Pilgrim's Progress 2


Pilgrim's Progress 2
Reading: Psalm 23
Blanks: pastures, overflows, forever

Last week we heard that John Bunyan wrote this story book called the Pilgrim’s Progress.
This book contains a made up story based on teachings of Jesus and Apostles.

Last week we heard the first part of the story.
Today, we are going to hear the rest of the story with an interpretation.
Hope we sense how Jesus may guide our spiritual life.

Last week we heard that Mr. Christian climbed up the Mount Difficulty and came to the Beautiful Palace. (Ephesians 6:11-18)
As he was following the narrow path, Mr. Christian was given the Armor of God.

After three days, Mr. Christian climbed down the other side of the Mount Difficulty.
Then he walked through the Valley of Humiliation.
This was where Jesus walked before with his cross.
So at this place Mr. Christian understood a bit more about Jesus and his suffering and how Jesus humbled himself and carried the cross for the world.

As he passed through, he also had to fight spiritual battles with evil forces of Satan.
The armor of God helped him protect himself spiritually.
Being armed with the Armor of God, Mr. Christian could protect himself against the forces of Satan.
He fought the spiritual fight for God.

Next Mr. Christian enters into the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
Evil spirits, terror and darkness filled this place.
At first, Mr. Christian was afraid.

Then he remembered these words in the Bible: Psalm 23:
“Even though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil:
Because God is with me, guarding me and guiding me all the way.”

Repeating these words, and trusting these words, he passed through the Valley of The Shadow of Death.

Then right before him, another man was repeating the same words as passing through.
“Even though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil:
Because God is with me, guarding me and guiding me all the way.”

Mr. Christian followed and met Mr. Faithful, who happened to be his old friend from the City of Destruction.
They happily talked about their spiritual experiences so far.
Then they traveled together.

Then they met Mr. Talkative.
He was a son of Mr. Say-well and Mrs. Talk-About-The-Right-Things.
He could talk about any things.
Mr. Talkative speaks so well and knew what to say.
So when he knew a bit about Mr. Christian and Mr. Faithful, he talked about God.
He was like:
"God chose Abraham and blah blah blah.…...
God chose Moses and so on."

Mr. Talkative was talkative.
He thought that he knew everything.
But even though he could talk about God, he didn’t really know God.

Mr. Faithful thought that Mr. Talkative must know God.
Mr. Christian also could feel that this person didn’t really know God.
So Mr. Christian asked him these questions:
“So tell us, how has Jesus changed you and your life?
How have the Holy Spirit being working in your heart?
You know that God really loves you, right?”

He could not answer that.
Instead Mr. Talkative just wanted to talk about God.

Next Mr. Christian and Mr. Faithful arrived at the town of Vanity Fair.
People of this town liked to buy beauty products in their marketplaces.
They liked to buy Fame, Degree, Title, and Honor.
They sought these things to show up and to be seen by people.

For Mr. Christian Mr. Faithful, quoted Ecclesiastes 1:2 which says:
“Everything is meaningless, completely meaningless!”
Mr. Christian also told him about when God chose David as a king among his brothers.
God did not look at their appearance or height.
People may look at their outward appearance.
But God did not look at those things.
God looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

Then Mr. Faithful prayed remembering Psalm 119:37:
“Turn my eyes away from worthless things.
Preserve my life according to your word.”

So Mr. Christian and Mr. Faithful were not interested in buying their products in this vanity fair.
They didn’t want to buy into their meaninglessness.
Instead, they humbly themselves and believed in God’s promise.

As they refused to buy anything, many people of Vanity Fair got really mad at Mr. Christian and Mr. Faithful.
But, Mr. Faithful said:
“We only want to buy the truth.”

Then they really hated Mr. Faithful.
But Mr. Christian and Mr. Faithful continually prayed for these people and patiently returned good words for their bad ones, and blessings for their cursing.

But the people of Vanity brought them to their wicked Judge, Lord Hate Good.
This judge hated anything that is good.
This judge hated what is right.

And his jury and witnesses were the same.
They hate what is good.
They lied.
They cheated.
They were like sons of Satan.

Mr. Faithful knew that he could not trust these men to do what is right.
They were not interested in doing what God wants.
So Mr. Faithful spoke to them saying:
“Serve the living God with your hearts.
Live for God who is the truth.
Live in faith.
Then God can use your life.
Then you may be useful for God and for the world.”

But they hated to hear the truth.
So, they condemned Mr. Faithful to death and killed him.

Then a beautiful chariot appeared and carried the soul of Mr. Faithful straight to the Heavenly City where Jesus was.
There Mr. Faithful received the crown of martyrdom.

Then, they sent away Mr. Christian.
But there was a person in the town of Vanity Fair, who wanted to travel with Mr. Christian.
He was Mr. Hopeful.
He was so moved by the words and the life of Mr. Faithful.
He left the town of Vanity Fair and said to Mr. Christian:
“God helps me to understand that God can guide me and lead me in this journey of faith.
I can see now that his narrow path is the way of the King Jesus.
I know I need to follow this narrow path to go to the Heavenly City where Jesus is.”

Then Mr. Christian helped Mr. Hopeful to get the certificate of election.
Then they travel together.

Then on the way, they met Mr. Vain Confidence, also known as Mr. False Confidence.
Mr. Vain Confidence said confidently that he knew a n easy road to the Heavenly City.
So, they followed his advice instead of following the narrow path.

Following this wrong path, they met Mr. Giant Despair.
Mr. Giant Despair was the owner of Doubting Castle.

This giant captured them saying:
“You guys are trespassing on my land.”

Then he imprisoned them in the dungeon of despair and doubts.
The giant beat them violently with despairs and doubts and made them suffer.

In this Doubting Castle, Mr. Christian felt so discouraged and doubts.
He was like:
“I should have followed the narrow path.
I even misled Mr. Hopeful.”

But Mr. Hopeful continually encouraged him saying:
“God loves you Mr. Christian.
And there must be a way out.”

Then Mr. Christian remembered that he had the Key.
He was like:
“Oh! God has given me the key.
The key is God’s Words, God’s Promise.
God’s Promise can open all the doors of Doubting Castle.”

Using this key, they opened doors of the Doubting Castle and ran away from Mr. Giant Despair.

After this, they arrived at the Delightful Mountains.
From this mountain, they could see the Heavenly City.
Here they met four shepherds whose names were Mr. Knowledge, Mr. Experience, Mr. Watchful, and Mr. Honesty.

These shepherds shared what they understand honestly.
Their knowledge, experience, thoughts and information could help these travelers to safely arrive at the Heavenly City.

Mr. Christian and Mr. Hopeful thanked them and continued their journey.
Then on the way Mr. Christian and Mr. Hopeful met Mr. Atheist.
He didn’t believe in God.

Anyway, Mr. Christian and Mr. Hopeful explained that they saw the Heavenly City and they were going to there.
Mr. Atheist laughed at them saying:
“The Heavenly City?
That does not exist.”
Then he left for the pleasure of this world.

Then Mr. Christian read these portions of the Bible to Mr. Hopeful:
1 Corinthians 2:14.
“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”

He also read: 1 Corinthians 1:18
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Then they met Mr. Ignorance.
As they talked, they discovered that Mr. Ignorance didn't have the certificate of the election.
So they told him:
“We can help you go to the cross of Jesus and receive the certificate of the election.
There Jesus will also show himself to you.”

But Mr. Ignorance was like:
“I don’t need that.
I just need to live a good life, giving alms, giving tithes, performing religious duty, and having a habit of prayer.
Then when I go to the Heavenly City, they will let me in.”

Mr. Christian was like:
“But the most important thing is to love Jesus.
Then God will also love you.” John 14:21

But, Mr. Ignorance ignored their advice.
So later he could not get in.

Then, Mr. Christian and Mr. Hopeful arrived at the Magical Ground:
They knew:
“If anyone goes to sleep here, he or she never wakes up.”
The four shepherds, Mr. Knowledge, Mr. Experience, Mr. Watchful, and Mr. Honesty at the Delightful Mountains told them about this place.

So, they encouraged each other not to fall asleep.
Mr. Hopeful read the portion of the Bible where Jesus told his disciples at the garden of Gethsemane:
“Stay awake and pray.”
Mr. Christian also read the portion of the Bible where Jesus talked about his return to his disciples:
“Be watchful and stay awake because you do not know when I may return.”

Then in order to stay awake, they talked about their spiritual experiences and how God encouraged them and guided them.
Then they passed through the Magical Ground.

Then Mr. Christian read: Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”
Mr. Christian was thankful that God sent him a compassion for this journey.

Then they arrived at the River of Death.
Only those who trusted in Jesus could cross this river.
But if their faith was weak, this river became deeper.

Mr. Christian had a rough time here because he remembered his sins and felt guilt all over again.
So, Mr. Hopeful continually said:
“Your sins were washed away by the blood of Jesus!
You are forgiven through Jesus the Christ!
Remember what Jesus has done for you.
Trust in Jesus and remember his grace.”

Then together they were able to cross the lake.
Then they arrived at the Heavenly City where Jesus was.

At the gate, they were asked to show their certificate of election.
As they showed theirs, they were allowed to enter.

Then they met Jesus and Mr. Faithful who came there first.
Then they lived happily after.
The end.

Following Jesus, we are growing and learning.
God also sends good teachers into our paths so that we may learn enough to walk and live with Jesus.
So we want to remember what we learn, so that we may not repeat the same lesson.
God is our teacher.
God is still teaching us.

May we learn the way of Jesus the Christ.
May we learn trust in Jesus.
May we remember to walk on the narrow path, as God guiding us so that we may arrive safely where Jesus is.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for guiding us and helping us to live faithfully according to your words.
May your people understand you and believe in you and arrive where you are.
In Jesus name, we pray.