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Baptism Rejected

October 11, 2017

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Baptism Rejected

The grace given  in Christian baptism  is being publicly “debunked” these days  by those who have chosen  to not believe  in Jesus  as the promised Savior  from all our sins.     That is a very serious step  to take,  and  —  sad as it is  —  Christians need  to respect that choice.

What in the world am I talking about?      I received a devotional  in my email,  in which the pastor wrote  about a web site  on which unbelievers can go  to receive an official certificate,  stating that they no longer want  their church  to consider them baptized.     They want their baptism  to be officially revoked  because they feel  that they are not sinners  and the concept  of sin  is not true.

This pastor is rightfully sad  about this situation,  but,  he said something  that I respectfully disagree with.     After explaining how this rejection  of their baptism  would result  in their eternal judgment,  he said,  “This is why,  today,  we pray  for the debaptized  —  those who have decided  to become  the desaved.”

I don’t think it is biblical  to pray for someone  who has so thoroughly rejected salvation  through Jesus Christ  after they have learned about it  and claim  to have an understanding of it.     Why?     Because these unbelievers  have decided they don’t want  to learn any more  about God.     Their hearts  and minds  are closed  to all mention  of God  and their sinful state.

I think Christians should respect their desire  to totally separate themselves  from the church  and not cause them  to blaspheme God  any more than they already have.     If they have any sort  of desire  to turn back to God,  then,  yes,  we should pray  for them.

My thoughts are based  on a number of Bible verses  that all Christians need  to consider.     The first is what Jesus said  in Mark 16:16,

He who has believed  and has been baptized  shall be saved;  but he who has disbelieved  shall be condemned.

The unbelievers do not believe Jesus  regarding condemnation,  but,  Christians do believe  that we need  to respect God’s authority.     Nevertheless,  God will not force them  to believe  and we should not try  to force them either.     They are simply refusing  to accept  a free gift  from God.     That is their right.

The apostle John instructs us  in 1 John 5:16,

If anyone sees his brother  committing a sin  not leading to death,  he shall ask  and God will  for him  give life  to those who commit sin  not leading to death.     There is a sin  leading to deathI do not say  that he should make request  for this.

John said this based  on Jesus’ teaching  about all unbelievers  being condemned.     Then,  the apostle Peter  also tells us  about these sorts  of situations  in 2 Peter 2:20-22,

For if  after they have escaped  the defilements  of the world  by the knowledge  of the Lord  and Savior Jesus Christ,  they are again entangled  in them  and are overcome,  the last state  has become worse  for them  than the first.

For it would be better  for them  not to have known the way  of righteousness,  than having known it,  to turn away  from the holy commandment  delivered to them.     It has happened  to them  according to the true proverb,  ‘A dog returns  to its own vomit,’  and,  ’A sow,  after washing,  returns to wallowing  in the mire.’

Peter’s words are so  pointedly strong.     That is because  he is assured  of the depths  of the truth  about them.     He,  himself,  had denied the Lord  three times  out of fear.     But then,  he turned to the Lord  for forgiveness.     That loving forgiveness  changed his whole life.     Peter didn’t want anyone else  to get entangled  in any sort  of denial,  like he did.     So,  of course,  his words are pointedly strong.

There are more Bible verses  that say basically  the same kinds  of warnings.     But,  Christians are encouraged  to always pray  for one another  and for those  who are weak  in their faith,  or struggling  with their faith.     We should always pray  for all those  who want to find  the truth  about God  and the free salvation  we can all have  in Jesus Christ.

But,  when someone specifically does not want  prayerful,  loving support  in finding truth  and peace  with the Lord,  we need  to respect  their desire.

Every day  we can peacefully rejoice  that our baptism  truly saves us  through our faith  in Jesus Christ.     And  —  we can say,  “Hallelujah!     The LORD  who created all things,  loves me  and saves me  through faith  and His promises  regarding my baptism.”

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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