• David Sutton

The Burden of Christian

John Bunyan (1628-1688) wrote one of the most famous books ever to be printed. Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory of the main character Christian, who became painfully aware through reading a book (the Bible) of the great burden he carried on his back (the burden of sin). He was looking for salvation and forgiveness of sins. As Christian sought relief, he met a man named Evangelist, who pointed to a far-away wicket gate, where shined a bright light from the Celestial City. “Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly thereto: so shalt thou see the gate; at which, when thou knockest, it shall be told thee what thou shalt do,” Evangelist declared. So, Christian set out for the narrow gate.

But obstacles beset poor Christian. His family pled him to return. A neighbor named Obstinate chided him for giving heed to that book. Pliable gave companionship, until the journey proved too hard. Worldly Wiseman counseled him to take an easier way, one with fewer dangers and more comforts and friends. To such advice Christian became sidetracked.

As providence ordered, Evangelist crossed paths again with Christian. He reminded the burdened traveler of the message of the book: “Flee from the wrath to come.” Christian heeded the warning from the faithful preacher. By journey’s end, Christian found relief for his weary soul and forgiveness of sins through repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Dear soul, do you find yourself burdened with sin? There is healing for the sin-sick soul in Christ. But the gate to enter is narrow.

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