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18. Preparing for Baptism

Jim Howard




  • June 20, 2018
    2:00 PM
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Father in heaven we're grateful for this time we have to spend together we pray that you would bless our understanding that you would help us in every way the Lord to to see clearly how we may bring people to decisions for you and then train them to be disciples who will not only stay in the church but who will be active in your service and and love you and lead others to you until you come so bless our time together with your Spirit Jesus name. All right so we're going to talk about baptismal preparation and discipleship and I have to. Mention confess right from the start here that this can be a sensitive topic. The reason that it can be a sensitive topic is because people have different views on what we should do to prepare people for baptism. You go to certain areas of the world. Certain areas of North American division and they will say that if someone says they want to be baptized then you should baptize and I mean next week or whatever. There are some places. Where they take them through one to 2 year programs and they won't baptize them until they get through those one or 2 year program. So I'll tell you my philosophy which I believe because of my own. Conviction from reading the Bible the Spirit of Prophecy myself and that is that we should baptize people we should not baptize anyone until they are ready and we should baptize them as soon as they're ready so what that means is if somebody is in the middle of a one year process and yet they've studied all the beliefs and they are committed to them then don't need to wait till the end of the year put them in the water because that decision you might lose it. On the flip side if someone says they want to be baptized but they're not quite sure they want to adopt the beliefs and practices of the 7 that is church then we should not at that point the baptizing and that's where I'm at so that's what you're going to hear in this particular. Seminar and of course there are you know the the details matter and so what exactly are we talking about what are the areas that we try to get decisions on where there is that we don't care about getting this isn't done those are things that different people may view differently but I'll tell you that the convictions that I've come to are based on what I have explored in the inspired writing so I may be wrong about him but therefore that's where I'm getting him and that being the case you know it's possible that you can come to like I'm going to say this way as a 7th Day Adventist. Lay person getting Bible study even at that point but then especially when I became a pastor you have to wrestle when you're somebody has Bible studies if you know God is that you never have to wrestle with this you just asked to say what they should or shouldn't be doing right but when you have to study with someone and tell someone yes they're ready to baptize or for your own sake say yes I'm going to baptize them then you've got to grapple with what's right and some people are very cavalier about it like well you know it's what they in the world whatever I just I'm not that way I don't want to be cavalier about it I want to know like him I am I going too far if I ask him to make this decision or am I not going far enough I don't require this decision I mean those are the things that went through my mind as someone who gave Bible studies and so that's why I wrestled through it and I wrestled through you know the information that we have as a church on the matter now one thing I'll say is that there are some who are strongly in moving and I'll just say that I know that there are some who have this strong conviction here in North American vision that the way that we have a story historically prepare people for baptism and in which we've been very careful and make sure that they understand in practice what some of them and believe in practice. That that is based on tradition and that it's not Biblical and the rationale is that we don't is that we don't see that specified in Scripture. What we say in Scripture and what is used are certain instances in the book of Acts such as you know the Ethiopian Philip in the O.E.P. open and the fact that after showing him explaining to him the way of truth then they went and he was baptized. And then there are places in the book of Acts where appear to be baptized somewhere in the near you know future after hearing and accepting certain aspects of the truth my argument is twofold on this and this is just my conviction on number one. We cannot make arguments from silence so what I mean by that is. Because we don't have in these Scriptural accounts an actual full record of everything that went on in the conversations and what have you made if you read a lot of accounts in Scripture you see a conversation that takes about $45.00 seconds to read right well it probably wasn't $45.00 seconds there was probably more to it and we don't see that so it's not that there is an explicit prohibition to prepare people for the baptism in the way that we have starkly have but they simply don't see it. Specifically commanded and therefore because it's not commanded they call it tradition I believe that's sort of an argument from silence number one number 2 and the primary reason I feel that it is an argument from silence is because as 7th Day Adventists once we accepted the prophetic gift of Ellen White as genuine and as a fulfillment of the remnant church characteristic of the testimony of Jesus Christ at the end of time once we did that we now consider in our hermeneutical our interpretive method we consider the inspired evidence of the Spirit of Prophecy and compare it as well with what we're finding in Scripture and since we don't have a lot of explicit information in scripture on it we let the Spirit of Prophecy inform us even more. And so because of that I don't because here's the thing there could have been a lot more that was said and done and then and then what are we going to reject what is written in the spirit of prophecy so that we can make a speculative decision based on what we don't see in scripture I don't think that's a safe position and 7th Avenue Another aspect is that we're in a totally different environment than they were at the time of the book of Acts let me be clear most of the people that were baptized in those examples would be people who had some prior knowledge to Biblical truth I mean the main and in some cases exclusive difference was accepting Jesus Christ as the Messiah and once they accepted that then they were you know ready to be baptized where as think about our history the history of where we stand today is so different than the history in Biblical times because we have now Daniel Chapter $78.00 and Daniel 8 tells us that there would be this period of time in which the truth would be cast to the ground and he would cause and Daniel $825.00 deceit to prosper so we have this period that we commonly refer to as the dark ages where many traditions were brought in to replace the truth and all manner of error such as the things that we commonly correct in our hands with campaigns on death and hell and the secret rapture and you know going straight to crisis that if through a priest and all these things. Were And now today evolution and everything else these were all. Things that happened over the last couple of 1000 years that have greatly polluted what people in this world think about their worldview and about God and about the Bible so when you are sitting with somebody a day and they say yeah we baptize because I read that he who believes it is that God will be saying they don't know what they're talking about now some of them might and if they do and they understand everything that the Bible teaches it won't take any time at all for them to be prepared for Baptists and you're going to walk them through it and they're going to oh I know that oh yeah I see that oh yeah I've studied that and boom boom boom boom you go wow you're going to be that but that's not generally how it happens no instead we're correcting things that are previously held views because the world is so splintered and divided in terms of what they believe today so we have those different factors weighing in one we have some. What I would call ambiguity about what actually happened in the period of time in the conversation prior to the baptism in the experience Number 2 even if it happened exactly and without any other conversation it could be that there was an understanding that was that was made them ready in that situation that we would not be ready for today and number 3 we have the Spirit of Prophecy to help give us some insight into the best way in our setting to prepare someone for church membership well that sufficient. All right so let's talk about bats in the preparation and I'm going to take some time to look at the inspired counsel that we have from the Spirit of Prophecy this is what I did to kind of dig in and see where I want to go on this OK evangelism page 311 hold on do. Not in there a man who was in Page 311. Before baptism there should be a thorough inquiry as to the experience of the candidates and underlining words that are important they're all important but these are things that I want to draw out there should be a thorough inquiry Now what's an inquiry that's questions. OK and what's thorough complete is making sure that you ask a sufficient amount right let this inquiry be made not in a cold and distant way but kindly tenderly coining the new converts to the Lamb of God that taketh away this in the world what's kindly OK So so we just read thorough inquiry right now that feel to you a little cool little cool but then we read let it not be in a cold and distant way but kindly tenderly what tender me gentle So if you're generally with someone and we're talking about spiritual matters and we're talking about conversation we're not home at touching right what are we talking about what is that mean your voice of. Not interrogate not an interrogation OK that's good what is it what do you mean what's an interrogation what does someone feel when they're being interrogated. They're intimidated OK they can feel guilty but. They're being accused OK What is the purpose of an interrogation. Yes there's is as is the idea of an interrogation that if it works out they get a big bowl of ice cream or something that it like if you answer right is given no it's that if you answer wrong. So what is then the purpose or intent of an interrogation it seems to be more to find out if there could be something negative that you're going to dish out to this person. So the idea of kindly and tenderly in my mind is number one you want them to get the right answer. You want to help them get where they need to go you're not there to tag them out you're there to help them along so kindly tenderly also means that you're dealing with things that are very sensitive and by the way so that you know there's a reason why when you give Bible studies to people there's a reason why like the apostle Paul refers to it as you know I'm your spiritual father it's because there's something about it you know you can have conversations with people and bond with people in all manner of things you know your golf game or your whatever but when you have the privilege of talking to somebody about scriptural things and about their decisions for Christ your time out something that is more intimate than anything else you can think of you're talking about something that makes a person X. fittingly vulnerable and you're in a position of their I say power or authority. Not that you are. Taking the stance of being authoritative but in the sense that you are in a position of teaching or leading or guiding and because of that Hender Lee mains you're dealing with pride you're dealing with habits and addictions you're doing all kinds of things that man there they are sensitive and so tenderly manes you're just going to be really careful to make sure that person knows that you are there to help them that's why you're there you're there because you care about them you're there because you want to see them get to know Jesus in the same way you got to know Jesus when he came to you've just as you are all filthy and everything else and showered with mercy on you and helped you to at least get to the point you are today which it may not be where you're going to be but it's not where you were and you're happy about it you want them to experience the same thing it's a positive experience I just can't overemphasize that the idea of preparation for baptism is actually to help your brother or sister along it's it's it's a help that you're trying to do when you find out that somebody has got an addiction or something what is the what is the stance that you take the stance is to help them right that's the entire purpose and I would say this for many people they are not prepared for baptism when you start the process of studying for baptism and it's actually through your time with them preparing them for baptism that they make those final decisions to be connected to Christ and or surrendered in some area of their life or what have you you call it to say it so you're actually helping them to experience a fuller experience and conversion to the truth which is a precious precious thing the kindly tenderly. But notices Lassen arraying the requirements of the Gospel looks I. Point to new converts by the way shouldn't give it to land got so in baptismal preparation your whole point is to connect them to Christ OK if your whole point is to help them see there's somebody who can help them with any challenges they have so that's that's the point of any Bible study but especially when you're bringing them to these final decisions for baptism Now bring the requirements of the gospel to bear upon the candidates for baptism OK 1st part bring the requirements what does that mean that there are some requirements gordie inspiration there are some requirements and year to bring them through up to bear upon that's not language if you use a lot today what does that mean you're bringing the requirements to bear that against you apply them. You can feel the way. You are basically saying. You're not going to just mention the requirement you're assessing you're going to keep working with them to help them come into harmony with the requirement you're saying the difference because I've done that early on in my experience when I would study with people and I would go through a little baptismal preparation process and it would be about making sure they know things right so we would study the topic of tithes for instance and I would say so you know we go through and say So do you understand that and they be like yeah OK And then we move on to the next thing. But I learned. From looking at drudgery records and such that that didn't always pan out so now I recognize the value and the importance of when I'm studying with them then I'll say something like. Is that something that you've been able to start experiencing and then they have to kind of you know that's why the whole tenderly comes in because you actually are wanting to bring to bear the things that you're wanting them to have make a commitment about and so when you're saying it you want to make sure that you're helping to find out where they are in the actual applying of the things that you that you've now taught them that they know because a lot of people will say that they know it and they're not practicing it and that's not what you mean by know it is in now it's not uncommon for people to make a decision while they're being prepared for baptism right there in your presence and then not do it you understand it but you are not the F.B.I.. OK so I'm not telling you you know that you have to go scour and you know whatever now personally as a pastor I may check things and see because it's a lot of these things we don't think about this way but they're spiritual issues and they have to do with the health of a person's spiritual condition but there is a sense in which you need to leave some body you know if they are professing that they are practicing something then you need to leave it with their conscience you know unless you stumble upon the reality that that's not happening but in essence what I'm saying is you you know that may happen sometimes but you are just bringing them face to face with the Lord and helping them to make that commitment OK So this is a really important quote had a lot of good stuff in it and just in that one quote We're just get started pastoral ministry page $164.00 the test of discipleship is not brought to bear as closely as it should be upon those who present themselves or baptism it should be understood whether those who profess to be converted are taking the name of 7th Day Adventist or whether they are taking their stand on the Lord's side to come out of the world and be separate and touch not the unclean thing when they give evidence that they fully understand their position they are to be accepted now let's pause for a 2nd what is this me what's evidence me something you can see right or there has to be some thing that some evidence is proof that something you see so even though in the very clear at something when you're preparing for someone or baptism there's 3 areas that you are concerned with one is the condition of their heart. This is paramount because if the condition of the heart is right everything else will be right. So the condition of the heart is right now what do we mean how do you understand the condition of the heart well you can't read the hard right you can see the fruit of it and one of the things you can see about the heart is are they like interested in spiritual matters do they are they enjoying reading the Bible you know I mean are they coming to the meetings are they yours and I'm saying that's our issues there are people who sometimes will present themselves to be baptized because they heard from so is own so and so that they should be baptized in order to make sure they're in heaven and they're not come in anything you know they're not actually like studying and interested and and that's where you need to probe a little bit more and make sure they understand the nature of the commitment that they're making that it's a reflection a symbol of being baptized of the Holy Spirit and having a new love for spiritual things and so you know you're kind of watching the heart you want them to love God to have a growing love for God and His Word the 2nd thing that you care about is their minds you want them to believe in harmony with what the Bible teaches So all those doctrinal fundamental doctrinal teaching that run the risk of causing great harm if you believe erroneous Lee You want to make sure they believe in harmony with that right what happens when you die things that have a picture painted picture of God that would be unfair like the understanding of hellfire or salvation being something where you have to go to a person before you go to God or whatever all those little understanding is of doctrine you want their mind to be clear on the fundamental teachings of the Bible the 3rd thing is the life because alternately the life is where you discover the condition of the heart. And this is something that people really get confused about pause and tell you what I mean what happens when you don't address the life the habits of the life people say hey why are you doing that why you make a big deal about that that's an xterm will matter well do you know that the best way to the heart is to deal with the xterm will then in other words some people never get to the heart they just assume oh this person passionately loves God even though they're doing this and this and this you can just see the love being a see how you know they talk about Jesus and I've had many people who have said that you know if they're doing this and this and this also baptize them as long as they are passionate about Jesus Well how are you determining that they're passionate about Jesus is passion by expression is passion by your or your tone of voice is passion by excitement what is passion what is commitment what is fate it is not characterized by those things because people have different personalities people have different reactions and we simply cannot tell someone they are fully committed to God passionate about God just by what they say that's why we have these areas of expression of obedience to the expressed will of God that we teach about and then encourage people to make decisions about because if they're not willing to yield in the practical areas of their life then it says something not necessarily about their life but about guess what their heart. And some people have never come face to face with Jesus in allow him deep into their heart because no one has ever challenged them on the areas of their life you follow you know you all know this about evangelists a campaign and everybody is there and they're praising Jesus and I can't believe this I ever preaching like this my whole life I never hear preaching like this in my church wow does incredible and then they come on the night of the Sabbath and that night when they shake your hand they look a little different look a little different and then you know maybe next night or whatever or they're not there and then you go and check it out and you know you know much or to I'm happy with my church you know and I go. What happened you spoke to the heart you understand the heart the avenue to the heart in the life and and until you have some level and yet it's a fine line but until you have a level of specificity to what you're talking about it's not generic once it touches the life somebody. Had there to wrestle with God The and that's where real surrender the instant happen in the life and that's what you want when you're bringing someone to a you know burial right baptism is burying the old and raising them to a new life you don't want to bury anyone alive so there's a need to be evidence we're talking about outward things yes but it's because we want them to give G.'s their heart now when they give evidence there to be accepted was the next word and it's an important one when they show that they're following the customs fashions sentiments of the world they're to be wusses. Basically dealt with. I don't know if I have any more in my slides and I can remember but but this phrase is one that Illinois uses for the regular which is talking about. Dealing with new people in preparation for baptism or membership or what have you just new converts she talked briefly about there to be faithfully dealt with what is the implication of faithfully you say faithfully dealt with what why why OK Is responsibilities involved. The idea being faithful or faithfully dealt with it implies that it's not always easy right that there's some there's some opposition is a challenge there and in order to do it it requires faithfulness right there's a there's a sense of you know moxie that you need to write a little bit of spine you need it got to be faithful that's the idea here faithfully dealt with you know this is one of the biggest challenges for the Christian soul winner is that you have to have spine and courage and at the same time you have to be tender and meek and so what happens with many is they get spine and they're rough because it's natural when you gather up and muster up the courage you know you can't do that you know you be all of a sudden become a little rough I like how I'm white says it about Jesus she says that. He never made the truth cruel. Credible statement you know you can actually make the truth cruel. So but it but it's the natural thing that happens when you when you when it's not in you to what to do it but you have to be faithful to do it you're mustering it all up he just naturally is sort of like the preaching problem if you talk to a young minister you'll find this is a very frequent problem that when they get excited and passionate they begin to look angry because there's a natural there's a close link that when you start to get passionate about something it starts coming across in a non you know gentle way it's normal you tried sometimes it naturally happen or have you ever had to do that like you're in a you're in a nominating committee or you're in a business meeting and there's some issue and you know you should take a stand you know you should speak to it in the nerves or just go on your stomach Israel you like I know I should do it but I don't want to do it in your face off under the bus and you're trying to figure out the strength to do it and you raise your hand he stand up and with quivering lips you know I don't you know it doesn't come out right right because a nurse tends to have that effect that it's just the struggle to keep your composure this is one of the biggest challenges with grand people baptism and working with soul in that you're dealing with something that requires great courage and moxie. But at the same time requires great sympathy and gentleness the always gotta keep that in the back your mind and if there's one thing you can do read read steps to Christ in. For instance the chapter God's love for man. The chapter trying to think of where it describes somebody could look it up for me how every soul is precious in his eyes and says that he always spoke the truth but there were but there's scathing are expanding rebukes but there are tears in his eyes when he gave them and that's what I read that passage and just kind of meditate on I mean it's pretty powerful. I remember early on in my spirits when I was feeling really you know emboldened you know to challenge some of the smooth liberal things that were happening in my local church and so we had I wrote this article or something in a newsletter and it was pretty direct I mean it was. And afterwards you know I thought I would feel that I did and I felt like. To go too far and I started you know really wrecked wrestling with it and then I started reading in the book in the book Top from the mount of blessing and it's also not a blessing it says that no one was ever turned from a wrong position by censure or reproach and listen to this but many have thus been driven from cry and I can't tell you the reckoning that I had to have in that moment that not only was I potentially not helping but I could very seriously have been driving people away from Christ. So you know it's a challenge it's human but we need to have the balance of justice and mercy and we need to learn it and we need to learn how to be faithful and not not in any way compromise what we know to be right while the same time doing our level best to the merciful the way that some people think that they smile time you ever watch markedly preach you know here we call down the fires of hell and he's you know. He's mild back my daughter Kayla when oldest daughter when she was little she always called him Mark friendly. She didn't mean it or anything like she didn't know over just but I thought how fitting for Mark really you know and my wife is now Mark Foley secretary just coincidentally Mark Friendly's secretary so faithfully dealt with yes we must be faithful but be careful because this and kind of your tone and in your spirit Now notice what it says if they feel no burden to do was change their so you're not just talking about belief here you understand you know when is talking about these things is talking about course of action if they don't feel burdened change they should not be accepted as members of the church the Lord wants those who compose the church to be true faithful stewards of the great crime that's pretty important we don't want to. If somebody is clearly not moving in the direction of the Word of God and they're just resisting it and saying you know in there it's not ready to make that decision then they're probably not ready to be members yet. Yes here's what happens when you when you baptized people and they're not quite ready they're members of the church you know and then when they you know hear about thing this are complaining why you know and they they've got their opinions and what have you they've not actually ever fully you know decided in favor of the 7th Day Adventist principles and practices so it makes it very muddy you know and that's and that's something I want to get to here in a moment but that's the real risk that we run not only is it not in the best interest of the individual you're working with but it's also not in the best interest of the church because there's very real risk to it Yes Well keep in mind what your purpose in the bass is a preparation process not necessarily just to get them in the water you're wanting to see them surrender to Christ right so this is a beautiful opportunity I mean let's look at it this way have they not said that their interest in being baptized you would not be in a position to be able to help them with their smoking habit so you know you you help them and you say OK we're going to do this and that they are always explain to people who are in the process. You know it's not. There's no special grace be stowed at the baptism I guess not meritorious it doesn't it's not like the baptism is what alternately is your ticket to heaven. Because that takes all the pressure off the idea is we're going through a process and you're right where the Lord wants you to be and we're going to go this process the only time that stops happening is this if through the process they end up giving up on the process and just you know letting it go but you know if God forbid they got hit by a car and we were right about 1000 because we were taking him through the process I believe that the Lord will take all of that into account and he knows exactly where on is so that So the idea is that we need to be going in the direction and being in harmony with the Lord's will for us at that time and for many people that's going through the process it's not the process is important other words the actual surrender is important the commitment is important it's not just the water that is important that's that's that's going to be the symbol of the rejoicing of what happened through the process you are saying God would be better pleased to have 6 truly what converted 6 truly converted to the truth and to have 60 make a nominal profession and yet not be fairly converted let's think about this statement for a moment got a better please have 6 truly converted it would be it would be easy for us to read it in that way and miss the fact that it says converted to the truth because yes they need to convert and that's that's you know absolutely case but as some of the advent of living at the end of time. The truth and conversion involves embracing that the Randalls message is it involves embracing the message that's preparing for the coming of Jesus so this is very important when it says here not be thoroughly converted is talking about not being thoroughly converted to the truth you understand and this means that there are many people perhaps that are partially converted to the truth you know and that's what we are many times hearing argument for well they already believe this in their coming on Sabbath they want to it's just these few things or what have you and that's the idea that she's getting I believe is that we need to there's nothing. Whenever we talk about issues in the life that are preventing baptism it's never that simple always something a little bit deeper than that and so we need to recognize that you know there's no reason to rush this thing we can take the time we need to make sure that they want to be 7th they had that the we want them to want to be some of them and notice that phrase. A nominal profession there are there is the ability to want to be 7th Day Adventist in name but not really except the pool nature of the truth now and show you something that is on a little bit of the flipside for a moment there is one thing that we have no right to do what is that that is to judge another man's heart or impugn his motives you know assume the worst about his motives but when a person presents himself as a candidate for church membership we are to examine the fruit of his life and leave the responsibility of his motive within self. Jessa that's kind of what we talked about earlier but great care should be exercised in accepting members of the church or Satan has his specious devices through which he purposed across false brethren into the church through whom he can work more successfully to weaken the god. Let's look at this again we can't impugn his motives what is intended by this in essence what it's saying is that we can. See the fruits but if the fruit is there but we still question whether or not it's genuine We don't really have a right to do that you know since this is why when some people talk about baptizing let's say there's a teenager in your church and they come through the you know the band of teenagers that want to do whatever and you're studying with them and they don't seem to you to have the hunger and interest that you could wish that they had but they say yes I believe this yes I believe yes the yes I believe this yes I'm ready to do this yes I'm ready to do this yes I'm ready do this I'm with you I agree with all these things and I'm ready to be baptized you can challenge him you can speak to the heart you can try to provoke a deeper love for Christ in it and what have you but if you still question whether or not there's sincerity there it doesn't matter you need to baptize them because you don't really know. You don't really have a right to do that that's why we have these you know practical areas that are you know commanded by God and if they're willing to do that it doesn't mean that they're all right but as far as our eyes know that's all we can do and leave the responsibility of their motives to themselves you understand that's what it's saying so we need to be careful not to try to guess what their motives are but we are to examine the fruit so it comes back to that the only thing we can really see is the fruit of the life and notice this part Satan is at work and he's trying to crowd false brother and into the church now if you think about it had say that means and obviously you've got to keep your thinking cap on here so you don't go crazy but that means that there are times where the devil wants you to baptize somebody and and we are brought to the point of having to evaluate if they're actually ready and these are people that the Lord Jesus loves so it's not anything like that and it could be that they will be ready for baptism at some point but at that point they're not and to baptize them would not be good for the church is just like when Jesus came to Peter and Peter's at all you know don't do this and he said Get thee behind me Satan I mean be able jarring to hear right he didn't realize that that was happening and I recently read about that it was beautiful to hear how Ellen White described it Notice that Jesus did not address Peter you notice that you dressed the devil like he had sympathy for Peter because he knew he knows the weakness of humanity these telnet devil get behind me I know what you're trying to do right and get away from my server. You know it's an I mean there is a clear sense and with which the Lord knew that he did not wrestle with flesh and blood he knew what he was dealing with there. And we need to recognize that just because someone is not ready or whatever that doesn't make them a you know instrument of the devil or whatever but it is also true that the devil unwittingly works through people who unwittingly are not prepared and think they are and who if they were baptized in the church could cause great harm and how many times have we actually seen it many of the problems that occur in the church just may have been prevented if somebody had proper attention given to them in baptismal preparation and discipleship after baptism in fact we talked often about the process after baptism you know and refer to that discipleship training process as what we need to do in order to you know prevent people from leaving the church but I am of the mindset that it's not just what we're not doing after baptism but it's also what we're not doing before baptism that is causing people to leave the church we can't expect someone to stay in a church that they were never committed to in the 1st place and once they get in there and once they you know and that's part of the deal we need to recognize that they're it's it's an honesty for them issue to we want to make sure they feel comfortable with the church that they're joining in you know if they're not ready to say. You know that's where I'm at then we need to give them more time. The principles of the Christian life should be made plain to those of newly come to the truth faithful Christian men and women should have an intense interest to bring the convicted soul to a correct knowledge of righteousness in Christ Jesus if any have allowed the desire for pleasure or the love of dress to become supreme so that any portion of their months old and strength is devoted to selfish indulgences the faithful believers should watch for the souls as they that must give an account they must not neglect the faithful tender loving instruction so essential to the young converts that there may be no half hearted work so no half hearted work but faithful tender loving instruction and I believe that we have as our example Jesus in the Bible says we have such a high priest who was it may remember he was tempted as we are and. Right he knows how to sympathize with our weaknesses. We have a high priest whose perfect and yet he knows how to sympathize with our weaknesses. We have a high priest as an example for baptism preparation we need to know how to sympathize with people's weaknesses and recognize you know just like God does that this is a process and we have their best interest in mind when they're not ready don't say no I want you to understand something I never have told someone who I was not going to baptize know but I will tell them not yet in other words you're not this is no cut off. It's a you know what let's just take some more time sometimes you know I know for me absorbing all this is difficult and sometimes we just need time to wrestle through and you may not agree on a couple these points right now let's askin to see what happened and also some times tell him Look we often have people who come to our church who maybe don't embrace everything that we believe the 7th Avenue S. but we're still welcome in our fellowship and they join us as part of the family they not may not be official members yet but we accept and welcome everyone and we would hope that you would feel just as welcome and that you would continue come and that we would check back in just a little bit and see where you're at and we can have the option to continue studying I always leave a wide open door and an open invitation to continue to process I never just tell them No And remember this readiness for baptism is not your choice per se because this is what they'll sometimes try to do the. Pastor wouldn't baptize that pastor wouldn't baptize me look I'm dying to baptize you I'm jumping out of my skin to baptize you but I'm not going to baptize you until you are comfortable with the 7th Avenue Church beliefs and practices so whenever you are ready to agree to the beliefs and practices of that a church I will be ready to baptize you though it's your choice I mean this is what some of that is believe in practice Now here's the problem the run into somebody says well so and so in the church their member and I see them doing that. Guess what you're never going to get rid of that So what are you going to do just not not any longer bring the requirement of the gospel to bear upon somebody because of who are you going to kick and kick the other ones out. So I personally I think that we're doing you know the right thing not entirely but what I explain to people who I'm working with look you're going to experience that you're going to see that I understand it but here's what happens when people make a decision to be baptized we want to make sure that they have when they're making the decision that we would make sure they fully agree with the decision now if after time through temptation through a change of heart through whatever they start taking on certain practices we don't kick them out I mean we continue to educate if they're doing certain things they might not be in church leadership but ultimately we want to keep working with them and laboring with them but just because someone else has begun to get confused on what the Bible teaches or are struggling perhaps Perin of their personal life in some way is no reason for us to not make a whole hearted surrender to Christ and to do and to make sure we're doing that on the time that we're actually being baptized and that's always going to be the case that there will be people who are in the church who are doing things that you're wanting them to make decisions on and it's part of life they're going to recognize it you know it's part of life but you need to make sure that you're not just ignoring with appen in the church pastors should be educating on those things continue to labor with people in the church are wrestling and struggling with things but ultimately we generally don't kick them out unless it's a grievous sin such as. You know unrepentant adultery or that sort of you know I had one. Lady who was. Wrestling and she started pointing to some members. And I said you know I mean. One of the things I know about you and your husband setting the book is that you are. You love the Lord and you are leader material like you you have that type of courage you have that type of mindset the Lord not calling on you to be the lowest common denominator I can tell that's not what you want to be you want to be all in for God You want to be fully surrendered to God You're always going to find people to bring you down don't do that you're just not the kind of person you are and you know challenge them to realize that they don't have to like you know Ellen White talks about how we should not see how far we can digress and yet be safe our transgressor or whatever it was but the idea is you know we're not trying to just slide in just under the wire and if we encourage people to to be all that God has called them to be they're much more responsive to that and believe in people believe in people that they're that kind of person to death the kind of person they want to be and they will often respond well and. Deeper will sometimes get a conviction for baptism without a full conviction of the truth I had one lady who saw a series of meetings but she you know zeroed in on the baptism one like I need to be baptized she came to church that I need a bath I said OK let's study something is I think every time I came to something like you know whether the Sabbath or tithe or whatever she. May you know I mean do you. She was. Not desirous of the commitments involved but I'll tell you what we were patient with her we walked through it she still matured. You know I mean you got to go through the process and sometimes people start in the right place in their earlier in the right attitude but if you're face going page in. This media was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermons Please Visit W W W audio verse or.


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