Five Views of Mark Salvation
Five Views of Salvation
Jesus stated nearly 2000 years ago, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk. 16:16). To the simple, unbiased and unprejudiced mind, Jesus’ statement is very clear and easy to understand. It is as easy to understand a doctor’s statement, “He who eats his food and digests it will live; but he who does not eat will die.” All of us would easily understand that unless we eat and digest, we will die! However, for those who have allied themselves with human creeds and have been depraved with worldly wisdom, Jesus’ simple statement becomes confusing and contradicting. Although the Bible ALWAYS places water baptism (in Jesus’ name) before salvation, men have sought ways to undermine the authority and confuse the simplicity of our Lord’s teaching.
For example, the Atheist would say, “He who believes and is baptized will NOT be saved.” He has rejected the existence of God and the authority of the Bible. Unbelievers believe there is no God, yet one would have to be “God” himself to prove such a position. For one to know that there is no God, he would have had to have been everywhere, seen everything at once and know all things! Yet Jesus had him in mind when he said, “. . .he who believes not shall be condemned,” and again, “. . .he who does not believe is condemned already” (Jn. 3:18). Truly “the fool has said in his heart ‘There is no God.’ ” (Prov. 14:1).
The Universalist approaches the scripture with the bias that God is a God of only love and therefore He can never condemn anyone. They say, “He who believes NOT and is NOT baptized shall be saved.” While such a faith accepts the actuality of God, it rejects His word and leaves, nonetheless, a corrupt and misguided picture of Deity. Warning! “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (Jn. 12:48).
The Catholic comes along and teaches, “He who believes NOT and is baptized shall be saved.” I say this as a former Catholic who was sprinkled as a baby. Catholics baptize babies because of the erroneous view of inherited sin (Ezek. 18:20); however, Bible baptism was NEVER administered to babies. Jesus taught that babies are safe (Lk. 18:15-17). Notwithstanding, subjects of Bible baptism must have first believed (see again Mark 16:16), yet faith comes by hearing the word of the Lord (Rom. 10:17). How can a baby believe when they cannot understand the word of the Lord? Can they also confess with their mouth the Lord Jesus (Matt. 10:32; Rom. 10:9, 10; Acts 8:37)? False doctrine makes us believe unbelievable things!
Then the Baptist comes and says, “He who believes and is NOT baptized shall be saved.” Yet is this what Jesus said? Is it Deity’s view? No amount of human manipulation will change the eternal truth of Mark 16:16. Beware of such “NOTS” in the devil’s “tale.”
—Steven J. Wallace