I was born on Prince Edward Island into a French Acadian Family in 1947. Devotion to God and to the church was taught from early days, and I had much admiration for my religion, and for all church leaders. My earliest boyhood memories are marked with prayer on our knees in our home, and reverently observing most of the church services.
The tragic drowning accident of a 9-year-old boy from our village left a deep mark on my young soul. His swollen body on the beach brought the stark reality of death before me. Life can be long, but can be very short, is this the end? Job said long ago. “Man expires, or dies, and where is he?” (The Bible, Job chapter 14, verse 10)
Around that time 3 itinerant missionaries came to our church to preach. They preached to adults during the first 2 weeks and I attended the one-week of services arranged for the children. I will never forget the service when the priest lit a lighter and asked for a volunteer to come and put his finger on the flame, no boy went up. His next statement was; “what will it be like in hell forever.” I believe that God used this to more awaken me to the reality of hell and sinning against God.
During the months that followed I thought about dying and meeting God. Confessing my sins brought some relief to my conscience but thoughts of hell still remained. One day there was talk about the end of the world and I remember being very concerned about it.
I wondered about being sure of heaven and if such a thing was possible. I admired people who faithfully attended church and wondered if any of them were sure of going to heaven. I highly regarded the religious leaders, but I was too timid to speak to any of them about being sure of heaven. I remember asking one man, who was not a church goer. He did not know, and probably thought it only a silly question.
I was 12 when uncle John, who lived with us, died. Watching his coffin being lowered into the grave left a deep impression, and the question of where his soul was troubled me. My dad died a few years later, and again, God spoke to me. Death is a powerful preacher; it will stop you and make you think more than any sermon or even more then any personal word of correction.
We had a Bible in our home; my mother kept it on the top shelf of our cupboard. I read the first 3 chapters once when I was alone in our house, and got to the place where Cain killed Abel. I did not read of girls born to Adam and Eve so wondered how the population of the earth continued. I was like the Ethiopian in the Bible, (Acts of the Apostles chapter 8) and needed one to guide me. Had I read the following chapter in the Book of Genesis, I would have read that Adam and Eve had sons and daughters. My reading the Bible however, made me aware that this was the book of the church, sermons, church prayers and the catechism were words from the Bible.
Another childhood memory was the viewing of the Bible-based Movie, “The Ten Commandments” in the local town hall. Most of us children were impressed by the dividing of the red sea and by God speaking to Moses, (played by the Hollywood actor, C. Heston) when given the stone-written Commandments.
My religious concerns were a little forgotten when my mother and I left P. E. I. in 1961. After the death of my father we moved to Dieppe, New Brunswick to live with my sister. I remember working for Lane’s bakery in Moncton for a few months, unloading the flour railroad cars. We then moved to St. Catherine’s, Ontario, to live with my brother and his family. He encouraged me to take welding lessons, for which I was thankful, because I started working for Newman steel in St. Catharine’s within a short time. The foreman encouraged me and later gave me a part time position as steel fitter. Newman Steel later moved to Welland, Ontario and I rented a room close to the new shop so I could walk to work. I was now completely on my own and the city life was appealing to me. I soon started to drink and live a life of sin. I remember spending the night in different clubs in Buffalo, New York and getting to my room in the early morning hours. My life was full of my fulfilled desires, but empty of true satisfaction and reality. After only a few months in Ontario I returned to Prince Edward Island. I left good friends and a good job, to return to my roots and to try, somehow, to start over my life. Looking back now, I believe it was God convicting me of my sinful ways. After a short time on Prince Edward Island, I somehow heard of employment at the St. John dry docks. I hired on and boarded with my sister Catharine for a few months. My friends in St. John N. B. were not as “cultured” as the people I knew in Welland, Ontario. Breaking car windows and destroying property was almost a nightly habit. I did not want this way of life, but I did not want to lose face before my new friends. I was not altogether unhappy when my job ended at the dry docks; I did not look for another job in St. John, but returned to Dieppe, and then to Prince Edward Island. I was a little afraid of where my sinful life was taking me. God seem so far away and my life was empty of true contentment.
It was in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, where I first met a born again man. I saw boots in a store window and went in to get a better look. Casual chat with the salesmen led to the subject of employment. My asking him how He got his job led to a conversation, which I did not expect. He told me that Jesus was his Lord and that He had guided him. These were strange words to me, and I suspected that this man was of “another” religion. I had heard about certain strange religions and I was afraid of being mislead or brain washed. But the man said nothing against my religion, he was only telling good things about God, so why was I afraid?
As our conversation continued I was reminded of my religious past, and especially the question of being sure of heaven. This Bible knowing man was just the man I wanted; “do you believe it possible to be sure of heaven before death” I asked him. To my surprise, he answered: “yes, it is possible”, and he added, “I am sure of going to heaven, but not because of anything that I have done, I am sure because of what Jesus has done for me on the cross”. The story of Jesus and the cross was not new to me. The words: “behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world” was repeated every time I attended church. But I did not think that the Lord’s death was enough to save my soul. I thought that with baptism, first communion, confirmation and a good life, (which I was not living) I would get to heaven. My life of sin would require a few years in the flames of purgatory, but surely, eventually, I would get to heaven. He then quoted a verse, which I will never forget:
“He that believes in the son has eternal life, he who believes not the son shall not see life but the wrath of God abides on him.”
I only realized later that he was quoting from the Bible, (Gospel by John chapter 3, v. 36) but the words had such an impact on me that I accepted them as truth from God. “He who believes has…” God did not say, “He who believes and is baptised and lives a good life has…” I understood why this man was sure of heaven, (or said he was) he only had to believe! To believe is the simplest thing, to only believe for salvation may be the most difficult thing. That was my problem. But there was the word of God to tell me it was enough: “He who believes has eternal life.” Your response may be as others who have since told me; “that means that I can believe and sin as I like afterwards, and still have eternal life” but I did not think of that then, my only thought was the simplicity of getting eternal life by believing. I was not thinking of what I would do tomorrow or of a need to change my life of sin. I did not know that God changes the life, giving new desires to all who receives His Son as Saviour.
I remember leaving the store with that verse seared on my mind. “He who believes on the Son has eternal life. He who does not believe, will not see life…” My going, or not going to heaven depended upon believing, not upon doing. I thought also of what the man said about the cross and about the full salvation provided by the Lord’s death. And for the first time in my life I understood why Jesus died; He died not to help me into salvation but to save me completely. He paid for all my sins in the short time he was on the cross. And for this reason the Gospel can say; “he who believes has eternal life.” What marvellous grace, Jesus paid for the totality of my sins and all I have to do is believe. At that street corner in Summerside on that day in May, with my many sins on my soul, I simply believed what God said: “He who believes on the son HAS eternal life.”
I returned to the shoe store to thank the man, I had to tell him that I too believed on the Son, and had everlasting life. John chapter 3, verse 36 does not say; “he who believes will have” It says; “he who believes HAS.”
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (First epistle of John chapter 5, verse 13)
I got everlasting life the moment I believed. So I was saved, or born again. At that moment, I started on the road to heaven. I was on the broad way, as the Lord said himself in the Gospel according to Matthew. That day I entered into the narrow way, which leads to heaven.
“Enter by the narrowgate: for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.” (Matthew chapter 7, verses 13, 14)
Many have found, or were told by someone with a Bible, of errors in their Church. This led them to search for the truth in another religion. Some have found more truth, other have embraced more error. True conversion to God is not the leaving of one religious denomination to join another. It is a turning from sin to God. It is a turning from self-ways to Jesus, who is the only way.
Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man (or no one) comes unto the Father, but by me.” (Gospel by John chapter 14, verse 6)
This was not for me a change of church or religious system. I fully intended to continue in my church, and I did return to a church service in Dieppe N. B. the next week.
A short time after my conversion I prayed to God to show me more of his will. To assure me that my “getting eternal life” was just not my imagination or a brainwashing, I prayed for a sign, as a job or money. I did not want charity from my sister or even from the man from the shoe store. I wanted something more, something more unexpected. When I arrived at my oldest sister’s place in Tignish later that week, there was a phone call from Ann, my sister in Dieppe, telling of a check, which came in the mail for me. I was sure that I had received my last unemployment check and did not expect that God would answer my prayer in this way. This small thing made me appreciate the reality of a living God and the reality of my conversion. It was for this reason that I was in Dieppe, where I attended Mass for the first time in many months. But I soon realized that a conversion experience such as I had, was unheard off in the R. C. church, and that all Catholics believe that they are saved by their entrance into, and by the rituals of the church, and did not need a conversion experience. It was natural for me to want company with others who had a same experience, so my interest in the R. C. church started slowly to decline.
The Bible definition of the church
According to the dictionary, the Greek word for church is “ekklesia” it is composed of 2 words: “ek” which means “out of” and “klesis” which means “a calling.”
As a boy I thought that a church was a building. Then later, I thought that a church was also a religious system, or a denomination. But I had to admit that I was wrong on both counts. The church is composed of all who have received the Lord Jesus Christ as only Saviour. The Lord’s Apostles have much to say about the 1 true church of Christ in the Bible. There is only 1 church, and the many different names on church buildings are wrong, because denominational names divide the one church of Christ. Paul wrote of this sin in his day.
“…Each one of you is saying, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (First Corinthian chapter 1, verses 12-14)
God is doing a very special work today in every part of the world. He is calling out of the nations of earth, a people.
…God at the first concerned himself about taking out of the Gentiles, (the nations) a people for his name. And with this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written. After these things… I will rebuild the tabernacle of David which in fallen, and I will rebuild its ruins…, in order that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, and the Gentiles who are called by my name. (Acts chapter 15, verses 14-17)
So according to the Bible the true church is a multitude of people selected from the vast population of earth, a great number of individuals who have been converted to Jesus Christ through the Gospel message. The church is also called a Body. Of which Christ is the Head, and all called out converts are members.
“… Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” (Ephesians chapter 5, verse 23)
“He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence.” (Colossians chapter 1, verse 18)
To be in this true church is synonymous with being in God’s family, and it is only by a new birth that we can become a child of God. So Jesus said:
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, you must be born again.” (Gospel by John chapter 3, verses 6-7)
And Jesus later explained how we can be born again;
“… As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should notperish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (Gospel by John chapter 3, verses 14-17)
A good question then is; when did you become a member of this one true church? When did you believe on Jesus as your Lord and saviour? Or when were you born again? You cannot be made a member, you must become one. No one can believe for you, or be born again for you!
To be in this true church is also synonymous with being a Christian. Many people call themselves Christians because of their religious heritage or simply because they don’t want to be branded as an atheist. According to apostolic teaching every Christian, or follower of Christ, has a definite time of conversion. No one is born a Christian. No one is made a Christian, but becomes one by faith, and every Christian is sure of heaven before death, because if he belongs to Christ, then he can never be lost, for the Lord has never lost one sheep.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out ofmy hand. My Father, which gavethem me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” (Gospel by John chapter 10, chapter 27-30)
A simple assembly of believers
The Bible has much to say about the spiritual growth of a Christian, or how a believer becomes more knowledgeable. It is true repentance of sin and simple faith in the Lord’s death that secures our heaven, but every believer desires to become more knowledgeable and more devoted to God. Meeting together with other believers certainly helps every Christian to mature and learn more about his Lord. All who are saved need to be encouraged and educated in the fundamental principles of Christianity. I personally received practical and helpful instruction while attending the gatherings. Good Bible teaching also educated me and helped me in the every day decisions of life.
When I went to Dieppe N. B. to get my unemployment check, I spoke to my sister of my “believing on the Son” experience: She did not understand, telling me that she always believed. It was probably my fault because I did not explain my new faith very well. After a week or so I returned to P. E. I. to see my friend who was working in the shoe store. He brought me to an assembly of believers who met in Freetown. (Now meet in Summerside) I soon realized that every one of these believers, many from different religious backgrounds, had a similar experience of conversion to mine. I did not think of it at the time, but this simple company of Christians was a visible manifestation of the true universal church of God. And that it was logical and normal for them to want to meet together.
This company of Christians was not an affiliated church or part of a nation wide or world wide denomination. They had no ties to any organized religion.
The small building was identified by; “Gospel Hall” which, as was later explained to me, was simply to identify the building and not a denomination. Also seen on the small building were the words;
“Christians gathered in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ”
The different names on church buildings and multiple denominations can be very confusing. Especially for a new comer or one not familiar with the Bible. It has often been said that the Name of the Lord Jesus alone will unite, every other name, even religious names, divides Christians.
In apostolic days the many splinter Christian groups who meet under various names were unheard off, it was wonderfully simple. Today many groups profess the truth, and superficial love is exercised in abundance to attract new members. Many dear people have left the denominations of their fathers because of error which they discovered, and have joined another less-error filled denomination.
Others have embraced a division church or a one-man-centred sect. Alas we can well be confused. Is this religious perplexity of God? Or has the devil done an “enormous confusion work.” We don’t have to answer the question. Because of this confusion many have separated themselves totally from church and from God, and who can blame them!
Islam, Hinduism and other “non-Christian” religions accuse Christianity, and with reason, of divided and disgruntled groups. Satan has divided professing Christians in several small groups under various religious labels, which makes Christianity the ridicule of many.
Many of these “divided–up” people will tell us that the Bible alone has the answer. Yes, most certainly, but it is most necessary to read the Bible and not annotations which are added to the Bible. There is much religious literature, and even Bibles that promote their own church or denomination. These writings are bias, and cannot be trusted.
Praise God for every sincere honest Christian who desires to help the new comer find the truth as recorded in the Holy Scriptures.
In the days of early Christianity the believers gathered around the Lord who saved them. After Jesus went back to heaven they continued gathering together, believing that the Lord was still with them. For He had promised:
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Gospel by Matthew chapter 28, verse 20)
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in their midst.” (Gospel by Matthew chapter 18, verse 20)
Christian assemblies were made up of believers who were saved by the Lord and lived under the authority of the Lord. They simply followed the Apostle’s doctrine (Acts chapter 2 verse 42), honouring the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Early Christians preached in His name, (Acts chapter 4, v. 19) performed miracles in his Name, (Acts chapter 3, v. 6) baptized in His Name, (Acts chapter 10, v. 48) and they assembled in His Name. (Gospel by Matthew chapter 18, v. 20) If these people were with us today they would reject all ecclesiastical and denominational labels, which divide the Body or church of Christ. They would label themselves with Christ’s Name alone.
Each assembly was known by their love for their Lord and their love for one another. They were listed in no registry of earth, but known and listed in heaven. They were not linked as a denomination or as an organized federation. They did not have holy buildings, or consecrated temples. Many met in rented quarters or homes. The Lord was present because of the believers who gathered and not because of a special building. And every company was directly responsible to the Lord himself, and not to a regional Bishop, Elder or Pastor. (See churches in the book of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3)
Bible Christianity validates no official world religion with a list of member churches. Jesus is not limited to a religious federation in his work of saving souls. We know of assemblies, which began independently of any source known to us or to Christians in our part of the world. Because God is sovereign and can work independently, we believe that there are such assemblies in many remote parts of the world.
All of which are heaven designed living organism and not organizations of men.
Another quality, which was found among these simple Christians, is respect and reverence for the things of God. The Bible states that:
God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of his saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about Him. (Psalm 89, verse 7)
Holy and reverent is His name. (Psalm 111, verse 9)
Our Lord knew these and other Scriptures and He drove out the moneychangers from the temple in Jerusalem. (Gospel by John chapter 2) Right behaviour and even right dress is becoming to the presence of God. I saw this in assembly gatherings and it much impressed me. I was thought respect as a boy and had reverence for my parents, for the elderly, and for the church. But what impressed me even more was reverence seen in the home and in private life, it was very evident that these people did not leave God “in church,” as many do today.
But as already stated: our going to heaven does not depend on our belonging to a Christian assembly, but depends exclusively on a new birth, or time of personal conversion.
… For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians chapter 2, verse 8,9)
Not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. (Paul’s epistle to Titus, chapter 3, verse 5)
Many ministers or evangelists want to preach to us. They use written words, radio, television and church pulpits. Are they all sent of God? The Lord said: “by their fruits you will know them.” (Gospel by Matthew chapter 7, verse 16) What about their life? The sins of many pulpit men have been discovered, telling us who is true, and who is the false prophet or preacher. The true man of God will be known by his life, and the despicable sins, which have been uncovered in recent years, have disqualified priests, ministers and preachers. And if the religious system supporting such men does not publicly excommunicate him, the religious denomination is also disqualified. This is the Lord’s standard, and if followed, we would have no difficulty identifying the true pulpit men from the false.
Every true servant of God will also be known by his message; he will emphasize the necessity of repentance and personal faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s men, like the apostles are not bias to their religious denomination, the apostles had no denomination, they preached “Christ Jesus the Lord” and not an organization or federation.
Paul said: For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts…. (Second Corinthians chapter 4, verses 5,6)
The true evangelist will preach with heart and feeling, conscious that God, demons and angels are listening. He will preach that God hates sin and will punish the sinner, but he will also preach that God is love. (Gospel by John chapter 3, v 16) He will preach a message, which he has received.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. (First Corinthians chapter 15, verse 3,4)
The true minister of Christ will proclaim man’s total ruin because of sin:
…. We are all under sin; as it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things so ever the law saith, it saith to them who are under thelaw: that every mouth may be stopped,and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Romans chapter 3, verses 9 to 23)
These words describe the condition of the human heart, many have not committed all of these sins, but the Holy word of God tells us that we are capable of doing so, the right circumstances only need to arise and our depraved heart will declare itself.
God’s man will tell of the total remedy provided by Jesus, the Lord and Saviour.
Paul preached: “…I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts chapter 20, verses 20,21)
Peter preached: “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” (First epistle of Peter chapter 1, verses 22-25
We thank God for Men and women of the past who have preached faithfully. Protestant preachers have left their mark on the pages of religious history. Their words are still being used to the benefit of many Christians today. Catholic monks have written hymns, which we still sing, and the “church fathers” many of them Catholics, have much truth in their writings. But we must not accept all without question! We must test all and compare all with the Apostle’s writings and with the words of our Lord.
The root of all-evil
I noticed that no collection plate was passed to me in the Gospel hall, I thought little about it at first but later learned from the Bible that early Christians collected money from their own, and never from strangers. Money is indeed “the root of all evil” in religion today. We get solicitation letters telling of ongoing “programs” of this or that “church.” We hear the electronic evangelist who seems to have little ability to preach, but much ability on how to ask for money. In a clever way he will refer to his special efforts and his special expenses. Apparently these people have not read the Lord’s words: “Freely you have received, freely give.” (Gospel by Matthew chapter 10, verse 8) The Bible teaches that the collection, or the offering, is part of Christian worship and that our Lord desires believers alone to give. God does not want the money of the sceptic, or the money of the “religious” sinner who thinks that he can “pay” his way to heaven!
I did not know about believer’s baptism before I was saved or born again. My baptism, as a child, was not a believer’s baptism because I was too young to believe. My parents taking the responsibly of “believing” for me was honourable but is not according to apostolic teaching. True Christianity certainly promotes the right upbringing of children, but parents cannot decide for their child or make a Christian. This work belongs to God alone.
He (Jesus) came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (Gospel by John chapter 1, verse 11-13)
Also, to believe that a child needs to be baptized to go to heaven means that millions of babies born in many “non-Christian” nations do not go to heaven. Is this the just God of Christianity who will refuse heaven to all such babies, because they were born in the wrong family?
Jesus said; “Do not hinder (the children) from coming to me: for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Gospel by Matthew chapter 19, verse 14)
“And he called a child to himself, and stood him in their midst, and said, truly I say to you, unless you are converted, and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Gospel by Matthew chapter 18, verses 2,3)
He also said: “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” (Gospel by Matthew chapter 18, verse 10)
The Bible teaches that baptism was performed after conversion and was never practiced on infants or on any who could not consciously repent of sin and receive or believe on Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (Acts chapter 8, verse 12)
Another reason why my baptism was invalid was the fact that the word baptism means to dip or to bury. The apostles did not practice sprinkling, but a burying or dipping into water. As the Lord Jesus went into death and has risen, so the believer identifies with the Lord Jesus symbolically by his burial into water. Jesus was not “sprinkled” with death but completely died and was completely buried. So the believer in Jesus in completely buried into water.
The apostles also taught that baptism is symbolic of death and burial to the old life of sin, and a picture of resurrection and identification with a new life. Paul writes of Israel passing through the Red Sea, and compares it with baptism. (First Corinthians chapter 10, verse 2) Baptism is symbolic of separation from the sinful world where I was a slave to sin, and passing over into a new and different life.
So Baptism is a figure of identification with our Lord, and also a figure of separation from sin.
Before I was baptized I understood that I was no longer under the slavery or mastery of sin. I wanted to show to all that I now belong to a new master. (Christ) The old master (sin) has been de-throned, he has left behind his old ideas, so I am not perfect, but sin is no longer in command.
I was not pushed into baptism, nor would the Christians have baptized me if I had been a minor without prenatal consent. I knew also that I was not baptized to become a member of a new denomination or independent church. I understood that baptism would label me and separate me as a believer. It marked me out and identified me as a follower of Christ.
I was baptized in the Mill River, near Alberton, P. E. I. Another young man was baptized at the same time. Unlike me he was from a Bible practicing background, his parents taught him that he needed to believe on the Lord for himself to become a Christian. Some time before his baptism he too, had a definite experience of conversion.
Baptism does not save the soul, but it is normal for all who are truly converted to confess openly that they are now the Lord’s, and are not ashamed to identify themselves with Him. The baptism practised by the apostles had nothing to do with a name given or entrance into faith or the church. It was never a sprinkling and never practiced on infants.
Sadly, over the many years men have added ideas, which have greatly weakened the true doctrine of Christianity. Men have also changed or twisted the holy word of God, interpreting verses separately, without considering all passages, which speak of the same subject.
It has been said; “I can make the Bible speak, or I can let it speak to me.” New religions today have sprung up because of a Bible verse taken out of context. Men and women have “made the Bible speak” and many who are unaware and uneducated, have swallowed their lie.
The Lord’s Supper
One has said that the soul is a trinity: made up of mind, conscience, and heart, or affections. Our conscience keeps sin out. Our mind keeps knowledge in. And our affections keep us attached to Christ. The good use of our mind will make us wise. Of our conscience will keep us pure. Of our affections will make us worship.
Celebrating the Lord’s Supper is an expression of our affections. Every true Christian loves the Saviour who died for him, and will show that love by the simple yet solemn observance of the Lord’s Supper. There are 2 symbols to stir the memory, bread remind us of His body, the cup reminds us of His blood, or life given. While it is not the only way to express our devotion to the Lord, the Lord’s Supper is certainly the ultimate and most visible way. My first witnessing the Lord’s Supper and listening to men pray was an experience that I will never forget. Reality in religion is rarely seen; the ritual and formality of the denominations can be very boring. But at the Lord’s Supper there are no read prayers, no prepared sermons and no appointed pastor. Men pray, and thank God for giving Jesus to the cross, they tell the Father of the beauties of the Son as seen in the Holy Scriptures. I did not think that such worship existed on earth and my immediate desire was to be part of this simple company, and to express my devotion for my Saviour in this way.
Memorial Day is not important to many, but to all who have been touched by a loved one who died in war, it is most important. The Saviour’s death has touched my heart. And for me, Sunday has become a true memorial day.
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the New Testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. (First Corinthians chapter 11, verses 23 to 25)
And after 50 years it is still a precious day, a time of worship when I can, with other Christians spend an hour in prayer and praise. It is not a religious obligation; it is a privilege to remember our Saviour who died for us.
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same days there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers. (Acts chapter 2, verse 41,42)
The Lord’s Supper has a capital place for all who have been born again. All who revere His memory believe it normal to devote one meeting a week for remembrance. It is a delight to sit at His table. We practice this simple but profound commandment, not for our salvation, but because we wish to remember ONE who first remembered us.
The bread also symbolizes our oneness with the whole family of God. The one bread is a symbol of the one mystical body of Christ. (The church) We are one with all Christians, as there is only one body. This condemns the divisions practised among the denominations.
Gathered around the same table also symbolizes our communion with each Christian around the table. We are of one accord in our devotion, our worship, and our love for the Lord Jesus.
The Lord’s Supper is practiced today in many countries. After years of change, of tumults and wars, is it not amazing to see the continuation of this simple ordinance? The believers of the first century were much more familiar with a hostile world. They were despised by the heathen, and many were killed. But these simple Christians continued, and today on every continent there are believers who celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
A last note on this most important subject: the apostle Paul wrote that the celebration of the Lord’s Supper was only until the physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come. (First Corinthians chapter 11, verse 26)
Early believers considered themselves pilgrims on this earth, waiting for their King’s return.
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who will transform the body our humble state into conformity with the body of his glory… (Paul’s epistle to the Philippians, chapter 3, verse 20,21)
The last prayer in the Bible is written with this passionate note: “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelation chapter 22, verse 20) This still inspires every true Christian today.
While we wait for our Lord, we follow His commandments and tell of his love to all who do not yet know Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour.
It is natural for every Christian to worship and to pray to God. But every Christian also recognizes that he has a responsibility towards his fellow man: To tell him the Gospel or the good news of salvation through the death of Christ alone.
This, I have tried to do in this booklet. It is probable that some who read these lines will not agree with all. The Holy Bible is the only guide given us, and you need to examine the passages referred too.
My honest prayer is that you will consider these lines from the true Christianity point of view and not as a member of your denomination. God knows your sincerity and your honest search for the truth and for God’s will for your life.