Thursday, September 14, 2017

Bite-Size Bunyan (3): A Few Sighs from Hell

The purpose of this series (#1, #2), “Bite-Size Bunyan,” is to share John Bunyan’s writings in summary form. Most Christians know such works as The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678, 1684), The Holy War (1682), and Grace Abounding (1666), but what about the foundational Doctrine of the Law and Grace Unfolded (1659) or the antithesis to The Pilgrim’s Progress called The Life and Death of Mr. Badman (1680)? My hope (in different installations and not all at once!) is to make these publications more accessible.

Our third “bite” concerns Bunyan’s work, A Few Sighs from Hell: Or, The Groans of the Damned Soul (1658), on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19–31) and possibly based on an earlier series of sermons. Bunyan here not only warns us of the dangers of hell but also points us to glories of heaven through the free grace of God in Christ Jesus. He, to save sinners, was reckoned as “the greatest sinner and rebel in the world” on behalf of sinners. The Bible is “full of consolation” to any “poor soul” who will “close in with Jesus Christ” and “be conducted safe to glory” according to the sure promises of God.

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