Was my baptism too soon?
One of the things I kept asking myself after attending the World Mission Society Church of God, was if I was baptized too soon. I know baptism is important, and there are differences of doctrine about this topic from Church to Church. However most of my life I thought that to be baptized I had to study for 6 months to a 1 year, and then have this big party celebrating my new milestone. In the WMSCOG I was offered Baptism immediately after my first study, contrary to popular belief I found that the practice of immediate baptism is the correct biblical practice.
Baptism is the cure to a terminal illness.
In order to understand the importance of baptism, we need to see it for what it is, the cure to a terminal illness. Let me explain, according to the Bible the reason why we all have to die is because of sin (Romans 6:23), this means that Sin is like a terminal illness. To cure this illness God has provided a way for us, which is through the ceremony of baptism. Baptism has the promise of the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38), therefore providing a cure to the illness which is sin. When we receive baptism we will be cleansed from all our sins.
When is the best time to get baptized?
NOW!!!! Yes that’s right, the best time to get baptized is ASAP. The reason for this is, because we have no idea what is going to happen in the next 5 minutes.
Proverbs 27:1 – Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.
Then why does the Bible teach that we should not boast about tomorrow? Well, Jesus Christ explained it through a parable.
Luke 12:16-20 – And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘ This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
Just like the man in the story, we make plans for our future, however, we do not know if this will ever come. It’s a sad reality, but it is something we have to face. That is the reason baptism should not be delayed, but it should be performed as soon as possible. Baptism grants us the forgiveness of sins, which at the ends gives us a chance to enter the kingdom of heaven.
It is wrong to teach that baptism should be performed after 6 months to 1 year of studying the Bible, it would be similar to seeing someone drowning, but instead of helping the person drowning we start to give them a course on how to properly save someone who is drowning. Obviously that does not make sense, we need to save the person first and then they can learn whatever it is that they need to learn. In the same way, Christ taught us the example of saving people through baptism first, and then they can learn all the things contained in the gospel.
Immediate baptism is a teaching of Christ.
2,000 years ago Jesus came into this world and He became the foundation of what we call “Christianity” today. All the things that Jesus taught and practiced were carried on by His disciples. Among the many things that Christ taught, Jesus taught that baptism is essential for salvation
Mark 16:15 – He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned…”
Following the teachings of Christ, His disciples carried on His will by going into the world preaching the good news and baptizing those who believed the message. There are several examples in the Bible of how the disciples did not delay to baptize anyone:
- A Treasurer of Ethiopia met Apostle Philip and, after hearing the Good News, asked Philip to baptize him on the side of the road – he didn’t even ask about going to a Church! (Acts 8:26-38)
- Cornelius welcomed Apostle Peter to his home – Where Peter baptized him, his family and his friends that same day. (Acts 10:24-48)
- Apostle Paul baptized an entire family because they wanted to be saved. This took place at midnight, after an earthquake! (Acts 16:25-34)
- On a Sabbath Day, Lydia listened to Apostle Paul’s preaching and decided to get baptized on the spot. And it was their first time meeting! (Acts 16:13-15)
Regardless of time and place, these people got baptized right away because they realized that tomorrow is never guaranteed. The Apostles never refused nor postponed a request to baptize people, they never said: “Cornelius you cannot be baptized now, you have to study 6 months to 1 year, then you can get baptized” The Apostles understood the importance of baptism, and they performed it immediately in accordance with the teaching of Christ.
Baptism in the name of Christ Ahnsahnghong
One more thing that is essential for baptism in this day and age, it is to know the name of the Holy Spirit. According to the commandment of Jesus Christ, we must baptize people in the NAME of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 28:18-19 – Then Jesus came to them and said, “All Authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
As we can see through the words of Jesus Christ, baptism should be performed in the Name of the Father, which is Jehovah. In the Name of the Son, which is Jesus. And also in the NAME of the Holy Spirit. Yes I know, you have never heard that the Holy Spirit has a name, or you might have been taught that the name of the Holy Spirit is (drum roll)…… Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost. But that would not make any sense, otherwise the Fathers name would have to be Father, and the Sons name would have to be Son. However, we can clearly see that just as the Father has a name, and the Son has a name, then the Holy Spirit must also have a name.
In the World Mission Society Church of God, we believe that the name of the Holy Spirit is Christ Ahnsahnghong, this means that to be correctly baptized in this day and age, we must be Baptized in the name of the Father, Jehovah; in the name of the Son, Jesus; and in the name of the Holy Spirit, Christ Ahnsahnghong.
Now why is the name of the Holy Spirit Christ Ahnsahnghong?
Well that’s for you to find out and for us to tell you, please visit your nearest World Mission Society Church of God for a Bible study, and you can find out why Christ Ahnsahnghong is the name of the Holy Spirit.