Over the past few months, I have concentrated my attention on reading a very great book written by a man named John Bunyan with the title THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS. This book is not new to the majority of Christians. It's said to be the most read book in Christianity second to the bible.
Before I begun digging into this wonderful book, I had my appetite whet by the recommendations and the hype given to it by many faithful men of God. Curiously, I thought to myself let me see what is buried in this book that Spurgeon and Co found so helpful
I am just halfway through but I recommend this book to anyone who is reading this message. It has a sharp cutting edge when it comes to doctrine. It's pregnant with the bible in such a way that almost every sentence has a biblical reference. When I started, I was like did John Bunyan had the whole Bible in his head?
I have no idea how a man could write such a book. This made something clearer to me that man is nothing without the Spirit of God. John Bunyan was a man like you and I but God used him for this purpose. I am not exalting John Bunyan for the PILGRIM'S PROGRESS. God forbid. All glory and honor go to the One who gave him both the breath of life and the breath of the Spirit to put up such a great book in Christian history.
John Bunyan must have attracted Charles Haddon Spurgeon in a lot of ways. Maybe it was due to how spirit-filled and lively his writings were. The book contains everything you need to know about salvation, the wrath of God to come, sanctification and majorly the Christian journey from this evil world to heaven.
CHRISTIAN AND FAITHFUL VS TALKATIVE
I came across something very important couple of days ago when I was reading this book. It was about the encounter Christian, the pilgrim and his friend Faithful had with a man called Talkative and it's this that I want to share with you today.
Whiles Christian and his friend Faithful were on their way towards the Celestial City, they were joined by Talkative who happened to have fled from the same City of Destruction where They were coming from. As to where he was heading to, i wasnt quite sure but from the story I guessed he was on the same path as the two friends- to heaven.
This Talkative, as the name suggests has his Christianity only on his lips. He knew all the doctrines about the faith, he could quote verses with ease but was not a branch of the Vine. It was about such persons that Jesus described in Matthew
"Matthew 7:21-23 "Not everyone who calls out to me, 'Lord! Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, 'Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.' But I will reply, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God's laws.'
When I was reading through this section of the book I thought to myself whether I am that type of person. And I think it's good for you to reflect on it too. Some people have the head knowledge but that knowledge has not done anything in their heart. They believe that Jesus came to die just as every atheist and Muslim does. But the bible says that we are saved by relying on the grace of God, fully surrendering everything to him. It's said in"James 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder!" So just trembling doesn't make one Christian but total reliance on Jesus as the source of your salvation and everything
We may have all the theology about the Christian faith and still not have right standing with God. Not all who pay lip service about the Christian faith are going to heaven but those who do what it says.
If that's the case then from now onwards I have to really apply what I read and hear about Christianity.
Head knowledge is inevitable. Paul was very much concerned about the peoples understanding and wisdom in the word whenever he went on his knees to pray for the churches. To the church in Ephesus, he writes
"Ephesians 1:15-18 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,"
Christianity has never been without the mind. We serve God with all our faculties. Our hearts, minds, soul, strength and every fiber in our being. So Talkative was right to have everything in his head. But he lacked something very important. He lacked the application of the word. He lacked the heart to worship. His heart was not touched by the very word he had in his mind.
Dear reader, we may have all the knowledge about Christianity and still not be Christians. We may talk to someone about Christ and his salvation and be not saved ourselves. We can't just be signposts directing others to heaven and not get there ourselves. That's why we must start applying what we read and hear.
"1 Corinthians 9:27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified."
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