John Bunyan in the classic novel, Pilgrims Progress, illustrates the 9 progressive steps toward personal apostasy. This list is modified and modernized for your understanding. Please read and take heed. Save this in your journal, your computer, or make it your bookmark, but remember this well. I have bolded words that are important elements of understanding. If you want to read this portion of Pilgrims Progress in context, click here
- You draw away your thoughts from the remembrance of God, death, and judgment to come.
- Then, you slowly stop private duties like closet prayer, curbing your lusts, watching for temptation, sorrow for sin, and the like.
- Then, you turn away the company of lively and warm Christians.
- After that, you grow cold to public duty, as hearing the word preached, reading the bible, godly fellowship, and the like.
- Then, you begin to pick holes in the coats of some of the godly; and do it maliciously, that you may have a seeming excuse to throw [the Christian] religion (for the sake of some sin you have seen in others) behind your back.
- Then, you begin to adhere to, and associate yourself with, carnal, loose, and immoral men/women.
- Then, you give in to carnal and immoral discourses in secret; and you are glad if you can see such things in anyone else that is called Christian, that way you can commit your sin more boldly through their example.
- After this, you begin to play with little sins openly.
- And then, being hardened, you prove yourself to be as lost as they are. Thus, being launched again into the gulf of misery, unless a miracle of grace prevent it, you perish forever in your own deception.