Crossing the River

Harold Copping - Lazarus come forth - (MeisterDrucke-95623)

There is mention of various rivers or seas in the Bible, each with its own significance: The Red Sea, the Jordan River, the river in the book of Ezekiel, as well as other rivers.

There is one river that is spoken of symbolically in song. Death is spoken of as a river that must be crossed.

Statistically, many people cross that river at Christmas time; perhaps it is because as they hear the retelling of the Christmas story, and understand it, that they make their peace with God, and are in the best state spiritually to move to the next realm.


Pilgrim's Progress first edition 1678

John Bunyan, in The Pilgrim’s Progress, alludes to this river.

{386} So I saw that when they awoke, they addressed themselves to
go up to the city; but, as I said, the reflection of the sun upon
the city (for the city was pure gold) was so extremely glorious
that they could not, as yet, with open face behold it, but through
an instrument made for that purpose. So I saw, that as I went
on, there met them two men, in raiment that shone like gold; also
their faces shone as the light. [Rev. 21:18, 2 Cor. 3:18]

{387} These men asked the Pilgrims whence they came; and they told
them. They also asked them where they had lodged, what difficulties
and dangers, what comforts and pleasures they had met in the way;
and they told them. Then said the men that met them, You have but
two difficulties more to meet with, and then you are in the city.

{388} Christian then, and his companion, asked the men to go along
with them; so they told them they would. But, said they, you must
obtain it by your own faith. So I saw in my dream that they went
on together, until they came in sight of the gate.

{389} Now, I further saw, that betwixt them and the gate was a river,
but there was no bridge to go over: the river was very deep. At
the sight, therefore, of this river, the Pilgrims were much stunned;
but the men that went in with them said, You must go through, or
you cannot come at the gate.

{390} The Pilgrims then began to inquire if there was no other
way to the gate; to which they answered, Yes; but there hath not
any, save two, to wit, Enoch and Elijah, been permitted to tread
that path since the foundation of the world, nor shall, until the
last trumpet shall sound. [1 Cor. 15:51,52] The Pilgrims then,
especially Christian, began to despond in their minds, and looked
this way and that, but no way could be found by them by which they
might escape the river. Then they asked the men if the waters were
all of a depth. They said: No; yet they could not help them in
that case; for, said they, you shall find it deeper or shallower
as you believe in the King of the place.

*In the Resurrection of the Righteous. [Rev. 20:4-6]

{391} They then addressed themselves to the water and, entering,
Christian began to sink, and crying out to his good friend Hopeful,
he said, I sink in deep waters; the billows go over my head, all
his waves go over me! Selah.

{392} Christian’s conflict at the hour of death

Then said the other, Be of good cheer, my brother, I feel the
bottom, and it is good. Then said Christian, Ah! my friend, the
sorrows of death hath compassed me about; I shall not see the land
that flows with milk and honey; and with that a great darkness and
horror fell upon Christian, so that he could not see before him.
Also here he in great measure lost his senses, so that he could
neither remember nor orderly talk of any of those sweet refreshments
that he had met with in the way of his pilgrimage. But all the
words that he spake still tended to discover that he had horror of
mind, and heart fears that he should die in that river, and never
obtain entrance in at the gate. Here also, as they that stood by
perceived, he was much in the troublesome thoughts of the sins that
he had committed, both since and before he began to be a pilgrim.
It was also observed that he was troubled with apparitions of
hobgoblins and evil spirits, for ever and anon he would intimate
so much by words. Hopeful, therefore, here had much ado to keep
his brother’s head above water; yea, sometimes he would be quite
gone down, and then, ere a while, he would rise up again half dead.
Hopeful also would endeavour to comfort him, saying, Brother, I see
the gate, and men standing by to receive us: but Christian would
answer, It is you, it is you they wait for; you have been Hopeful
ever since I knew you. And so have you, said he to Christian.
Ah! brother! said he, surely if I was right he would now arise
to help me; but for my sins he hath brought me into the snare, and
hath left me. Then said Hopeful, My brother, you have quite forgot
the text, where it is said of the wicked, “There are no bands in
their death, but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble
as other men, neither are they plagued like other men. [Ps. 73:4,5]
These troubles and distresses that you go through in these waters
are no sign that God hath forsaken you; but are sent to try you,
whether you will call to mind that which heretofore you have received
of his goodness, and live upon him in your distresses.

{393} Then I saw in my dream, that Christian was as in a muse
a while. To whom also Hopeful added this word, Be of good cheer,
Jesus Christ maketh thee whole; and with that Christian brake out
with a loud voice, Oh, I see him again! and he tells me, “When
thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and through
the rivers, they shall not overflow thee.” [Isa. 43:2] Then
they both took courage, and the enemy was after that as still as
a stone, until they were gone over. Christian therefore presently
found ground to stand upon, and so it followed that the rest of the
river was but shallow. Thus they got over. Now, upon the bank of
the river, on the other side, they saw the two shining men again,
who there waited for them; wherefore, being come out of the river,
they saluted them, saying, We are ministering spirits, sent forth
to minister for those that shall be heirs of salvation. Thus they
went along towards the gate.  Link

The Pilgrims Progress, or, Christians Journey from the City of Destruction in This Evil World to the Celestial City in the World That Is to Come


A blog post can only introduce a topic but not cover it in depth. For more study on various topics, click here for links to various Christian ministries.

Depending on the ministry, there may be online church services, YouTube videos, podcasts, radio programs, books, teaching, or more. You have to seek out what they have.
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Repost: ‘Empty Chairs At Empty Tables’ from ‘Les Miserables’ (Cormac Thompson Cover) Charity single


There’s a grief that can’t be spoken
There’s a pain goes on and on
Empty chairs at empty tables
Now my friends are dead and gone
Here they talked of revolution
Here it was they lit the flame
Here they sang about tomorrow
And tomorrow never came
From the table in the corner
They could see a world reborn
And they rose with voices ringing
And I can hear them now!
The very words that they had sung
Became their last communion
On this lonely barricade
At dawn
Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone
There’s a grief that can’t be spoken
There’s a pain goes on and on
Phantom faces at the window
Phantom shadows on the floor
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more
Oh my friends, my friends
Don’t ask me what your sacrifice was for
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will sing no more

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Herbert Kretzmer / Alain Albert Boublil / Claude-michel Schonberg
Empty Chairs at Empty Tables lyrics © Universal Music – Careers, Alain Boublil Music Ltd.

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Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

—Abraham Lincoln


A blog post can only introduce a topic but not cover it in depth. For more study on various topics, click here for links to various Christian ministries.

Depending on the ministry, there may be online church services, YouTube videos, podcasts, radio programs, books, teaching, or more. You have to seek out what they have.
Continue Reading

Why Did God Send Jesus?

Why did God send Jesus?

To put it into today’s terminology…it was a matter of jurisprudence.

One of the definitions of jurisprudence is a “particular body of law”.  What law?  The law of God.

Think of the phrase…if you do the crime…you do the time…or pay the fine.

If you get a speeding ticket in Kentucky, you don’t show up in a traffic court  in Montana to pay it.

God created the world.   He created Adam.  He gave the earth to Adam to rule.  He gave Adam freedom with one qualifying rule…do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

As satan, the serpent, previously thrown out of heaven,  tempted Eve, Adam’s wife, to disobey and she passed the temptation to Adam.  They both sinned.  They lost their position with God.  They were cast out of the garden.

How could God solve this problem?  There is a scripture that says that the heavens are the Lord’s, but the earth He has given to the children of men. 

So going back to the idea of jurisdiction, this problem occurred on the earth.  It did not occur in heaven.  God could not solve it from heaven.  He had given the earth to man.  He did not say “time out”, let me fix this and start all over.  God didn’t go back on his word and take the earth back.

God needed a solution to solve a problem created on the earth.  The only solution was to come to the earth himself, in the form of Jesus Christ,  to undo the legal damage that had been done, and make a way back for Adam and Eve legally.

When people ask questions along the lines of why is there suffering and why do people suffer, it comes down to two things.

  1.   The earth fell when Adam fell.  Sin, sickness and death entered the world…in other words, all bad things entered the world at that point.
  2.   Even though Jesus made a way out, we have to learn how to work with God to appropriate what Jesus did.  It would be like having the key to a car, but never getting in the car to drive it.

It is not only important to know what Jesus did, but obey the Word of God and Spirit of God to experience the benefits.  Faith without works is dead.

Many questions arise from an unspoken expectation that God will do things that He has given us to do.

This is why it is important to learn our part and God’s part.

While God has made provision for mankind, it is individually by faith, patience, and obedience that each individual may experience that…the Lord working with them.


A blog post can only introduce a topic but not cover it in depth. For more study on various topics, click here for links to various Christian ministries.

Depending on the ministry, there may be online church services, YouTube videos, podcasts, radio programs, books, teaching, or more. You have to seek out what they have.
Continue Reading