Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. Mark 16:16

Israel government officials and environmentalists are clashing over one of the holiest spots in the Holy Land. In July, Israel’s health ministry discussed closing access to the spot on the lower Jordan River that Christians traditionally link with Jesus’ baptism. The environmental group calls attention to the sewage, pollutants, and heavy diversion of water. Israel’s Ministry of Tourism insisted the water was fine.

One of my friends from high school who married into the Spere Gospel Singing family took his children to the Jordan to have them baptized when they reached the age of accountability. He thought that it would have greater meaning if done there. When I was in Israel in the late 80s we took a man down to the Sea of Galilee and baptized him into Christ.

Did it take on greater significance than the recent baptisms in our local baptistery? The place of baptism has little significance. The person doing the baptism has little to do with the result of baptism. What is important is what is going on in the heart of the person being baptized.

Jesus set the example for baptism when John baptized him in the Jordan. Since then millions have given their lives to him and have been buried with him in baptism. If he delays his coming we hope that many others will take advantage of his blood and receive the forgiveness of sins. Heaven awaits our entrance when we are wearing Jesus as our clothing.

I’m sorry about the pollution of any river and certainly hope the Jordan can be cared for properly. I hope even more that many in our community will study the Bible and come to Jesus for their eternal destiny.