This is a question that is asked often by nonbelievers and newly converted Christians. Salvation is not something we deserve but, rather given to us by the grace of God.
We can find the answer in the scripture, in the Gospel of Luke. There are two stories in this book of the New Testament that we will read and find out if Baptism is necessary for Salvation. Can I be saved without being baptized?
The Rich Man And Lazarus
The first story can be found in the Gospel of (Luke 16:19-31). We read the story of a rich man and a beggar the that both die but, end up in different places. The Bible states that the poor man dies and that angel’s carry him to Abraham’s side. The rich man dies also and is buried but, ends up at the Hades.
The Hebrew word “Sheol” always spoke of the state, condition, or the place of the dead in The Old Testament. The Greek word “Hades” also speaks of the same in The New Testament. There are different meanings for Hades in The New Testament.
- The Grave
- The Place Of Punishment
- A General Term For The Unseen Realm of The Dead
Lazarus being taken by angel’s to Abraham’s side without any mention of Baptism is a good indication that Baptism is not necessary for Salvation. This story was told by Jesus himself before his death and resurrection meaning that John The Baptist was already Baptizing at that time.
The Baptism of John The Baptist was more for repentance than salvation but, it was ment for the Jews (Matthew 3:7-9). The rich man could have been saved himself but there was no repentance on his part.
The Crucifixion with The Criminal
The next story may be the best out the two to close the argument about needing Baptism for Salvation.
We find the story also in the Gospel of (Luke 23:32-33,39-43). Jesus is crucified along with two criminals and one of them railed at him saying “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us! The other criminal rebuked him by saying “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
He acknowledged that they were paying the price for their bad deeds but, that Jesus was innocent. He then turned to Jesus and begged him to remember him when he came into His Kingdom. And Jesus turned to him and told him those beautiful words “Truly, I Say To Yo, Today You Will Be With Me In Paradise”.
Paradise must be nice for a person that had never received the word or been Baptized.
Here was a criminal that was a sinner like all of us but, had the opportunity to repent and be saved. If only we all had that opportunity but, we don’t know when or how we will die. We might not get that chance to repent, that’s why we have to be ready for the second coming of our Lord and Savoir Jesus Christ.
We have to walk the narrow path that leads to our Father in Heaven and not the wide path that leads to destruction.
The answer we come to is that we don’t need to be Baptized to be Saved but, we do have to believe in our Lord Jesus Christ (John 7:38).
These two stories show that Baptism is not necessary for salvation but, we need it as a public acknowledgement that we are born again and that are past is our past and it stays in the water (John 3:1-8).
We are made new again through Baptism but, like we have read in the Bible, it is possible to get to Heaven without it.
We just can’t take a chance and hope we have time to repent. We must seek and walk with God while we still have life on this earth so, that we can have eternal life with Him in Heaven.