Monday, 22 January 2018
Must Former Jesus Only Adherents be Rebaptized?
To answer this question, I need to explain that baptism was a public acknowledgement of one's commitment to follow Christ. The first-century Christians risked their lives doing this because they were willing to follow the Lord no matter what it cost. Even today, being baptized is a death sentence for Christ's followers in most lands.
When we are baptized, we don't risk our lives here in North America. Even so, the "Jesus Only" folks believe you're not saved fully if you're baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Is this really true? And must people "manifest" the Spirit through speaking in tongues as well?
There's only one time in the Bible where people were rebaptized. In The Acts of The Apostles, Paul encountered some folks who knew only about the Baptism which John did. Acts 19:4 (BBE) says, "And Paul said, 'John gave a baptism which goes with a change of heart, saying to the people that they were to have faith in him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.'"
But this doesn't prove that we must be baptized only in Christ's name as these Pentecostal offshoots claim. Jesus himself said in Matthew 28:19 (KJV) to, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" That alone should make "Jesus Only" adherents pause and think.
So, should people joining a new church be rebaptized? I believe it's a matter of conscience. If the person meant their decision to follow the Master, they don't need to be rebaptized. But if they were christened or baptized without desiring to surrender their wills to the Lord, they should submit to believer's baptism.
Though I was baptized at a cultic house church on December 6th, 1971, I meant it. I also made my commitment to follow Christ a few years previously. And though I didn't "manifest" tongues, I feel I made my public statement in being lowered beneath the water's surface and rising out of it.
This, and other spiritual matters, will be explained in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Too many people falsely assume they're going there. They need to know the peril they face by not entering through the door of Christ's atonement on the cross.