In this our final lesson from Pilgrim’s Progress, we witness the fearful end of Ignorance. He persisted doggedly and arrogantly in his self-righteous confidence both across the River of Death (with the help of Vain-Hope) and the the Celestial Gate itself. But arriving without a certificate (faith in Jesus Christ) he is thrust into hell. It’s hard to imagine one could come so close, and yet not be saved. But did not Christ warn us that it will be so (Mt 7.22-23; Lk 13.22-30)? Bunyan ends his allegory on such a note because he is concerned, pastorally, that no one ever presume upon grace… but rather, persevere in Christ-wrought holiness until the very end. For it is only those who endure to the end in Christ that shall be saved. May God bless this study to you. It has been a wonderful year studying through this classic. Beginning in January, we will start a similar study through Thomas Boston’s classic work on affliction: “The Crook in the Lot.”

Dr. James La Belle

Pastor La Belle was born in Florida, raised in Alabama until he was 15 years old, and then lived in Washington until he was 30, when he and his family left for Seminary in Philadelphia. He and his wife Chantry have been married for 24 years and have 7 children from ages 19 to 9: River, Schylie, Forrest, Terra, Sandy, Rocky, and Chantry. Pastor La Belle has published two books with Joel Beeke (Living by God's Promises and Living Zealously), with a third forthcoming (Living for God's Glory in Marriage) and is currently working on a Doctorate in Puritan Studies.

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