Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. ”And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; ... “Some fell on stony places, ... “And some fell among thorns ... ”But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop... “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Mat 13:3-9)
From time to time someone will say, “I just don’t see why they haven’t been baptized!” Often they are referring to individuals who attend services for years and yet never choose to obey the gospel.
I am thankful that many people who are not immediately receptive to the gospel are willing to continue to come to worship and Bible Study, even if their only motivation is to please a family member. And while there may be some attendees who will never have interest in the Lord, my hope is that they have just not put it all together yet. Sometimes we can have something right in front of us and never really see it.
Years ago, one of our “newer” members and I were talking. Our baptistery has a hot water heater connected to it. A thermostat maintains a warm temperature and when required activates a pump to bring in hot water. But there is an interesting side effect to this water system. When the pump is off, every so often a bubble of air or hot water is released through the pipe. It rises to the surface of the water and ripples the surface. Because of how the overhead lights shined on the water, every time this happened, ripples of water reflected on the wall above the baptistery. He remarked, “I don’t know if that was designed or just an accident, but it’s great! It’s a constant reminder that there is water here and available now!”
Sadly, because of the new overhead screens that phenomenon is no longer visible. I used to find myself in the old days watching those ripples of light and thinking about the scripture of a man from Ethiopia who asked, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36). I remember the amazement of Paul toward some Christians, “How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” (Rom. 6:2-3).
I keep hoping that even those who have been sitting and listening for years will someday hear something that will open their eyes and cause them to change their lives. I hope that stony hearts may someday find more soil and stay alive. I hope weed choked hearts will someday pull the world out of their lives. Someday!
- Tim Orbison