Summary: Discusses the importance of baptism in conversion by comparing three conversion stories from Acts.
A Destroyer, A Doubter, and a Few Disciples
Acts 8, 9, 16, 19, 22
ILL> The Obit
Brad and Mike were two old retired widowers who lived close to each other and would constantly check on the other. Their friendship was more practical rather than a real friendship and would remind you of the two guys in the movie Grumpy Old Men.
One day, as Mike is drinking his morning coffee, opens the newspaper and turns to the obituaries page.
He gets the shock of his life when he sees his own obituary in the column. He realizes that the query for info on him by the local newspaper several months earlier, was in preparation for this event. He correctly surmises that it is a mistaken entry from their database.
It still excites and rankles him, so he calls Brad up.
"Brad, are you up yet?" asks Mike.
Brad sleepily answers, "Yeah, but I’m only now starting my coffee."
"Brad. open the newspaper to page 31."
"Why, what’s in the paper?"
"Brad, get the paper and open it to page 31 NOW!"
"Ok, Ok, I’ve got the paper here, so what’s in page 31?"
"Brad, open the paper to page 31 already!"
"All right, don’t be such a pain so early in the morning already. So,
what’s on page 31 that’s so important?"
"Brad, look at the bottom of column 4."
"Why? What’s that story on?"
"Brad, read the story on the bottom of the column already!"
"OK, OK, I’ll start reading the column if you stop yelling in my ear!"
The paper rustles for a few seconds, then a long silent pause ensues. Finally, Brad comes on the line quietly and fearfully asks, "So Mike, where are you calling me from right now?"
A. Let me ask you─if something tragic happened and you passed away and were able to make one phone call to a loved one, where would you be calling from?
1. Today is Decision Day. Even though we try to encourage people every day to make decisions for Christ, we have set aside today to give the importance of making a decision even greater emphasis.
2. The Bible teaches that in order to become a Christian that a person needs to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ
a. Faith is also required
b. Repentance must be sought
c. On these most churches would not disagree
3. However, the Bible also teaches that a person committing his life to Jesus Christ must also be baptized so that his sins will be washed away
a. This is where there is a lot of controversy
QUOTE> Baptism (Christian Theology in Plain Language, p. 158)
“Over the centuries Christians have debated what baptism accomplishes, to whom it should be administered, and how much water should be used.”
b. We could debate that this morning, but it doesn’t make any difference what this church believes or teaches
c. The only thing that really matters is what does God say in His Holy Word?
d. As we examine that question this morning we want to take a look at three different events where people committed their life to Christ as recorded in the Bible
e. We are going to take a look at a Destroyer, a Doubter, and a few Disciples
I> A DESTROYER
A. The first person that we want to take a look at this morning is a man by the name of Saul who later changed his name to Paul