Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Path to the Wicket-Gate

As I was reading Pilgrim's Progress again I was comforted by one of the opening scenes when Christian is talking with Worldly-Wiseman. Christian is telling Worldly-Wiseman about the path he is on because he was told by an honorable person, Evangelist, about the way to the wicket-gate.

"Worldly: I beshrew [Evangelist] for his counsel! There is not a more dangerous and trouble some way in the world than is that unto which he hath directed thee; and that thou shalt find, if thou wilt be ruled by his counsel. Thou hast met with something, as I perceive already; for I see the dirt of the Slough of Despond is upon thee; but that slough is the beginning of the sorrows that do attend those that go on in that way. Hear me, I am older than thou; thou art like to meet with, on the way which thou goest, wearisomeness, painfulness, hunger, perils, nakedness, sword, lions, dragons, darkness, and, in a word, death, and what not! These things are certainly true, having been confirmed by many testimonies. And why should a man so carelessly cast away himself, by giving heed to a stranger?"

What a great reminder of the cost to follow after Christ! But why would any man or woman press on in the battle when careless living is offered in rejecting Christ? Why be weighed down by the fear of "wearisomeness, painfulness, hunger, perils, nakedness, sword, lions, dragons, darkness, and death"? That does not make sense unless -

"Christian: Why, Sir, this burden upon my back is more terrible to me than are all these things which you have mentioned; nay, methinks I care not what I meet with in the way, if so be I can also meet with deliverance from my burden."

"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor. 5:21). Christ Jesus came to take that burden away. One day he is coming back for his children to take them to a place where there will be no burden (sin) whatsoever. This reality keeps every Christian on the path to the Celestrial City. What amazing grace from our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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