“I don’t get why I have to get baptised”, said Jonathan
As you already know, every day I answer many emails received from Christian families and teachers looking for advice on Christian parenting and teaching. Every week, I choose one of my answers to send to all my friends and supporters. And it’s difficult to choose just one!
Chris G. is a mother dealing with her kids who don’t want to go to church. If you, like Chris or myself, have to convince your kids every Sunday to go to church, this message is for you.
When Chris wrote to me, I proposed her to let Jonathan, her 12 year old son, ask me his questions personally. Jonathan did it, and I discovered a very spiritual guy; judge yourself through the 3 questions he sent:
1. I don’t get why you have to get baptized?
2. What’s the Holy Ghost?
3. What’s the gift of the Holy Ghost?
Difficult questions to answer, aren’t they? I’d tried to do my best; here you have my answers:
Such good questions!
As I see you are a very mature young man, so I will answer you as I’d answer to an adult. If there is something I’m not able to explain clearly, please ask me to clarify.
Let me change the order of your questions. I begin with:
What’s the Holy Ghost?
The Holy Ghost is the way that Jesus had to remain with his disciples after he was taken up into Heaven, 40 days after the resurrection.
Jesus promised to be with the disciples always, to the very end of the age. So, 10 days after he was taken up, the Spirit of Jesus, which is the Spirit of God, also called the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit, filled Jesus’ disciples.
Thus, Jesus was with his disciples in body form until he was taken up into heaven, and afterwards, he was inside each through his Holy Spirit.
Since then, Christian has been baptised to receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus asked his disciples: “Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
And here we are, Jonathan!
What’s the gift of the Holy Spirit?
Not an easy answer to write in an email and I think it would be better for you to learn more about in your church, but let just explain a couple of things about it…
In the book of Acts, after the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, some people who saw it made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” (Acts 2:13)
I really love this Bible verse because it matches my experience when I’m filled with the Holy Spirit. My joy is so great, and I’m so plentifully happy that someone seeing me, from the outside, may be confused thinking I had drunk too much wine. Experiencing the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of God inside ourselves is so intense words cannot describe the feeling.
I don’t get why I have to get baptised.
So here you have my answer to your first question, which is indeed the most important as an insightful young man like you already knows.
It’s not about the “why”, it’s not about rational understanding, it’s about feeling, it’s about sensing the presence of God inside yourself.
So, the decision is yours to make. No one can force you to get baptised. I strongly recommend you to no go through baptism if you are not sure you want to open the door of your heart to the Lord.
Jesus will never force your door. Only you can open it. However, I can ensure you that if you open your door to the Lord, his love inside you will be so intense that you will feel like if you were burned with a consuming fire of love. You’ll be cleansed, transformed, and converted like a caterpillar in a butterfly.
In my whole life, I’ve never experimented with anything more joyful, more peaceful and intensely loving than the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life.
It’s up to you to decide, let me finish with a Bible verse talking about it:
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
Just to finish, I have to thank the Holy Spirit, who has dictated this email to me to be sent to you, to use a stubborn, fat and hairy parent as an instrument to talk to you.