Re: Is Baptism Important?
I’m not really going to get back into this topic because I’ve said my peace with it, and we’ll never agree due to radically differing views on John 3:5 if nothing else. But I am curious…. For those of you who attend churches that hold to a “no salvation without baptism” view, how often do you make baptism available? After every service/altar call? At any time, day or night? It seems that you’d want to baptize folks as quickly as possible because it’d be a real tragedy for someone to spend eternity in Hell who had accepted Jesus’ payment for their sins but hadn’t yet been dunked. It’d stink to have the grace but not the works.
To turn the baptism point to another important facet of the gospel – accepting Christ. You have mentioned the aspect of death before having opportunity to be baptised. Consider the aspect of accepting Christ…
What of those who have died before they have accepted Christ? We know that a man cannot be saved without calling on the name of the Lord – for salvation is only through Christ.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Paul’s logic is perfect.
1. A man can only be saved through calling on the name of Christ.
2. A man cannot call on the name of Christ if he has not believed in him!
3. A man cannot believe in Christ without having heard the message of Christ!
4. A man cannot hear the message of Christ without someone telling him!
But what then of those who have died without ever hearing the message? Without ever believing? How will they call on the name of Christ?
To paraphrase your words… “it’d stink to have the grace”.. but yet no way of being saved.