How much do you know about the internet? You depend on it to communicate with your friends, bank, and business. But, are you entirely sure that it can be trusted? Are there any limitations with “going online?”
One person defined the internet as: “An openly accessible structure of networks that connects public and private computers worldwide through the TCP/IP protocol.” So now you know!
It is said that the internet was conceived in the mid-1960’s, somewhere between hootnanny’s and Woodstock. A few computer scientists were burning the midnight oil in a long-forgotten laboratory, when they discovered LOL, IMHO, and chat rooms. What they set in motion has changed life forever.
Now, you can sit on your couch and tell “Alexa” or “Siri” to order a pizza, a microwave oven, or a car. Or, you can tell “Cortana” to apply for a job and renew your drivers’ license, while you chill in your pajamas. Through the internet, you can communicate by email with friends in Africa, or visit loved ones in Hong Kong via Skype. With a live stream feed, you can even eavesdrop on the astronauts in the international space station while it is orbiting 220 miles up above the earth!
Going online has many advantages, but there are still many things that cannot be done on your computer. You cannot get your hair cut or eat a hamburger online. As yet, no one has figured out how to get your nails done or your clothes dry cleaned, either. Not to mention bathroom duties like taking a shower or brushing your teeth. These things still require you to get up and physically do something.
Regarding your spiritual life, it definitely has limitations online. You can watch a streaming church service, and even send in an offering. But, there are at least two major spiritual acts that you simply cannot do online: confession of your sins, and water baptism. These Christ-commissioned deeds remain a personal and sacred action between you and God.
First, there is no acceptable website where you can point and click, and your sins are forgiven. The Bible clearly says, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10 NASB) Jesus obviously requires verbal confession and repentance of sins when He says in Matthew 10:32 ASV, “Every one therefore who shall confess (speak) me before men, him will I also confess before my Father who is in heaven.”
In Acts 8:37, the Ethiopian eunuch made an unequivocal and verbal confession when he said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” By the way, if your edition of the Bible omits Acts 8:37, close the book, set it aside, and go get a better version like KJV, NKJV, NASB, or ASV.
Second, the online spiritual seeker has to deal with the inconvenient words of Jesus in Mark 16:16 NLT, “Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved.” Friend, just how are you going to be baptized online? Won’t that be a mess? I heard of a man who baptized himself using his own version of the ice bucket challenge. Silly rabbit. This is a poor substitute for being baptized in the presence of people of like precious faith. (2 Peter 1:1)
Bottom line: Your relationship with God is sacred and precious. Do not place it in the same category as your paltry social media tripe. God has a higher standard. Get personal with Him today, and then you will experience the holiness of the Lord like John did in Revelation 1:17 KJV, “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead!” Or as Jude 1:25 NASB says, “To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever.”