Because we live in a time that does not understand covenants, and which makes personal choice the foundation of everything, we sometimes do not know how to respond to people who are on the verge of walking away from the most solemn commitments.
We believe that our loyalties and our commitments are assigned to us. Our unbelieving generation, by way of contrast, believes that the only possible foundation for obligation lies in personal choice. And because our choices are serial, because they exist in time, they are always reversible.
Someone simply decides that he or she will walk away from a marriage covenant. And when family and friends protest, when the wronged spouse protests, the supposedly unanswerable reply is that “I changed my mind.” The choice is different now, and there is no authority over my present choices.
Someone else thinks they have the authority to walk away from their baptism, or from the solemn engagement they undertook every time that they partake of this bread and this cup. This is a covenant renewal service. And the fact that it marks a joyful obligation does not make it any less an obligation for all of that.
The objection might come—how are we obligated if our heart is not in it? We are obligated whenever God says that we are. Our obligations arise from Him, from His Word, from His covenant, from His promises. We are not obligated when we say we are; we are obligated when He says we are.
We cannot erase the bonds we have to Christ. We cannot even touch them. The only thing we can do is sin grievously by trying to touch them. There is no more solemn bond than this in all of human existence. And you are freely accepted.
So come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.