Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
January 14, 1971

See The Point?

Carol R. Lumpkin

A young man while giving consideration in becoming a Christian said, "I really cannot see why I need to be immersed." The preacher read, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mk. 16:16. "Yes, I know," replied the man, "but it doesn't say you cannot be saved without it."

The preacher then picked up a handbill that lay on the table. "The big musical concert is in town tonight; are you going?" He asked, "Oh, no," replied the young man." "The price of admission is four dollars, and I do not have the money." The preacher then replied, "I know the handbill says, 'admission four dollars,' but where does it say you cannot get in without it?" Do you see the point?

This simple illustration reveals the thinking of many people in respect to religious teachings. I have long heard people present the argument that even though the Bible teaches a certain doctrine, yet it does not say that another way will not be just as good. If this is your thinking perhaps you should re-read the above discussion. God instructed Noah to build the ark out of gopher wood. Gen. 6:14. This command excluded every other type or kind of wood. When God tells what he wants every other thing is excluded.

It is quite true that Jesus did not say, that one cannot be saved without baptism, but the mere fact that he said baptism was essential rules out salvation without baptism. If you will read Mark 16:16, you will see this is true providing you understand it properly.

Most religious groups believe that baptism is nonessential to salvation. They do this in opposition to what the Lord teaches. Jesus taught that it was essential. Mark 16:16. Beginning with the conversion of the three thousand on the Pentecost day (Acts 2), each case of conversion thereafter in Acts ends with baptism. If baptism is non-essential then why did the inspired men teach that it was? Why can't, or don't religious groups, denominational preachers, all people believe and practice truth in respect to baptism? Is it because they have a creed to uphold? Any creed which rules out the requirement of baptism cannot please God.

The word of God does not say not to use crackers and ice tea upon the Lord's table, but the word of God does say use unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine. Mk. 14:22-25. The word of God does not say do not use the musical instrument of music in worship, but it does teach us to sing and make melody in our hearts. Eph. 5:19. The word of God does not say not to raise money by renting parking lots, bingo, etc., but it does teach us to give as prospered upon the first day of the week. I Cor. 16:2. The word of God does not say not to send money of the church treasury to a benevolent institution but it does show us how the church is to do this work. Acts 6:1-6; I Cor. 16:14. Can't you see and won't you understand the importance of doing only what the Lord teaches?

The word of God does not say not to practice sprinkling and pouring as modes for baptism, but it does teach that baptism is a burial. Rom. 6:4. The word of God does not say not to eat of the Lord's supper on a weekday, but it does teach that the Lord's supper is to be observed on the first day of the week. Acts 20:7. The word of God does not teach denominational churches are not of God, but it does say the Lord has one church. Eph. 4:4; Matt. 16:18.

The thought we need to remember is that when God teaches a certain thing, pointing out that thing, all other possibilities are out. Remember when God told Noah to build the ark out of gopher wood, this ruled out all other woods.

Friend, your salvation must be important to you. When Jesus tells us that baptism is a must in our salvation (Mk. 16:16), we must accept and obey that command to be saved. We are not governed by the silence of the scriptures, but rather by what the scriptures actually teach.

— 2601 Teresa Dr., Newport, Ark. 72112