, look to Thee for grace
Vile, I to the fountain fly
Wash me, savior, or I die

Rock of ages, cleft for me
Let me hide myself in Thee
Rock of ages, cleft for me
Let me hide myself in Thee

[ Amy Grant – “Hymns and Faith” album (Written by Augustus Toplady) ]

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Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whate’er befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

[ 4Him – “”Hymns: A Place of Worship” album ]

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Blessed Assurance

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long

[ Third Day ]

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It Is Well With My Soul

Our scars are a sign
Of grace in our lives
Oh Father, how You brought us through
When deep were the wounds
And dark was the night
The promise of Your love You proved

Now every battle still to come
Let this be our song

It is well (It is well)
With my soul (With my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

Weeping may come
Remain for a night
But joy will paint the morning sky
You’re there in the fast
You’re there in the feast
Your faithfulness will always shine

Now every blessing still to come
Let this be our song

It is well (It is well)
With my soul (With my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

You lead us through battles (You lead us through battles)
You lead us to blessing (You lead us to blessing)
And You make us fruitful (And You make us fruitful)
In the land of our suffering, God
It is well, it is well with my soul

It is well (It is well)
With my soul (With my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

I trust Your ways (I trust Your ways)
I trust Your name (I trust Your name)
It is well, it is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

[ Matt Redman – “Unbroken Praise” album ]

Jimmy Needham featuring John Piper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5kUSkm0wis

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Psalm 24 (The King of Glory)

The King of Glory Reigns
Over all the world
His mighty hand sustains
The heavens and the earth.
Who may come to Him
And seek His holy face?

He calls the pure in heart
All whose hands are clean
And those who love His name
Above all other things
Humbly I will bow
And Jesus’ Name confess

Chorus:
He reigns, He reigns
Jesus the Lord
He reigns, He reigns
Forevermore

Swing wide you ancient gates
Let the King come in
His glory never fades
Our hearts delight in Him
Every knee will bow
Every tongue confess

CHORUS

Who is this King of glory
The Lord strong and mighty
He bore the cross of shame
Sing Hosanna

Who is this King of glory
The Lord strong and mighty
He rose up from the grave
Sing Hosanna

CHORUS

[ Keith and Kristyn Getty – “Facing A Task Unfinished” album ]

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It’s Tough (Song About Nehemiah)
(Parody of “This Love” by Maroon 5)

Our wall’s so high you would not recognize
But fire burned and minimized the way it sat for all my life
Kissed Persia goodbye, you see I brought a plan
To get Jerusalem strong again
The wall was where I’s start — Oh!

It’s a tough task making this wall complete
We said goodbye to dinnertime and sports
There are kids making some fun of me
And I hope those boys, Sanballat and Tobias, get bored

They tried their best to keep us occupied
Said they’d come in with their knives
It’s hard but we work side by side
Oh, kept saying stuff ’bout me that’s just insane
Pretending I built this thing
To turn around and be the king — whatever

This wall has taken us seven weeks
Three days till I can finish up the doors
Wal-Mart did make a good wall for cheap
But I had no choice ’cause I don’t live nearby any stores – no oh oh

I fixed this broken thing, repaired these openings
I ain’t your average Pink Floyd guy (Nehemiah, me oh my)
I can’t sing all their hits, but I know “Another Brick”
Let me sing for you ’cause I’m Nehemiah how do you do?

Ezra has taken the scroll to read
We said goodbye to sins we tried before
Four hundred and forty-four B.C. and I have no Floyd
And I can’t play guitar like Gilmore

[ ApologetiX – “Hits: The Road” album ]

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Naomi Gonna Be with Ruth
(Parody of “Only Wanna Be With You” by Hootie & the Blowfish)

Ruth and me, we come from different worlds
She was a Moabite, I was a Jewish mother’s girl
In time, she married a son of mine.
It’s such a shame because because my son and husband died
But there’s nothin’ I could do … I said, Ruth, I’m gonna go back home
She looked at me, she had something left to say
I’m gonna follow you and with you I will stay
I won’t let … you just leave. Because, Mom, I love you, and you are my family
And there’s nothin’ you can do. Naomi’s gonna be with Ruth
I will call on your God, too … Naomi gonna be with Ruth
Went home to live in Bethlehem, seen all my friends
I said, “My family collapsed when all the men died
“But Ruth has not abandoned me, turned my life to bittersweet
“She was married to one of my sons, and when he died, she came with me
“I better help her find a hubby … a lonely man who needs her, too
“Somebody local … Naomi gonna see her through
“You can call me ‘old school’ … Naomi gonna see her through
And I think I know just who … Naomi gonna see with Ruth
Sometimes I wonder what would have been
If she’d abandoned me when I told her to back then
Ruth had a baby … and down the line
Great grandson David, yeah, he was the one who fought the giant
And there’s the King of the Jews. I know you’ve heard of Jesus, too
You can call Him, Lord, too … He’s family with me and Ruth
Yes, He came from out of Ruth … Naomi wanna be with Ruth
Naomi gonna be with Ruth

[ ApologetiX – “New and Used Hits” album ]

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Somebody Sold Me
Parody of “Somebody Told Me” by The Killers
(Genesis 37-50)

Take a ride back to the olden days
17 that’s when I had to ditch this place
And Jacob’s my dad, guess you know his name
He had me named Joseph and gave nice gifts
Anyway, folks, I don’t think you’d like this
Got heavenly clothes and the day I did
I had 11 angry bros, better play nice, kids
Sprang a trap now to bring me back down to size
Never thought I’d meet Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice

But somebody sold me — not Reuben or Benjamin
But Judah and Simeon
Levi, Gad and Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali
Issachar and Asher
Now, I’ve got my masters

Then I got sold off to someone new
Ran his household but his sleazy wife’s untrue
She said to me, Joe, give me just one kiss
I said, for Heaven’s sake, no, but she claimed I did
Had me locked down, prison block now for life
Never thought I’d see my dreams come true in all this strife

But someone paroled me by divine appointment
It went like a whirlwind
Then I helped the Pharaoh when he had bad dreams
He thought my potential — was quite substantial
My life turned-a life turned around

Take a tip from me: I said, maybe things look bleak
But you just don’t know now what God is gonna do in time

Yes, somebody sold me ’cause I annoyed them
It looked like my world’s end
Now I have a federal job with the brass here
It’s not penitential; it’s vice presidential
I boss men-a boss men around

Yes, somebody sold me and broke up our boy band
It felt more like Pearl Jam
Cause I was depressed but now it’s a blast here
It was providential and quite essential
My life turned-a life turned around

Yes, somebody sold me, if you haven’t listened
I walk like an Egyptian
Cause I had been sent to there in the past, yes
It’s right there in Genesis chapter 37, kids
My life turned-a life turned around.

[ ApologetiX – “Wordplay” album ]

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Narrow Way to Heaven
(Parody of “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin)

There’s a way Jesus showed all us sinners must go
And He called it the narrow way to Heaven
If to get there’s your goal — with a pure heart and soul
In His Word you can get what you came for
Ooooooh and he described it right there in Matthew 7
There’ve been signs all along but you want to be sure
Cause the road sometimes swerves as you’re reading
In the free Bible book, there in John 3:16, come find how all our faults are forgiven
Two ways to ponder — two ways to ponder
There’s a freeway of death and it hooks to the left
And the steering and driving is easy
It is not quite as seems — see that smoke, feel the heat
Hear the voice of the Lord who stands knockin’
Ooooooh … it takes you under. Ooooooh … it really takes you under
And it’s His Word that’s true — if we all follow through
Then the Bible will lead us to Jesus
And the true way will dawn — on those who’ve read John
Chapter 14 verse 6 and thereafter Ooooooh …
If there’s a possible dead end road — don’t be a lost man
It’s best to think before you take it
Yes, there are two paths you can go by — but there’s a wrong one
But there’s still time to change the road you’re on
Ooooooh … can it take you up there?
You’re headed somewhere but it won’t go the place you wanna go
If Christ has called and you avoid Him
The way to Heaven’s very narrow, and did you know
It’s very wide on the way to Hell? LEAD
Where will you wind up down the road — a shadow land or street of gold?
There is a Way that we all know — He shines bright light on words that show
How every man will turn to dust — but if you let Him in your heart
The Truth will come to you at last — and our Lord warned us where to go
And He was God — He ought to know
And He called it the narrow way to Heaven

[ ApologetiX – “Jesus Christ Superstar” album ]

 

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DEEP THOUGHTS:

“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
[ Benjamin Franklin ]

“That is your legacy on this Earth when you leave this Earth: how many hearts you touched.”
[ Patti Davis ]

“Immortality is to live your life doing good things, and leaving your mark behind.” [ Brandon Lee ]

“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.”
[ Benjamin Disraeli ]

“If you have assurance of your justification, do not abuse it. It is abusing assurance when we grow more remiss in duty; as the musician, having money thrown him, leave off playing. By remissness, or intermitting the exercises of religion, we grieve the Spirit, and that is the way to have an embargo laid upon our spiritual comforts.”
[ Thomas Watson ]

“Grant, Almighty God, since thou hast formerly admonished thy servants, that thy children, while they are pilgrims in this world, must be familiar with horrible and cruel beasts, if the same thing should happen to us, that we may be prepared for all contests. May we endure and overcome all temptations, and may we never doubt thy desire to defend us by thy protection and power, according to thy promise. May we proceed through the midst of numberless dangers, until after accomplishing the course of our warfare, we at length arrive at that happy rest which is laid up for us in heaven by Christ our Lord—Amen.”
[ John Calvin ]

“Though this valley is thus gloomy, dangerous, mysterious, and solitary, yet it is often traversed. Many more go by this road than some people dream. Among those who wear a cheerful countenance in public there are many who are well acquainted with this dreary glen; they have passed through it often, and may be in it now.”
[ Charles Spurgeon ]

“Grant, Almighty God, that we may remember ourselves to be pilgrims in the world, and that no splendor of wealth, or power, or worldly wisdom may blind our eyes, but may we always direct our eyes and all our senses towards the kingdom of thy Son. May we always fix them there, and may nothing hinder us from hastening on in the course of our calling, until at length we pass over the course and reach the goal which thou hast set before us, and to which thou dost this day invite us by the heralding of thy gospel. Do thou at length gather us unto that happy eternity which has been obtained for us through the blood of the same, thy Son. May we never be separated from him, but, being sustained by his power, may we at last be raised by him to the highest heavens—Amen.”
[ John Calvin ]

“Hence from my soul, sad thoughts, begone,
And leave me to my joys;
My tongue shall triumph in my God,
And make a joyful noise.

Darkness and doubts had veiled my mind,
And drowned my head in tears,
Till sovereign grace with shining rays
Dispelled my gloomy fears.

O what immortal joys I felt,
And raptures all divine,
When Jesus told me I was his,
And my Beloved mine!

In vain the tempter frights my soul,
And breaks my peace in vain;
One glimpse, dear Savior, of thy face
Revives my joys again.”
[ Isaac Watts ]

“Thro’ many dangers, toiled, and snares,
I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.”
[ John Newton ]

“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”
[ Billy Graham ]

“My legacy doesn’t matter. It isn’t important that I be remembered. It’s important that when I stand before the Lord, he says, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ I want to finish strong.”
[ James Dobson ]

“I’m not interested in my legacy. I made up a word: ‘live-acy.’ I’m more interested in living.”
[ John Glenn ]

“Normally, if someone’s legacy will outlast their life, it’s apparent when they die. On the day when Alexander the Great, or Caesar Augustus, or Napoleon, or Socrates, or Muhammad died, their reputations were immense. When Jesus died, his tiny, failed movement appeared clearly at an end.”
[ John Ortberg ]

“No legacy is so rich as honesty.”
[ William Shakespeare ]

“Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.”
[ Billy Graham ]

“Your story is the greatest legacy that you will leave to your friends. It’s the longest-lasting legacy you will leave to your heirs.”
[ Steve Saint ]

“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”
[ William James ]

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”
[ Shannon Adler ]

“Legacy is not leaving something for people. It’s leaving something in people.”
[ Peter Strople ]

““You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
[ Jane Goodall ]

 

RELATED SCRIPTURE VERSES:

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
[ Matthew 7:13-14 ]

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
[ 2 Timothy 4:7 ]

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”
[ Proverbs 3:6 ]

“Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.”
[ Proverbs 4:26-27 ]

“For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, “THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!’
[ Matthew 3:3 ]

“A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.”
[ Isaiah 40:3 ]

“O LORD, lead me in Your righteousness because of my foes; Make Your way straight before me.”
[ Psalm 5:8 ]

“I have aroused him in righteousness And I will make all his ways smooth; He will build My city and will let My exiles go free, Without any payment or reward,” says the LORD of hosts.”
[ Isaiah 45:13 ]

“With weeping they will come, And by supplication I will lead them; I will make them walk by streams of waters, On a straight path in which they will not stumble; For I am a father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn.”
[ Jeremiah 31:9 ]

“He led them also by a straight way, To go to an inhabited city.”
[ Psalm 107:7 ]

“The way of the righteous is smooth; O Upright One, make the path of the righteous level.”
[ Isaiah 26:7 ]

“and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?”
[ Acts 13:10 ]

“And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying,”
[ Acts 9:11 ]

 

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“A quick summary of the Christian “Gospel”:
JESUS’ PROPITIATION made our SINS FORGIVEN and IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS to us so that we have GOD’S ACCEPTANCE into His Heaven and ETERNAL LIFE.”
[ Mark Besh ]

 

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

 

FOCUS VERSES:

“Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.”
[ 1 Peter 2:11 ]

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
[ 1 Corinthians 15:58 ]

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
[ Romans 12:2 ]

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
[ Psalm 56:3 ]

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”
[ Ecclesiastes 3:11 ]

“I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.”
[ John 17:4) ]

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
[ 2 Timothy 4:7 ]

“Well done, good and faithful servant!”
[ Matthew 25:23 ]

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
[ Psalm 119:105 ]

“After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God”
[ Revelation 19:1 ]

 

Mark

 

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If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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