“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” (Hebrews 11:13)
Scripture gives Christians the title, “pilgrims,” as those who are traveling through this world to their real home in heaven. Identifying ourselves in this manner helps us evaluate the focus of our life here and whether we are progressing to our goal hereafter.
Based on this truth, I will lead a Wednesday night Bible study of John Bunyan’s classic, “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” We will begin August 1, so you will find securing a copy of the book before the end of July helpful. I have a few more copies of the special edition we are distributing which you can purchase for $11. I can order more, when these are gone, but the price might increase by a few dollars. You may already have a copy—and you can download one very cheaply—but it might be helpful to have the same edition as it has Bible study and personal reflection questions, and as we study we can all be “on the same page” as it were. I am going to do my best to record these studies for those who cannot be there each session or who are prevented from attending.
John Bunyan (1628-1688) was a Baptist pastor in England. Bunyan was arrested for preaching the Gospel, and spent twelve years in prison. He would later be jailed again for a briefer time. It was during his imprisonment, that he would have a dream, which became, “The Pilgrim’s Progress,” that would be published after his freedom was obtained. That book has been one of the most published and widely read books in the English language, other than the Bible.
Here are some reasons to study it:
1. It “is a vivid portrait of every true Christian’s spiritual journey.” We can see ourselves in this book—the challenges, pitfalls, and blessings of our pilgrimage.
2. It has “many rich word-pictures.” A picture is painted over and over that gives us many fresh insights into Scriptural truths.
3. It “shows the difference between true and false Christians.” Not all who profess faith truly possess faith and we need to examine our hearts accordingly.
4. It has a theme, the precious doctrine of “the perseverance of the saints.” It challenges us to press on in faith, and that we endure to the end not in order to be saved, but because we are saved—that the grace that saves us, seals us, sanctifies us, and secures us for heaven.
(The italicized words come from an article “Why We Should Read ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress,’ ” by Brian G. Hedges, published in “The Banner of Truth” magazine—that motivated me to do this study)
I have read it at least three times, and am looking forward to studying it with you.
Your Fellow Pilgrim,