Which baptism will you receive?
John the Baptist called on people to repent and then baptized those whose lives showed that they had done so. Some wondered if he was the Christ. He responded to this by saying that the Christ would not baptize the way he did.
John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
Jesus Christ was the one he was speaking of. He baptizes with the Holy Spirit and with fire and he separates all of humanity into wheat and chaff.
The wheat consists of all those who turn from their sins and put their faith in him. They are baptized by the Holy Spirit and become part of the body of Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:13
There is a lot of false teaching regarding the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Some Christians see it as something separate from salvation; some believe that the sign you have been baptized in the Spirit is that you speak in tongues. Here is what the site christiananswers.net says about those beliefs.
The Bible does not actually use the term “baptism of the Spirit” very often. John the Baptist predicted that Jesus would come and baptize with the Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33). In Acts 1:5, Jesus recalled John’s words, and told His followers that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from then. The spectacular events of the day of Pentecost ten days later seem to be the obvious fulfillment of His words (see Acts 2). The only other mention in Acts (11:16) refers back to Pentecost, explaining that Cornelius, the first Gentile convert, had an experience very similar to the Pentecost manifestations.
While these passages make it clear that the believers in Acts 2 experienced a baptism of the Spirit, we do not find a clear explanation of what that baptism means. Nor do we know whether there were other works of the Spirit that were happening at the same time.
The clearest explanation of the baptism appears in I Corinthians 12:13. Paul is dealing with a situation where the Corinthian church was splitting into factions over the issue of spiritual gifts. Overemphasis on certain spectacular gifts had led to the attitude that some people had the most desirable gifts, while others were deficient. In response, Paul exclaims, “We’re all one! Don’t divide up into cliques!” And to prove his point, he explains, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit” (I Corinthians 12:13).
His main point? All believers share the reality of being baptized by the Spirit.
What does it do? It makes us part of the body of Christ, the Church.
When did it happen? If every believer has been baptized in the Spirit, then it must happen at the moment you accept Christ and become a Christian.
If the baptism of the Holy Spirit is for the wheat the baptism of fire must be for the chaff. Revelation 20 describes the final destiny of those who reject Christ.
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Everyone now alive must experience one of these baptisms. If you have repented of your sins and put your faith in Christ you have been baptized by the Holy Spirit and are now part of his body, the Church. If you haven’t, you need to do so if you want to avoid experiencing the baptism of fire.