There is nothing more profound that seeing a person publicly make a commitment to give his or her life to Christ. One Saturday, several years ago, just before the end of the worship service, there was an altar call. The minister was inviting people who were not yet baptized and wanted to be, to come forward. He was inviting them to give their lives to Jesus.
Four people answered the call. Two of them were teenagers, one was a child and the other was an adult. The adult was my mother. She had made up her mind that she wanted to be baptized. She wanted to make a commitment to follow Jesus. She is finally ready. Her faith is firmly fixed upon Jesus. Before she made the decision, the hymn “More Like Jesus” was playing in her mind. It is her love and desire to be like Jesus that led her to publicly respond to the pastor’s calling. God knew that she was ready so He gave her the opportunity.
God gives people opportunities to give their lives to Christ. His Holy Spirit sent the disciple Philip to witness to the Ethiopian eunuch who was reading the book of Isaiah. This is what he was reading, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter.
And as a lamb is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. He was humiliated and received no justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth” The eunuch asked Philip, “Was Isaiah talking about himself or someone else?” (Acts 8:31-34).
Using that text and other texts, Philip shared the love and sacrifice of Christ with the man. Moved by what he learned, the eunuch wanted to be baptized right away. He was baptized in the river. Then, he went on his way rejoicing.
Another amazing story is that of a jail keeper. Paul and Silas were arrested because Paul had driven a demon out of a fortune teller who earned a lot of money for her employers. Paul hurt their business so they were enraged with him. They grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them to the marketplace where they falsely accused them of teaching people to go against Roman customs. A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So he took no chances but put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.
Around midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a great earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul shouted to him, “Don’t do it! We are all here!”
Trembling with fear, the jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down before Paul and Silas. He brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
They replied, “Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with your entire household.” Then they shared the word of the Lord with him and all who lived in his household. That same hour the jailer washed their wounds, and he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. Then he brought them into his house and set a meal before them (Acts 16:16-34).
It is a wonderful thing to give your life to Christ. It was the best decision these men made. It was the best decision my mother made. And it would the best decision you could ever make.