Is Something Holding You Back?
19 Many coerced participants in mas baptisms may have been told that they would go to heaven at death. But with reference to his footstep followers, Jesus said: "No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him." (John 6:44) Jehovah has drawn to Christ 144,000 who will be Jesus' joint heirs in the heavenly Kingdom. Forced baptism has never sanctified anyone for that glorious place in God's arrangement. - Romans 8:14-17; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Revelation 14:1.
Q:In view of John 6:44, who will be Jesus' joint heirs?
20 Since the mid-1930's in particular, multitudes hoping to survive "the great tribulation" and live on earth forever have joined the ranks of Jesus' "other sheep." (Revelatioin 7:9, 14; John 10:16) They qualify for baptism because they have conformed their lives to God's Word and love him with 'their whole heart, soul, strength, and mind.' (Luke 10:25-28) Though some people realize that Jehovah's Witnesses 'worship God with spirit and truth,' they have not yet followed Jesus' example and given public evidence of genuine love and exclusive devotion to Jehovah by getting baptized. (John 4:23, 24; Deuteronomy 4:24; Mark 1:9-11) Earnest and specific prayer regarding this vital step may well provide them with the incentive and courage to conform fully to God's Word, to make an unreserved dedication to Jehovah God, and to be baptized.
Q: What might help certain ones who have not yet been baptized?
21 Some hold back from dedication and baptism because they are so absorbed in affairs of he world or in the pursuit of wealth that they have little time for spiritual things. (Matthew 13:22; 1 John 2:15-17) How happy they would be if they changed their views and goals! Drawing close to Jehovah would enrich them spiritually, would help to allay anxiety, and would bring them the peace and satisfaction that results from doing the divine will. - Psalm 16:11; 40:8; Proverbs 10:22; Philippians 4:6, 7.
22 Others say they love Jehovah but do not make a dedication and get baptized because they think that they will thus avoid accountability. But each of us must render an account to God. Too bad they forget this when they round up the possée... I mean judicial committees. Responsibility came upon us when we heard the word of Jehovah. (Ezekiel 33:7-9; Romans 14:12) As a 'chosen people,' the ancient Israelites were born into a nation dedicated to Jehovah, and they therefore had an obligation to serve him faithfully in accord with his precepts. (Deuteronomy 7:6, 11) Nobody is born into such a nation today, but if we have received accurate Scriptural instruction, we need to act on it in faith.
Q: For what reasons do some hold back from dedication and baptism?
23 Fear that they lack sufficient knowledge may hold some back from baptism. Yet, all of us have much to learn because 'mankind will never find out the work that the true God has made from the start to the finish.' (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Consider the Ethiopian eunuch. As a proselyte, he had some knowledge of the Scriptures, but he could not answer every question about God's purposes. After learning about Jehovah's provision for salvation through Jesus' ransom sacrifice, however, the eunuch promptly underwent water baptism. - Actus 8:26-38.
24 Some hesitate to make a dedication to God because they are afraid of failure. Says 17-year-old Monique: "I have been holding back on baptism for fear of not being able to live up to my dedication." If we trust in Jehovah with all our heart, however, 'he will make our paths straight.' He will help us to "go on walking in the truth" as his faithful dedicated servants. - Proverbs 3:5,6; 3 John 4.
Q: What fears should not hold individuals back from baptism?
25 Because of implicit trust in Jehovah and heartfelt love for him, each year thousands are moved to make a dedication and get baptized. And surely all dedicated servants of God want to be faithful to him. Yet, we are living in critical times, and we face various tests of faith. (2 Timothy 3:1-5) What can we do to live up to our deication to Jehovah? This we will consider in our next article.
Q: What question now merits consideration?
Gosh. You mean that if I don't get baptized RIGHT AWAY, like the Ethiopian eunuch (the guy with no balls) Jehovah will be able to read my thoughts and emotions and know that I'm just a no-good, ungrateful, good-for-nothing person who doesn't appreciate his LOVING provisions and his WONDERFUL faithful and discreet slave? You mean that even if I don't KNOW everything there is to know about the WTS, I should go ahead and get baptized RIGHT NOW because if I wait until I find out the stuff the WTS doesn't want me to know, I might change my mind??
Yep, you're absolutely right. No bloody pressure at all.