The Pilgrims Progress - Cornerstone Church Kingston
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The Pilgrims Progress

Pete, Tom, Ben and Rory unpack Pilgrim’s Progress, one of the best selling books in history, written by John Bunyan.

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#21 The Celestial City

In this final episode, Pete, Tom and Rory follow Christian, Hopeful and Ignorance's attempts to enter the Celestial City

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Welcome to, the Cornerstone Church podcast.

It's nice to have you tuning in for another week.

I think on our last episode of the Pilgrim's progress, we hinted that there might be 2 episodes left, but in fact, we're gonna try and wrap it up today.

So Woah.

In theory, this will be our last pilgrims.

We'll go to heaven podcast.


We'll go into heaven.


So I'm here with, Rory and Pete, again.


And I'm Tom, and we're all, pastors at the church, and we've got Aidan in the room who's been doing the tech for us.

We're thankful to him.

So last time we, we were looking at ignorance again, quite a lengthy, look into ignorance and what what he believed and where he was going wrong and, he's gonna play a minor part.

He is.


We're gonna see him.


In the last lines of the book, But for now, at least, they've, they've left him behind.

And, this chapter starts with Christian and hopeful, trying to kind of make the most of their time together.

And so there's, quite a lengthy discussion about, how to fear the lord properly and again, they're just they're just redeeming the time that they have, and they're they're wanting to talk spiritually, and lead each other on.

And so we won't we won't go into detail of that conversation, really, because it's it's going over lots of stuff we've seen before, but the next the next major part of the trip is that they they come to this, they come to this country called Bula.

And so they have passed through now the enchanted ground, which was a dangerous place to be, because if they didn't, keep their wits about them, they might fall under the spell of the place, fall asleep.

And that would, that was a picture of falling away from from Christ, really.

Now they've come into a much happier place called Bula.

And, there's 1 of you wanna just tell us a bit about that and what it means and what's going on there and Well, it's a pleasant place.

It's full of, pleasant air and sweet smells in the air.

And, it it's a place of solace, really.

He I think he calls it a place of solace, and he's he's quoting isaiah, 62 because they're they're they're sort of, they're seeing and, almost feeling and experiencing that the new creation So it's just a sort of a joyful place to be.

I think he's trying to say on 1 degree that you know, as you get older, as you get nearer death, this should be something that, becomes sort of clearer in your in in your vision.

That you're you you've done you've done a lot of the battles and you know how to battle.

You're a you're you're you're not sitting easy because you're you're ready for battles, but you know the battles.

But, here he's trying to to let less prone to some of the impulses of youth perhaps.

The quick decisions, the rash decisions, the arrogant.

I know what I'm doing.

It's this way.

It's definitely that way.

Or Yep.

So you've mellowed a bit you mellowed a bit and you've walked the walk, and and and now you're beginning to rejoice in the whole, idea of heaven and and the new creation that coming, really.

It's it's not saying you can't do that throughout your life.


But there there is a sort of tendency, isn't there, where you've done your battles and physically, you are decaying, but mentally, you're and spiritually, you're alive looking forward to what is to come.


It's just looking up the, the definition of the word means married, and it that that's how it's used in in scripture with Isaiah about married to the land.

And I think maybe that's a maybe it's a suggestion that you're more I think this is what you're saying.

You're more settled in your faith with Christ.

And actually, you no longer live for the pleasures of this world, but you're actually now really looking forward to the pleasures of the next world.

Well, he he quotes isiah 62 here, and it says, as the bride rejoiceth over the, sorry, as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so did their god rejoice over them.

So he's got it's it's it's a sense of of of the delight of god Yeah.

In them as as the bride.


They're experiencing these these promises and blessings, and that's right.


And I think I think you're you're probably right to say that although this is placed right at the end of their journey, And so it feels natural to think of this as the the later stages of life.

It's probably a picture of a seasons that we go through, isn't it? Where we we feel the sun is never setting on us.

You know, we're enjoying it day and night living in the law favor.

There's a closeness in our walk with the lord.

We're enjoying good Christian company.

We feel close to the to the bride, the bridegroom.

Because as opposed to, I think, your time and it can be an idealized thing, can't you? You know, if people think, oh, the final from 65 to 85.

I'm just gonna get a camper van, see the world.

I'm gonna, basically, relive my gap year, but a bit older.

And you kind of jettison all your commitments and make a bit of an idol out of that.

Well, you've got your list, haven't you? Yeah.


What'd you call it? Looks bucket list.

I've gotta go and do all these things.



And what you were saying, you know, pipe is a, put John Piper, American preacher uses the whole idea of collecting what was it? Yeah.

Well, I think it was a it came out of an article that he read somewhere, about this couple who who were gonna do that.

They were gonna spend their retirement on the beaches collecting shelves, and it was just lamenting the you know, those years in some ways could be you've got the most to give, you know.


You've got a life of learnt wisdom.

There are young people in church who you could be encouraging, but you're never gonna be there because yeah.

I mean, he's not saying don't be a Caleb, is he? He wants us to be a Caleb to to the end, didn't they? Joshua and a caleb and fight.

We keep on fighting within their eighties.


Well, I think that that's when you'll have Bula at the end.


It's those who persevere, and they don't go grow lukewarm.

And Actually, that's the enchanted that's the enchanted land.


And that actually, that's really as they go through the enchanted land.

They they say that people suddenly start to go lukewarm.

They stop with the in the word, they they start to say yes to lusts.

They stop keeping company with, god's people.

I think I think you're right, but you look at me throughout life, but it should be to it should be at the end as well, but it must be for those who keep on going strong.

And those who go strong to the end will enjoy Mueller because I think as they keep going and persevering, they are they keep on growing in the trees of the gospel, and then they they delight in the things that are gonna come more and more.

I think I think as they go and and scripture becomes real more and more real to them.

This world grows as that song goes strangely dim.

And Christ and the the glories that are to come are sharper in focus at the end.

And I think that's then the the the enjoyment and refreshment of the word of god in in those times.


I mean, he does sort of talk about you can't you can't I think I think you can't see the value of the shadow of death, and you you actually can't see giant despair and his doubting castle and stuff.

I think he says you can't see it.

Well, but, they can't see doubting cow anyway.


They they they they've they've sort of gone through that again, isn't it? Is that is that that I think there is a sort of a man or a woman towards end of their life.

They've they've had these battles and fights.

But as you say, then, he's definitely not giving the impression that they're just sitting back in bed and doing nothing.


Because they're delighting in god's words.

So they're caleb's.

They're Joshua's.

They're still fighting.

They're not the 10 spies that wanna give up and go home to mommy sort of thing.


But but but we're not dealing with battle language here.

Are we not dealing with enjoyment of god and knowing that god enjoys us.


That's the amazing thing.

And and interesting.

They can't see those trials and those tribulations that they've come through, but what is it that they they are looking at? They're inside of the celestial city.

That's what they see.

That's where they get it's not they're not stopped in a sense, because it says, here, here the pilgrims were within sight of the celestial city where they were going.


And they're still journeying on here.


And is this the first time just thinking now that they're encouraged to to sleep? Because that that they certainly they certainly shouldn't have done it on the hill difficulty.

Well, it's certainly the enchanted land as well.

But it seems here that the you know, the gardener who's taking them into the vineyards, and it says, and here they tarried and they slept.

Now I beheld in my dream that they talked more in their sleep than they ever did on their journey.

And, they're kind of wondering about that.

And he says the it's the grapes of the place.

Are so nutritious and full of spiritual good that when you eat them, even sleeping, you're preaching the gospel while you're fast asleep to each other.

So this is the most sanctified form of rest on the journey, isn't it? Yeah.

They've, you know, generally speaking, had to be careful of sleep, but this this land is is so good that that even your even your sleep is gospel sleep, Yeah.

I I think it's it's in enjoying the It's it's not a slug hard sleep, is it? It's, it it's enjoying all of the promises of god and resting in him and delighting in him and, understanding the truths and yeah.


I mean, we've got I think we've said that, but it's it's not giving up the battle.


Well, there there there's been moments throughout the journey where they've had Yeah.

Times where they've had rest and refreshment, usually after a battle.

So I'm pretty sure Will they go to a house? Yeah.

They go to the house or they go to the the mountains with the shepherds.

I think there's re refreshing there.

And just before giant, doubting castle, we find a place where they're meant to rest.


But, obviously, it's never meant to be for a a long period of time.

So for instance, when a Christian was on the hillside.

I mean, you've heard him in the rest for a moment.


And he and then he speaks for too long.

Whereas, I think you'll probably write this.

Sleep is a blessing, isn't it? And, I mean, we we can we can make an idol out of not sleeping, you know, sometimes, uh-uh, because there's no rest.

You know, it says there's no rest for the wicked, isn't it? But, you know, there's, the sense that we're not sleeping enough, and sometimes we do need to to to sleep more in order to be able to do the stuff that god wants us to do.

But sleep is of, you know, he's there to refresh us about god's work, isn't it, and who god is, not a not a slug art sleep where you just don't do anything.



So it's a beautiful picture, isn't it, of delight and refreshment and lacking nothing.

They lacked no corn or wine.

So it's having a lovely time, aren't they? Yes.

So then they then they pass they pass through there, or they come to the end of that, and they meet they meet, some men, who are preparing them for what's ahead.

And basically they're saying, okay, you've had this time in Bureau now.

You're almost home.

You're very nearly there.

But they're 2 more difficulties that you are gonna encounter before you enter that city.

And then they see, a gate And, between them and the gate is a is a river, and there's no bridge to go over it and the river is very deep.

And so there's this, I suppose, was meant to imagine, you know, not a little stream, but a, you know, a great coursing river, that looks very deep.

It looks hard to cross.

There doesn't seem to be any other way over it except to go through it.

And they're feeling pretty nervous about this, aren't they? Well, Christian definitely is.

Hopeful is more hopeful, isn't he? But, yeah, so they they put their feet in the river, and it and it all seems to sort of go a bit wrong for Christian, doesn't it? Mhmm.

And again, we're gonna see the the absolute need for fellowship, really, in in difficult times, but the the river's death, isn't it? Yeah.

And suddenly Christian is is thinking he's he's he's not good enough for the kingdom of heaven.

He's he's he's he's not a true man and all of that stuff.

Well, before they even get into the river, they're thinking, is there not another way? Oh, yeah.



And they're they're and they're they're shining ones.

So there is 1 other way.


There's only only 2 men that have gone through that way.

And that's, Enoch and Elijah.


So you have to go through that.

That's very interesting because he says it won't it won't be back that way until the sound of the last trumpet.

So that those who are left alive when Christ returns, seems to imply that they won't experience death as Enoch and Elijah, and they'll be taken up be with the lord in the air without having to pass through it.

But in the main, everyone's gotta go.


But then but then, so they have to go through the river and they're told it's gonna be it's shallower or deeper depending on your belief in the king.

If you If you are keeping the gospel and Christ at at the center of your vision, you'll find that this is an easier river to cross.

If you can't, if you if you, you know, take your eyes off him, it'll be deep.

It'll feel deeper and you'll start to sink.

And that I think is the problem.

The Christian is that when he's going through, as you say, hopeful is always hopeful.

He's always looking at the king.

Whereas Christian starts to take his eye off the king and and and really struggles through this this river.

Well, he looks at his own sin, doesn't he, really? And feels very, very sinful and unworthy.

And and and start sinking I mean, greatly, really, really, really a sort of great depression, really, isn't it? And he's taking in water and going under and thinking that, you know, e even even when Hopeful says, look, there's shining ones for you.

Look, there's the gate for you.

He says, no, no, that's the the gate for you.

For me.

They're for you, not for me.

And this is a satanic thing, isn't it? I mean, there are he does talk about in this old 1, the hobgoblins and the spikes and the demons who are, coming alongside Christian, with their armbands on, I presume, and, you know, to in order to whisper these discouragements in our in the ear.

And, yeah, I mean, that's, that's a horrible thing, isn't it? Because I suppose in those dying moments, Christian is he can only remember his failures and his guilt when when actually, you know, the lord has enabled him to do incredible good in his life.

And, he's made so much so much contribution and such a difference to so many people.

As as all Christians do, but you never remember that in the year.

You only you only remember the things that have gone wrong, and you can't lose sight of the the hours and hours of good work that the lord has helped you to do.

And so it's a it's a lie about your life, isn't it, really? And that's what he's saying here.

I mean, he he he hasn't got the theology to to say that that Christian loses There's a salvation here, is it? Because Christian's got he's got the assurance.

He's got the right papers.

He's got order.

He came the right route.

He's gone to the cross.


So what what do you think Bunion is saying here? Well, I think it's, I mean, in in the first instance, this is about death, but I think the The truth here, is relevant to almost every single situation that we face where where things are more or less easy depending on how we bring them to the lord.

I mean, there's that prayer isn't, that song is that what a friend we have in Jesus, you know, 1 of the lines is something like, oh, what needless pain we bear.

You know, we because we choose to shoulder the anxieties ourselves, rather than unloading them to Jesus.

And I guess it's true that almost everything we do, you know, every day at school and every you know, night out in town and every meeting that we go through and every difficulty and every illness will be will be more or less hard to bear depending on whether we will unload all our concerns and cares to Jesus or not.

And, Christian seems to be The thing about hopeful is he's, you know, this this stream is shallow for him, isn't it? Because he's sort of hopeful of what's to come.

He's unloading his hope onto the lord whereas Christian seems to be sort of thinking more about himself really at the moment than looking at himself at this time.

I think but I think as well, like, you you know, when when death comes, there are there are Christians who who are attacked by doubt.

And and they've done they've they've they're they're reminded of their sin.

And so it's like Well, you know, what if I'm what if I'm not 1 of the lord's people? Mhmm.


And what if I don't make it and you know, I did this, that, and the other.

And It's sort of an unbelief because of a really strong belief.


Isn't it? Yeah.

The the real strong belief that this is a right this is right.

Jesus is right.


Sin is right.

There is a heaven.

There is a heaven.



But but it's a sort of unbelief within that.


That's partly why, it's inter if if you know children who have been converted very young aren't always sure that they've been converted.

And so they they often say, oh, I had to keep on praying the prayer of conversion because they're like, well, what if I'm not saved? And, I think, you know, that could be a very real feeling and emotion when you come to death.

And and you have questions, and the process of death is we don't understand it.

And so there's a lot of unknowns there that you have to deal with.

And it's a dark time, and so there can be a real worry.

The the evangelist John the Australian evangelist John Chapman would always say, you know, his mom was always the first up cool.

And, you know, and he would say, well, you, you did that last week, and she went, well, yeah, but I wanna make sure that she was, she was always up there.




Which is a it's it is a lack of faith, isn't it? But different to ignorance, isn't it? I mean, you know, there is different, isn't it? It's a sort of lack of faith within the faith.



That's what I wanna say.


That's that's it's interesting, isn't it? I don't know whether there's a parallel in marriage, you know, if you were to Yeah.

There's a sense in which once you're married, you you enjoy married life together, don't you? And you wanna continue to grow and your love for 1 another But if you were going home every day saying, are we are we still married? Can I just check that you do you can we do that again? Can we say, oh, ours again? You know, and and trying to sort of rego over the process.

Eventually, the spouse would say, can we just, you know, can we just inter I want you to love me and show me you love me, but don't need to let's enjoy it.


It's it's because of the human heart.

The human heart, as as you say, starts to focus in on myself.


Rather than the objective out of myself reality that is in Christ than what he has promised that he's done for us.


And Christian's persevered all the way to this point.

And so he must not forget that it's not to do with his faithfulness necessarily, but more to do with Christ faithfulness to him.

And as he's got along, he's he's Yeah.


And I think hopeful get gets it.

Hopeful's thinking, well Yeah.

Jesus has been faithful to me.

I'm looking at him.

He won he's the 1 who promises to take me through, the the valley.


And, and and the and the pit.

There's something about personality here as well, isn't there? That the way the law has wired us, sometimes things are easier or harder just because of the way that he's set us up in his providence.

And, I mean, hopeful, although this kind of disposition serves him well at the moment, you know, he's really needed god's great.

In the past because this disposition could have been the end of him because he wasn't discerning enough at points.

You know, he was he was too hopeful and he read the best into everything, which is a lovely spirit to have, and yet it could have sent into hell at points in this journey, you know, because, you know, false teachers are standing saying, why don't you come off the road and investigate this? It's fantastic.

You know, and he's saying, I think this book sounds pretty good, actually.

Like should we go and have a look? And Christian's saying, just We'll just rain it in a bit because we need to learn our lessons here.

And so, you know, god is so gracious, isn't he? And and the the characters that he's given us, you know, when sanctified will be great sometimes, but then we'll all have our own particular errors and areas of sin given given who we are.

And although Christian has been quite a, you know, he's been quite a bulldog at points on this journey with when it comes to false teach as, perhaps his sort of laser like focus on doctrine and stuff is what's the undoing of him now in in 1 sense, I I don't know.

You know, which is why I should say Coughing.

Why it is important that we have Christian fellowship because Christian needs hopeful at this point and hopeful is constantly preaching to him.

And at first, you can't hear him.

And then he keep he keeps on going.

My you know, keeps on reminding him of of truth that is he is held dear, and that's when Christian starts to listen to him.

Got got god hasn't abandoned you.

You're gonna keep on going, and then he says be courageous.

Jesus Christ makes you whole.

And it's where those words that then hope that Christian says, oh, I see him again.



Same again.

Comes through hearing, isn't it? Yeah.


When you pass through the waters, I will be with you and through the rivers, they will not overflow you.

Oh, Christ has promised even at this stage, that I will not be done with, that I will that he will be with me even through this last, I suppose, test trial, and you will make it.

And and that's what they do.

They they both get to the other side.


So it yeah.


I got this cough.

That's alright.


So they they, the river or the enemy is as still as a stone.

Once that once those scriptures come Coming up with the hot goblins that he loves.


The the hot goblins have have gone away and been swept away, but also I think the enemy as you were saying, Pete, the enemy, the river itself, seems to be stilled.

You know, you remember Jesus standing on the boat saying peace be still and calms the waves and So that it's a changed picture now, and they they get over.

And then they come up to the bank on the other side, and there are these ministering who who are angels, I suppose, really, who are who are ready to greet them and also to aid them in the final leg of their journey because they've gotta go up a mighty hill it says.

And, you know, that reminds us of hill difficulty a bit, except in this case, they're able to go up with ease because they've got these men who are gonna, you know, take them by the arm and see them through the final part of their journey.

So again, god's grace, you know, it's amazing.

Not just that they not just that they got these shining ones, but they've also left their mortal garments behind them.


So, free, though.

Such a good image.


A physical body that you know, holding them back.

It holds us back so much.

It's no longer there.

And so it's just a it's a doddle this walk now because they're no longer you know, held back by the the the passions of the flesh anymore and they're they're able to just go with these shining ones and and walk well.

They come to the gate then.

Is it the next thing? Yeah.

They do.

Yeah, where they discuss with the shining ones about the glory of the place and they they remind them of just how good it is, and then they say those wonderful words you are going now.

And what must that have been like to to hear? And so, yeah, they they come to the gate.

And I mean, that that they're wondering what what they're gonna do in this place.

You know, it seems like a question they might have asked earlier on, but what are we actually gonna do in it? But they're gonna receive comfort, all their difficulties.

They're gonna see the fruit of their prayers.

That's a lovely thing, isn't it? You know, because sometimes you pray and you wonder you wonder how the lord is using our prayers.

And and then I suppose there'll be some kind of answer in heaven as to, oh, that's what I did with that.

And now you shouldn't have asked that, really.

So I did something else and, you know, So crown crowns of gold and a perpetual sight of the vision of the holy 1.

Best of all, isn't it? They're gonna be able to look upon their lord, which is what they've what they've been wanting.

And though and those that have served him, they'll be reunited Yep.

With faithful and all of that.

You know? Yep.


So next next then, what's, the gates, isn't it? And then looking over the gate of these 3 blokes, Is that right? Yeah.

There's, They're sort of welcomed by, a procession Yeah.

Aren't they? So there's that all these people come and meet them and Well, it gets better and better, doesn't it? That's just that's the vision.

It's just it's just taking, like, all these amazing scriptures about the old time.

It it just says it's leveling in them.

Like, he His opportunity to say this is a glorious place.

I think the word glory is used about a hundred times.



It's just great because as they go, they're drawing near to the gate a company of the heavenly host come out to meet them.

And they're the men who have loved our lord when they were in the world and who have left over this whole they're announcing who these people are.


It's like trumpeters, your You're going in.

It's a great celebration.

And, you know, they come to they come to the gate as the surrounded by all these people until they they commonly see the the the gold inscription above this gate, and it says blessed are those who do his commandments, those who have rightful access to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the city.


And there's just a really interesting choice of text that, isn't it, that he's chosen there? Because, you know, there are all kinds of things you could chosen, you know, for it is by grace, you are saved through faith or something.

But I think throughout this, what we've really appreciated is that bunion is And perhaps lots of these old writers were just not not ashamed to say that, no, a kind of daily lived out grace fueled obedience to the law of god is not just it's an essential fruit of our salvation, isn't it? That we that we live out the commands of god and walk in the commands of god.

And, yeah, that's that's been a the focus, isn't it? You were talking about revelation.

There's quotes of revelation.



Bless that they that do his commands.


Bless that they do his commandments.


They have the right to the tree of life and may enter through the gates into the city.

Cause ultimately, they believe that the commandment is still you know, believe trust Christ.

The lord Jesus Christ.


To love.


To love god and love love your neighbor.

But we're back to the tree of life, which is interesting, isn't it? You know, we're back to the more glorious garden from the from the beginning.


I said that that then they're called they're called they're told to call out to let for for people to let them in.

And they call out, and then these 3 men poked their head over the wall and you're Yes.

Well, who are they? Moses, Enoch, Moses, and Elijah.

But why? I don't know.

Well, it does say, etcetera in my, in the old version.


But, why why would he pick on them? I I sort of know, I understand, you know, Moses and Elijah, the great prophets of the Old Testament.

There's no new testament person here, is there? No.


No reason.

Well, I mean, the, I mean, 1 thing you could say is that this this is to show, that all of scripture has been pointing to a singular way of salvation, which is faith in Christ, isn't it? And, that, you know, Moses Moses preached Christ.

You know, he he was the bringer of the law, but he knew that we needed a savior.

Elijah kind of stands for, you know, all the prophets.


You know, group in the old testament, and they were pointing on to a lady for yourselves.


And Enoch is the You know, he's he's he's, minutes amazing in Genesis 5 because you've got the the and he died and he died and he died and he died and he and he died.

And so that the curse of death that was bought on in the fall is working its way out through the generations but Enoch just, stands out like a sore thumb in that chapter because we're told that he walked with god and then he was not for god took him.

And so he did not experience death.

And, you know, 1 1 writer member says that Enoch is the standing pledge of death's defeat.

So right at the beginning of the Bible, here is a pledge that death is not gonna have the last words.

It's not it's not gonna be to borrow another phrase.

You know, the coffin is not an exitless box.

There is gonna be a a way out and a way through And Ianock is saying, yeah, you know, I was the first to that was me.

I was the I'm the standing pledge.

Like, I was the pledge right at the beginning that resurrection and Yeah.

Life after death is coming.

And here I am now.

I told you.

You know, I told you.

So maybe that's why he's there.

So they poke over.

Then what happens, they present their, certificates, and they their assurance Yes.



And then the king looks at them and said, what are they outside.


Get me in here.

Get me in here.


They've got the certificates.

Why are they outside? You know? Yeah.

And the gates are opened.

And then it picks on those descriptions from revelation, the city, sun, shone like a sun, and the streets are paved with gold.

And head crowns and Well, they're dressed they're dressed in gold and it's it's amazing because actually, if you remember Christian when he was in interpreters house, which you might not remember because it was so long ago.


He had an image of a of a place where he saw these people wearing gold shining on the ramparts and he had to fight remocountenance and had to fight through to get into this.

And he's done that.

He's fought through, and now he's being dressed in gold.

And, he's he's made it into this place.

And now he's there, you know, singing the praises of god with the the rest of those who have who've gone before him.

And there's this beautiful joy, isn't there? Enter ye into the joy of your lord.

And then they sing that song, blessing and honor.

Once they have that bass player in, yeah, blessing and honor and glory and power, Yeah.

Leading it.


Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto him that's sittieth upon the throne and under the lamb forever and ever, and they're singing the song of that's in Revelation.

And, you know, they're there now with all the people of god and all the elders all around the throne seeing the lamb that is the lion, the lion lamb.

And it feels a bit imbalanced, doesn't it, in the sense that we've had However, many hundreds of pages and detailed descriptions of liars and sheets and charlatons and pains and sufferings and sorrows and death and martyrdom and devils.

And there's just really, in terms of balance, there's not, like, there's not a great deal devoted to describing this place.

But I wonder if Bunion is trying to keep alive a sense of the intrigue and a bit of a you know, the wonder of going further up and further in.

You know, it's the kind of because because you have it at the end there, they go in, and the gates are shut.

And then Bunion sort of swaps back to the writer's perspective and says when I had seen, I wish myself among them.


He's like, you can imagine just as the gate's closing, he's he's at a necklace, and then it closes, and he's longing to be inside.

And he's not this side of heaven, I suppose.

We've you know, we've got great descriptions of what it will be like, and yet we're not privy to to absolutely everything.

And so there is a just you just wait you know, you'll see how.

That that must be what the apostle John's thinking as as his I mean, as frightening as his vision has been in Revelation.

He has seen, just for a glimpse of glory, and he's thinking that is incredible.

And so come lord Jesus.


And I guess, Bernie, you're saying that, you can, as you say, you see these these gates and these longing for them not and he's just seen through the little crack.



I'm singing holy, holy, holy, and it shuts.

And he says, ah, I wish I was with them.

And so come lord Jesus.

So you've got all this glory and joy and they're at home and they're at rest and they're with their friends and they're beholding the great glory of the king and it's it's an amazing place and a very natural place to end as a natural place to end.

Funny doesn't do that.


And this this is he's masterly.

Is absolutely masterly.

He says now while I was gazing upon all these things, I turned my head to look back and saw ignorance.

And now He plays this little minor part at the end, but what a part, actually? Because he comes to the river, he gets over the river, you know, easily, really.

Why? Well, there's a sort of this ghostly character here.

The ferryman? Yeah.

There's a ferryman, which that term is so haunting, isn't it? I don't know where it is.

It's so yeah.

I pay in the ferryman.

Ghostly reminds me of a miss, a very misty sea, and it's just twilight.

And this is always a man there who's just in the sound of the chains hitting the the the wall, the dock wall, you know? It's not like Hades is like.



From Haiti.


And you gotta pay the ferryman.


So Well, but but but this very man's called vain Hope.


So What a what a bit of a giveaway.

Isn't it? Yeah.

And, of course, ignorance.


He likes him.

You know, vain hopes, terrific.


Get in the boat easy.

It's an easy job.

Death isn't just an easy thing.

To get over and ascend a hill.

Because he knows he's gonna be accepted.



Well, this is this is quite this is quite, yeah, this is quite an unsettling passage this because, you know, what it shows you is that the the the the human heart is so deceptive, that even at the greatest moments of trial in life, our idols can deceive us into thinking that it's peace peace, you know, and there is no peace.

And there are obviously some people who who perhaps have, you know, been agnostic or atheistic in their views.

And as they come to die, they do they they're they're very unsettled.

They wonder if they've done the right thing, and they're trying to call out for someone who can but there are other occasions when The conscience has perhaps been so seared, and is so settled in its ignorance that there can be a confidence in approaching death because and that's that's worst of all, isn't it, I think? And that seems to be what happens.

He's he's got over, really, without You know? He comes to the gates.

He knocks on the he knocks on the door, for entrance and He would think it would be done all nice and quickly, and, they ask him the question.

They ask him for his certificate, and he fumbles around sort of trying to sort of sort of think he might have it as if he cares.

You know, as if he wouldn't have known he'd had it, but he fumbles around in his jacket and and can't, show it.

And Well, his just before that, I mean, the his argument is very interesting because they look over the top and they say, whence come you, And what would you have? And he answered I have eaten and drunk in the presence of the king, and he has taught in our streets, which I think is that not some sort of, quote from the gospels somewhere where they where the people are saying, basically, he seems to think It's not when when Jesus talks to it.

Are you talking about when Jesus sends out the gospel, but there's excuses? I'm talking about that we're, but I'm I'm now thinking it's the wrong application of what I'm saying, but you know, we played we played a doge for you and you did not.

We played a fluke for you and you did not dance.

Like, in other words, there's a sort of sense in which he's saying, look, I was in the the the orbit of the king.

I, you know, I I He was in our town once.

And my granddad was a Christian, didn't you know? And, you know, my name is also a believer, isn't it? He's kind of thinking I had some sort of loose association with it, and that and and I wanna eat and drink.

You know, I'm not so concerned about seeing Jesus, but I do want that the pleasantries of this place, you know, and, you know, my life was sort of Christian, I suppose.

And so he's he's in the moment of sort of testing.

He's leaning on the rock.

The wrong things.

And then as you say, it's what do you personally have any sign that you have come by the cross and, yeah, and it says Well, and and then and then it says that, Yeah.

Have you he are is the question is asked, have you none? Have you not got this certificate? And he's he can't he can't speak, which is interesting.

Because he was quite chatty man Yeah.

Towards me.

I mean, you know, there was a lot of talk from him.

Well, that's right.

He he had a lot of defense for his his religion.



When you come you when you come before the judge of the world, none none will say anything.

Every mouth will be sure.


And then you've got this ending of a bunion, you know, the shining ones took him up, carried him through the air, to the door that I saw the site, in in the side of the hill and put him in there.

Then I saw that there was away to hell, even from the gates of heaven, as well as from the city of destruction.

So I woke and behold It was a dream.

That's his last words.




That he's still warning you.

You know, yep.

That's it.

And that's the end of the Pilgrim's progress.


I mean, there's a sort of concluding him, which is at the end of my version.

I think all of ours, perhaps.

And well, he basically, bunion just sort of narrates what's happened and It's quite humble, really, because he says, look, there may be things in here, which you don't agree with, or which you think I've rated, but if you think there's nothing in here, then beware.

You know, it's that sort of thing, isn't it? Come come on.

I mean, this is a remark.

This book was, you know, the 2nd biggest seller to the Bible in in our country, yeah, for years years years.

Remember, it was 1 of the last times I went to.

I mean, it's worth it's worth going around, Bedford in England and doing a tour of Bunion's place is good, and there's a little museum there as well.

And they love bunion there.

And they show you, you know, they've got his, stuff that he was in prison with and all of that sort of stuff.

And you can do walking around and see some of the interpreter's house and all of that sort of stuff.

But I I I went in to, the the library, the normal library to look up some bunion stuff because they've got some they used to have a room in the normal library called The Bunion room.

And I went in and I asked the librarian lady, so this is the normal secular library.

And she said, oh, we don't have any We don't have, much course for that anymore.

This book, we're rather we'll be embarrassed about it now in in in Bedford And that was the thing that's put them on the map, which is just ridiculous, isn't it? And she said, no, the the we used to have lots schools come here, but they they don't do this anymore.

And that is tragic, isn't it? Because this is a terrific terrific Yeah.

Understanding of the gospel.


Well, I mean, so spurgeon, shall spur spurgeon, Victoria, preach up, got this little quote from him on the back of this virgin.

Next to the Bible, the book that I value most is John Bunnion's Pilgrim's progress.

The Bible in another shape.


I mean, he he used to read it every year.

Well, he he I I I read, I don't know where I got this from, but I read that you read 200 times.

And I I I don't I don't know why because he he he had a, he remembered everything he he read.


So you just don't really need to read it once.

They're good, but, I mean, it just shows you enjoyment.

And Yeah.

I mean, and and if people wanted to read it, yours is a really good do you want to just say the the author and because that's that's a slightly modernized, but not Oh, yeah.


Of course, John Banyan, but I mean, if that if Is there a way? It's by Anekopress.

That helps.

How'd you spell that? A n e k o.


I mean, that that's a very good, slightly modernized English version, isn't it? Because some of them are terrible Some of the the modern English are just they just ruin everything.


And yours has got scripture references, isn't it? Yeah.

In fact, they're they're written into what he's saying so you can read that scripture straight away.



They they might choose another 1, but in the footnote, they'll tell you which 1 was Yeah.

Originally used.

So it's it's really good.


Well, I'm, I'm I'm bidding for, 1 of our next podcasts to do Bunnian's holy war, which is a lot less known, but fantastic.

So, people should listen out for that.

I think that Yeah.

I mean, if we just committed to doing the complete works of John Bunnion, that would take quite a long time.

I know, but at least it gives us a schedule, didn't it? Oh, okay.

Well, let's let's do holy war.


We can't be that.

We could do the life and death of Mister Bad Man, which is a game that not many people know about, but there's just a lot of talk, in that.

But back, I mean, that's interesting because bad man goes to hell.

And then we follow him in hell.


Well, look, stay tuned.

We hope you've enjoyed this series.

We've certainly enjoyed doing it.

And, Cornerstonechurch Kingston.

org is where you can find our sermons and other sources, please do stay tuned.

Keep an eye out for, future future podcasts.

If you've got any ideas, things that you'd like us to cover, then, why not submit a submit a form through the website, and we'll be able to see that feedback.

But god bless you in your own pilgrimage.


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