Christian is on his way to the narrow gate. By reading the Bible, he has become aware that he is desperately lost and that he carries a huge burden of sin which he cannot get rid of. Evangelist pointed him to the Narrow Gate but along the way he fell into the Slough of Despond where he became overwelmed with the guilt of his sin and nearly died.
Now, we find Christian meeting a man named Worldly Wise who lives in a town called Carnal-Policy. He tells Christian that the way he is going (Through the Narrow gate) will lead him to nothing but "wearisomeness, painfulness, hunger, perils, nakedness, sword, lions, dragons, darkness, and in a word, death." He tells Christian that he can rid himself of his huge burden in a much easier way. He instructs Christian to go live in the city of Carnal-Policy where good men like Legality and Civility live and there who will help Christian get rid of his burden and receive all of God's blessings!
He also tells Christiain
- Evangelist is dangerous
- Get rid of your Bible. It is only understood by scholarly men and not the unlearned
- Instead of the cross, he advises social ease
- Instead of Redemption, improvement
- Instead of Scripture, human wisdom
Worldly Wise deceives Christian with his veneer of Righteousness and directs him beyond a hill in the distance.
- He delights after the doctrine of the world
- He fellowships at the Church of Morality
- He proclaims the gospel of human ability
- His doctrine draws men away from the truth
- His doctrine makes the cross offensive
In other words, Worldy Wise acts like a Christian and talks like a Christian but ultimately, he is a charlatan who offers all sorts of quick and easy delights to people seeking God, but in the end these people end up in carnal bondage, bitterness, depression and delusion.
Sound like any famous pastors and evangelists we hear about today??
Jesus warns us in Matthew 24:24
For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 Peter 2:1
I believe in these last days we must be VERY CAREFUL when listening to any pastor or Bible teacher. We must test everything they say against the Bible and if possible, examine their lives closely. Do they have fruit in their lives that gives evidence of a changed heart within or is there divorce, problems, kids out of control. How do they spend their money? Do they have mansions in every town? Drive expensive cars, wear expensive clothes and jewelry, go on lots of vacations? or do they give most of their money to the poor and to the cause of futhering the gospel?
Personally, I've seen my own family members taken in by some of these charlatans. How about you? Many Christians today are being fooled and it angers me.
Anyway, in our story, Christian was also fooled and as he headed up the large mountain which represents Sinai, Evangelist appeared again to him, rebuking him for his stupidity. Thankfully, Christian repented and turned around and returned to the path that led to the Narrow Gate.
Next week, we'll see what happens when he gets there!