The Pilgrim’s Progress with Dr. Derek Thomas

Most folks know I am a huge fan of The Pilgrim’s Progress, the second most published book to the Bible, and have posted on it in the past, John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Today in Church History, On This Date In Church History and A Picture of a True Minister (from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress). I also had the honor of hearing Dr. Thomas speak on the subject in the past so it is a pleasure to offer this post here.

Reformation Bible College

Reformation Bible College

The Christian life is one of conflict against the world, the flesh, and the devil. And that fact serves as a palpable reminder that we cannot trek through it without the One who has already overcome the world.

Watch The Pilgrim’s Progress, a special online streaming message from Dr. Derek Thomas. In this message, Dr. Thomas will speak on the life of John Bunyan and his classic book The Pilgrim’s Progress. Tune in to gain a closer look at Bunyan’s life, discovering how his writings may equip you not just for now, or for next week, or for next year, but for the entire journey that lies ahead of us as Christians.

This message is part of the Rare Book Room Series, a series of academic lectures from distinguished speakers. Each lecture highlights a featured book from the Rare Book Room on the Reformation Bible College campus.


Devotional Thought for Today – 02/22/2021

Christian, let God’s distinguishing love to you be a motive to you to fear Him greatly. He has put His fear in your heart, and may not have given that blessing to your neighbor, perhaps not to your husband, your wife, your child, or your parent. Oh, what an obligation should this thought lay upon your heart to greatly fear the Lord! Remember also that this fear of the Lord is His treasure, a choice jewel, given only to favorites, and to those who are greatly beloved. —John Bunyan

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love 1 John 4:18

1 John 4

Some of you who have followed my posts for a while may remember me saying the 1 John is my favorite book of the bible.  That is because of 1 John 1:3-4 One of the key verses (at least for me) in understanding fellowship with God and other believers. You can read a little about it in Part V of my series called Biblical Contentment.

Today, however, John is speaking on one main theme with two applications. The theme is LOVE, and he says to apply it by testing all the spirits v.1-6, that is be sure of all who claim to speak in Christ’s name for they may act all-loving and such but can be the devil in lamb’s clothing. Secondly, v.7-21, God is Love so we are to Love as God loves us.

Our text found towards the end of this part in the meat of the application v.11-19,  Beloved if God so loved us…because he first loved us. John in v.17 mentions that this Love is made perfect in us through the union with Christ. That this union makes our eternal status secure. 

Thus our text, There is no fear in love; a perfect union with Christ leaves no room for fear of our eternal state because but perfect love casteth out fear: Why because fear hath torment yet a TRUE BELIEVER has been fully and completely forgiven of their sins, and has nothing to fear. It is only the fake, the lukewarm, the Laodicean who wants to live in both worlds that have to fear because He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 

Is your relationship with God complete, or maybe better put mature today? Do you still have doubts or fears about your eternal state? We can daily FEAR GOD, that is as Bunyan said,  fear of the Lord is His treasure be in awe of His majesty, to have reverence for His mercy and thankfulness for His Grace. All the while not Fearing God’s judgment or wrath. 


Heavenly Father, I pray that I would let the words of truth found in 1 John 4:18 settle in my heart. There are times in my life when I am very fearful. I know that when I am fearing things in life, I am not exhibiting trust in You. I pray that You would surround me in Your perfect love, where fear has no room and must be forced out of my mind and spirit. As I ponder Your love, I pray that I would experience the peace the passes understanding, whatever situation of life I am in help me to seek you first. And as I come to a deeper realization of the depth of Your amazing love for me, may I be used by You to love as I am loved. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Adapted from:


“What is the eternal state of the believer?”

“How can I know for sure that I will go to heaven when I die?”

Devotional Thought for Today – 12/12/2020


John Bunyan on Prayer,  Three part series we posted earlier this year

  • Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused. — Spurgeon
  • God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil. — E.M. Bounds
  • It is possible to move men, through God, by prayer alone. — Hudson Taylor
  • Worship and intercession must go together; the one is impossible without the other. Intercession means that we rouse ourselves up to get the mind of Christ about the one for whom we pray. — Oswald Chambers
  • Prayer is the exercise of drawing on the grace of God. — Oswald Chambers
  • Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue; God’s voice is its most essential part. Listening to God’s voice is the secret of the assurance that he will listen to mine. — Andrew Murray
  • To desire revival… and at the same time to neglect (personal) prayer and devotion is to wish one way and walk another. — A.W. Tozer
  • God looks not at the oratory of your prayers, how elegant they may be; nor at the geometry of your prayers, how long they may be; nor at the arithmetic of your prayers, how many they may be; not at logic of your prayers, how methodical they may be; but the sincerity of them he looks at. – Thomas Brooks

The following is a list of my top 10 authors, pastors, and theologians along their various resources on Prayer, available by clicking on their names. 

Alistair Begg

A.W. Pink

C.H. Spurgeon

E.M. Bounds

John MacArthur

Martin Lloyd Jones 

Octavius Winslow

R.C. Sproul

Thomas Boston

Thomas Watson

The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions by Arthur  Bennett. The Strength of Purtian char… | Scripture quotes, Reformed  theology, Cool words



Today in Church History

 Author, John Bunyan

John Bunyan was born in Elstow, near Bedford, on this day November 28th¹ in 1628, the son of Thomas Bunyan and Margaret Bentley. He followed his father into the tinker’s trade but rebelled against God and ‘had but few equals, both for cursing, swearing, lying, and blaspheming the holy name of God’. As a teenager, he joined Cromwell’s New Model Army, but continued his rebellious ways. His life was saved on one occasion when a fellow-soldier took his place at the siege of Leicester, and ‘as he stood sentinel he was shot in the head with a musket bullet and died’.

Discharged from the army after three years, Bunyan married a God-fearing woman (whose name is unknown) in 1648, who brought two books to the marriage: The Plain Man’s Pathway to Heaven (Arthur Dent) and The Practice of Piety (Lewis Bayly). These convicted Bunyan of his sin and he made attempts to reform his life. But he realised that he was lost and without Christ when he came into contact with a group of women whose ‘joyous conversation about the new birth and Christ deeply impressed him’. In 1651 the women introduced him to their pastor in Bedford, John Gifford, who was instrumental in leading Bunyan to repentance and faith.

That same year he moved to Bedford with his wife and four children, including Mary, his firstborn, who had been blind from birth. He was baptised by immersion in the River Ouse in 1653. Appointed a deacon of Gifford’s church, Bunyan’s testimony was used to lead several people to conversion. By 1655 Bunyan was himself preaching to various congregations in Bedford, and hundreds came to hear him. John Owen said of him that he would gladly exchange all his learning for Bunyan’s power of touching men’s hearts.

In the following years, Bunyan began publishing books and became established as a reputable Puritan writer, but around this time, his first wife died. He remarried in 1659, a godly young woman named Elizabeth, who was to be a staunch advocate for her husband during his imprisonments – for in 1660 Bunyan was arrested for preaching without official permission from King Charles II; he was to spend the next 12½ years in Bedford County Gaol.

Although a time of much suffering, Bunyan’s years in prison were productive, for he wrote extensively, with only the Bible and Foxe’s Book of Martyrs beside him, publishing such titles as Christian Behaviour, The Holy City and A Defence of the Doctrine of Justification. Of particular significance for his life-story was Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, which chronicled his life up to the time of his imprisonment.

He was eventually released in 1672, and took up his pastorate in Bedford, having been appointed by the congregation the preceding January. After some fruitful years of ministry, in March of 1675 Bunyan was again imprisoned for preaching publicly without a license. It was during this imprisonment that he began the first part of his most famous book, The Pilgrim’s Progress which was to sell more than 100,000 copies in its first ten years in print.

Released in 1677, Bunyan spent the last ten years of his life ministering to his congregation and writing, including – Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ (1678), The Life and Death of Mr Badman (1680), The Holy War (1682), and the second part of The Pilgrim’s Progress (1685). He published ten more books in the last three years of his life, amongst them The Jerusalem Sinner Saved and The Acceptable Sacrifice.

In August 1688, after successfully mediating in a disagreement between a father and son, as he was riding from Reading in Berkshire to London, Bunyan caught a cold and developed a fever. He died at the house of his friend John Strudwick, a grocer and chandler on Snow Hill in Holborn.

[See also George Offor’s ‘Memoir’ in Volume 1 of The Works of John Bunyan; John Bunyan by Frank Mott Harrison; and the biographical study of Bunyan in Marcus L. Loane’s Makers of Puritan History – all published by the Trust.]

¹ Some sources have November 30th

² If you have never read The Pilgrim’s Progress I urge you to do so today. 

Today in Church History

God has a habit of using the “least of these” (Matthew 25:45) to bring about His kingdoms work. Be ready to answer the call. 

Birth and Rebirth of Joyful Billy Bray

Birth and Rebirth of Joyful Billy Bray

“Run, Billy.” Deep inside the tin mine, instinct screamed at Billy Bray. He dropped his work and fled. Moments later, forty tons of roof collapsed on the very spot where he had been standing.

Inwardly Billy shook with terror. He knew as surely as he was standing there alive that if the mine had collapsed on him, he would have gone straight to hell. For although Billy was raised in a Methodist home, he had turned to alcohol and become one of the wickedest workers in the mine. Born on this day, June 1, 1794, at Twelveheads in Cornwall, England, he had the makings of greatness. He was lively, energetic, good humored, full of spirit and courage: always the life of the party. But inside he was filled with terror.

“I used to dread to go to sleep for fear of waking up in hell; and though I made many promises to the Lord to be better, I was soon as bad or worse than ever,” he said. His escape from the collapsing mine had a great effect on him.

A friend gave Billy a John Bunyan book: Visions of Heaven and Hell. Billy was impressed by the glory of heaven and wanted to be part of it. Then he read how in hell those who were friends on earth would blame one another for not turning each other away from sin. Billy had a close friend that he drank with. The thought of the two of them accusing each other for all eternity troubled him.

Billy’s wife had known the Lord as a child but drifted away. One night Billy had a talk with her. She remembered with bitter regret how wonderful it was to serve the Lord. “Why don’t you begin again?” asked Billy. He said he might become a Christian if she would return to Christ. That night he went to bed, knowing he should pray. But he was ashamed to do so in front of her.

At three in the morning he awoke. He realized suddenly that if he waited for his wife to get right with God, he might die without salvation. Then and there he got down on his knees and prayed for mercy. The next day was payday. For the first time in years, he came home sober. He spent hours reading the Bible and praying, crying out for salvation. He took a day off work to seek God.

Finally, days later, he prayed to God, “You have said, ‘Those that ask shall receive, those that seek shall find, and to them that knock the door shall be opened,’ and I have faith to believe it.” In that instant the Lord made him so happy that he could not express what he felt. Billy shouted for joy and did not stop until the day he died. Within a week of his conversion his wife made peace with Christ, too.

To the end of his life, Billy sang out loud, danced as he walked and shouted praise to the Lord. Some Christians felt this was improper behavior. But Billy kept on. In November 1823 he began telling others about the Jesus who had brought such joy to his life.

There was at that time an association of Methodists known as the Bible Christians because of their habit of carrying Bibles under their arms. Billy joined them. At the end of 1824, he became a local preacher. His sincerity and good humor made him a welcome speaker. When it was announced he was to preach, the chapel would be crammed. His greatest work was with fellow miners.


  1. “Billy Bray.”
  2. “Billy Bray.”
  3. Spurgeon, Charles. “Billy Bray, The Uneducated Soul-winner.”
  4. Wright, Chris. Billy Bray in His Own Words. Highland Books, 2004.

Last updated May, 2007.

Originally published April 28, 2010.

On This Date In Church History

The Pilgrim's Progress  -     Edited By: Roger Pooley
    By: John Bunyan


If you have never read this classic I cannot urge you enough to get a copy today. I have set a link to CBD books for the copy I have. It has Bunyan’s notes on every page giving you special insight to his writing, but there are many others out there. – Mike

The most popular book of the Christian world, next to the Bible itself saw publication on this day, February 18, 1678. It is a story of fantastic creatures and deadly dangers. In his many adventures, the hero battles with a raging dragon, flounders in a bog from which he is unable to extricate himself, and is chained in a castle, hostage to despair.

The story is Pilgrim’s Progress, authored by John Bunyan while he lay in prison for preaching without a license and for other offenses against the established church. Since its publication, it has never been out of print. The book made him famous in his own day and has been a help to Christians for centuries since…

Continued at Source: EVERY PILGRIM’S STORY



In that day … the [false] prophets shall be ashamed every of his visions – Zechariah 13:4

No hypocrite can bear the cross. – Henry Smith

The Lord uses the flail of tribulation to separate the chaff from the wheat. – John Bunyan


At the time when kings go forth to battle … David tarried still at Jerusalem … and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself

 – 2 Samuel 11:1-2

An idle man is the devil’s tennis ball tossed by him at pleasure. – John Trapp

Idleness is the very source of sin. – Thomas Brooks

Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

Check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent, “Walking with God”, daily devotional. The topics are



Ye seek me … because ye did eat of the leaves and were filled – John 6:26

You may perish be false devotions as much as by real scandal. – Thomas Watson

Worldlings in serving God, serve themselves of God, they follow him for loaves more than for love. – John Trapp


[Elijah] came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; … I, even I only, am left – 1 Kings 19:4,10

And they said, Is this not Joseph’s son? – Luke 4:22

When God would put a soul in tune for himself, he most commonly begins upon the lowest note. – John Bunyan

Despair acknowledgeth the truth in regard to the object, but doubteth in regard of the subject. – Stephen Charnock

Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

Check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent, “Walking with God”, daily devotional. The topics are



With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible – Matthew 19:26

Sinners may oppose God’s ways but not His wrath. – Thomas Watson

A man may hide God from himself, and yet he cannot hide himself from God. – William Secker


Walketh … in the counsel of the ungodly…standeth in the way of sinners … sitteth in the seat of the scornful – Psalm 1:1

To begin a sin is to lay the foundation for a continuance; this continuance is the mother of custom, and impudence at last the issue. – John Bunyan

Many have yielded to go a mile with Satan that never intended to go two; but when once on the way have been allured further. – William Gurnall

Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

Check out our Faithful Steward Ministry Facebook page and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones excellent, “Walking with God”, daily devotional. The topics are

A Picture of a True Minister (from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress)

Steve Weaver | June 23, 2017 Founders Blog

 In Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan describes a scene in which Christian enters the house of one called “Interpreter” (who represents the Holy Spirit). In this house he is shown many “profitable” things. The first such is a picture which is described as follows:

 Continued at Source: A Picture of a True Minister (from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress)