Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners
by John Bunyan
Many are familiar with John Bunyan as the author of The Pilgrim's Progress, whose influence in Christendom is second only to the Bible. Bunyan was a ... Show synopsis Many are familiar with John Bunyan as the author of The Pilgrim's Progress, whose influence in Christendom is second only to the Bible. Bunyan was a preacher, a prolific writer and a shining saint for God. Readers of "Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners," however, will find that as a young man John Bunyan was an atheist and infidel who enjoyed sin and rebelled towards God. Inwardly he suffered from tormented nightmares of demons and judgment, but outwardly he went on pretty much as any other sinner, taking delight in sin and being the ringleader of mischief. Several times he nearly lost his life, and even though there were several close calls, still he did not turn to God. After his marriage, he participated in religious activities, went through the motions of attending church and generally lived as he pleased, each time successfully shrugging off pangs of guilt. One day, after church, while playing a sport, a voice seemed to call out to him from heaven to his soul, which said, "Wilt thou leave thy sins and go to heaven, or have thy sins and go to hell?" Bunyan was convinced it was the Lord Jesus looking down on him in displeasure. What follows details his sinking into despair, his desparate attempts at working his way into God's good graces, and his struggles with temptation and doubt. In a strange sort of way, it is comforting to read about Bunyan's struggles and identify with them because you can see how he turned out so greatly used by God. He rationalized, made excuses and tried every way to justify himself. Bunyan did not try to gloss over his motivations but gave an honest account of his struggles from avowed sinner, to religious hypocrite before he was finally converted. He describes in great detail his doubts and despair, his yearning to be converted to Jesus Christ, and then being assured of his salvation by reading the Bible and praying. Reading this book will help you realize how God's grace can abound and save even the most wretched of sinners and gives us abounding hope.