Vol. 8, No. 3
~ Page 11 ~
Charles "Chuck" Moore and his wife, Carolyn, are returned missionaries: seventeen years in Rome and Catania in Italy and Sicily. Now they are working night and day with the church in Rockwall, Texas, stirring more interest in Italian mission work, sponsoring the "Italian Literature Program." In a monthly mail-out (March, 2003) Charles writes:
In St. Peters Cathedral in Rome, Italy, they have a large mural showing the baptism of Jesus. It shows Jesus in water about ankle deep and John pouring water on the head of Jesus with a bowl. John baptized people at Aenon near Salim "because there was much water there" (John 3:23). Baptism is a burial (Romans 6:3-4). The traditional baptismal place of Jesus near Jericho is four or five feet deep. The Ethiopian eunuch, in Acts 8:38, went down into the water and Philip baptized him. Then they came up out of the water. That was what Jesus did when John baptized him. Near that mural in Rome the Catholic Church has a baptismal fountain where hundreds of little babies are "sprinkled" and they call this baptism. Babies don't have any sins. They are pure and innocent. Jesus said, "Unless you become as a little child you shall in no wise enter the kingdom of heaven."
One evening in Sicily, at mid-week Bible Study, a young American sailor came into our services. This was unusual. Catania was a city of 450,000 people. We were a small Italian congregation, but he wanted to go to Bible Study and he searched us out. As he came in I introduced myself and asked him if he was a Christian. He said, "Yes, I am." We were thrilled to have him. The Air Base was new and we hadn't located any members of the church at the Naval Base. We took him home with us. We became close friends. He was like a member of the family. He was a fine young man.
However, his speech betrayed him. It wasn't long until I realized that he was not a Christian. He thought he was. One day I asked him how did you become a Christian, Frank? He said, "When I was eight years old my mother asked me if I wanted Jesus to come into my heart. I said, Yes, mother, and I was saved." I asked, "But weren't you baptized into Christ? He replied, "Yes, a few years later my mother said, "Son, don't you think you should be baptized? And I told her, "Yes, mother." And they baptized me. I asked him if he had ever studied all of the examples of conversion in the book of Acts and he said, "No." Then I asked, "Would you like to read them with me?" He was happy to do it. He loved to study the Bible. He always carried a little New Testament in his pocket.
After we had read all of the passages, I asked him, "Frank, was your conversion like that?" He thought a long time and then he said, "No, Chuck, it wasn't." "All of those people were forgiven of their sins when they were baptized." I didn't say any more. He didn't sleep well that night. He walked the floor all night and the next morning, the first thing, he said, "Chuck, I realize that I am not a Christian. I am not saved. Will you please baptize me into Christ for the remission of my sins?" I took him out to the Mediterranean Sea and baptized him into Christ. He went on his way rejoicing.
What about your baptism? Look into your heart! Were you baptized scripturally? Were you baptized in the right way and for the right purpose? If not, you haven't been baptized at all. I have seen young people baptized because all of their friends were being baptized. I have seen young men baptized so that they could win the heart of a girl in the congregation. I have seen a lot of people baptized thinking that they had already been saved. But how can you be saved without the forgiveness of sins which comes with baptism. Think about it. Your soul's salvation is at stake. Read Acts 19:1-5.
Brother Moore ends the March issue of the "Italian Literature Program" with two statements: "1. Things are progressing nicely in Italy. The brethren are working and souls are being saved, May God be praised. 2. Our work is going well here. We work every day. The need for good Biblical material is endless. Keep us in your prayers."