Let Us Be Concerned For Precious Souls!

When the apostle Paul arrived in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7 ), he encountered certain disciples who had been instructed by Apollos (Acts 18:24-25). Paul asked these disciples whether they had received the Holy Spirit. The disciples were puzzled because they had never been told about any Holy Spirit.

Into what then were you baptized?” Paul asked them. “Into John’s baptism” they replied, referring to the baptism of repentance first administered by John the Baptist (Acts 19:3-4). It was clear to Paul why these godly people lacked something. John’s baptism had been supplanted by baptism into Jesus Christ for remission of sins, a practice Jesus’ apostles began preaching on Pentecost (Acts 2:38; Acts 2:41). When Apollos had arrived in Ephesus, he did not yet know about this new baptism, until Aquila and Priscilla explained the way of God to him more accurately (Acts 18:26).

Consequently, those folks Apollos had taught before he fully understood the truth, had been left with the same insufficient knowledge, so they were not yet reaping the benefits of salvation in Jesus. When Paul told these earnest people the whole truth, they were immediately baptized into Christ, receiving the forgiveness of their sins. Paul was then able to impart miraculous spiritual gifts to them (Acts 19:5-6).

Apollos was a good Christian man who wanted to do right. The disciples he made in Ephesus were also good people who wanted to do right. They just didn’t know yet what that right thing was. And they couldn’t do it until they knew about it. The Scripture affirms, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). It also asks some essential follow-up questions: “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have never heard?” (Romans 10:14).

No matter how willing an individual might be to obey God, he can’t do anything until he knows there is a God, and then knows what that God commands him to do. Like the Ethiopian eunuch, one can’t know these things unless someone tells him (Acts 8:31). As Paul correctly observed: “How shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14). Knowledge we do not have, is of no benefit to us. Very few people are concerned with the endangered status of their soul and how to remedy their sin problem until God’s word is presented to them. Therefore, let us be concerned for precious souls who haven’t yet been told they are lost (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets