It’s interesting hearing the word ‘pilgrim’ in the media so much this week. It’s a very special word to many Christians not least because of the fantastic book “Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan. Bunyan wrote this classic in the 17th century when he was imprisoned for many years for refusing to stop preaching the gospel of Jesus. It was one of the first books I read when I became a Christian and it had a great impact on me.
Pilgrims Progress captures, on the one hand, that the true pilgrimage of the Christian life is no one-off event: it means following Jesus in a life-long journey until we join him in eternity. Yet the book also captures, on the other hand, that the key to completing this journey IS a one-off event: the death of Jesus for our sins, and the certainty of God’s promises to us because of that once for all sacrifice. The Christian pilgrimage is simply clinging to the cross. And only the cross. That’s our certainty of salvation.
I wonder how many of the pilgrims landing on our shores have that certainty? In many ways religion can be in conflict with the gospel of Jesus, masking the certainty he offers. Religion offers us the comfort that we are “doing something” but in that robs us of the the certainty available in what Jesus has DONE.
He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. Hebrews 7:27
On that theme, I was thrilled to see a website www.certainty.org.au has been set up by Bible believing Christians to help people in the Catholic faith rightly understand salvation. “We’d all like to be certain” reads the site’s introduction, “certain of who we are… that we’re loved. Most of all, certain of where we’re heading”. The site features videos of ex-Roman Catholics sharing their experiences of how they became certain of where they stand with God. It might be a useful site to direct some of your friends or family to.
The Certainty campaign is also literally hitting the streets of Sydney. Following in the footsteps of Arthur Stace’ who chalked ‘Eternity’ thousands of times on the footpaths of Sydney several decades ago, the Certainty campaign are doing likewise with the word ‘Certainty’, and seeking opportunities in the process to speak with anyone they can about the certainty they have in Christ’s death for their sins as the only means for their salvation. Let’s pray many will listen and come to know the certainty of salvation Christ has won for us.
Hey really liked the certainty website, I can think of one friend I’ll be sending there already – especially to the excellent video explaining the different doctrines of salvation between the teaching of the Catholic church and what the Bible says.
I’m also a pilgrim’s progress fan although I confess I’ve never read the actual grown-ups version!