I don't plan on blogging much about Pilgrim's Progress, but I had more trouble with chapter 2, so I will write it out for clarification.
Christian has passed the Wicket Gate and has been sent to Interpreter's House. He sees seven different rooms and without commentary, I was much confused.
Commentary from Derek Thomas's teaching series: every preacher of the Gospel is an interpreter. Every church is an interpreter's house. So here are 6 of the rooms and then I will consider the one room that disturbs me.
1. Christian sees a picture of a serious man looking toward heaven, holding a book in his hand and having a crown on his head. This is a preacher, a man blessed with ability to lead other people to God's Truth.
2. Here, a man sweeps a room, but he only makes it more dusty. A woman comes in and pours water on everything, then it is finally clean. This is a picture of someone trying to find salvation by works and good deeds. He only makes things worse. Only Jesus, the Gospel, makes him clean.
3. Two children named Passion and Patience. Passion is a worldly guy who must have everything now. Patience gets to have everything for eternity because he was willing to wait for it, to trust God's promises no matter how slow.
4. A fireplace with a fire that grows despite someone throwing water on it. Behind the place, Christian sees someone pouring oil on the fire to keep it going. As a Christian, the world will do its best to douse your fire. The Holy Spirit pours oil on it and keeps it going.
5. A man in armor with a sword. The Christian life is a constant battle until we reach heaven.
7. A man rising out of bed trembling because he had a dream where God's judgment came and he got left behind. This is not the Left Behind series. This is simply a man coming to two roads: the popular one that leads to futility or the smaller, narrower road that leads to Eternal life. What will he take?
6. The disturbing one. Christian talks to a man in an iron cage. This man used to be a pilgrim too, but he turned away from his faith and now he cannot repent due to his hardened heart. This scene comes from Hebrews 6, the passage that for me both confirms eternal predestination for me, but also challenges it. People do come and lead the Christian faith and cause good. But we also see people become more enamored with the world's values who then turn their back on Jesus. This is a very serious warning to the true believers that even though salvation is a gift that can never be lost, they still are responsible for continuing in holiness. The good news is that the Holy Spirit will fan this flame. The bad news is that people still try to keep it going by their own efforts which never worked.
An example is Judas. He was Jesus's disciple and worked with the 11 ministering and spreading the Gospel through Judea. He betrayed Jesus, sold him to be arrested by the Jews, had Jesus crucified, and then hanged himself, never coming to a true release of trusting in Jesus's grace. This was not the way with all of them. Peter denied Jesus three times, but Jesus did bring him back. Paul put people to death because he was against Christianity, but Jesus brought him back. The thing is, there are people that God passes by in salvation. They may look like savory ministers for a while but they are not and they fall away never to return.
I saw a meme on facebook recently. It asked what religion the person was, and that person replied, whatever leads to the light. Sadly, unless your faith is in Jesus, that light will only be the fires of hell and eternal gloom. Jesus really is the only way to salvation. God did not have to send any way to salvation, but he sent Jesus. We must strive to continue following him with abandon and stop trying to contribute anything to our salvation or decide that what we think is better. Nothing is better than Jesus and following his will.