SIMPLE OBJECTION #3; What if someone dies on the way to be baptized?
The Objection goes like this: “What if a person believes in Jesus and is saved, but on the way to be baptized they are killed before they can be baptized? I think God will save them because they were actively seeking to do the will of God.”
How to Answer: The first thing to note is that a usual part of this objection is the line, ‘they are saved after believing.’ There is no salvation by faith alone. It’s a subtle twist in the objection, so be sure you note it and correct it. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” [Mark 16:16]
Once that is addressed, you can move on to answer the main objection. What if I die GOING to the water?
First, remind them of GOD’S PLAN. We don’t get our authority through ‘I think, my opinion’ etc. The Bible states that we must first believe the Gospel, that Jesus is the Son of God, repent from our sins and to be baptized for the remission of our sins:
- “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
- “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
- “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them” (Acts 2:47).
Repent means to turn away from your sins. Remission means forgiveness.
Next, the objection stands if you can find just ONE PERSON who doesn’t need to be baptized. If so, then nobody needs be baptized. They want the made-up exception to be the rule. We have no authority to make exceptions to God’s commands.
IMMEDIACY is seen in the text. “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16; cr. Acts 16:33).
NOBODY is saved until they obey the Gospel. [2Thess 1:8; Rom 10:16-17]. Believers Baptized in water is the dividing line.
GOD KNOWS the end from the beginning. If questions will lead to every kind of disobedience. Here’s one, what if a person is on the way & will hear the Gospel and would have believed, but dies before hearing? I’ve had folks tell me the person would be saved! That means they’re saved before BELIEF! This is an egregious error based on ‘what if’ scenarios. ‘What If’ questions have no part in determining authority. The Word from God written in His scripture is our source for information. [Col 3:16]
Now, what does baptism represent? It represents Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” (Rom 6:3-6). [cr. Col 2:12; Acts 8:35-37; Acts 22:16; Gal 3:27]