Can I can still go to heaven without being baptized?


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.

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16 Comments on "Can I can still go to heaven without being baptized?"

7 months 2 days ago

I totallly agree that Jesus is coming back to set up his Kingdom on this earth for the Judgement, BUT….. this is during the Melinnial Reign and is only for 1000 years. After that, where is the ETERNITY going to be? Earthly or Heavenly?

7 months 2 days ago

You raise an excellent question. It is one for which I have taken the answer for granted: it will be on the earth.

Why have I thought this?
“The heavens are the LORD’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man.” Psalm 115:16 ESV

To answer your question we must go back to the Creation itself and ask, Why did God create the earth in the first instance?

“For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the LORD, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:18

We see in this verse that the sole intention of creating the earth was for it to be inhabited. It is logical therefore, that having set up the Kingdom on it for a thousand years He wouldn’t then leave it vacated and empty for eternity!
“The LORD knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will remain forever;” Psalm 37:18

“The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.” Psalm 37:29

“Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I might be glorified.” Isaiah 60:21

“…and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:21

In all these quotations, there is no suggestion whatever that the Kingdom on earth will be terminated and heaven substituted as an alternative. Something lasting forever can’t be terminated! There has never been any promise in the Bible that heaven would be man’s possession. Heaven is not that sort of place. It remains—and always will—the abode of God and His angels. At present it is Jesus’ residence, but it will not be so during the millennium for he will be here on earth establishing the Kingdom. At the end of the thousand years the rulership is passed from Jesus to God Himself.

There is only one passage that speaks of the close of the Millennium and it is specifically vague:
“Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he [Jesus] must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” 1 Corinthians 15:24–26

There is no mention here of a change in venue—only a change in leadership.

9 months 18 hours ago

You do not have to be baptized by water to be saved. You must be baptized by the Holy Spirit. Baptism with water is symbolic of a persons repentance in order for forgiveness. Salvation comes by believing with your heart, confessing with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. Baptism is a result of Salvation but not a means to Salvation.

Registered User
8 months 26 days ago

I am afraid that I cannot agree with your reasoning. If baptism is a result of salvation, then baptism wouldn’t be required at all in order to be saved. Yet the Bible states that it is required.
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:16; Matt. 28:19
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.… Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:38, 41
“And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? …And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.” Acts 8:36,38
The symbolism contained in baptism is burial, and that is why it is an essential step in the progression towards salvation. Unless we are figuratively buried with Jesus Christ then we cannot share with his resurrection. This aspect is carefully explained by Paul in his letter to the Roman believers.
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:3–4
So if we haven’t had water baptism, we have not shared his death, and have not qualified to take up the newness of life that he offers following his resurrection. Therefore one must have water baptism—it is essential, and in fact the Bible knows no other form of baptism. Except for the instance of the water baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ when he simultaneously received the Holy Spirit, the Bible nowhere speaks of such a thing as Holy Spirit baptism.
I would ask you to review your thinking on the reason for baptism, for you obviously have not appreciated its full meaning under Christ. As Paul explained, it was not merely a symbol of repentance.
Jason Young

Ben Bannister
6 months 2 days ago

“Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.
(‭John‬ ‭3‬:‭5‬ NIV)

Paul Hickman
10 months 23 days ago

“What Does Ekklesia Mean?

The Greek word ekklesia simply means a group, crowd, congregation, assembly, church congregation, or meeting of a city’s population. That’s basically it. In a religious context, we say that ekklesia means “”called out ones,”” in the sense that God called us out of the world and into His Family. The word is frequently translated “”church”” in the KJV; other translations may use the word “”assembly”” or “”congregation.”” In any event, the meaning of ekklesia is clear — to most people.
The church is actually the souls of those who belong to CHRIST, not a building like most people think.
Christ will NEVER set foot on this earth again.”

Registered User
10 months 18 days ago

Hi Paul,
While fully agreeing with your definition of the underlying word for ‘church’; it relates to people—individuals— and not to what you term ‘souls’. It is a term that relates only to living people, ‘called out’ as Peter explains:
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” 1 Peter 2:9
However, I must disagree wholeheartedly with your last comment, for the return of Christ is mentioned very many times in the New Testament. Of perhaps plainest testimony is that of the two angels at the Mount of Olives:
“Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11
Do you expect Bible readers to believe that the angels were telling lies?
Jesus himself referred to his return several times when narrating his parables:
“A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. And it came to pass, that when he was returned, …” Luke 19:12–15…
“A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time. And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard…” Luke 20:9–10…
We have many other examples.
“Likewise, Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of humanity, and after that he will appear a second time. This time he will not deal with sin, but he will save those who eagerly wait for him.” Hebrews 9:28
“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” 1 John 2:28
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.” 2 Timothy 4:1
Quite obviously, Jesus hasn’t yet returned. But either the Bible is the Word of God, or it isn’t! Whether you accept it or not is over to you. You can’t be selective in the parts you choose to believe. I personally must accept the Bible assurance that he will return to the Mount of Olives, because the whole future focus of the Kingdom of God is centred on Israel, with Jesus as its future King (Daniel 2:44; Psalm 72 etc.). He must return, for that is the time of judgment and the time and place for the setting up of his promised Kingdom.

Paul Hickman
1 year 4 months ago

I think Jason and others should consider these scriptures from Christ.

Christ’s church
1 Timothy 3:15  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Christ’s church is a Spiritual Kingdom made of obedient souls.

2 Corinthians 5:1  ¶For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

The souls of Believers
John 14:2  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

If Christ’s KINGDOM is not here yet then there are some pretty old people on earth somewhere.

Mark 9:1  ¶And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.

Registered User
1 year 4 months ago

Hi Paul,
Thanks for these comments.
Firstly, we should check on what Paul is talking about in 1 Timothy 3:15. It’s about a church. The Greek word is ekklesia—a group of people. It is not a kingdom and has nothing to do with a kingdom. Whenever the word church occurs (except Acts 19:37) is this word ekklesia – groups of people who are followers of Jesus Christ. The Kingdom is yet future, and will be established when Jesus returns to earth.
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.” 2 Timothy 4:1
Regarding the passage from 2 Corinthians 5:1 Paul is informing us that our temporary mortality is to be replaced by a permanent immortality reserved with Christ in heaven, but to be brought at his return. This is explained by the Apostle Peter:
“To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:4–5
The passage from John 14 is also self-explanatory. Jesus’ Father’s house was the temple in Jerusalem (Matthew 21:13) and so he was obviously referring in some manner to this. The ‘mansions’ is a translation of the Greek word mōnē, and the word means ‘abiding places’, and is generally translated as rooms. As mentioned, Jesus’ Father’s house was in fact the Temple in Jerusalem and in today’s terms this is non-existent—it awaits re-establishment when Jesus returns to set up his Kingdom on earth. That is what the verse is expressing, and we must wait for him to come again, so that he can once again be with us. It is then that we will see what form the ‘abiding places’ will take for those who possess the Kingdom when Jesus returns.
With regard to your final passage of Mark 9:1, we need to take into consideration the context of the passage; and this is also aided when the other Gospel records are taken in comparison as well. Jesus noted that only some of those present would not see death before they saw the “the Kingdom come…”. And the next event that is narrated is the Transfiguration when we read,
“And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.” Mark 9:2–4
This was the demonstration of the power of the future Kingdom, and only three of the twelve disciples that were with him in Verse 1 were present here to witness the event.
Again, thanks for your comments.

1 year 5 months ago

I only find two Kingdoms of God in Christ’s New testament, the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of Christ’s church.
1 John 5:13  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God
1 John 5:11  And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
1 John 2:25  And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
Titus 1:2  In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
Christ said, Matthew 16:28  Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
If christ’s Kingdom is not here yet , there are some pretty OLD people hiding somewhere on on this earth.
when we see Christ coming on judgement day, Matthew 24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
1 Corinthians 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
Colos2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Registered User
1 year 4 months ago

Hi Paul,
God is not a God of confusion: there is only one Kingdom that He will establish, and that will be on this earth when Jesus returns. Your confusion arises from failing to take in the context of the passages you are quoting. With Matthew 16:28 you will note that Jesus states “there be some standing here…”—not many! In fact it was only two of his disciples as the passage that follows illustrates, for Jesus was referring to the Transfiguration on the Mount in the verses which immediately follows. That was a vision of Jesus in his Kingdom.
Jesus never speaks of the “church” being his Kingdom. In fact he never speaks of a Kingdom in heaven. He speaks of a Kingdom of heaven, but this phrase only occurs in Mathew’s Gospel. Elsewhere it is always referred to as the Kingdom of God. Matthew substitutes heaven for God as he was writing to Jews who avoided direct reference to any name or title of God. So Matthew is not giving a location of the Kingdom, but the authority of the Kingdom. There will be only one Kingdom.
As to your implying that it is present possession of the Church, 1 John 2:25 clearly states that it is a promise, and should we already possess it then it is no longer a promise! Eternal life only comes as a reward after being found worthy at the judgment seat.
“Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.” Luke 18:29,30
If we were to receive eternal life now in this present life, then that throws out completely the need for any future judgment and makes mockery of the New Testament writings which all speak of our necessary preparation for it.
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.” 2 Timothy 4:1
We can’t qualify for eternal life until we have been approved by God.
The reference to 2 Peter 3:10 is one that makes no sense taken literally, neither is it possible for heavens to be “on fire” or to “melt”. If literal, where could people go to survive? He is simply using strong language to forcefully drive home his lesson.

Registered User
2 years 27 days ago

“Can i still get to heaven without being baptised: Rell

Hi Rell,
I disagree that our website is misinforming people at all in regards to our future destiny. The Bible has a consistent message in this respect, but it is not always clearly conveyed to the reader by some translations. Your quotation from John 14:2 (ESV) is one such instance, where prevailing thought has influenced the translation of the Greek word mōnē as ‘rooms’ when the word means ‘abiding places’. The word ‘rooms’ infers walls etc, whereas the latter ‘abiding places’ has nothing necessarily to do with such. Jesus’ Father’s house was in fact the Temple in Jerusalem (Matthew 21:13) and in today’s term’s this is non-existent—it awaits re-establishment when Jesus returns to set up his Kingdom on earth. That is what the verse is expressing, and we must wait for him to come again, so that he can once again be with us. It is then that we will see what form the ‘abiding places’ will take for those who possess the Kingdom when Jesus returns.
“”Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”” Revelation 5:9-10
It appears that your question arises from our Common Q & A section, so I suggest you read our article titled Is Heaven For You?, and you will get a more complete explanation of what the Bible teaches concerning the future destiny of his followers.
Most certainly we are not misinforming people!
Regards in the hope of the Gospel,

2 years 1 month ago

“This is misinforming people !

“”“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” …”””

3 years 1 month ago

The thief on the cross was not baptized but Jesus said you will be with me in Paradise? Does this not mean there is a Heaven/Paradise after death and you do not need to be baptized?

Registered User
3 years 12 days ago

We must firstly distinguish between the baptism of John, and the baptism of Jesus and his disciples.

The former baptism was practiced by John in the waters of the Jordan, and was for repentance and remission of sin. Its intention was to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord Jesus (Mark 1:4; see Acts 10:37; 13:24; 18:25; 19:3). The baptism of Jesus, however, was in essence a representation of the death and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 6:4–6).

This latter baptism is that which was practiced by the disciples of Jesus, and was emphasised as being an essential step for followers of Jesus (Ephesians 4:5; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:2).

However, this baptism was not available at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, since he had not yet been buried and —three days later — been resurrected. Jesus died while the Jews and people of the land were under the Law of Moses. So the thief on the cross could not —and needed not—have undertaken baptism as a prerequisite for salvation through Jesus. The matter you raise regarding baptism is therefore immaterial with respect to the thief.

However, you raise a second issue regarding a Heaven/Paradise after death. The New Testament clearly indicates that there is a Kingdom of God that is to be established, and those resurrected from the death state may have a part in it. But that kingdom has yet to be set up and the resurrection yet to take place.

“Thy kingdom come…” is the prayer he asked his followers to voice, and that still comes through to us today as something yet future. Popular religion claims that when people die they either go to heaven, or go to hell. That implies judgment; yet Jesus said he would return to earth to judge the living and the dead following the resurrection. He has yet to return. So if people have already been judged (according to whether they went to heaven or hell on death), why the need for a second judgment whereby a person in heaven could be assigned to hell, or vice versa? It makes nonsense of the New Testament message.

What then of the thief?

Verse 43 of Luke 23 reads:
“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

Now, very strangely, neither Justin (AD.100?–165. The books ascribed to Justin with certainty are the two Apologies for the Christians, and the Dialogue with Trypho the Jew) nor Irenæus (Wrote AD.170–190. As a child he heard Polycarp, who was a disciple of John) cite this verse, though these two writers had quoted almost every verse in Luke’s Gospel that related to the crucifixion. Neither does Tertullian (about AD.220) quote the verse, although he wrote about the intermediate state, and cited almost every text.

Why would these writers have omitted quoting Luke 23:43, a verse so important to their message? Why would Mathew, Mark and John forget to mention this amazing act? Was it a later addition?

The verse was lacking from the copies of Marcion (about AD.140) and other ‘reputed heretics’ of that time; and was wanting from the older copies at the time of Origen (AD.155?–222?).

These facts raise doubt that the verse under consideration is an authentic part of Scripture, but added in the third Century to allow for the possibility of deathbed repentance.

Such a scenario would account for some apparent inconsistencies resulting from the present text.