Is repentance and baptism a dead end street?
By GARY ANDREWS
It is amazing at how people place signs along the road or maybe place two signs close together to get a totally different message from what are intended.
My wife and I, along with some friends, were travelling home from Branson, MO, when we stopped for some lunch. As we were leaving the restaurant I noticed a sign across the street that read “Dead End.” Of course we have seen this type sign many times in many places on streets that stop and are leading to no-where.
What really got my attention was a neon sign placed next to it that read, “Repent in the name of Jesus and be baptized.” This sign was sitting in an open field, not facing any building, or giving any directions on where to go for repentance but was next to the sign that read “Dead End.”
There are many people in the world today that are trying to get across the message that if you believe in Jesus and are baptized to show the world that you are leaving the old way behind and accepting the new way of letting the Holy Spirit lead your life, that you are headed in a dead end direction. This message is totally wrong!
When you repent of your sins and ask Jesus to be Lord and Savior of your life then your life begins anew with the assurance that you will live with Jesus for eternity. Baptism in a God fearing, Bible based church, is to let the world know that you are a new person in Christ and that you belong to a fellowship of believers. The old world is not your lord and master anymore.
The world is full of agnostics, atheists, and unbelievers that will try and taint the salvation message of Jesus Christ. We see this in many outlets such as television, movie theaters, government, and yes, even to some degree in our churches. The world will stop at nothing to try and deceive you and your thoughts of eternal life and heaven.
It is my hope that the road sign and the neon sign was just a coincidence. As our group left the restaurant that day and we all looked at the signs we agreed that it could have been a message of deterrence for someone struggling to find happiness and peace within their life. For me, knowing Jesus is a life of contentment, happiness, and peace. For others, their message will be that following Jesus is a dead end street. Today’s society seems to be a repeat of what the priest-prophet Ezekiel went through in his time. In his old testament book chapter 33:10-11 tells us, “…Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live? Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.’ Turn, turn from your evil ways!...
Prayer: Thank you Lord for each day of life that you allow me to have. I pray that I can be witness for you and an example for someone struggling in their daily life. Amen.
(Suggested daily Bible readings: Sunday – Revelation 2:20-22; Monday – Malachi 3:6-18; Tuesday – James 4:7-12; Wednesday – 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10; Thursday –Exodus 9:27-30; Friday – Romans 6:15-23; Saturday – Jeremiah 25:4-6.)
Gary Andrews is the author of Encouraging Words: 30-days in God’s Word. To obtain a copy go to his website www.gadevotionals .com.