This Sunday we will be baptising the next group of people who have come through our membership class. I would encourage all of you to be in attendance as this is a great encouragement to those who are coming to profess their faith in Christ. By being present it also blesses each of us and strengthens our faith. How good our Lord has been these last few years in adding to our flock many who have come to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Dr. John MacArthur of California gave these reasons why some people have refused to be baptised.
A person who claims to be a Christian and has not been baptized, fits into the following categories.
1. One, ignorance—that is, they’ve never been taught about baptism and that’s very possible in many, many places. From time to time, we have people baptized here who were converted years ago but never were taught the significance of baptism.
2. Secondly, pride is an issue. People who have allowed a long period of time to go since their conversion—they’ve named the name of Christ for a long time, they are involved with the church, they are known as Christian people, they have never been baptized—it’s a little bit embarrassing to acknowledge that failure and that disobedience for such a long time and so they’re not willing to humble themselves, admit they’ve been disobedient, and be baptized. So, it could be ignorance, it could be pride.
3. It could be indifference. There are plenty of people who just can’t be bothered—they can’t find a spot in their daytimer for it, it doesn’t fit into their schedule, it’s not a priority. They know it’s commanded in the Bible, but obedience isn’t the main thing with them—they have other priorities. That’s a sad situation—to be apathetic toward a specific command, to be indifferent toward a very direct command from our Lord, Himself, which brings honor to Him and blessing to the one who is obedient. But, there are people who are just indifferent—they just can’t get around to it, "I’ve been planning to do it, I’ve thought about it; it just doesn’t fit on the priority list."
4. And, then fourthly, could be the defiant people—those who basically aren’t baptized because they are just rebellious—they refuse to obey. Usually those kinds of people are sinning…they’re in a pattern of sin and it would just sort of elevate their hypocrisy if they were to have to come up and give a testimony of their faith in Jesus Christ and celebrate His wonderful redemption on their behalf. So, people who are defiant and rebellious and just won’t be baptized, generally are in a pattern of sinning.
5. Then, fifthly, it’s possible that you’re unregenerate—you’re just not a true Christian, you have no desire to make a public confession of faith in Jesus Christ because you don’t want to be identified with Him in a public way. You may come and you may like to kind of hang on the edges and on the fringes here, but you’re not about to take your public stand with Christ. Those are the only reasons I can think of. Either you’re ignorant, you’re too proud to humble yourself and be baptized, you’re apathetic and indifferent toward that matter of obedience, you’re defiant, or you’re not a believer. That puts the issue squarely where it belongs and it backs you, if you’ve never been baptized, sort of into a corner to sort that out. It could be a combination of several of those things in some cases, but you’re in there somewhere.
Come out to church tomorrow and support all those who are getting baptised! If any of you have not been baptised please let Heather know at the office and we will be pleased to arrange for you to make your profession of faith.