John Bunyan, in Pilgrim's Progress, did exactly that. In his story, Christian has just passed through the Sheep Gate and now travels to the house of the Interpreter. Here Christian is shown seven images or visions. It is these seven truths that Bunyan stresses are so important for the young saint to never forget. Here they are in their 2014 form:
1. The young Christian needs a character sketch of a true and faithful pastor. He will encounter impostors and frauds along the way that will, if they’re successful, lead him to the very gates of hell. He must rely on the one who stands on the Word of God, pleads for men’s souls, and lays his life down for the church.
2. The young Christian must understand the difference between law and grace. Law only stirs up his awareness of sin. Grace cleanses and transforms the heart and mind. As he reads his Bible and lives out his faith, both law and grace need to be kept in their proper place.
3. The young Christian will struggle his whole life with wanting things he can see, feel, and have. He will want them now. But, he must wait patiently for what he cannot see—those things which do not wear out or turn to dust. In waiting, he will reap an eternal reward.
4. Satan and the world will relentlessly attack the young Christian. However, the fire in his heart will never go out because it is fueled by the grace of God. He who is in him is greater than the one who is in the world.
5. The young Christian himself must go on the offensive and run to the battle and persevere by God’s grace to one day enter into his Lord’s joy and rest.
6. The young Christian must be warned that there are many so-called brothers and sisters who make light of God’s grace and live as if the cross of Christ does not have any impact our day-to-day living and never reaches into the depths of our hearts and lives. These, who are really not Christians at all, will eventually put themselves beyond God’s mercy because they would “crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt” (Heb. 6:6). The true child of God must take this warning to heart.
7. The young Christian is to keep in mind the Day of the Lord—the awesome day of judgment. This is a day of terror for the unbeliever and a wakeup call for the child of God.
Bunyan provides wise counsel for the new believer … and even for those who have been in Christ for years. I know this pilgrim needs to put these seven truths in his backpack for the journey ahead.