Adventures on the Enchanted Ground
Hopeful and Christian enter the Enchanted Ground and feel sleepy. They remember what the Shepherds told them about being watchful and decide to talk in order to stay awake. Hopeful shares his conversion experience and talks about his spiritual life. Ignorance who trailed behind them all along, catches up to the two and joins their conversation. He claims to follow Christ but still holds on to his own righteousness for salvation.
Christian and Hopeful continue on and find two shining men who tell them they are two difficulties away from the Celestial City. There is a river with no bridge across, which is very deep, but they must pass through or else they cannot reach the gate. Christian begins to sink but Hopeful encourages him and eventually they reach the bank of the river. The Shining Ones tell them of all the glory of the place and the things to come on the other side of the gate.
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蘇博士和她的夫婿何仲柯醫生，都是為主四處奔走的神國裡的「義務工」。在繁忙的佈道行程的「夾縫中」，還能按時為真理報寫稿，積累成這樣一本十數萬字的書稿，我自己對他們的「擺上」真的是由衷的敬佩。希望讀者諸君和我一道為他們禱告，願神繼續保守帶領他們的事奉之路，並繼續大大地使用他們講道和寫作的恩賜。 – 楊愛程”
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What is true worship as described in Scripture? R.C. Sproul answers this question in his book How Then Shall We Worship? and the eBook version is available for free download today.
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God reminds His people throughout Scripture that He is the great “I AM.” Take the opportunity to download Warren Wiersbe’s eBook Jesus in the Present Tense for free today here.
“In Jesus in the Present Tense, Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe explores the “I AM” statements of God—from His burning bush conversation with Moses, to His powerful reassurances to the Israelites, to Jesus’s startling claim to be the Light of the World.
Many Christians find themselves mired in past regrets or future fears, but the name of God itself reminds readers that God wants them to live in the present. The more readers understand and apply God’s I AM statements from the Old and New Testaments, the more they will realize God’s peace and joy. Then they will be free to live, serve, and know God more richly in the present tense—which is just where He wants them to be.”
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Ligonier Ministries and The Gospel Project is offering a free eBook, The State of American Theology, which is a collection of essays from a host of pastors and scholars on the current trends of Christian beliefs in America.
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David C. Cook is offering a free download of Warren Wiersbe’s 1 John Bible study handbook; you can download it here.
“A religious climate filled with false teachings. Christians whose lives don’t line up with their words. A seductive world that distorts the truth. Sound familiar? These issues have challenged believers since the early church. The book of 1 John examines what it means to be an authentic follower of Jesus Christ. This study examines themes that are relevant to every believer, and encourages us to be real in our faith, our words, and our lifestyle.”
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The Delectable Mountains
Christian and Hopeful come to the Delectable Mountains which belong to the Lord, and upon them they can see the Celestial City. They meet four Shepherds named Knowledge, Experience, Watchful and Sincere, who invite them to stay for the night. In the morning, they show the pilgrims some wonders, namely the hill Error, where some had fallen and were dashed in pieces, and a mountain named Caution, where men were blind and stumbling among the tombs after their encounter with Giant Despair. The pilgrims cry at these sights and are speechless in front of the Shepherds.
Christian, Hopeful and The Shepherds
Next, the Shepherds show them the byway to Hell and explain that even those who had been on the pilgrimage to the Celestial City for a long time could end up in the place of judgment. As a way to strengthen the pilgrims, the Shepherds give them their glass to look at the gates of the Celestial City, keeping their hope within sight. As a final warning, the Shepherds give them a note and ask them to beware of the Flatterer.
Christian and Hopeful continue on and meet Ignorance who claims to be on the road to the Celestial City. He did not enter through the wicket gate though and wants to enter the gate on the basis of his own righteousness. Christian and Hopeful begin a discussion about a man named Little-faith and how he is like Esau who had no faith. Having little faith is better than no faith at all.
They meet a black man clothed in white and begin following him, only to find themselves entangled in a net. How quickly did they forget the Shepherd’s warning of the Flatterer. A Shining One comes to their rescue and sets them back on track. They are more careful with the next person they meet, a man named Atheist who tries to persuade them that the Celestial City does not exist. But they do not listen and press on, walking in faith.
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In celebration of John Calvin’s birthday, Reformation Trust is offering two eBooks, The Expository Genius of John Calvin by Steven Lawson and John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology edited by Burk Parsons, for free for today; make sure to download them here.
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Christian Has Another Companion
After Faithful was martyred, Christian found Hopeful as a companion and they continued on their journey together to the Celestial City. They are joined by Mr. By-Ends who wants to travel with them, but Christian is aware that Mr. By-Ends may be seeking his own gain and still has not denounced his love of the world. Mr. By-Ends finds his own companions, Mr. Hold-the-world, Mr. Money-love and Mr. Save-all and they enjoy each other’s company as they converse about the benefits of religion and how they can use it for personal gain. When the group challenges Christian and Hopeful with a question, they are speechless when Christian gives a sound, biblical answer. The group did not follow them anymore.
Christian and Hopeful run into another lover of the world, Demas who invited them to see a silver mine and dig up its treasure. Hopeful was persuaded to go, but Christian warned him otherwise and that saved them from disaster. The two wander into By-path Meadow and witness a man named Vain-confidence fall into a pit because he continued in the dark. They come to Doubting Castle owned by Giant Despair and because they trespassed his property, they were put in a dungeon. After consulting with his wife, the Giant beats the pilgrims and even tries to persuade them to end their own lives. Christian begins to doubt but Hopeful reminds him to stay the course and recount all that he has been through. They pray on Saturday night until morning and then Christian remembers he has a key called Promise. He uses this key to open the prison doors and successfully escapes. When they are out, Christian and Hopeful made a sign on a pillar to warn other pilgrims of this danger.
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