By Robert E Turner
Following a sermon in a small mid-western community, a man wished to be baptized. The candidate, preacher, and a few others drove through the night to a small park that bordered a river where they hoped to assist the man in his obedience. But the park and the entrance to the water were cluttered with young people with radios blaring a party in full progress.
After some hesitancy, the preacher approached the revelers and pled his case. He told them that he had taught a man to love the Lord and to want to change his life and give himself to the service of the Lord. The man had repented of his past and now wanted to obey the Lord in baptism “for the remission of sins.” He said that he knew they had the prior right to the public park, but that there was no other access to the water immediately available. He asked if they would consent to a brief quiet recess in their party and allow him to baptize the man into Christ?
Something about the earnest plea, the man, or the message or what is more likely, the scriptural combination of the three got through to the young people. They quickly stopped the party and asked if they might be witnesses of what to them was a most unusual event.
Several cars turned so that their lights were upon the water. All were quiet and respectful as the preacher and the believing penitent “went down both in the water . . . and he baptized him” (Acts 8:30-39). When they came up out of the water, the young people crowded about, wanting to know more about this “death, burial, and resurrection to a new life.” Did the Bible really teach it like that? Why did not the traditional churches of which they knew and had rejected teach such things? How could they learn these matters? Some gave their names and addresses and said they would welcome a visit from the preacher, and further teaching.
This generation is wholly sensual and uninterested in spiritual things? Impossible to reach a bunch of “neckers”? Only politics and the social gospel are relevant? Hmmm!! Has it ever occurred to you that you and I may be the material ones who lack the faith and courage necessary to “tell it like it is” today?? (Reprint from Robert f. Turner, Stuff About Things, p. 74, by permission)
Guardian of Truth XL: No. 22, p. 15
November 21, 1996