There are times in this Christian walk when the power of God is so evident, and His Word so positively affirmed, that our faith (that same portion that perhaps had slightly faltered) is reaffirmed, and our passion for The Kingdom is reinvigorated as though shot through with a bolt of dynamite. Such was a segment of our service this morning.
He came quickly to the altar when the pastor extended the invitation, and my position at the keyboard afforded me a full look at him. Almost immediately he began trembling, obviously because of the power of the Holy Ghost. He swayed, nearly staggering, then obviously wretched, he began weeping profusely, his face reddened and squeezed in anguish. At first he stood alone, then others saw his sincerity and gathered about him. In a very short time, this wonderful man was speaking in tongues, in audible and clear articulation. He had been filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.
The precedent for such infilling is found in the 2nd chapter of Acts when after Jesus had ascended into Heaven and He had told His disciples to go to Jerusalem and tarry for the Holy Ghost, which He would send, they had followed his direction. And in that room in Jerusalem the Holy Ghost came down on those who waited for it, and those blessed people of the early church spoke with other tongues.
We have known this man for more than a year now, having first met him through our Christian Intervention program, from which he had graduated having finished the 20 lessons of the program. He came to Christ Alive a few times, but was a member of another church in town, and at that time either didn’t recognize or didn’t acknowledge his need of the Holy Ghost. We hadn’t heard from him in months, until a few weeks ago when he called Brother Mike, telling him of his relapse and that he needed to take our class again.
“You must have the power of the Holy Ghost,” Brother Mike says in every one of the Christian Intervention classes which are held here every Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 6:00. “If you don’t receive the Holy Ghost, this class will be just another program, just another series of lessons…and you will relapse. You must have the Holy Ghost.”
Today our friend pictured here, now our brother in the Lord, understands fully. For despite a series of 20 lessons, despite his good intentions, despite the fact that he is a good person, he relapsed. But today…oh happy day…he committed his life fully to God, and now is full of the power of God. Within him is the strength and power he needs to resist the evil pressure that invariably will come against him.
“You need to be baptized in Jesus name,” Pastor Buxton told him at the conclusion of the service. And around 3:00 this afternoon a few of us met around the small heated pool where he was immersed in baptism, having the name of Jesus pronounced over him. His sins were washed away, are fully remitted, and tonight, he is a godly man, a Christian, ready to meet his Savior.
In this same pool, Kevin was baptized a couple of months ago, also coming to Christ Alive as a result of our Christian Intervention program. He could hardly contain himself this afternoon as he watched his new brother go down in the water in the same way, and in the same place as he had but a short time ago. He fell to his knees in gratitude and holy joy.
Somewhere in Heaven tonight is a record book, newly inked. A new name is written there!