Do you know that the Bible doesn’t say ANYWHERE that the reward of eternal life is in heaven?
What IS promised is a beautiful kingdom on this earth:
“You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:10
“The God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.” Daniel 2:44
“A time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out – those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.” John 5:29
“In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob… The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Isaiah 2:2-4
God’s kingdom will be a place of happiness and peace. In the book of Isaiah we read, “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom…they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God……Only the redeemed will walk there, they will enter zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” Isaiah 35:1,2,9,10 but read the whole of the lovely chapter.
So the answer to your question has to be ‘no’ because no-one is going to heaven anyway. Regarding baptism being required for salvation, there is quite a lot written in the New Testament. Baptism became an important part of believing after Jesus Christ himself gave the instruction that it should be done.
“Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation., Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15,16.
The word “baptism” from the Greek ‘baptizo‘ means ‘to dip, to immerse’, it is complete immersion in water. Baptism is symbolic of taking part in Christ’s death, hence the complete ‘burial’ in water, which in turn symbolically washes away our sins and enables us to start afresh. The apostle Paul wrote a very good message on this subject to the Romans which I suggest you read, Romans chapter 6, at least the first 10 verses. So basically, if we have not been fully immersed, then we have not taken part in Christ’s death, or had our sins washed away.
In the New Testament, baptism is always accompanied by belief and repentance. So the point arises that baptism occurs as a result of belief.
Belief in what? In Mark 16:15,16 it says “Go into all the world and preach the good news (gospel) to all creation ”
But Paul, when he wrote to the Galatians, ch3:8,9 said “The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: All nations will be blessed through you.”
So belief in Jesus alone is not sufficient, belief involves God’s whole plan which is summed up in the promises (the gospel or good news) given to Abraham.
The Bible answer to your question must be that baptism by immersion is essential to salvation, but it must be accompanied by belief in what God has told us in the whole of the Scriptures.
Just the act of baptism will not assure us salvation, it means that, in the analogy of the apostle Paul, we can start the race and we have to keep on working throughout our lives to ensure that we get the prize, eternal life.
Hebrews 3:14 tells us, “We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first“.
James 1:12 reads, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
I suggest you read the article on our site “Is Heaven for you?” as it discusses the subject more fully than has been done here.