Monday, May 2, 2011

Pilgrim's Progress: Christian speaks to Temporary's Faith

Last we gave you Hopeful's take on why Temporary only had a temporary Faith, now Christian further elaborates by explaining the VERY ROOT cause, then he goes on to ENUMERATE nine things describing the manner of this turning back of Temporary.    Here we can learn a GREAT DEAL that we may be watchful against turning back, and watchful against such practices that lead to turning back.  Remember the word that says: Be diligent to make your calling and election sure.

Christian: You are pretty near the business, for the bottom of all is for want of a change in their mind and will. And therefore they are but like the felon that standeth before the judge: he quakes and trembles, and seems to repent most heartily, but the bottom of all is the fear of the halter: not that he hath any detestation of the offence, as it is evident; because, let but this man have his liberty, and he will be a thief, and so a rogue still; whereas, if his mind was changed, he would be otherwise.

How plain is that?   You must have your mind changed.   Though Temporary seems to repent, seeming to repent is no repentance at all.  For repentance is a change of mind, and such a change of mind that affects the whole man.  Fearing only hell is not a changed mind.  Don't be like the criminal begging forgiveness and expressing sorrow when what he really hates is the electric chair and not those sins that brought him to this point.

Now what does this turning back look like?   How is it accomplished?  What is the manner thereof?

Hopeful: Now I have showed you the reason of their going back, do you show me the manner thereof.
Christian: So I will willingly.
1. They draw off their thoughts, all that they may, from the remembrance of God, death, and judgment to come.
2. Then they cast off by degrees private duties, as closet prayer, curbing their lusts, watching, sorrow for sin, and the like.
3. Then they shun the company of lively and warm Christians.
4. After that, they grow cold to public duty, as hearing, reading, godly conference, and the like.
5. They then begin to pick holes, as we say, in the coats of some of the godly, and that devilishly, that they may have a seeming color to throw religion (for the sake of some infirmities they have espied in them) behind their backs.
6. Then they begin to adhere to, and associate themselves with, carnal, loose, and wanton men.
7. Then they give way to carnal and wanton discourses in secret; and glad are they if they can see such things in any that are counted honest, that they may the more boldly do it through their example.
8. After this they begin to play with little sins openly.
9. And then, being hardened, they show themselves as they are. Thus, being launched again into the gulf of misery, unless a miracle of grace prevent it, they everlastingly perish in their own deceivings.

In brief here it is summarized from above:
Try not to think about it, and little by little leave off those things designed to help you to heaven.  Do not keep company with serious on fire believers.  Little by little becomes easier to avoid regular church attendance, to avoid learning and hearing the preaching of the word.  Pick on the true believers, they have faults enough, find them and it will make it easier to leave the whole thing behind.  Associate not with true believers but hearty sinners, do some things sinful in secret and then more and more openly.

SO I think the OPPOSITE SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED that we would maintain and Strengthen our VERY real and grace given Faith and so I enumerate:

1.  Spend much time thinking of GOD, Death and Judgment to Come.  Will this not make sweeter and more precious the one who has bore all judgment in your place?

2. Keep up private duties and don't neglect them. ie.  Secret praying, denying fleshly lusts and watching against them, confessing your sins in true godly sorrow.

3.  Seek out especially the company of RED-HOT Believers who love to engage you in spiritual conversation and demonstrate by their lives the power of the gospel.  Associate most with those who will bring you up.

4.  Keep up the attendance to public praying and preaching.

5. Look for the best in your brothers, their imperfections are easy enough to find , but remember that you have been forgiven much and much more for Jesus Sake.  Remembering how much you have been forgiven you will not magnify what you discover in your brother.
6. Associate NOT with Carnal men to participate in their fleshly lusts.

7. Don't do in secret or discuss in secret that which will bring reproach to Jesus Christ in Public.

8.  Allow not even little sins in public but keep your body under subjection, fight the good fight, and count holiness of life  a precious thing to be sought.

9. Rejoice much in the great miracle of grace which God has abundantly graced upon you and causing you to turn from darkness to light.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You already posted! Thanks! I'll be linking back to your site when I post my list. great stuff. very convicting!