Let's Baptize More Converts
ByPastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
Table Of Contents
- I. Find New Avenues of Prospects
- II. Make Every Service Evangelistic
- III. Baptize Converts Immediately, Each Sunday Morning and Evening
- IV. Pastor and People Set Personal Goals for Soul Winning
- V. Bathe the Church in Soul Winning
- VI. Have a Soul-Winning Course Annually
- VII. Good Soul Winners Take Others Along to Learn
- VIII. Give Invitation Periodically in Each Sunday School Class
- IX. An Inside Church Census
- X. Include a Mention of Baptism in Most Sermons
Introduction (by Dr. John R. Rice)
The cover picture shows Dr. Jack Hyles baptizing a man won to Christ in the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, where he is pastor. Last year there were more than 2800 public professions of faith in Christ in that church and Dr. Hyles baptized 1410 of these converts.
On the day of Pentecost at Jerusalem we are told, "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls" (Acts 2:41). And Acts 5:42, speaking of the same group of Christians at Jerusalem, says, "And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ." And Acts 2:47 tells us after Pentecost, "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
So it is proper for a local New Testament church to be in the daily business of winning souls, and such a church should baptize converts at least every week.
Records indicate that up until 1966, only about 20 churches in America baptized as many as 200 converts a year. The largest non-Catholic denomination in America baptized about 11 1/2 converts per church averaging about 365 members or about 1 convert to every 30 or 31 members. Other groups with smaller churches baptized fewer per church. Some smaller groups baptized more. Yet a half dozen fundamental Baptist churches baptized from 350 to more than 1700 converts per year. How do they win so many souls in a year's time?
Dr. Hyles here tells how any pastor and church not baptizing hundreds of converts in a year can set out to win and baptize many more converts than ever before by God's blessing.
Not all converts will be baptized. Some with an ingrained prejudice are not at once ready for baptism. Some go to other denominations and some live far and thus prefer some other church. Sometimes little children are saved and it is wise to counsel with their fathers and mothers and to make sure that they understand the plan of salvation and are definitely assured of their faith in Christ. Thus not all converts will be baptized in a strongly evangelistic church that wins them.
Yet all Christians ought to be baptized and the number of converts baptized is the most fair and reliable measure of the success of a church in following Christ's Great Commission to, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matt. 28:19,20).
Scores of churches are setting out to win and baptize 200 converts or more in a year's time. We thank Dr. Hyles for suggesting methods to help us in this holy business of fulfilling Christ's command.
John R. Rice
"Who baptized Jesus?" asked a beginner Sunday school teacher.
After a few moments of deliberation little Johnny raised his hand and answered, "John the Baptist did."
"That's right," replied the teacher. "Now another question: Who baptized John the Baptist?" This was a real stumper. Finally, after much deliberation, little Johnny's hand went up again. "All right, Johnny, who did baptize John the Baptist?"
"Brother Hyles did," replied the boy.
This took place in a little Country church in East Texas in 1949. I was the pastor of the little country church. The teacher was one of our fine teachers, and Johnny was one of our beginner boys. Johnny said a great deal about his pastor in that little statement. He was saying, "My pastor must have baptized almost everybody because he baptizes so much." He was also saying, "My pastor puts a great stress on baptism and even John the Baptist would have been pleased to have Brother Hyles baptize him."
Johnny was right in one respect. Brother Hyles does place a big emphasis on baptism. To be sure, baptism is not necessary to salvation, but it is necessary to obedience. There are several reasons why it is important. The first is, baptism pictures the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We should tell the world immediately upon salvation that we believe in these basic truths.
Then, baptism also pictures what has happened to us at salvation. It is somewhat like an X-ray. An X-ray reveals internal conditions to the human eye; baptism reveals salvation to the human eye. One says to the world, "Look, let me show you outwardly what happened to me inwardly. As I go down into the water, I am showing you that I have buried the old life; and as I rise from the water. I am showing you that I have risen to walk in the newness of life. I am a new creature and I want you to see it."
Then, baptism also identifies us with Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.
Baptism is one of the few things that we can do exactly like Jesus did. Oh, yes, we are to strive to be like Him. We are to follow His example. The first and best way for a Christian to do this is by obeying His command of baptism.
Jesus places a great deal of emphasis on baptism. This is shown so vividly in the inclusion of this ordinance in the Great Commission. Had it not been important to Him, He would not have included it in what we commonly call "The Great Commission."
In March of 1965, I went on a tour of Bible Lands. It was my privilege to baptize four people in the Jordan River. We walked out into the Jordan River just where the Sea of Galilee flows into the Jordan. With the Sea of Galilee in the background and the Promise Land framing the scene, I, like John the Baptist, baptized in the Jordan. As the five of us walked into the river, a group of nineteen believers sang:
On Jordan's stormy banks I stand, And cast a wistful eye To Canaan's fair and happy land, Where my possessions lie.
I am hound for the promised land ... I am bound for the promised land 0 who will come and go with me? I am bound for the promised land.
What a thrill it was to baptize in the Jordan River!
It is, however, my privilege to enjoy that same thrill Sunday after Sunday, as newborn babes in Christ follow the command of the Saviour in believers' baptism. It is my desire in the next few pages to help pastors and churches around the world increase their number of converts and the number of baptisms. May God use these remarks to fulfill that purpose.
"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."
—2nd Thessalonians 1:8
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