Anniversaries are nice, but they can be expensive. I’ve passed through silver, coral and ruby wedding anniversaries, and the next big one is gold. Each of them has cost me money, but money well spent on a wonderful wife. Birthdays, of course, are also anniversaries. You only have one birth day, each subsequent year is an anniversary of the day. We also create our own anniversaries, like how many years we’ve been working in the same place, how many years since we lost someone, etc.
I’ve had two anniversaries this past week. On Saturday we celebrated the first anniversary of having our dog with us, complete with a new toy and bone, for him, not me. Sunday was the 47th anniversary of a very special event in my life, my baptism. At the age of 18 I travelled to a church in Liverpool, where I was baptised by complete immersion. It wasn’t dripping water on my head at a font; I was in an indoor baptismal pool into which I was lowered until I was completely under water. I was then raised back up, which explains why I’m able to write today and no one is in prison!
Prior to that day I had very little involvement with church. I’d been sent as a child to a Methodist Sunday School but that’s all. Church wasn’t part of my family life and I’d grown up with no real interest. That changed when I heard a school teacher, now a friend, talk about the Bible which I found fascinating. Going home from school I picked up a Bible and started reading, until I came to faith in Jesus. I have no idea what the date was, it was more gradual than that, but a definite change had taken place and I knew I wanted to serve God, somehow. I just didn’t know how, but I kept reading and praying.
Unknown to me God had been working in my sister’s life too. She had become a Christian and had invited me to her baptism. I agreed and discovered that the driver of the car picking us up was my teacher from school. On the night she was baptised I found my new home in the churches of God. At the end of the evening when I got out of the car, I still remember saying to myself, “Well that’s it! You now have a new life.” I was baptised shortly after.
Baptism is an important part of the Christian life. In the Bible, whenever someone came to faith in Christ they were baptised. It was a way of expressing their faith publicly, and demonstrating that they were going to spend their lives in the service of Jesus. Of course, if you don’t have a faith in Jesus baptism is irrelevant.
It’s also true that if you don’t have a faith in Jesus, you don’t have eternal security, and that is very serious. No one should end this life not knowing where they are going afterwards, and don’t be fooled by those who say this is all there is. You know deep in your heart that’s not true, as do we all. Why else would we invest trillions trying to prolong our lives, if we weren’t concerned about what comes after? I’ve quoted a verse once before which says that God, “has also set eternity in the human heart.” (1) God has made sure that we understand there is more to life than this.
Faith in Jesus brings eternal life. It also brings freedom from sin and everlasting peace. This is possible because Jesus once died for us, taking the punishment for our sins and offering us his salvation from sin. He asks in return, simply that we express our faith in him, and commit to following him. It’s not difficult and the consequences of not doing so are horrendous. Give your life to Jesus today.
- Ecclesiastes 3:11