I said to him, “Let’s do it right now.” He thought about it for all of a second and said, “Let’s do it. I want to be baptized.”
I met Joe a few months before. I was going door to door in our little town inviting people to an upcoming revival. Joe’s a few years older than me, from Iowa, he was divorced and had custody of his step-son who was a high maintenance ADHD kid.
Joe’s life was filled with difficulty. He was arrested and given probation for marijuana. He used it medically. He had trouble sleeping and it was the only thing he found that would help him sleep. Unfortunately, for Joe, marijuana is illegal in Missouri. Joe had rejected the church in reaction to a brother-in-law. Joe’s brother-in-law was a pastor in Iowa who was a harsh and judgmental man. At family get-togethers Joe’s brother-in-law would preach at him. Like most of us, that turns us off to Christ and the church even if the message is 100% accurate.
Joe and I became friends and he evanstarted coming to church. For three or four months, Joe sat through several of my sermons. I hope they helped him move in faith toward Christ.
We talked about his relationship with Jesus, how it would affect his step-son, what it all meant. Especially that Jesus wanted to save his life from his sin and where that would lead in eternity.
One sunny Tuesday, Joe came by the church office and we were talking about that relationship and I said to him, “Let’s do it right now” and he made his decision to give his life to Christ and submit to baptism to be saved.
We called a few folks in the church to witness and share in Joe’s special moment. Three or four women watched as Joe and I went down into the water. Joe confessed his belief in Jesus, that he wanted God to forgive and wash away his sins, and then I was privileged to dip him in that cool, cool water.
Now here is the cool part. When Joe came up out of the water, he looked straight into heaven, raised his hands toward God praising Him and thanking Him for his newly acquired salvation.
Don’t miss this. If I hadn’t asked Joe if he would like to be baptized, well, who knows.