The million dollar question is ; how can you be born again and you remain in the roman catholic church? How can a person born of the spirit ,kneel before statues and worship the dead. How can a born again person fail to see that the roman catholic Mary(pagan queen of heaven) who can be black, Chinese, white , India etc can not be the Mary of the bible.
From a black Roman Catholic Mary to a Chinese Roman catholic Mary: The pagan queen of heaven of roman Catholicismhttp://watchmanafrica.blogspot.com/2013/10/from-black-roman-catholic-mary-to.html
Why Catholics are Going to Hell?
All this is evidence that the spirits of baptized roman Catholics are dead indeed. You can not be born again and you remain in the roman catholic church. Impossible!!! The errors in roman Catholicism are so grave that the spirit of God will convict you to leave such a satanic institution. Personally, when I became born again christian , I left the catholic church.
Million dollar questions for the catholic intellectual :
- If born again Christians are the ones who have been water baptized? Was the thief on the cross born again? If so, where was he water baptized?
- Sub-cults from the roman catholic church such as the church for the restoration of the ten commandments cult of Kibwetere used to baptize in the name of the father, son and holy spirit? Were they born again?
- If baptism is so important and biblical necessary for salvation, why don’t Catholics do it the right way? Why does the catholic church baptize by sprinkling, yet Jesus was baptized by immersion?
- If baptism takes away original sin? How did the un baptized thief on the cross enter heaven with original sin?
They crawl, bow and kiss wood and stone
Roman Catholicism and the worship of the dead: Demonic worship of the dead
Roman Catholicism and the Worship of the dead: Roman Catholic chapel in Poland with 24.000 skulls and skeletons
Roman Catholicism and the worship of the dead XV: Catholics in Bolivia celebrate “Day of the skulls”
Is Baptism Required To Go To Heaven?
HOW CAN A PERSON BECOME BORN AGAIN?
All baptised Christians are born again
Publish Date: Oct 10, 2013
Jesus while answering a question from Nicodemus recorded in John 3:3 said: “I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again”.
He went on to explain in John 3:5-7, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the spirit gives birth to spirit”.
Baptism gives us supernatural life. We are taught that it removes original sin; we are born with souls which are supernaturally dead. Original sin “sensu stricto”, is not a “blot” upon the soul but absence of something. Theologians tell us that it is like darkness where there should have been light. When one gets baptism, the spiritual vacuum in his/her soul (which we call original sin) disappears and God’s presence takes over.
Baptism does not take away only the original sin, but as in the case of an adult, it takes away all sins committed up to that moment of baptism and the person has a new beginning – born again, adopted child of God and heir to the kingdom of God.
1Peter 3: 20-21 compared the effect of baptism with the flood during Noah’s time when eight people were saved through water. He said, “….In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water and this water symbolises baptism that now saves you also ...” He explained that you are saved through water, not because of water’s physical action but through the power of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, through baptism’s spiritual effects.
This article is written in response to the general view that born again Christians are saved and are destined for heaven whereas other baptised Christians are doomed. In order to understand this new birth, let us first examine the Baptism of Our Lord by John the Baptist at river Jordan (cf. Matt.3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:30-34).
What were the principal events on that occasion? First of all, all the Three Persons were present: Voice from heaven was God the Father, the dove was the Holy Spirit and Jesus was physically present. The events: 1. Jesus goes into water and is baptised 2. Heavens opens and the Holy Spirit descends upon him in the form of a dove and 3. Voice of God the Father speaks from heaven saying “This is my beloved Son.
This scene gives a graphic depiction of what happens at our baptism: a) We are baptised with water symbolising our dying with Christ (Rom.6:3) and our rising with Christ to the newness of life (Rom.6:4-5) b) we receive the gift of sanctifying grace and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1Cor.12:13; Gal.3:27) and c) we are adopted as God’s sons (children) (Rom8:15-17).
Often people miss to understand the fact that baptism gives us new life/new birth because they have an impoverished view of the grace God gives through baptism, which they think is a mere symbol. Baptism is much more than a mere symbol. In the Acts 2:38, Peter said, “Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”.
When Paul (Saul) was converted, he was told, “And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptised, and wash away your sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22:16).
When a Catholic says that he is born again, he refers to the transformation that God’s grace accomplish in him during baptism. The Greek translation of “born of water and spirit” literally means one birth of water-and spirit; if it meant born of water and of the spirit it would have implied two different births – one of water and one of spirit which born again Christians would like us to believe. For an Evangelical or “born again” Christian to be saved, he refers to an occasion or a crusade where perhaps after listening to some preaching or sermon, his life is transformed.
Usually the preacher will announce, “If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and believe he died for your sins, you will be born again”. So the Christians make a decision for Christ then the preacher calls them forward to be led in “the sinner’s prayer”. Then the preacher announces to them after the sinner’s prayer that they have been saved.
Once this is done, a new batch of “born again” Christians is formed who portray themselves as destined to heaven. This is not in the Bible. Even Paul in his letter to Timothy (1Tim 1:15), said “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, - of whom I am the worst….” He told Timothy “fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience” (1Tim 1:18-19).
This shows that no matter how much grace one has received from God, he can never get to beyond the place where he is reckoned a sinner.
Some Evangelicals/born again say that water in John 3:5 was referring to amniotic fluid present at child birth. This is a shocking revelation because Jesus could have said, “You must be born of amniotic fluid and the spirit”.
This would imply baptism is an “internal” baptism but the Bible shows it is external: In Acts 2:38 people are told to take action, “Be baptised….in the name of Jesus Christ”. At Paul’s conversion at Damascus, “….He got up and was baptised and after taking some food, he regained his strength.” This was water baptism.
In most of Paul’s writings, he was reminding people of their water baptism and never implied anything about some sort of “invisible spiritual baptism” which has no biblical basis whatsoever.
So who are the born again Christians the ‘Bible way’? Born again are all those Christians who have been water baptised in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19).
This is an entry point to salvation but the real salvation comes later when they “obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt. 28: 20).
The writer is a concerned Christian
This book is the copyright of Zacharias Tanee Fomum. If you would like permission to reproduce it or sell print copies of it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOD SPEAKS TO THE MAN WHO WANTS TO HEAR
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to Me: 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me you evildoers" (Matthew 7:21-23).
'Lord, Lord,' could signify a confession of the lips.
'Lord, Lord,' could signify a religious activity.
'Lord, Lord,' could signify a life sacrificed.
There could be the confession of the lips, activities of life, and sacrifice 'for the Lord' that mean nothing to God. The person who does them will all the same never enter the kingdom of heaven. A man is not to be judged as going to heaven by the confession of his mouth, activities carried out, sacrifices made. Say it to all who call themselves after My name. Tell them. Tell them. Tell them. Not every one who says to Me: 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom, My kingdom. There are hundreds of millions; there are hundreds of millions who have said, 'Lord, Lord,' and who say, 'Lord, Lord,' who shall nevertheless perish. They have said, 'Lord, Lord,' all their lives and even carried out many activities in My name, but they shall not enter the kingdom. They have put in time, money, things, effort, etc, into a variety of activities supposedly in My name and for Me, but they shall not enter the kingdom of My glory.
They shall not enter!
They shall not enter!!
They shall not enter!!!
WHY THEY SHALL NOT ENTER
(False Repentance)They shall not enter because, first of all, I never knew them. They have never truly come to Me on My own conditions. They have never known true repentance. They have never known a total forsaking of the sins in their lives which they know about. They have never truly forsaken their sinful ways. They have never been broken-hearted, truly broken-hearted over their sins. They say they came to Me, but I do not know them! They say they came to Me, but how did they come? Was that coming to Me? They came with sins in their hearts. They came with sins in their motives. They came with sins in their thoughts. They came with sins in their words and actions. Yes, they came with sins and when I bid them abandon all the sins in their hearts, motives, thoughts, words, and actions; when I bid them abandon all at My feet, they thought they knew better. They thought they could leave some and keep some. They left some and they kept some. They abandoned some and decided that they would come to Me, that they would enter My narrow gate with some sins. In this way they deceived themselves. They never entered through My gate. They never entered My kingdom. They never received Me. I never received them. They could not enter and I could not receive them while they kept some of their sinful ways. I could not receive them while they laboured to hide their sins from man and thought they could hide them from Me. I could not receive them while they stubbornly refused to let all sin go. I could not receive them while they remained workers of iniquity. I could not receive them on their own terms, on their own grounds, on their own conditions. I gave them My conditions. I showed them My nail-pierced hands. I showed them the crimson fountain. I bid them leave all their sin and all their sins there. I begged them, yet they would not listen. I sent them one message after another, but they would not listen. I spoke through many of My messengers, and these spoke through a variety of methods, yet they clung to their cherished sins. They clung to their cherished idols. They clung to the idols they had allowed into their hearts. They thought they could keep their sins and their idols and yet come to Me. I never received them; I could not receive them, yet they deceived themselves that they had become Mine. They kept their secret sins and they worshipped the idols on their hearts, and they confessed that they were saved. They loved the world and they loved the things of the world and they yearned, desired, laboured and burned, and were consumed with passion for what was of this world, yet they deceived themselves that they were citizens of My kingdom and of the other world. They guarded their idols, defended them, justified their existence in their lives, and would not let them be touched. They would not abandon their sin in totality. They would not uproot the world from their hearts, and they would not let Me uproot it. They would not uproot the love of the world and the love of the things of the world from their hearts, and they stubbornly refused to let Me do it. I moved in on their behalf to hew down their idols, but they built walls of protest against Me and My servants. I gave them My Word. They heard it, but they would not obey it. They became judges of My Word. They decided that they would judge and decide what they were to obey and what they were to disobey. They rationalized what they decided not to obey and they eased their consciences. They chose to deceive themselves, and I allowed them to be deceived. Since I let them be what they wanted to be, they confessed that they were saved, but they abode in sin, in deliberate sin, more and more, I allowed them to rationalize their sin. Thus they hardened their hearts against Me and against the voices that spoke and wrote in My name. They deadened their consciences. They became hypocrites. Truth became lacking. They talked about Me as though they knew Me and were walking with Me. They talked about Me although they were separated from Me. They talked about Me, yet they had never been joined to Me. I allowed them to be deceived to the extent to which they wanted to be. I let them have the desires of their hearts - deception, falsehood, pretence, hypocrisy and lying. They spoke of salvation while they were in the grip of sin, the world and the devil. They talked and sang of being free while they were bound by lust, greed, covetousness and the like.
In the darkness of their hearts, they had motives that I hate, but they would not abandon them. Rather, they justified them. They had thoughts that were contrary to My holiness, righteousness and glory, yet they mused in these thoughts and would neither hate nor abandon them. They spoke words of unrighteousness and evil, but they never stopped to think and to repent. They carried out deeds aimed at satisfying their idols, especially the idol of self. They worshipped and served the self in them, yet they did it 'in My name.' They used My name to pursue their selfish goals. They pursued their own goals and coloured them with My name, but never gave a thought to the goal I had set for them. I never sent them, yet they went. They were separated from Me. They never knew Me indeed! They never knew Me, but they shouted, 'prayed', danced and did things in My name and thought that they were doing them for Me. They continued in sin and they continued in the worship and adoration of the idol self, and yet they set up a variety of activities in My name. They preferred those activities to true repentance.. They preferred those activities to coming to Me for cleansing, a new heart and a new spirit.
GOD'S REACTIONBecause their hearts were inclined to falsehood, I let them have what they wanted. I let the Enemy take over and deceive them so that they had a false assurance of salvation, while abiding in sin and in rebellion from My will and My way. As the Enemy had them in his grip, they totally left Me aside and would not be bothered about My Word, My standards, My ways, My methods and My demands. They left Me aside, I the fountain of life. They made for themselves broken cisterns. They sought for tongues and interpretation of tongues, but did not bother about the Baptizer into the Holy Spirit. They sought for healings and miracles, even though they did not want to co-operate with Me so that the initial miracle of a radical new birth from above might take place in them. They sought for visions, dreams and prophecy, but they would not listen to My prophets who bid them repent. They sought all gifts except the gift that they needed the most - the spirit of repentance towards God and genuine faith in the Lord Jesus.
Because they would not separate themselves from the sin and the sins in their hearts; because they would not break down the idols they had allowed into their hearts and before whom they bowed in frequent adoration, I let them have their way so that they might be established in their chosen paths of deception. They therefore sinned, but their consciences did not bother them any more. They did the things that hurt their consciences in the past, but they were no longer disturbed. They knew the calm and the 'peace' that comes to those with whom My Spirit would wrestle no more. If they had wanted Me in truth and purity, they would have abandoned all their sin at My feet: they would have forsaken all the sin in their hearts and lives; they would have abandoned every impure motive, thought, word and deed. If they had been weak and unable, they would have let Me do it. However, their problem was not inability. They just did not want Me with all their hearts. That is why I gave them their desire. That is why I am giving them what they want, and that is why I will continue to gibe them what they want.
CHARACTERISTIC OF THE AUTHENTICMy Father's will!
My Father's will!!
My Father's will!!!
That is all that matters. My Father's will and not many songs; My Father's will and not many prayers; My Father's will and not many meetings; My Father's will and not much money from hearts that are living in deliberate sin; My Father's will and not large buildings and meeting places after My name. I am not in them. I seek pure hearts as My dwelling place. The one thing that matters is My Father's will and not one man-made project after another. They talk of projects, projects, projects, but where is My Father's will? What has My Father conceived? Which of your activities is God-breathed?
Only those who seek, know and do My Father's will are Mine. All the rest are self-deceived. They are not Mine. They are on My Enemy's side. They are serving My Enemy, even though they think they are serving Me.
Their songs are against Me.
Their meetings are against Me.
Their plans are against Me.
Their sacrifices are against Me.
They may move to new lands and even suffer there, but all is against Me. They may go, but I am not sending them. I have never sent those who have never abandoned all sin. I have never sent lovers of the world. I have never sent any who can go without Me. I never send anyone who will produce people who are, by hypocrisy and deception, better fit for hell than they were before.
This is My Father's will for any who still care. It is simple. It is clear: Departure from all sin in motives. Departure from all sin in thought. Departure from all sin in word. Departure from all sin in action.
My Father's will, yes, His very will is separation from the lust of the eyes, separation from the lust of the flesh and separation from the pride of life. This is my Father's will that they come to Me and to Me only, that they receive My salvation in all its fullness, and that they receive my life and My Spirit. This is My Father's will-that they
Know Me, and Enjoy Me.
This is My Father's will that they find in Me all that they need and that they look nowhere else. This is My Father's will that they find all their satisfaction in Me, find Me to be their all-sufficient portion for now and for always.
This is My Father's will, that they seek His will in everything, small or big; that they never act without assurance that they are acting in the very centre of His will. This is My Father's will--that they consecrate themselves to His will and to His will only, and that after seeking and finding that will day by day and hour by hour, they do it at any cost to themselves.
This is the Father's will--that their joy be the Father and the Father's will. This is the Father's will--that those who are His, press on in Hiss will with a real sense of urgency. My father is at the brink of winding up this era. All will soon be over. I am coming soon, very soon. I am even now at the door. It is a very, very late hour. It is very late and many, yes, multitudes will be taken unawares.
I am coming.
I am coming.
I am coming for My Bride.
She is without spot.
She is without wrinkle.
She is without blemish.
I am coming. I will take her and together We will sit on the throne and We shall reign.
He who is able to discern My voice, let him discern it.
He who has an ear to hear, let him hear.
He who wants to obey, let him obey.
He who wants to be Mine, let him be Mine.
Professor Zacharias Tanee Fomum
This tract was reproduced with permission from Prof. Fomum
Christian Publishing House, PO Box 7100, Yaounde, Cameroon
Telephone: (237) 231 93 93 Fax: (237) 231 75 88.
Is Baptism Required To Go To Heaven?
August 31, 2012 By 87 Comments
Is Baptism required for Christians? Do I have to be baptized to be saved? Will I go to hell if I never get baptized? Is ‘Baptismal Regeneration’ Biblical?These questions are asked frequently in Christian discussions. What one thinks or believes on this subject is not as important as what the Bible states, which is God’s truth. This article will look at the Biblical doctrines on baptism and its purpose. And while Christians are certainly commanded to be baptized, it is not required or necessary for salvation.
What Is Baptism?
The first mention of baptism in the Bible is in Matthew 3:
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight… Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?Baptism is immersion in water. At the time of John the Baptist’s ministry, he called for the Jewish people to repent in preparation for the arrival of the Messiah, Christ Jesus. What is important to note here is that John distinguishes between his baptism, which was done with water, and the Baptism done by Jesus Christ which is done “with the Holy Ghost, and with fire…” This is a very important distinction to understand. Baptism by water is an act a born again believer chooses to do as an outward sign of their salvation to the public. It symbolizes their “death to self” and rebirth in Jesus Christ. Baptism by the Holy Ghost is what takes place in the heart when one is saved and is a critical aspect of salvation. John The Baptist, obviously someone who was knowledgeable on this subject was well aware of what we he was doing and how what Jesus was going to do in His sacrifice on the cross, was far, far greater.
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. — Matthew 3:1-12
Baptism Is a Picture and Type of Your Salvation
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: — 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.
The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ in accordance with the Scriptures is The Gospel. It is the Good Tidings that if a person believes in, can receive forgiveness for their sins and eternal life. It is faith in the Gospel that saves, not in any action of our own. Baptism is symbolic of what Jesus Christ went through and symbolically displays our own “death and resurrection” in Christ:
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 5:3-4Being immersed into water is a picture of Christ’s death and burial. When you become a born again Christian, your old spirit, which was evil, dies to sin. You receive a new spirit and are quickened or made alive, in its place. Thus emerging from the water is a type of Christ’s resurrection and the new born spirit in a new believer:
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. — 2 Corinthians 5:17.All these things are happening inside the believer. Baptism is just a symbolic act. It has no supernatural power and does nothing to affect a Christian or make them believe. There is a belief called “Baptismal regeneration” that states the water used in Baptism does indeed bring a supernatural change in a Christian and is required for salvation. And that this type of supernatural baptism was instituted by Jesus when He gave the command in the verse above. But does the Bible support this? Upon an examination of Scriptures about people in the Bible actually being saved, it becomes clear that baptismal regeneration is a false teaching.
Baptism Happens After One Is Born Again
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. — Matthew 28:18-20.These beautiful parting words of instruction from Jesus to His Disciples before He ascended and returned to Heaven established baptism as an ordinance for the Christian church. The people were to be taught first and then baptized once they were born again believers. Nowhere in the Bible is it ever stated that baptism is required to be a born again believer. In fact, we see the exact opposite through scripture. The book of Acts provides many details instances of the Gospel being preached and new believers being born again. And from these accounts baptism plays no role in the conversion of the new Christian.
The Apostle Peter’s Sermon at Pentecost
In Acts chapter 2, Peter, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit preached at the Feast of Pentecost and thousands of new believers joined the church. At the end of his preaching he was asked what must be done for salvation:
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 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 Ghost…And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. — Acts 2:37-41.Those hold the belief that baptism is necessary to be born again believe this passage is proof since Peter told them “repent and be baptized..” However when one looks at verse 41, it is clear that only those who “gladly received his word” ended up getting baptized. It was the belief in the Gospel that came first and then the baptism took place.
The Ethiopian Eunuch
Acts Chapter 8 provides another excellent example of the Gospel being shared and a new born again Christian joining the church. The Apostle Philip, once again under inspiration from the Holy Spirit, approached an Ethiopian Eunuch who was reading Isaiah 53 in the Old Testament but did not fully understand the Messianic prophecies. Philip helped him and shared the Gospel:
Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 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 Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 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 8:35-38.Again, notice that in order for the Eunuch to be baptized he first had to confirm that he believed that Jesus was indeed the Christ and the Son of God. He first believed the Gospel and was thus already saved. Baptism was fulfilling a command for Christians as their outward symbol of their belief. Once again, the baptism did nothing to affect the Eunuch’s belief. He was already a believer.
Saul on the Road to Damascus
The Apostle Paul had one of the most supernatural conversion experiences ever recorded. Then known as Saul, prior to being saved, he was an enemy of the Christian church, who hunted down Christians, persecuted them and arranged for their execution. Yet he became a believer after The Lord Jesus spoke to him directly from Heaven:
And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. — Acts 9:4-6.At this point, Saul, humbled and blinded by The Lord came to understand the truth, that Jesus is Lord. How do we know this? In verse 5 Saul says “Lord, what wilt thou have me do?” Not only did Saul realize that Jesus, whose believers he had been attacking, was in fact God, he was humbly willing to follow his commands. He was a believer. And yet it was not until days later, that he was baptized:
And [Saul] was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. — Acts 9:9-18.Saul obeyed Jesus. He then waited and prayed. He was clearly a believer in Christ for 3 days before he was baptized. Again, baptism was not required for salvation.
Cornelius The Centurion
Acts chapter 10 is entirely devoted to the witnessing of the Gospel to one man and his family. The Apostle Peter, directed by God, went to the home of the Gentile Roman Centurion and preached the Gospel. This chapter shows clearly that salvation and receiving the Holy Ghost happens without being baptized.
The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly… To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. –Acts 10:34 -45.
Peter gives a Gospel presentation and not only did Cornelius believe, in verse 44, the Holy Ghost interrupts Peter’s sermon and fell on “all them which heard the word.” Without question, Cornelius and his family were born again believers, who received the Holy Spirit. And once they spoke in Biblical tongues, the others with Peter then urged them to be baptized. Why? Because they knew they were obviously born again and had received the Holy Spirit. In every believer, the Holy Spirit works to cleanse us from sin and lead us in our Christian life:
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17.This is the essential baptism and it happens in the heart. It is the new spirit that is born in a new Christian. This is the baptism of the Holy Ghost that John the Baptist preached of.
The Thief on the Cross and Every Old Testament Believer
The thief on the cross next to Jesus was nailed at his hands and feet. He was completely unable to perform any action, much less be baptized. And yet he was saved:
And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. — Luke 23:42-43.It was his faith that saved him, with no other action. And Jesus Christ personally confirmed it. Now some who support the idea of baptismal regeneration say that the thief was “an exception” because Jesus had not yet given the command of baptism. What this idea ignores is that there is and was always just one way to Heaven: faith in Jesus Christ. From Genesis chapter 3, God told humanity of His plan of redemption through the “seed of the woman”, the child who would one day be born, destroy Satan and redeem the human race. And it is faith in the Messiah that saves. Hebrews chapter 11 lists many of the Old Testament saints who were saved for their faith in Christ, from Abel to Abraham, Moses to Rahab and others. None of these Old Testament saints were baptized and yet they are in Heaven. Hebrews 11, often called “the Hall of fame of faith”, describes many of the faithful people of the Old Testament and that they were saved:
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. — Hebrews 11:13.They were saved based on their faith in the promise of the coming Messiah just as all Christians today are saved by faith that the promise was fulfilled 2,000 years ago. It is no different. And baptism plays no role.
We Are Saved By Grace Through Faith
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. –Ephesians 2:8-9.It is our faith in the work Jesus Christ did on the cross that saves us and not any action. Should a Christian be baptized? Absolutely. It is one of the few ordinances of the church given by Jesus. But Jesus also commands Christians to have the Lord’s Supper. By the same incorrect logic, shouldn’t the that also be required in order to be saved? Of course not. It too is just a symbolic act that Christians do to remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Our “common salvation” is a gift of God. It is only received through belief in the heart. There is no action we can add on to what Jesus did to save ourselves. So this is how we know that Baptismal regeneration is a heresy and false teaching. Jesus said: “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40).
It is faith in Jesus Christ that brings the gift of eternal life. Jesus said “whosoever believeth on Him [Jesus Christ] shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). There were no other stipulation. There is no fine print. We believe in Jesus Christ and we are saved. Water baptism is just our way of publicly identifying with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But it is not required to go to Heaven. We cannot do any act to earn our salvation and thank God in Heaven we do not have to. Jesus did it all.