Monday, December 15, 2008

The Pilgrim and the Apostate Chrisitian Poem

My friend, this story which I tell,Is not new to your ear.For it began so long ago,And continues year by year.It’s the story of a pilgrimWho, clad in armor tight,Met a worldly ChristianWho was not armed to fight.
Now perhaps it should be noted here(Lest details should be lost)That these two men had met beforeWhile kneeling at the cross.And both had donned the armorWhich the Captain did provide–The breastplate and the Gospel shoes,And the sword kept at their side,The shield of faith, the Word of Truth(A most abundant ration),And best of all, upon their heads,The helmet of salvation.
And both men picked their crosses upAnd started on their way,But had not gotten very farTill one was heard to say,“My cross is very heavy;It doth hinder where I go.I’ll drop it here along the way.The Captain will not know.And I will leave this narrow roadAnd walk the road that’s broad.Then I’ll not need these heavy shoesWith which my feet are shod.And won’t you travel with me, friend,Along this easy way?Think of all the fun we’ll have!Oh, let’s begin today!”
But the pilgrim slowly answered,“Friend, this I can not do.I can not lay my cross asideAnd travel hence with you.For my will and my desiresAre in the Captain’s Hand.And the cross which I now carry,I do at His Command.As for the road that’s broad, my friendThat’s not the way to go.It leads to sure destruction,For the Captain told us so.”
“Nonsense,” laughed the worldly one,“They both end up the same.But your road leads through battlegrounds,And mine through fun and games.For up ahead they stomp and shout‘Hooray!’ and clap their hand.‘The Lord has won another soul,From the enemy of man.’And, oh, it looks like so much funTo clap and shout His praise,And never fight the battle,And never run the race.”
And so their pathways parted.Each went their separate road.One chose the way that looked like fun,And one the crown of gold.Now many times the narrow pathDoes cross destruction’s way.And so sometimes they chanced to meetLike they did thus one day.
“Greetings, sir,” the pilgrim called.And then he looked againLest his eyes deceive him.Was this his Christian friend?“But what’s happened to your loincloth?”He asked in sure surprise.“The everlasting Truth of ChristThat was gird about your thighs?”
“Oh that,” the other answered,“I traded it away.It’s more comfortable to wear,The words that people say.But you, my friend, look weary.Is the battle raging hard?Why not watch the Captain,And cheer Him from my yard?”
“No, the Captain’s always with me,”The pilgrim to him said.“I can’t forsake Him now, you see.”And so he plunged ahead.And again the two were partedAs each continued on their way.But oft the pilgrim thought of him,And often he did pray.
The next time they came togetherWhen the two ways met again,The pilgrim sadly shook his headWhen he saw his wayward friend.“Where,” he asked so sadly,“Is the plate of righteousnessThat one time hung so brightlyFrom your laden chest?”
“It was so very awkwardThat I left it by the way.And instead I donned the works of menThat you see me in today.For you see they suit me better,And I think them rather pert.”(And the pilgrim groaned in spiritFor they were but rags of dirt.)
“And your sword and shield?”The pilgrim asked,“Those also have you lost?The ones the Captain gave youWhen you knelt there at the cross?”
“I seem to have mislaid them,But I really need them not.Remember, my friend, I stand and cheerWhen the battle wages hot.All I really need, you see,Is this helmet on my headTo keep me in His army,”The deceived one smugly said.
“But surely you’re mistaken, sir.Oh, don’t you see the Light?You can not be His soldier ifYou are not armed to fight.”
When the conversation ended,Their paths again did part.The pilgrim clad in armor full,With a burden on his heart,Turned again to battleThe enemy of man,Trusting in his CaptainAnd heeding His Command.And the riches and the treasures,Which he acquired in his race,Shone like jewels in his eyes,And joy was on his face.
And when they met the next time,Many years had passed.They met again on Jordan’s shore,And this time for the last.
“Well done, thou faithful pilgrim,”Said the Captain of the fight.“Removest thou thine armor,And don this robe of white.For thy battle now is over.Thy victory has been won.Come now into the wedding feast,Thou good and faithful son.”
“Good Captain,” said the worldly one,“I have no armor onSave this helmet on my head.”(But it, my friends, was gone!)
“O foolish, slothful servant!”The Captain said that day.“Without thine armor thou hast madeThyself an easy prey.For the enemy has crept upon theeAnd taken thy salvation.He led thee down the easy roadThat leads to condemnation.For thou wast never with meWhen the battle waged so hot.O ye that work iniquity,Depart, I know thee not!”
And so the worldly Christian,Who cast his armor off,Joined his other playmates,Eternally now lost.But as you travel through your life,You’ll meet many with his name.And no doubt they’ll try and tell youThat the Christian’s life’s a game.But it’s not a game, dear pilgrim,For the Bible tells us so.It’s a battle to the end,And the winner gets your soul.
–Michelle Richard

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