Pilgrims in a Post-Christian Culture
by Voddie Baucham
In John Bunyan’s classic The Pilgrim’s Progress, the Wicket Gate is a symbol for entrance into the Christian life. There, the main character, Christian, encounters the gatekeeper, Good-Will. Their encounter, like the rest of the book, is filled with layers of meaning to which modern pilgrims would do well to pay attention:
So when the pilgrim was fully inside, Good Will asked him, “Who directed you to come this way?”
CHRISTIAN: Evangelist exhorted me to come this way and knock at the Gate, just as I did. He further told me that you, sir, would tell me what I must do next.
GOOD-WILL: An open door is set before you, and no man can shut it.
CHRISTIAN: Now I begin to reap the benefits of my hazards.
GOOD-WILL: But how is it that you have come alone?
CHRISTIAN: Because none of my neighbors saw their danger as I saw mine.
The Battle Has Just Begun
As pilgrims on this journey to the Celestial City, we must recognize the fact that coming to faith in Christ is the end of our enmity with God, but it is in nowise an end of warfare. Obstinate, Pliable, the Slough of Despond, and Mr. Worldly Wiseman had all been obstacles on Christian’s journey to the Wicket Gate. However, in many ways, the worst still lay ahead. Similarly, our battle with the world, the flesh, and the Devil only intensifies once we have crossed from death to life…
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