My New Brothers in Christ

12 08 2014

For about a month now, my youngest son, Joshua, age 5, has been telling me he wanted to be baptized. This has led to many conversations. What is baptism all about? Why do you want to be baptized? Why do you need to follow Jesus? What is repentance? What is sin? What is the result of sin? Having been raised in a Christian home and church environment, the boy knew a lot of the answers. I humbly submit that he can explain the gospel better than most adults. But I needed to know that he wasn’t just regurgitating what he’d learned in Sunday School and AWANA. There have been conversations in the past in which he blended stories from the Bible with stories about super-hero vegetables.

Sometime last week, he and I had a lengthy conversation (10 minutes or so) about, again, baptism. And again, he knew a lot of the “right things” to say, however he tripped up on one issue. He admitted that he had sinned, but he had not sinned bad enough to “go to hell.” I explained how any sin condemned people to hell. He was dumbfounded. I told him we’d talk about it some more.

In the days to follow, I took the opportunity to talk with my oldest son, Micah, age 7, about some of the same things Joshua and I had discussed. Again, the boy knew all the answers. He’s got it. He can explain the gospel and occasionally throw in scripture to back it up. He’s known the gospel for a couple of years now. That brings me to last night.

I asked Micah to leave the room for just a minute. (He needed to brush his teeth anyway.) Joshua and I talked. He told me he was ready to be baptized; that he was ready to repent from the path of satan and follow the way of Jesus. Honestly, I don’t know that it gets any simpler and truthful than that. We talked a bit more and then I asked him to tell God all that he’d told me. What followed was that simplest, sincerest prayer I’ve heard in a long, long time.

Next, I asked Joshua to leave the room and had Micah come back in. Micah and I talked again about baptism and following Jesus. He said, “I know all of that, I’m just not ready.” As he hung his head and doodled on the carpet, I asked him what he was waiting for. “When do you think you’ll be ready?” He told me that it just wasn’t the right time. I said, “There will never be a better time than right now.” He looked up at me with an unusual glow in his eyes and a coltish grin, shrugged his shoulders, and said, “Ok.” He then prayed to God and told Him he was sorry for his sins and that he wanted to follow Jesus.

After that, Joshua and Lindsey joined us in the bedroom. She shared with both boys from the front pages of her Bible what she had written shortly after they were each born; that her biggest dream for them was to know Jesus. That dream was fulfilled last night. The Bible says that when one sinner repents there’s a party in heaven. (Luke 15:1-10, oh go ahead, read the whole chapter!) I can’t help but think of all the saints before me who were celebrating last night. My grandparents, Marshall Coile, and countless others were partying with the apostles and angels.




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