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“BLESS YOU, PRISON, FOR HAVING BEEN IN MY LIFE!” May 14, 2010

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Quote said by Bunyan upon reflecting on his experiences in jail.

Jail was truly a beneficial thing for him. It goes as far as to be the source of all 3 of his evidences of genuine faith.

EVIDENCE OF SAVING FAITH: DISPLAYING GOD’S LOVE AND GRACE May 14, 2010

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““If you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, you shall love your neighbour as yourself”

John Bunyan’s third evidence of genuine faith is his unconditional love for the people that he preached too. In the Bible, James says that it is forbidden to show favouritism as a Christian, and that all Christians must love others as they do themselves. John Bunyan’s writings were filled for love for the people, and this love was directly implemented.

Throughout his life, Bunyan wrote 58 books, ranging from collections of poems, an autobiography, and children’s stories. The majority of these books though, were examinations of scriptures in the Bible, and Bunyan would write about their meanings in order to inform the public about God, and give them knowledge to make their way successfully to heaven. He continuously traveled, preaching sermons to audiences around England. In one of the books Bunyan wrote while in prison, he discussed the reason why he fought through a lifetime of persecution and trouble in order to preach God’s word. Bunyan’s mission was to provoke faith and holiness to the people. His desire was to give them knowledge, so that they too can have the life of a true Christian, and that God would give them the strength and wisdom that Bunyan said He gave him. Bunyan explained he felt his heart was so wrapped up in the glory and excellence of God’s work, that he was more blessed then all the Emperors and Kings in the world. His main goal was to be able to share these feelings with the people.

EVIDENCE OF SAVING FAITH: TRIALS May 14, 2010

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” If a person’s faith is genuine, it will prove itself during times of trouble, whatever the nature or source of the trouble may be.”

“Trials are a tool in the loving hands of the lord.”

“Every trial becomes a test of faith designed to strengthen: if the believer fails the test by responding wrongly, that test then becomes a temptation to evil.”

James teaches that suffering is an essential element in Christian life, and it is important to view suffering as a method to strengthening a person’s connection with God. Just like how God suffered for us, we must suffer for him and in his glory. John Bunyan was no stranger to suffereing. From an early age, his life was like a shakey roller coaster of issues that were thrown to him.

One major trial was that Bunyan grew up without a strong faith in God. When he was finally introduced to Christianity by his first wife, he struggled with understanding or finding interest in Gods Word. John Bunyan even entered a period of depression and confusion as he was trying to accept God into his life. He was able to overcome this trial.

Another trial arose when Bunyan began preaching. He became popular enough to attract the attention of the Anglican church. Under the newly developed Common Prayer Law, Bunyan was thrown in prison for preaching.

His ability to remain faithful throughout conquering these trials are excellent examples of his genuine faith in God.

Submission To God May 14, 2010

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13Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

James clearly illustrates that we can’t know what tommorrow holds in store for us. Rather that we should trust in God, for he is sovereign and his plans are always carried out. This may be difficult when God’s plans do not fall into line with our own, but obedience to God is submission to him. John Bunyan was willing to do God’s work, whatever it was. He was willing to preach to crowds, go to jail, and even die for God. He is an excelent example of how a God loving man submits himself to God, and exemplifies his genuine faith.

While in Jail, John said that he was prepared to cut off all ties to the world, even the innocent ones such as family and loved ones. Do you agree with John, in that Loved ones and family can be a tie to the world rather than to God? How so? How do you think John reacted?

1678: The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan April 29, 2010

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The Pilgrim’s Progress. By John Bunyan

The Pilgrim’s Promise is regarded as one of the most significant pieces of English literature in the world. It has been translated into over 200 languages, and multiple editions have been released. The book  was written by John Bunyan from 1675 until when it was published on February 1678.

Bunyan wrote it while he was in prison for the second time. He sates in the first pages of the book that the source of the idea was a dream he had while in there. This dream had a lasting impact on Bunyan. He decided to document it and create a story, as a means of promoting a lesson to Christians struggling with their faith to God.

The Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory representing a person’s journey with Christianity. In it, a man named Christian , who is portrayed as a normal “every man”, is faced with multiple challenges in his life as he strives to get into heaven.

It begins with Christian departing from his home town, called the “City of Destruction.” His destination is the “Celestial City.” Along the way, Christian feels weighed down by his sins. He carries the burden of past mistakes on his shoulders, and realizes that with this burden cast upon him, he will not be fit enough to reach the “Celestial City.” In his journey, he meets many people who serve as obstacles between him and his goal. Each seem to offer him salvation from his burdens, but each come at a cost. These situations test Christian’s faith and determination to reach the “Celestial City.”

An example is the man named Mr. Wordly Wiseman. He offers Christian deliverance through the law and urges him to lead a practical, happy existence without religion. Christian however refuses, and continues on in his journey.

Through “The Pilgrim’s Progress”, Bunyan creates a direct representation of a normal human life. We are all represented by Christian, and each follow journey similar to his in our life. This journey begins when we first claim ourselves as Christians, with out ultimate goal being acceptance into heaven. The “City of Destruction” represents the world we live in, and the “Celestial City” represents Heaven. The people that Christian meet along his journey, represent the obstacles we face in our lives. For example, Mr. Worldly Wiseman represents worldliness, one of a Christian’s most difficult challenges. Similar to how Mr. Worldly Wiseman attempts to draw Christian away from religion, so that his burdens be cast away, worldliness distracts Christians from their relationships with God, so that we can live a comfortable life on Earth.

The book is filled with other references like these, and all can be related to aspects in our lives as Christians.

John Bunyan perfectly illustrates how each Christian is a pilgrim on a journey towards heaven, and how we must successfully deal with the world’s evil intentions to reach our goals.

John Bunyan: An Introduction April 16, 2010

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Welcome to our blog where you’ll find the source of all things John Bunyan!

Born on November 28, 1628 in Bedford, England, John Bunyan would live to become one of the most influential men in all of Christianity. His story of finding God and overcoming the many trials in his life is extremely interesting and inspiring to all Christians.

From an early age John had to overcome many devastating life challenges. Both his mother and sister passed away while he was very young and he lived with his father and step family in poverty. When he was only sixteen he was drafted and forced to serve in the military. He married young, although the first years of his marriage was full of hardship; his first child being blind, and the eventual passing away of his wife.

Amidst all of these challenges, John Bunyan also struggled with his spiritual growth. His life became full of both confusion and despair, until he found God, and became a puritan, preaching his word to the people as a new found believer. His faith in God stirred up persecution from the Anglican church which dominated over all of England.

When he was told by the authorities of the church to stop preaching his puritan religion, Bunyan refused and was given a prison sentence that lasted 12 years. John continued to maintain a strong faith during these harsh times and looked to God to guide him. When twelve years had passed, the laws of the church changed, allowing for a more broadened understanding of Christianity, and John was released from prison, and allowed to begin preaching again.

However, persecution had arisen once more, and John was thrown into prison once again. When he was released, he was given a spot as head of the puritan church, and began travelling to many other locations, preaching God’s word to thousands of people.

John Bunyan died on August 31, 1688,  on a missionary trip to London England, far away family and home.

John Bunyan was a very successful christian author, having written 58 books throughout his lifetime. One of his greatest accomplishments was writing the “Pilgrims Progress.” which became the second best selling book in the world, next to the bible.

John Bunyan’s life is a great example of how people who search God and his guidance will be blessed by him, and prevail to do great things. It is also a great example of how God rewards those who are persecuted in his name. He was truly a great Christian leader.