Last updated on October 10th, 2019
Today I thought I’d go through some more common arguments used against baptism being a necessity for salvation. I’ve already went over a few of the most common ones, which you’re welcome to read in my post titled “The Necessity of Baptism for Salvation” on my home page. It’s a very important issue given that if those who’ve deceived people into believing it’s not necessary are wrong, millions of souls hang in the balance. So in doing my part to continue to advance the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, I’m prepared to debunk any and all arguments that have no Scriptural validity.
Thief on the cross false equivalence
A common argument used against the necessity of Baptism for salvation is the thief on the cross argument. People state that because the thief on the cross was never baptized, and Jesus stated that he would come to paradise with Him, that proves baptism is not necessary for salvation. Once again, this is picking and choosing verses based on one’s own traditional biases, and failure to read Scripture as a whole. Jesus did not state the Gospel to be preached being belief and baptism for salvation prior to dying on the Cross, but AFTER dying on the Cross. Therefore, the thief was under no obligation to obey the Gospel given it had not been stated to be preached yet.
Once the statement is given by Jesus to the Apostles of what the Gospel is that should be preached, then all people after that statement were under the obligation to obey the Gospel for salvation. It’s exactly what the Apostles preached (Acts 2:38), and exactly what the Jews obeyed (Acts 2:41). If we look at every individual who was saved in Acts, baptism was a part of the process of salvation in each case. So the necessity of baptism for salvation could not be doubted unless one could find an example of a person who was saved in Scripture without having to be baptized after Jesus gave the statement that it was necessary.
Are you really saying unbaptized believers go to hell?
Another common argument is really not an appeal to Scripture, but more so an appeal to emotion. What if a person dies before they get baptized, but they believed in Jesus Christ? Are you really saying that person who did not get baptized will be spending eternity separated from God and in hell? Well one, we should recall when belief is accomplished according to the sequence of occurrence in Acts 16:31-34 as I stated in my previous baptism post. But also my fellow students of the Word, obviously none of us want to see anyone spend eternity away from God and in everlasting destruction. It’s why we make it urgent that people obey the Gospel in order to be saved, in the same way that the people who protest against the necessity of baptism for salvation stress the urgency of belief before someone dies.
So one could easily turn this flawed emotional argument around and ask the protester, which atheists use this similar flawed logic to protest God’s goodness, are you really saying a person who dies not believing in Jesus in spite of how good and caring they were, they will spend eternity away from God and in hell? This is the same argument of emotion that the baptism protesters don’t fall for, and in the same instance, when they turn it around on those of us preaching the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, that we should not fall for either. Let’s recall what we actually know about God through Scripture. Consider these descriptions in the following verses.
God is righteous
Psalm 145:17 states, “The LORD is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds.” Psalm 18:30 states, “As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” Psalm 119:137 states, “You are righteous, LORD, and your laws are right.” Romans 2:5 states, “But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,” I think you get the gist here. God is perfectly righteous in who He is, what He commands in His Word, and how He judges. Therefore, God being the all righteous perfect distributor of judgment, would set up the most righteous perfect system for one to be fairly judged for eternity with Him or separated from Him, and thus found the belief and baptism formula to be a part of that perfect system.
If God concluded belief and baptism was best to be a part of the process of the perfect right way for one to be judged on whether they were saved or not, then we need not feel too saddened by certain circumstances or situations. We can trust that in God concluding this would be the fairest perfect right way for salvation to be obtained, belief and baptism a part of the process (Mark 16:16), that He knew this would be the fairest way for everyone to have an opportunity to receive it. The harsh reality is, some people are going to be separated from God for eternity because they didn’t do the will of the Father (Matthew 7:21-23). But we all will hopefully be a part of the cause in trying to help get as many people as we can to become saved according to Scripture, and committed to the faith according to Scripture, in order for as many of us to eventually reach the hope of eternity we’ve been promised through Jesus Christ.
Peace to all those who are in Christ.