Baptism, is it Necessary to go to Heaven?
Recently I read that the Bible does not contain an example of a Christian receiving baptism. This article indicated that the un-baptized have NO place in heaven. This statement is the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. Does the Bible contain any examples of a heaven bound person receiving baptism? You should be interested in the answer to this question.
I first point out that the Lord Jesus Christ was baptized. He said, “thus (through baptism) it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness”, Matt 3:15. Was the Lord worthy of being considered a Christian before baptism? Yes, indeed. According to His statement, was He “starting” righteousness in baptism or “fulfilling” righteousness in baptism? He said that He was fulfilling righteousness.
Next, let us notice when the Gentile people were brought into the Church of the living God. In Acts chapter ten, we read of the household of Cornelius. In reading of this people, we find that as the man of God preached Jesus, the Holy Ghost fell on them, Acts 10:44. Peter then commanded for them to be baptized. I sincerely ask you to consider a scripture from Romans chapter eight. This verse reads, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His”, Romans 8:9. With this verse in mind, I ask you to decide if Cornelius was Christ’s before he was baptized. The Holy Ghost fell on him before he was baptized. The verse given from Romans 8 says that those who have NOT the Spirit of Christ are none of His. Well, Cornelius had the Spirit of Christ before he was baptized. I sincerely can NOT conclude anything other than he was a born again person before baptism. This seems so plan that I am at awe that anyone could conclude otherwise.
Now I ask if a person’s regenerated soul will ever become un-regenerated. Notice a verse of scripture. (1 Cor 3:15) If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. This verse points out that a person’s works can be burned yet the part of the person called “he himself” will be saved. The Holy Maker of man in NO place teaches tolerance for sin. He rather points out that He abhors it. He also points out that the born again receive everlasting life through repentance toward God and faith toward Jesus Christ. Everlasting life is life without end. This means that the soul’s salvation is eternal. The verse given from 1 Cor 3:15 states that the works of the born again will be tried by fire. Some born again will have NO reward in eternity because their works will be burned. Even though their works are burned, they “themselves” will go into God’s new creation. Soul salvation must be eternal so the regenerated will NEVER become un-regenerated.
In 1 John 3:9 we learn that those who are born of God cannot even sin. The outward flesh part of man is NOT born again in the process of regeneration. It is the inward part of man that is born of the Spirit and it is what can NOT sin. If it cannot sin then how can it become un-regenerated? Again, I sincerely can NOT see how this can be confused.
Let’s be careful to rightly divide the Word of Truth.