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Whatever Happened to Susan Pevensie?

Michael J. Kruger | March 8, 2021

If you are a fan of C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, you will know that Susan is one of the main characters in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe—one of the four children who end up as kings and queens of Narnia. But in the very last book of the series, The Last Battle, in a scene which effectively represents heaven, you realize that Susan is not there. It is a glaring, jarring omission. Even within the story, other characters ask why Susan is not there in glory with the rest.

Here is the answer:

“‘My sister Susan,’ answered Peter shortly and gravely, ‘is no longer a friend of Narnia.’

‘Yes,’ said Eustace, ‘and whenever you try to get her to come and talk about Narnia or do anything about Narnia, she says, “What wonderful memories you have! Fancy you still thinking about all those funny games we used to play when we were children.”’” (p 154)

“If you are not growing in your Christian life, then that should be a wake-up call.”

A sobering issue

This scene raises a very important issue. When we get to heaven, there will be people whom we expected to see there but whom we won’t see—people we thought were believers who turn out not to be. Lewis is describing someone who seemed to be a follower of Aslan— who seemed, in other words, to be a Christian—but who ends up turning away. Eustace’s words explain why: Susan dismisses all their childhood memories as mere games, as if they didn’t really happen.

Susan is trying to be a grown-up now and no longer a child. She is on to other things.

In the Christian life, this is called apostasy. An apostate is someone who once seemed to be a believer, but who later totally rejects Christ, turns away from sound teaching, and leaves the church. Apostasy is a real, sobering, scary, weighty issue. And it is the one that God puts right before us in Hebrews 5:11 – 6:12.

A wake-up call

The writer starts off by saying, I’m worried about you (5:11-14). His audience is not maturing as quickly as expected. And he is concerned about their spiritual health. In 6:1-3, he encourages them to move on and grow up in their faith. Then in 6:4-8 he dives into the very difficult theme of apostasy. He explains that those who seemed to be believers, yet have fallen away, will be subject to God’s severe judgment.

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It is important to clarify that true believers cannot lose their salvation. If someone is truly saved, truly regenerate, and truly trusting in Christ, they will always be held fast by him (John 10:28). However, God uses warnings of apostasy to encourage his people to stay the course of faith. 

If you are not growing in your Christian life, then that should be a wake-up call. If your growth has stalled, then you are putting yourself in a vulnerable position spiritually. So as we read this passage, we should carefully ponder it, absorb it, and learn from it as we reflect upon our own spiritual maturity. This is what the writer to the Hebrews helps his readers to do in  6:9-12. He cites the good signs of spiritual growth that he sees in them and encourages them to persevere in the faith.

This passage may seem like a detour from the main thread of the book, but really it is not. The whole theme of Hebrews is to say that Christ is better: superior to the old covenant revelation and superior to anything else you might worship, love, or adore. So, the whole book functions as a warning against apostasy. It is about calling people to Christ and saying, Don’t drift away. Don’t give up. Don’t go chasing other things.

After all, Jesus is better. 

This is an extract from Hebrews For You by Michael J. Kruger. In this new addition to our God’s Word For You series, Michael unpacks the rich book of Hebrews verse by verse. He explains the Old Testament background, gives plenty of application for our lives today, and shows us how Jesus is the fulfilment of all God's work on earth. He encourages us to live by faith in Jesus—the only anchor for our souls.

Michael J. Kruger

Michael J. Kruger is President and Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, NC. He also serves part-time as Teacher in Residence at Christ Covenant Church. He is married to Melissa and they have three children.

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