“What Prevents Me From Being Baptized?”
The above question was asked by an Ethiopian many years ago. As Philip preached Christ to him (Acts 8:35), they came to a certain water and “the eunuch said, See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized? … and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him” (Acts 8:36-39). The question the eunuch asked is still valid. What is preventing you from being baptized?
Is false teaching preventing you? Many people today are taught that baptism is not necessary for salvation. They are told to simply believe or to say a sinner’s prayer for salvation. Isn’t it telling to see that when the preachers of the New Testament taught folks, those listening wanted to be baptized! Yet, when many preach today, people do NOT want to be baptized!
Please read Acts 8 and notice that when Philip preached Christ to the people in Samaria (Acts 8:5), he taught them about “the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ” and baptism (Acts 8:12). “Simon the sorcerer believed, and after being baptized, he continued with Philip” (Acts 8:13). When Philip spoke to the eunuch and “preached unto him Jesus” (Acts 8:35); the first time he saw plenty of water, he wanted to be baptized. Are we seeing a pattern? The teaching concerning baptism began with Christ (Matt. 28:19; Mk. 16:16). The apostles and disciples of the Lord then carried this message to the world (Acts 2:38, 10:48, 18:8, 22:16; I Pet. 3:21; Col. 2:12; Gal. 3:26-27). When the people heard the New Testament heroes preach, they wanted to be baptized. What is hindering you from being baptized?
Are friends and family preventing us? Depending upon our friends and family, they can pressure us to do the right things or the wrong things. Have they pressured us into not obeying the Lord? The Bible says: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Jesus said: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matt. 10:37). In order to please our Lord, we must obey His command to be baptized for the remission of sins regardless of what others might say about us (Phil. 3:8). What is hindering you from being baptized?
Does the urge for popularity prevent us? It is not popular to be a Christian. In fact, Jesus promised His apostles that men would hate them for no other reason than they served the Lord (Jn. 15:18-20). Peter said that some men would be “surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery” (I Pet. 4:4). We need to decide whether we wish for popularity with this world or to be the friend of God. We cannot have it both ways (Jas. 4:4)!
Could selfishness be preventing us? Some people refuse to do anything unless it is their idea. Could that be my attitude? Have I not been baptized simply because I didn’t want to? The Bible says that I need to put away such attitudes and place Christ’s kingdom first (Matt. 6:33). I need to love God even more than my own life (Lk. 14:26-27).
Whatever is hindering you from being baptized, realize that this hindrance is keeping you from enjoying spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3); from being in a covenant relationship with Christ (Gal. 3:27); from having your sins forgiven (Acts 2:38, 22:16); from being a child of God (Rom. 8:16-17); and from a home in Heaven (Col. 3:1-4; Rev. 2:10). Is this really worth it?
Spotlight On A Bible Verse: Galatians 1:8
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” The apostle Paul wrote to the Galatian Christians, stating how surprised he was that they were “so soon removed” from the gospel of Christ to something perverted (Gal. 1:6). He then told them if any man, even an angel from Heaven preaches any other gospel, then let him be “accursed.” To be “accursed” is to be cut off from God and Christ. “Accursed” means to be abhorred, and to essentially be rejected from Christ, wherein He will say, “depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41). Perverting the gospel of Christ is not a joke or something to be taken lightly! It will result in the souls of those false teachers being lost. It will also result in the souls of those who obey the false doctrine being lost! Teaching and following false doctrine will result in our being out of fellowship with Christ (II Jn. 9-11). Therefore, let us take the teaching and spreading of God’s word very seriously. If we preach or teach anything that is not according to the revealed will of God, we will lose our souls!
– Jarrod Jacobs
On one occasion, Jesus encouraged folks to, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matt. 7:13-14). Each day on earth, we must make the choice to walk one of the two roads described by Christ. Which one will we choose to walk?
Perhaps seeing the destinations of each road will help us decide. Jesus said one road leads to destruction, while the other road leads to life. Does this help us choose the road? Don’t we want to walk the road that leads to life instead of destruction? I do!
Yet, how do we get on these roads? Friend, we’re already walking on them! The question is whether we’re walking the “narrow” or the “wide” way! Walking the narrow road demands our faith and obedience to God on a daily basis. Walking the wide road requires nothing of us! Unlike the “narrow” road, we can be walking on the “wide” road and not even know it! This is the danger of this road.
Thanks be to God that those on the “wide” road can switch and get on the “narrow” by following the Lord’s plan of salvation (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38) and living faithfully (I Cor. 15:58; Rev. 2:10). Will you do this? Which road will you walk in this life? Choose wisely, your eternity rests on this decision!
“I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” When the Pharisees confronted Jesus with false charges, Jesus said they would die in their sins (Jn. 8:21). The reason why He said this was stated in verse 24. In like manner, if we do not believe, it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). Lacking faith means we will die in our sins like the Pharisees. Faith is not a guess or a wish. It is not a fairy tale. Faith is real and will overcome the world (I Jn. 5:4-5)! Do you have faith in Christ?
- Jarrod Jacobs
What If You Knew …?
What if you knew the day of your death? Suppose you could know. Would this change you? Would you be in denial that you would really leave this earth on a “set” day? I imagine some would be. Perhaps by knowing, some would spend the rest of their lives trying to extend their life just one more day. I imagine some would accept it and live their lives as if they didn’t know.
But, would we change anything about our lives? Would we “straighten up” and live as the Bible says? Would we howl and cry against God, blaming Him for our death-day? I am positive that there would also be those who would procrastinate doing anything about their lives until the literal last minute!
What if you knew ….. What would you do?
No, we do not know the day of our death. All we can do is prepare. We don’t know if we will live another 10 minutes, 10 years, or 100 years (Prov. 27:1). Therefore, it is written, “Today if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Heb. 3:7-8). Paul said, “Now is the accepted time ... now is the day of salvation” (II Cor. 6:2). How interesting it is to note the urgency with which the apostles preached and wrote. Perhaps part of their urgency stemmed from the fact that they did not know when they were going to die, either!
All we know is that there is a day coming when we will either leave this world, or the Lord will return to judge the world (I Cor. 15:51-57; I Thess. 4:13-18). We do not know when the Lord is returning, any more than we know when we will die (Matt. 24:36). Sounds to me like we better be prepared for eternity, and do so without delay.
What if you knew ….. What would you do?