Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 12, 1956

The Gospel For All

Judson Woodbridge, Mulvane, Kansas

"The gospel is for all" are the words of a poet. Nothing more scriptural was ever spoken. "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation." (Mark 16:15.) Just as surely as that gospel is for all, so are the terms of it for all. Everyone who accepts it, must accept it alike. Everyone must believe, repent, confess the name of Christ and be baptized. (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Rom. 10:10, et al.) In every case of conversion in the New Testament we see these terms honored and complied with.

However, there is a limitation to the creatures the gospel is for. It is for those who are able to comply with the terms. The animal creation is not included. There is no need upon their part and there is the lack of ability. The brute beasts are without intellect and without soul.

The gospel is not for the infant and mentally incapacitated. They are not able to hear this message and obey it. Neither is there any need, for they are in a safe condition. Responsibility begins and ends with ability. The babe has not the ability to transgress God's law, and is not a sinner. It is pure in the sight of God; so much so, that Jesus said to grown men, "Except ye turn, and become as little children ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 18:3.) Sin is a transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4.) Men "turn aside .... become unprofitable," (Rom. 3:12) instead of being born in that state. Because of inability and because of no need the gospel is not for the infant. There must be ability and the need before it applies.

Those who baptize infants find themselves in an inescapable trap. They say, baptize them because they are sinners — born that way. According to such theology that makes baptism essential to salvation. But in the next breath they teach that baptism isn't essential to salvation. Such teachers cannot have both.

The truth of the matter is, they are wrong both times. The babe is not a sinner, and baptism is essential to salvation. There is no scriptural reason for the infant to be baptized; but there is the all important reason of salvation from sin for the penitent believer to be baptized. If you are capable of hearing and understanding the gospel is for you.