August 20th, 2010
Bunyan, John. The Jerusalem Sinner Saved or, Good News for the Vilest of Men. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2005. 128 pp. $10.00. Purchase at Westminster books.
Do you struggle with loving the person next to you? Do you ever think that so-and-so cannot possibly be saved by Christ? Reading The Jerusalem Sinner Saved will change your heart for those around you who you think cannot possibly be saved.
John Bunyan looks at the importance of Christ’s commission for the disciples found in Luke 24:47, here the Lord tells them that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached to all the nations beginning at Jerusalem.
In showing that those in Jerusalem were to first be exhorted with the gospel, Bunyan explains that this shows the greatest of mercies by Jesus Christ. This is so because it was the Jerusalem sinner that crucified Christ. It was the Jerusalem sinner that mocked Christ. It was the Jerusalem sinner that ultimately rejected Christ while here on earth.
By preaching first to the Jerusalem sinner, Christ is showing that there is no one having ever sinned so much or so bad that they are beyond salvation. The only person beyond salvation is the one who has lived a complete life as an unrepentant sinner. That is, the one who has died in his sin is the only one incapable of being saved.
I was constantly humbled to see the grace and mercy extended by Christ to the worst of sinners. While most believers I know will say they are (rightly) the worst sinner they know, Bunyan shows us how Christ viewed the absolute worst of sinners in His day–those who executed Him.
Bunyan, in fine Puritanical exposition, takes three English words, “Beginning at Jerusalem,” from Luke 24:47 and expounds upon it in such detail that the reader closes the book time and again asking to have this same heart for the sinner next door.
If you struggle with sharing the gospel, The Jerusalem Sinner Saved is the book for you. If you know someone who makes the claim that they have done too much to be saved, then you need to read this book. You will be better equipped to show the great grace and mercy that Christ has bestowed upon us! To read Bunyan is to be exhorted practical Christian walk.