One Sunday the minister was talking on baptism. In the course of his sermon he was illustrating that baptism should be performed by sprinkling and not by immersion by pointing out some instances from the Bible.
He said, "In the Bible where it says that John baptized Christ IN the River Jordan, it didn't mean IN but meant close to, round about, or near by. Then again where it tells us Philip baptized the eunuch in the river it didn't mean IN but close to, round about, or near by."
After the service, as the people were filing out, one old fellow stopped by the minister and said, "Preacher, that was the best sermon I've ever heard. It uncovered many mysteries of the Bible for me. For example, it tells us in the Old Testament that Jonah was IN the whale for three days, which seemed hard for me to believe. Now I see that he was not IN the whale, but that he was close to, round about or near by, swimming in the water."
"Then there is the story about the three young Hebrew boys who were thrown INTO the fiery furnace but not burned. Well, it seemed impossible but now I see they were not IN the furnace, but were close to, round about, or near by, just keeping warm. But the hardest to believe was where Daniel was thrown IN the lion's den but wasn't hurt. Now I see that he wasn't IN the den but was close to, round about, or just near by - like at the zoo."
"The revealing of these mysteries was very rewarding to me, but the greatest comfort of your sermon came because I am a wicked man who sinned much and it tells us in the Bible that the wicked will be cast into hell. But now I see that I won't be cast INTO hell but close to, round about, or near by. And next Sunday, I won't have to be IN church, I can just be close to, round about, or near by. Thanks for the great sermon. You have really put my mind at ease."