I must admit that I have mistakenly taken it upon myself in times past to decide when I think people are ready for the truth. I feel as if I might ruin any chance of them accepting the truth if I just come out and say it. I don’t want to blindside anyone. I do my best to slowly, meticulously, lead people to the truth. I do this walking on eggshells because I realize that most people believe they already know the truth. This is a process that takes a lot of time, but one I subconsciously felt was necessary.
In light of recent events, I’ve realized once again that we do not have unlimited amounts of time. I’m 32 years old, so I’m certain I’ve learned that lesson a few times in life. However, it continues to catch me off guard over and over again. I’ve suddenly also realized that I don’t have any idea what people are or are not ready for. I also don’t have unlimited time to wait until I think they are ready. What if I never see them again? What if they are ready? Who am I to make that call?
With that being said. Here is the truth.
I’m not talking about one version of it. I’m talking about THE truth. It came straight from the Bible. There are many people that take their beliefs from the Bible and mix it with tradition, nonbiblical creeds, and incorrect interpretations of truth (I’m looking at you commentaries). I promise not to do that.
As I’ve mentioned before in my blog, I did not discover this truth because someone taught it to me. I found it by digging it out myself, and by actually trying to prove it wrong. Have you ever tried to prove something wrong that you have always believed to be true? You might be surprised what happens when you do that without holding back. It is a scary thought that what you’ve based your whole life on could be wrong. Most people will not dare to venture down that path. However, if you do, you will never be more confident that you have the truth.
I want truth more than I want to be comfortable. What if Martin Luther hadn’t nailed those 95 theses to the door of the church? What if he thought we were not ready for it? What if he waited? What if he died waiting? Would we all still be paying money to save our loved ones from purgatory just because we could not read the Bible in Latin?
Let TRUTH trump tradition at any cost.
Jesus said that if you want to go to Heaven, you must be born of the water and the Spirit (John 3:5). This is not something that is up for debate. It came straight from the mouth of God manifested in flesh (1 Tim 3:16). He told his disciples before He left this world in a bodily form that he would come back in Spirit form to be their comforter (John 14). He also told them that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit in just a few days after he left (Acts 1:5) and that they should tell every nation to baptize people in His name (Matt 28:19, Luke 24:47). Yes, His name. The name of Jesus (Acts 4:12). Not His titles (More on this subject).
About 7-10 days later, there were 120 people including the 11 disciples, the newly appointed replacement for Judas, and Mary the mother of Jesus waiting in an upper room for the gift of the Holy Spirit in the city of Jerusalem just like Jesus had told them to do (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:5-8). When all of a sudden the Holy Spirit fell down on them (Acts 2:1-4).
When God’s Spirit fell down on those 120 people they all spoke in many different languages that they could not have possibly learned due to their socioeconomic status (Acts 2:4-13). The Jews from around the Globe were asking what was going on, and then Peter told them that what they were seeing was a fulfillment of Joel’s prophesy in Joel 2:28 (Act 2:16-17).
The important thing to note here is the words “this” and “that” in Acts 2:16. When you study the context carefully, you will find that “this” was referring to all the Galilaeans speaking in languages they couldn’t have learned (Acts 2:6-8). Likewise, the word “that” in verse 16 is obviously referring to the prophecy of Joel about God pouring out His Spirit. Therefore, the gift of the Holy Spirit was evidenced by people miraculously speaking in languages they could not have learned (More on this subject).
Water Baptism in Jesus’ Name and Spirit Baptism accompanied by speaking in an unknown language was not just a one-time event. It happened again to 3000 people that same day (Acts 2:41). It then happened again in Samaria (Acts 8), to the Gentiles (Acts 10), and then to John the Baptist’s disciples (Acts 19). These events took place over many years. God continued to pour out His Spirit among all nations beginning at Jerusalem just like He said that He would.
All of this can be easily summed up in one verse by the anointed preacher, Peter, in Acts chapter two:
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
So, why have people told you that you don’t need to be baptized in water and Spirit? Maybe they thought you weren’t ready for the truth. Maybe they let tradition trump truth. I don’t know. However, I believe you should work out your own salvation (Philippians 2:12), and leave tradition to someone else.
For Further Reading: