by Ernest Easley

Climbing Out of the Ditch of Despair
Dr. Ernest L. Easley
2 Corinthians 4:5-18

Now as you're turning to 2 Corinthians 4 .. I want to tell you about a preacher who was born in England in a tiny village. His father was uneducated and this preacher was one of several children.
During his lifetime he never traveled more than five miles from where he was born, except for several visits to London. Yet, by the time he died, he was known around the world.
In his twenties he couldn't read or write and yet, but by the time he died, he had written one of the greatest pieces of literature in Christian history.
He wasn't saved until he was 30. He had no formal education and was never licensed to preached. For that reason, James II, King of England threw him into prison for 12 years.
His name? John Bunyan. He wrote, "The Pilgrim's Progress" .. an allegory centered around a man named Christian who travels from the city of Destruction by way of the cross, to the celestial city of heaven.
There is an incident with the Slough of Despond. A "slough" is a ditch, a ravine. Today, we would call it a ditch of despair.
As Christian was on his way to the celestial city, he had two companions: one named Obstinate, who wouldn't listen to anything Christian had to say. He argued and ridiculed Christian until finally he said, "I'm not going with you. I don't believe what you believe. I'm going back to the city of destruction." And Obstinate went back.
His other traveling companion was named Pliable .. who said, "I will go with you. I want to see this beautiful city." So they were walking across the plain and suddenly, they tumbled headfirst into the Ditch of Despair. When they hit the bottom with all the difficulties of this ditch, Pliable said, "If this is what it means to go to the celestial city, I don't want to go. I'm afraid. I think I want to go home."
With that, he climbed the bank and went back to his house in the city of destruction. Chr ...

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