We live in a world at war. On one side of the conflict is the kingdom of darkness, on the other, the Kingdom of Light. We who have been delivered from the power of darkness through faith in Jesus Christ, are now in this world, but not of this world. In reality, we live behind enemy lines and are engaged in a spiritual battle with the enemies of God.
In this message, “Welcome to Vanity Fair,” I share truth from the Word of God and some passages from The Pilgrim’s Progress in Modern English, by L. Edward Hazelbaker*, an excellent revision of the original 17th century text of John Bunyan’s classic book, The Pilgrim’s Progress.
In his book, Bunyan tells the story of a man named Christian, who is on a journey from the “City of Destruction”—this present world—to the “Celestial City,” the heaven where God dwells.
I read The Pilgrim’s Progress a number of years ago, and its message made a lasting impression on me—especially the part that recalls Christian’s journey through a town called, “Vanity,” and the year-round fair that was held in that place. Even though Bunyan’s book is centuries old, it holds significant truth for the follower of Christ, today.
I invite you to take a trip with me to “Vanity Fair,” and discover how to overcome the temptations of this world as we journey to the City of God.
think on these things…
We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the power and control of the evil one. ~1 John 5:19 (NLT)
“I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will * believe in Me through their word.” ~John 17:15-20 (NKJV)
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. ~James 4:7 (NKJV)
* You can purchase a copy of The Pilgrim’s Progress in Modern English, by L. Edward Hazelbaker here.