September 17, 2021
John Bunyan was born in November of 1628 at Bedford in England. His parents were not Christians. From an early age, he followed his ancestral work of tinkering and sale of pots and pans alongside his father. He did not have a proper education as he was born in a poor family. Bunyan had to give up his school education to help manage the financial troubles at home. He was very wicked in his youth. He lied, stole, cheated people and disrespected the elders. He joined the military when he was 16 years old. He found no peace in his life. He was in the army only for a couple of years when he returned to marry a faithful Christian girl as a 19-year-old lad. She shared about Christ often to John. In order to impress his young bride, John Bunyan began to attend church and slowly parted his wicked ways. Yet he didn’t whole-heartedly submit to Christ. One day when he was roaming through the streets with his signage for tinkering, he heard three women preaching the Gospel on his way. John Bunyan went home that day having heard the Word of God and dedicated his time to reading the Bible with focus. He was touched as he read the Holy book and came to realise how evil he had been until then. On a day when he was feeling weak and sore, he was reading the book of Martin Luther and he submitted to Jesus Christ with his whole heart.
John Bunyan’s dear wife passed away within a short period of his acceptance of Christ. A heart-broken Bunyan realised that only his Saviour can help him until the end. He dedicated his life to Christ and volunteered to do whatever he could for the Lord. He started sharing the good news in the houses where he was mending the pots and pans. Not only did his business grow but a lot of people turned to Christ due to his word.
In those days, a law was in force in England that restricted the responsibility of preaching to the priests alone. Although John was not intent on breaking the law, he considered obedience to Christ much more important. Therefore, he did not stop what he was doing. One day police arrested him citing that law and took him to a Judge. The Judge told Bunyan that he will release him if he were to promise not to preach any longer. But John was not willing to make that promise and thus he landed a 3-month long imprisonment. John went on to make a statement saying, “If I was released today, I will preach the word of God tomorrow”. His 3-month imprisonment went on for 12 years. He could have been released at any point of those 12 years but on one condition. He only had to promise that he will not be preaching anymore. In prison, he had to share a small, dirty, dark cell with 50 other men. The diseases spread fast because of the lack of space and many died due to that. John Bunyan tolerated all of the discomforts of prison, his estrangement from his four children and lack of contact with the outside world. He never wasted a minute in prison and spent his time praying, reading the Bible and writing. It is there that he wrote his best book, “The Pilgrim’s Progress”.
John was released from prison when he was 43 years old. He continued his missionary work for 16 years at the Baptist church of Bedford following the requests of people.
John invested his time in helping his church members and their families to resolve their family issues and helped them to live rooted in Christ. On August 13, 1688, John Bunyan passed away at his 59th year, leaving this Earth to meet his beloved Lord in heaven. Pastor John Bunyan is not with us today. But the book,” The Pilgrim’s Progress” he created is still leading masses to Christ even today. In addition to the Bible, His book has been translated to more than 130 languages and is much loved and read by many. The Lord does not require people with wit and skill to do his work, he needs only simple people with devotion and submission. The Lord who makes historical events with the simple, yet devoted to Christ is sure to create history with you.