Preaching the Gospel ... Without Mentioning Baptism
by Foy E. Wallace, Jr.
Number One Gospel Sermons, page 180
(A series of gospel sermons preached at Nashville Road Church of Christ in the NUMBER ONE Community between Nashville and Gallatin, Tennessee, February 5 to 26, 1967. By Foy E. Wallace, Jr. The sermon on February, 26: The Story That Never Grows Old, brother Wallace told the following story).
An incident occurred in the Texas country years ago, the story of which I remember. The preachers of a small town proposed a union meeting in which all of the preachers of the town would take alternate turns to preach. There was a certain gospel preacher in the town, who had not been consulted on the arrangement. When he heard about this meeting he called on the other preachers to request his turn to preach, and asked to have a time assigned to him. He was informed that an agreement had been made that the subject of baptism would not be mentioned -- that they had agreed to preach Christ and say nothing about baptism. To their surprise this preacher promptly accepted the conditions, and agreed to preach without the mention of the word baptism. A night was assigned for his sermon, and he announced in advance the subject: "What Must I Do to Be Saved?"
The people wondered how that kind of preacher could preach on that kind of subject under that kind of agreement to not mention baptism. They came from the necks of the woods and forks of the creeks to hear him preach that kind of a sermon.
He preached with much animation and eloquence on salvation, and the love of God that brought salvation to man through Jesus Christ. Reaching the point of the question -- "what must I do to be saved" -- he turned to Mark 16:15-16 and read the words of Christ: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth"—and doeth that thing I promised not to mention -- "shall be saved." He then read Acts 2:38: "Repent," and do that thing I promised not to mention, "for the remission of sins." And he read every verse in the New Testament on baptism, and called it that thing I promised not to mention!
It is a strange thing that denominational people will detour around such a plain and positive command, so simple to be understood and performed, so easy to accept and obey -- and so much emphasized in the New Testament.
When Philip preached Christ, he preached the kingdom of Christ, he preached the all-prevailing name of Christ and he preached baptism into Christ.