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What Does the Bible Say About...Waiting for Baptism?

Do you think people should wait to be baptized?


I am not sure of the specific context of your question, so if I don’t answer it with what I am about to say, please give me more details of what you mean and I will try to answer it again. Once a person is aware that they are sinners, that they need a savior, that Jesus is that savior, and that immersion in water is the point at which their sins are removed (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16) based on his sacrifice, then they would be foolish to wait to be baptized. That would be the same as a man who is drowning choosing to wait to take hold of a life preserver within his reach. We are not guaranteed a tomorrow. We are not even guaranteed another minute. To have the life preserver in reach and to ignore it risks losing the opportunity. I have known of a Christian Church that, if a person wanted to be baptized, insisted that they wait until the next Sunday assembly to do it in front of the whole congregation. I disagree with that practice. Almost every member of the churches of Christ that I have known, if approached by someone who wanted to be baptized for remission of their sins, would immerse such a person as soon as possible. It wouldn’t matter what hour of the day or night, or what day it was. In fact, they would usually call other members so that there would be several people there to welcome the new Christian to their new life. The only time I would recommend someone wait to be baptized would be if, after discussion, it was found that the person did not understand the purpose or need for baptism. An example might be a six-year-old child that didn’t really understand the concepts of faith, sin, or salvation. But anyone who knew why they needed to be baptized, was capable of believing in Jesus as the Messiah, and was sorry for their sins would certainly be taking a risk to wait even another day. They should take the example of the jailer in Philippi who was baptized “the same hour of the night” and “immediately.” (Acts 16:33)