Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“To The Water”

Categories: SALVATION
      Would you say that baptism is necessary for going to heaven?  If so, do you think that if you're unable to get baptized for whatever reason but you've had a change of heart that you will still go to hell?

Sincerely,
Double-Checking Destinations

Dear Double-Checking Destinations,

The most well-documented and clearest doctrine in the New Testament is baptism… yet, it is also the most commonly ignored topic in the religious world.  Peter said it best when he said, “Baptism saves you” (1 Pet 3:21).  Every person that became a christian in the New Testament was baptized – immediately.  You won’t find a single person in the book of Acts that wasn’t baptized.  When the first sermon was preached after Christ ascended into heaven, the apostles told the people that they needed to “repent and be baptized… for the remission of their sins” (Acts 2:38).  Paul tells us that baptism is a burial with Christ, and only after that burial do we receive a new life (Rom 6:3-4).  Baptism was so important to Paul that he was baptized even before eating or drinking (Acts 9:18-19), which shows how important it is because Paul hadn’t had food or water in three days (Acts 9:9)!  Belief is not enough; even the demons believe in God (Jas 2:19).  It is only when our belief is combined with obedience that we have living faith (Jas 2:17-18), and the very first command to obey that God gives us is to be baptized in the name of His Son (Matt 28:19, Mk 16:16).  We die to sin when we are baptized.
Now, let’s quickly deal with the second part to your question.  The only way you can know with confidence that you are saved is to do what the Bible says (Rom 1:16).  If God chooses to make exceptions to that rule on the Judgment Day, that is His right… He is the final Judge (Heb 12:23).  However, 99.99% of us have the ability to get baptized, so that is what we should do.