One of the strange paradoxes in the church is that the world is full of baptized non-Christians, millions of them all over the planet, baptized non-Christians. While at the same time, the church is full of non-baptized Christians, like some of you. What a strange paradox that is. And it raises the issue of baptism and what it is and why people are so confused about it. We here at Grace Community Church understand baptism biblically. We understand its method, we understand its meaning. We have even through the years put baptisms on the radio, which no other ministry that I know of has ever done. We have, through the years, in the early days of our Shepherds Conference has taken one of the nights of Shepherds Conference to do baptisms. We had a baptism last week at the conclusion of the Truth Matters Conference. And essentially, just about every single Sunday night through the year right here we have testimonies of people being baptized. We understand what believer's baptism is from Scripture.
But there's a world of people who don't get it, who don't understand it. And there are people who don't know that it is important and who don't think the methodology is important, or even the time when a person is baptized. There are folks who are just plain confused about baptism, what is its method, and what is its meaning, and in particular, what about the baptizing of infants, which is how you get a world full of non-Christians who have been baptized as infants.
The church in recent years has become kind of media oriented. Many people come to Christ by listening to Christian radio, Christian television, going to some kind of big event, some kind of meeting, some kind of what is called a crusade or something like that. In situations like that they would hear nothing about nor have any opportunity for baptism, true believer's baptism. These people typically float around and maybe go a little bit here and a little there from church to church and baptism never becomes an issue for them. Many churches are so designed to be pragmatic and baptism isn't really a very pragmatic thing to introduce into people's lives. And so it just gets left behind. Pragmatism has been the death of the sacraments, we might say. But what concerns me is that we need to understand baptism because it is in Scripture a command...a command. The Great Commission is very clear at the end of the gospel of Matthew in chapter 28, you know these words. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." All nations need to hear the gospel and those that believe need to be baptized....