We Must Be Baptized To Be Saved
By Ron Boatwright

     We do not merit or earn our salvation.  But when we come to believe and trust in the Lord to the extent that we obey the requirements He has laid down in the Bible, only then are we saved.  Jesus is only “the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9).  Jesus said, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).  One needs help to misunderstand what Jesus said.  Jesus did not say, “He that believes and is not baptized shall be saved”.  This is what Satan says.  Satan says that all you need to do to be saved is just believe.  Satan tells people that you do not need to be baptized to be saved.  Satan says that it is alright to be baptized after you “think you are saved” in order to only join a denomination.  Satan knows if one’s baptism is not for the purpose of being saved, that person is still lost.  Satan tries every way he can to cause people to be eternally lost in Hell.

     But someone may say, “In the later part of the verse, Jesus doesn’t say, ‘He that is not baptized will be condemned’ ”.  He does not have to.  The reason Jesus did not say, “He that is baptized not shall be condemned” is the fact that there can be no baptism without faith.  To be saved Jesus says one has to both believe and be baptized.  To be lost all one has to do is disbelieve.  One who disbelieves what Jesus says in the first part of the verse is certainly not going to be baptized to be saved.  Jesus says in John 3:18, “he who does not believe is condemned already.”  One who does not believe and obey Jesus when He said “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved” is a disbeliever and will be condemned eternally in Hell.  One has no real trust or belief in Jesus until one is ready to do all of what Jesus says and for the reason He says.

     In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’“  Jesus says that a faith even though it confesses Jesus as Lord and is active in many areas, yet if it does not lead the individual to obey all of God’s will, it makes one only a worker of iniquity.  Such a person will be rejected by the Lord on Judgment Day and he will be told to depart into the everlasting torment of Hell.

     Jesus says, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him, the word I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).  One who rejects Jesus’ words which include, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16), is a disbeliever and will be judged and condemned by these same words on the Day of Judgment.