SIMPLE OBJECTION #4; What if you’re in a DESERT?
I heard his objection and the next one just this week in my public evangelism. They really are being used. An associate pastor [I don’t know what an associate pastor is] said, ‘What if you’re in a desert and want to be baptized, then what?” I replied, ‘Let me show you a bible passage.’ He ignored me and walked away. Folks, these are not straw man arguments, they are being used by error to justify disobedience to God. Let’s reason together and learn how to answer them.
The Objection goes like this: “Baptism isn’t required because if a believer was in a desert or on a battlefield, they would not be able to be baptized.” These kinds of “what if” arguments prove nothing and don’t change what God has said. They actually lead to error, ie, Sprinkling instead of immersion. God can extend mercy as He sees fit however, we are not God and only know what God has revealed to us. [Deut 29:29]
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
DON’T GO beyond the word of the Lord. I cannot go beyond or below the word of the Lord. Consider carefully these passages about adding to or taking away from God’s word.
- Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. [Deut 4:2]
- What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. [Deut 12:32]
- For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. [Rev 22:18]
- Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. [Prov 30:6]
EXCLUDING one command that saves EXCLUDES them all. What saves us? Look at the chart on the last page. All of these are essential.
SALVATION is at the place God puts it. Forgiveness is at faithful baptism. God drew the line of salvation at baptism. We’re not the final judge. All we can say is that such a person does not have a Biblical hope of salvation.
- And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. [Acts 22:16]
- 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. [Acts 2:38]
- He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. [Mark 16:16]
- The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 1Peter 3:21]
- 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? [Acts 8:36]
EXCEPTIONS come from God, not man. God gave the children of Israel an exception to the Passover timing [Num 9:9-13]. God gave it, not man. We cannot go beyond the word of the Lord to do good or to do evil. [Mat 7:21-23] It’s presumptuous to speak where God is silent. “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.” [Deu 18:20] While we have no authority for stoning law breakers, the principle still applies. God makes the rules. [cf. 2Timothy 2:5] There are no exceptions to baptism.
REPLACING commands of God has been tried & failed. Naaman tried that. [2Kings 5:1-14]. A key verse: “My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?” [v13]
TURNING AWAY from the command of God is rebellion & blasphemous. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.” [1Sam 15:23; John 12:42; 6:66]
This objection leaves us to wonder if it’s really about ability or willingness.