23April2014

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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 "Heaven is not for you" as it discusses the subject more fully that I can here.



Comments   

 
# carleda 2012-06-19 14:27
Thanx, I needed to read this I have not yet been baptized and I have five small children I hope and pray we become saved and as one with the Lord. Because I do believe
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# Nick 2012-09-10 18:42
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?
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# Jason 2012-10-01 15:39
Quoting Nick:
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?


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.
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# Rell 2013-09-12 07:25
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?” ..."
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# Jason Young 2013-09-16 15:53
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-establishmen t 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,
Jason
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