In this example from the second chapter of the book of Acts, Peter gives his first sermon in Jerusalem. In this sermon he explains that Jesus, whom they had just crucified, was in fact the Christ, the Son of God (Acts 2:14-36). Those who heard him were convicted. Realizing what they had done, they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?' (Acts 2:37). And Peter said to them;
"If you believe these things then pray this prayer, 'Father in heaven, I come to you confessing that I am a sinner, completely lost and without hope. I repent of my sinful ways and ask for Your forgiveness. I believe in my heart that Christ Jesus is the Son of God, that He completely paid for all of my sins by His death on the cross, and that You raised Him from the dead. I confess that Jesus is my Savior and Lord. I trust in Him, and Him alone, for my salvation. I believe that through His shed blood I have eternal life. I will pray, study, meditate and live by Your Word the rest of my life. Father, I ask that You fill me with the Holy Spirit. Please come into my heart and save and sanctify my soul. I love you, Lord, and offer myself to You completely and without reservation. In the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.' Only faith in Jesus Christ alone can save you, and if you prayed this prayer, and meant it in your heart, you are saved."
This, of course, is not how Peter answered the question, but it is how a denominationalist minister today might have answered it. What Peter actually said is this, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). Can you imagine if a baptist minister were to respond with these words to a similar question posed by some individuals to whom he had just preached Jesus? Can you imagine if a minister, at the end of his sermon, offered an invitation which closed with the words, "Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name (Acts 22:16). Can you imagine the commotion, the whispers, the phone calls to other ministers, the demands from church members for an explanation? Why should it be the case that a preacher cannot say what those in the New Testament said, without some sort of addendum or disclaimer? Is it not an indication that something is amiss?
In the eighth chapter of the book of Acts we find the story of Philip preaching to the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:25-39).
Now, let's consider a modern day scenario. A preacher is fishing when he meets another man, and in the course of their conversation, he preaches Jesus to him. The man readily accepts the gospel and decides that he wants the preacher to baptize him then and there. Now, depending upon the denomination to which the preacher is attached, he might have to refuse to comply with the desires a man who simply wants to obey the gospel. Why? Because there are no witnesses present? There were none to witness the baptism of the eunuch. Because any baptism is contingent upon some committee's review of the testimony of the new convert and deciding whether the conversion is a valid one? There was no such process which preceded the eunuch's baptism.
"Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, 'Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?' And Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart, you may.' And he answered and said, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.' And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him." (Acts 8:35-38)
It should be troubling to any who sincerely wish to follow the Scriptures if they have any reservations about following the examples which they find there in. The Scriptures should be our only map in all matters of faith and religion. When we find that the trail that we are trodding, no longer resembles the map, it is a sure sign that we have become lost.