Facing Uncertain Death, Troops Line Up for Baptism?

By David J. Stewart

The following disturbing article was scanned from the Friday, March 21st, 2003 Chicago Sun-times newspaper.

     Any born-again believer would be heartbroken after reading such an article. As a born-again Christian, I cringed when I read this article. The reason is simply because baptism CANNOT save anyone. It is heartbreaking for me to realize that so many our soldiers, who may be about to die in battle, are relying upon baptism to save them. I would like to think that God would pardon the ignorance of sincere people, I really would. However, that is NOT what the Bible teaches. The Bible is VERY CLEAR...

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ~John 3:3

I didn't write the Bible, I'm just telling you what It says. God wrote the Bible! Do you believe that the Bible is the Word of God? I do... 100%. I believe the 1611 King James Bible is 100% God's Word and without any errors. If you don't believe the Bible, you are doomed. You MUST be born-again to get to Heaven! 

The Catholic Church doesn't obey God's commands. Notice that the priest in the posted article above is Roman Catholic. Have you ever heard the Pope speak of being born-again? No you haven't. The Pope has not been born-again, he is not saved! In fact, all recent popes over the past 50-years have taught that a person can be saved without Biblical faith. He follows the traditions of men instead of obeying God's commands. Listen to the Words of Jesus Christ...

"And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." ~Mark 7:9

The Catholic Church is a system of man-made doctrines. It is a system of religion, not of God. Salvation is NOT found in a religion friend, it is found in a Person—Jesus Christ the Lord. Getting baptized won't give you the new birth. Getting baptized does one thing... it gets you wet. Does wearing a ring make a person married? Of course not! Likewise, water baptism does NOT make anyone a Christian. You can get baptized all you want, it cannot merit you any favor with God.

What is baptism then? It is one's public profession. It is something God wants us to do AFTER we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. A person wears a wedding ring because he or she is ALREADY married. The ring is simply a symbol, it does NOT make you married, any more than getting baptized makes you a believer—It does NOT!!! Listen to the Words of the Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 1:17, speaking as God's inspired pen...

"For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect." ~1st Corinthians 1:17

The Apostle Paul never would have made such a statement if baptism were essential for salvation—It is NOT!!! God wants a believer (and ONLY a believer) to be baptized AFTER salvation as an act of obedience. Baptism is NOT a sacrament. It does not bestow any grace upon the person getting baptized. Water baptism is not necessary for salvation. Baptism is simply an ordinance (a practice) which the Lord taught us to do, following His example. The Apostle Paul clearly said that Christ sent him to preach the gospel. It is the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ that saves a lost sinner. The gospel is that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again (1st Corinthians 15:1-4).

It is our heart's faith in Jesus Christ (because of what he did upon the cross to pay for our sins) that saves us—not our own works or merit. We must get our sins forgiven to be saved, baptism did NOT die on the cross for you, Jesus did!!! You must believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ and Him alone.  

"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." ~Acts 16:31

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." ~Romans 10:9

Baptism represents Christ's death, burial and resurrection. When a believer gets baptized, he or she is identifying with Christ. Baptism is a way of showing that we are a new creature in Christ. God's Spirit now indwells us (Romans 8:9)... 

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." ~2nd Corinthians 5:17

I believe the best way to explain baptism is to consider the Lord's supper. The Lord's supper is an ordinance (a practice), which Jesus Christ started and asked us to continue. It is NOT a sacrament as Catholic's teach, not at all. The Lord's supper has no magical power to it, it is simply a time of REMEMBERING what Jesus did for us upon the cross. We do it because Jesus asked us to remember Him.  

Note: The unleavened bread (no yeast) pictures Christ's sinless body, crucified for humanity; the unfermented juice (not intoxicating wine) pictures Christ's sinless blood, shed upon the cross for the sins of humanity. Ferment and leaven are a molding process; therefore, not proper to symbolize Christ's righteousness and perfection.  

The bottom line is that baptism, the Lord's supper and all the other ceremonial religious observances CANNOT help you one bit to get to Heaven. 

Ye must be born-again!!!

The first soldier mentioned in the above article stated the following, "I guess I figured that I should get good with God, just in case." Sound sincere? Sure it does. The problem is that he was speaking of being baptized to "get good" with God.  No matter how sincere, it is NOT the way to make things right with God.  At first the article gives an indication that he might be a believer, mentioning Christ as his Savior.  However, I really question this man's salvation based upon his faith in being baptized to make things right with God.  Listen to the Word of God, 

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" ~Romans 5:1

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." ~John 14:6

It's Jesus or Hell! If a person relies upon anyone or anything apart from Christ, he is not saved. Why? Because the only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ ALONE (Acts 4:10-12). To say "I'm trusting Christ," but also ADD going to church or getting baptized "just in case" is no trust at all. Either we are trusting Jesus Christ 100% or we are not trusting Him at all. If I say I am trusting a shaky chair to hold me up, while holding onto a rope "just in case," then I am not trusting that chair at all. Listen friend, you can only be born-again by trusting upon Jesus Christ 100%. By trusting Christ 100% I simply mean that you absolutely CANNOT trust anything or anyone else. 

If you have even the tiniest faith in the world, you can still be saved, just so long as you put 100% of that faith in Jesus Christ. What a wonderful Savior! It matters not how small your faith may seem to be, if you have JUST ENOUGH faith to obey Romans 10:13 to "call upon the name of the Lord" (Jesus), then you will be saved eternally!!!

The last soldier mentioned in the above article said he wants to see his children in Heaven if he dies in battle, so he decided to get baptized. Here's a challenge—Show me one Verse in the Bible that teaches that a person has to be baptized to go to Heaven. You cannot! On the contrary, I will show you the thief on the cross who was not baptized.Jesus assured the thief on the cross that he would be with Him in paradise that day. Evidently water baptism was not essential to his salvation. Again, I challenge you to find one Verse in the Bible that mandates baptism—you cannot! Yet, so many foolish people are teaching and relying upon their baptism to "get good" with God.  

"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." ~Proverbs 16:25

Roman Catholicism teaches that baptism only forgives our original sins. Show me that in the Bible... I triple-dog dare ya!You cannot. Show me where celibacy is taught in the Bible for priests, you cannot! However, I can show you 1st Timothy 4:1-3, where God warns of such false prophet teachings! There's no command in the Bible which forbids eating anything other than fish on Fridays (like Catholicism teaches)...

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth."

Show me where praying to Mary is taught in the Bible, you cannot! However, I can show you Exodus 20:4,5, where God forbids us to bow down to any graven image.  

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;"

Why do Catholics call their priests "Father" when Matthew 23:9 clearly forbids this?

"And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven."

On and on, Catholicism follows man-made traditions instead of God's Holy Word. You can find these same Verses in any Catholic Douay version of the Bible. What I tell you is God's truth, not mine. I hope someone reading this article will be enlightened to the truth by it. I mean no unkindness to anyone, I do mean to expose the heresy that says baptism can help us get to Heaven. It CANNOT! Baptism gets you wet, no more. 

If you're already a true Christian, then you should be baptized as an act of obedience—but it is not essential to your salvation. We read in John 4:2 that Jesus' disciples did the baptizing, but not Jesus. If baptism we're critical to being saved, Jesus and the Apostle Paul would have told us so. Baptism cannot wash away any of your sins, only Jesus (Almighty God) can forgive your sins. Baptism is NOT a door to anything! Jesus is the ONLY Door to heaven.

"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." ~John 10:9

Thank God for our President and troops. I did not write this article to criticize them, not in any way. I wrote this article to expose the heresy that baptism can merit us Heaven in any way. We are sinners, deserving of hell. There are no good works which we can perform to impress God.

"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." ~Isaiah 64:6

Even our good works are filth to God. Why? It's because we are wicked sinners under the condemnation of God's Law.  \No amount of goodness can make up for the sins we have committed.  

"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." ~James 2:10

Whether we have sinned much or little is not the issue. What is the issue is that we have all sinned and sinners cannot go to Heaven unless their sins are forgiven. James 2:10 says that committing even ONE SIN makes us guilty OF ALL. This is because even one sin is enough to condemn a soul to Hell forever. We all need forgiveness. Only Jesus Christ has the scars in His hands and feet from being crucified—only Jesus can forgive sin. To be saved, you must go to Jesus for forgiveness. You don't go to Heaven because you are good, you go to Heaven because your sins have been forgiven by Jesus Christ. 

Likewise, you don't go to Hell because you are bad, you go to Hell because you have rejected Jesus as your personal Savior.  If you die in your sins, you WILL go to Hell (John 8:24).  You don't have to die in your sins, Jesus wants to forgive you, but you must come to Him. Just believe that He is the Christ, trust upon Him for your eternal life. Believe that Jesus died, was buried and rose again three days later for YOU. Come as a sinner and trust upon the Savior!

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." ~John 6:37

What a wonderful promise! Admit that you're a guilty sinner; believe that Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and rose again FOR YOU. 

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