Did Billy Graham Lead Millions of Souls on a Path to Hell?

billy-graham

First and foremost, prayers of comfort and healing to all those mourning the death of Billy Graham. I know he created a special connection with millions of people around the world. Today they’re all feeling the pain of his loss right now. With all that said, I know you’re wondering why I asked the question, “Did Billy Graham lead millions of souls on a path to hell?”

On the one hand, Billy Graham lifted the story of Christ to millions of people that lived on this earth through his TV specials and preaching all over the world to stadiums full of people. The experience he gave to his audience whenever he preached helped to bring much more attention to Christ. That’s to be commended, but there’s a sad dark side to all of this.

While he got people’s attention on Christ, he taught them all the wrong way to get saved. He gave that same false sinner’s prayer salvation teaching that so many still give today. Mr. Graham probably had a large part to do with influencing generations to think that was true and keep teaching that in churches. When you think about it, there’s a chance millions of people never got saved according to what Jesus said, that one has to believe and be baptized (Mark 16:16). And if they never did, those millions of people are in hell.

It’s a sobering reality. I can only hope the people who went on to believe they were saved took the time to really read scripture carefully, and discover that they needed to get baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38) before it was too late.

Peace to you all in Christ.

Advertisements

76 thoughts on “Did Billy Graham Lead Millions of Souls on a Path to Hell?

  1. I agree with your concerns about ‘easy believeism’…false security is worse than unbelief. But is baptism essential to eternal life or rather more essential to following the Lord? I ask because the criminal on the cross was saved but surely was not baptized. Many people may repent on their deathbed and be received into heaven without the ordinance of baptism. There are always fruits to true repentance and always evidence of being born again. Aside from baptism, I wonder how many of those who ‘prayed the prayer’ actually ‘picked up their cross’ to follow our Lord.

    • Hi Lisa. Thank you for your comment and question. Jesus gave the command to be baptized as a part of receiving salvation after his and the theif’s death. If he had given it before the theif’s death, then you would perhaps have a point. Would you agree that a command can’t be obeyed until it’s commanded? If you do, then we agree that the thief was not under the obligation of a command he was never alive to be given. So his situation does not contradict what Jesus commands in scripture for the Apostles to preach of salvation in Mark 16:16, which they went on to do throughout Acts, making sure everyone was baptized as a part of their salvation.

      With regards to deathbed repentance, I have to believe my creator of my life, of the earth, and the universe, is far wiser than my or your thinking on justice. And thus, if he set up baptism as a part of the parameters for one receiving salvation, I think we have to believe he set up the most perfect just way for all to have a chance at receiving salvation.

      Peace in Christ 🙂

  2. Of those who said the believer’s prayer, nobody knows for sure about their salvation than God. The thief who asked Jesus to remember him was told by Jesus that he would be in paradise that day. He didn’t read the Bible or witness to others and he couldn’t get baptized. Just a thought.

  3. This reads a lot like a post I would have written not long ago. I agree with your point, but what I’ve learned is that we should not forget that salvation is of grace, meaning there is nothing we do to earn it. Being baptized is not a requirement for salvation, but a kind of fruit of our salvation. If we are being raised up by God as joint heirs of the promise in Jesus Christ, then we will naturally seek baptism according to our ability and opportunity. When we view this in a legalistic manner, we risk weakening the faith of weaker brethren, and in that we should be careful. I appreciate that you encourage keeping the Lord’s commandments, and we should, but perspective is what places us on the “straight and narrow” path of understanding that is not legalistic or causing others to doubt their salvation, but rather encourage them to seek the fruits that salvation promises–and baptism is one of many of those fruits. Sorry for the long-winded response. These are things’ I’m working out myself, so I appreciate posts like yours that make me thing more about this.

    • Hi Amanda. Thanks for your comment. Yes, salvation is of grace, and Jesus earned the opportunity for everyone to receive salvation. I don’t see following the instruction Jesus gave of baptism being a part of receiving salvation as legalistic just as many others probably don’t see professing a belief in Christ as Lord as being legalistic either. I think an interesting question worth pondering is why is it that baptism gets lumped as something legalistic, but not belief, or repentance, or confession? A person has to be told to ‘do something’ in order to have salvation, regardless if one stresses belief as the only necessity of receiving salvation, or repentance, or confession, or baptism. Myself, I don’t stress either of those alone, I stress all of what’s instructed by Christ and the Apostles. If by your apparent definition of legalistic, which from what I’m reading in your comment it sounds like you define as doing a command, then to be logically consistent you’d have to call of the things commanded to do in order to receive salvation as legalistic. Under that apparent definition, one would contradict themselves to pick and choose a command that is and isn’t legalistic. But it’s in my understanding based on scripture that none of these things are stated in any verse as legalistic. It’s all just stated in scripture as the means to salvation which God has given for all to freely receive, as far as I’ve read.

      Peace in Christ 🙂

      • Yes, many do not see that making a profession of faith is legalism. Yet, it can be. We agree that making a declaration of faith is not salvation. Neither is baptism.

        I think the biggest issue, which we probably agree, is that teachers like Billy Graham pervert salvation. Salvation is being freed from bonds of this world that kill, steal, and destroy, and ultimately, it is life everlasting. It is a change of heart first, one that can only be wrought in Christ, and no one knows the heart but God. Like telling people making a declaration of faith brings salvation can lead one to death, so can telling people that being baptized will bring salvation. It is not by these “works of the law or letter” aka legalism, but a work done to the inner man by Jesus alone. Does that make sense?

        Yes, we have to be told to do many things as part of the process of salvation, and those that are given “ears to hear” will adhere to those things, but it is Jesus in us that makes that adherence possible—and not just “in word or deed” but in spirit and truth—in sincerity. All that Jesus and the Apostles instruct is part of this process of having our natures “saved” from death—and we add to the faith and seek these things, not because we are earning salvation, but because we are “making our calling and election sure.”

        Yes, all things we do to receive salvation is legalistic when taken in terms of outward deed and not a change of the inward man. Only Jesus can do that. That’s the trouble with the sinners prayer, and actually, your doctrine of baptism requirement is not far from that same line of thinking. Out of the abundance of the heart we will confess our faith, and out of the abundance of our faith we should and would seek baptism.

      • “Yes, many do not see that making a profession of faith is legalism. Yet, it can be. We agree that making a declaration of faith is not salvation. Neither is baptism.”

        Ah, interesting. I’ve not heard that view before, but you are being logically consistent at least, so I respect that.

        ” It is not by these “works of the law or letter” aka legalism” I would point out for thought here that I think the key words to be focused on are ‘of the law’. Nowhere to my knowledge in scripture does it state that baptism is a work of the law. Do you know of a verse that states that? But I do agree that it’s not just belief, and it’s not just baptism, but it’s a continuation into staying committed to living according to the Word that exhibits the change and sustains the salvation.

        “All that Jesus and the Apostles instruct is part of this process of having our natures “saved” from death—and we add to the faith and seek these things, not because we are earning salvation, but because we are “making our calling and election sure.”

        Hmm, I kind of feel like we’re agreeing, but just using different words to state our similar belief. You concede there is a process, and I concede that this is not earning anything, but just receiving what God has freely gift. Does that sound similar to what you appear to be trying to emphasize?

        “and not a change of the inward man. Only Jesus can do that.”

        What do you mean here by a change of the inward man?

      • I don’t know of a verse that states baptism as a work of the law. My point though, is this. Consider a small child that is “christened” at birth. That child goes on believing they are saved and grow into a very sinful adult that does not think about Jesus much. Are they saved? What about a young child or adult who is pressured into a declaration of faith and baptism? If they go on to live sinfully, yet “believing in Jesus” are they saved? I tend to think not. They are not bringing forth fruits of salvation, and yet, when our heart is right and sincere, things like reciting a sinners prayer or baptism is a fruit if salvation. If our heart is not right, it is a work of the flesh. That, I think, is the distinction, and not one that we can make. If we go around telling people that they are not saved by their declaration or baptism, we are setting ourselves up as judge of the heart. That’s God’s domain.

        I do think we agree when you say, “here is a process, and I concede that this is not earning anything, but just receiving what God has freely gift.”

        The only point of difference is one that I’ve only recently come out of, and that is we should understand the difference between works of faith and fruits of the spirit, and works of flesh and fruits of death – and that they can often look the same when constrained by legalism or “works of the law.” That’s why we need Jesus in the first place. If we could be made righteous by setting a set of laws for ourselves, what’s the point in Jesus? The laws of the kingdom are vaster than a declaration of faith and baptism, yet it includes all these things. Just like we should not murder, we also should not hate in our hearts. In Christ, it’s about the inner man. That’s what I mean by that.

        The second covenant, which Jesus brings, is more than forgiveness of sins. We so desperately need that, absolutely! But, it is also a promise that will “write the laws in their hearts, and they will be my people.” For example, I can know not to sin in anger. I can know that in a “letter of the law” way, but only by a change of nature can I actually stop doing this. That is the difference between a life in Christ and a life in the law. Today, many ministers still hold people under the law with legalism, while never teaching that salvation is a work on the inner-self, and because of this, many will not inherit eternal life. We are to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” I could go way off on another tangent here on the fact that it’s the “gospel of the kingdom” we are to preach and have faith in. That means something, and much more than we commonly believe today. But, this reply is long enough as it is 🙂

      • Sure, I agree the desire to want to be saved has to be there. I think of the first salvations in Acts 2 when the people were pricked at the heart after Apostle Peter preached about Jesus and they asked, “what shall we do?” That seems to illustrate that desire. Then as the story continued, one appears to must do what Apostle Peter told them to do and they did, which was repent and be baptized. Not under any compulsion, but by their desire of what they wanted to do after they were pricked in the heart. At least as it appears to read from the text to me.

        But we agree that one must have a desire, which those people in Acts 2 appeared to have from their asking what to do to be saved, and one also must continue in the faith, just as the rest of the chapter alluded that’s what they continued on doing by continually praying, following the Apostles teaching, breaking of bread and fellowshipping. Desiring to live this new life they have in a new way with making the changes you allude about in your last paragraph through the continuation of that initial desire.

        And you’re welcome to share verses that expound more on your idea of preaching and having faith in the “gospel of the kingdom”.

        Peace in Christ. 🙂

      • Those are good examples of that desire. We also have to continue pursuing that desire, or we are like the parable of the seed on stony ground, etc. I believe salvation to be a way of life and a continual pursuit of the kingdom of God. I view the gospel of the kingdom of God and salvation as one and the same thing. The Jews were promised a king that would overthrow the rulers of this world. They still wait for that, not knowing that when we believe in Jesus, the darkest of rulers, the prince of this world, is overthrown and we are no longer bound to this world, but to the kingdom of God. Salvation is not merely a future event, but a process of being transformed from one who is bound to this world to one who finds freedom in the kingdom of God presently, and eventually, eternally. That’s the nutshell of it. Some scripture for thought:

        John 18: 36 – Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

        Romans 14: 17 – For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

        Luke 17: 20-21 – And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say Lo here! Or, lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

        Mark 1:15 – And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
        The kingdom of God is “at hand” and we enter in through repentance and belief in Jesus Christ. Belief in him means we also believe in who he is, what he stands for, and what he came to do. He came to overthrow the prince of this world and establish a kingdom of heaven. As part of this, he came to fulfill the law and give us the law of the kingdom – “that which is perfect” and cannot be tainted by hypocrisy and loopholes as the old covenant law, because this law is “written on our hearts.” (Heb 10:16, Jeremiah 31:33). As these laws are written in our hearts, we are less bound to this kingdom and set free in the kingdom of God.
        That is the gospel. It is freedom from sin in a tangible way, not a declaration of faith and continued life of bondage. The blood of Jesus covers our sin as we strive to “enter the kingdom” which is necessary because the wage for sin is death. However, we are to go on from there and continue in the faith. Sure, the kingdom will come to this earth one day also and the Lord will reign over all. Presently however, the kingdom of God is within the hearts of true believers. If our hearts are not being changed, then it begins to question what we are putting our faith in. But, there again, that judgment belongs to God.

  4. Do you realize that whenever Billy Graham came to town, he partnered with local churches – these pastors would be the ones waiting up front to receive these new brothers and sisters in the faith, from there, they would be invited to the area churches and begin down the path to salvation. Not just praying the prayer at Billy Graham’s event; but joining a church, getting baptized, and remaining in fellowship. Or to put it another way, it’s similar to what Paul was saying about Apollos’ ministry:
    One plants the seed
    Another waters it
    Another tends it
    and from there it grows. Or:
    One builds the foundation.
    Another adds the walls,
    And yet another the roof.
    Billy Graham was only showing people the first step, the first rung on the ladder – not the whole way.

    • Hi Jamie. Thanks for your comment. I’ve heard some express that viewpoint that he at least opened the door for people to knowing Christ. I commend for that. It’s only my concern people didn’t end up going the only way to becoming saved according to Christ. But God knows the right way it’s supposed to all work out, so if some didn’t, then I guess it was the way it was supposed to be.

      Peace in Christ. 🙂

  5. Lets not go back to medieval Catholic superstition and make the claim that sacraments confer grace. Mark went out of his way to make the distinction between believing (saved) and not believing (condemned). Otherwise, based on the second half of that verse your logic necessarily creates a third category – those who believe but are not baptized – because those folks are neither saved nor condemned???

    • Hi Steve Li. Jesus told the Apostles to preach the gospel that only those who believed and were baptized would be saved. Apostle Peter would be the authority of how the message was to be relayed and understood, because he was there to hear Jesus say that and was given the authority to start spreading the message. And based on what he understood Jesus to be meaning, he preached in Acts 2:38 that one must repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. Exactly what Jesus said. I choose to stick with Apostle Peter’s understanding of what Jesus said, and thus how Jesus wanted everyone to understand salvation, not anyone else’s.

      Peace in Christ 🙂

      • Hi. 🙂
        The commandment to be baptized is normative in the NT, and rightly so. It does not have to be a requirement to burden our consciences in the matter of salvation in order to be there. Let me ask you this. If, as I believe, baptism is an outward ritual commanded by God – which should be performed for the display of the sign of His covenant with all believers (but NOT a requirement for salvation) – how would Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38 look differently?

        Ultimately this point may be moot. A Christian submits to Christ, and we can at least agree that baptism is among His greatest commands so if we profess Christ, theres no justification to reject baptism willfully.

        Now… What do you believe about believers who cannot get baptized either due to persecution or some other means outside of their control?

      • I think Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38 would state exactly what you said if it were the case. But since those verses do not, I’m more inclined to believe exactly what those verses express. That one must be baptized as a part of becoming saved. My question to you would be, why lump baptism in a verse that talks about becoming saved/having forgiveness of sins if it was not the case?

        Hmm, I would still disagree with you, because the way you phrase that makes it appear to just merely be a command to obey like other instructions such as honor the marriage bed or become married to avoid sexual immorality. But I think the difference is, you never see the words salvation or forgiveness of sins mentioned in those verses. Because we see that mentioned with baptism, it seems more than just a “great command” in my estimation.

        As far as your last question, I believe God being a just God set the perfect parameters for all to have an opportunity to become saved. So I trust God that if he made baptism as a part of those parameters, then it must be the case in accordance with the just nature of God that everyone has a fair shot.

        Peace in Christ 🙂

      • If you read my question carefully and look at the context of the two verses you cite repeatedly, it will be obvious that neither is a place where baptism would be explained in detail as I did, so you did not answer the question.

        Also, again, your definition leaves unanswered the issue of what happend to believers who are not baptized, because it is inconceivable for Mark, in a statement that touches on baptism, to omit the corresponding part about the unbaptized also being condemned.

        If you look holistically at the Bible, it is clear that God made the rituals used in the OT an example of how human rites and sacrifices fail to bring us into lasting fellowship with God. And therefore Jesus came and wrote the law in our hearts so that through grace, we are no longer under penalty of death in our transgressions. The legalism in the OT was meant to show us the failure of legalism in the Abrahamic / Mosaic covenant, but in your zeal to add to the requirements for salvation, you are returning to that, saying God cannot or will not save a sincere believer due to a technicality.

      • “If you read my question carefully and look at the context of the two verses you cite repeatedly, it will be obvious that neither is a place where baptism would be explained in detail as I did, so you did not answer the question. ”

        In your response you’ve added more detail as to what you were aiming at, which I appreciate so we can have more of an engaged dialogue. You’re making the claim that there is further detail on baptism that supports your understanding. What verses are you referencing that we can closely examine?

        “your definition leaves unanswered the issue of what happened to believers who are not baptized”

        I think a good question to be asked is when is belief accomplished. I would suggest to you it it is accomplished when one is baptized. Acts 16:31-34 states, “31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. 33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. 34 And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.”

        Note when it’s stated that he and the household had “believed in God”. It’s stated right after baptism occurred. Not after a sinner’s prayer, not after some strongly held feeling inside of one’s mind or heart, but right after baptism. And it further supports the correct contextual understanding of Mark 16:16, that the unbelief that is condemned is the unbelief in the gospel that Jesus said to be preached to apostles, that one must believe and be baptized in order to be saved. So respectfully the premise of your question is flawed, because no one has belief and is thus a believer until they’ve been baptized.

        “but in your zeal to add to the requirements for salvation, you are returning to that, saying God cannot or will not save a sincere believer due to a technicality.”

        Two thoughts for pondering. 1. I do not believe I’m adding anything that isn’t directly stated in scripture because I’ve shown you the verses where Jesus ties salvation with baptism, Apostle Peter ties salvation with baptism, and I can also show you verses where Apostle Paul ties salvation with baptism. I have done my best to explain what I conclude to be proper belief based on specific statements in verses 2. Respectively, you’re using your subjective understanding of technicalities to define God’s justness. But your ways and my ways are not higher than God’s. And because God is perfectly just, who are you and who am I to define whatever God’s perfect parameters are as a technicality? We have no choice but to believe His means of salvation in whatever way our just God defines them are perfectly fair.

        Peace in Christ. 🙂

      • Hi. 🙂
        My question was precluded by an “if” – specifically referring to the part in (). What part of those presumptions do you want quotes for?

        Your question in response to my question is good food for thought. When I read it, just as when I read Mark 16:16 it sounds like one command – believe and be baptized. One necessarily goes with the other. This is why, to answer your question, they are often found in the same context. But in every instance it is an outward sign of belief. And my point is, if this is true, the Mark and Acts verses would look exactly as they do.

        And from a hermaneutic standpoint my perspective is more consistent with the notion that from the OT to the NT there is gained an understanding that we are to learn the lesson that outward signs and sacrifices and laws do not satisfy the holiness requirement, but that God put the law in our hearts as a response to His gift of grace – therefore His commandments, such as baptism, are still that – that which if not followed is a sin, but a sin covered by the gift of grace for the believer.

        Is God unwilling to cross the chasm of His just-ness due to a technicality? If your claim is true, what else would you call the thief on the cross? Did Jesus implore him to have someone quickly help him down and get dunked before dying?

      • ” What part of those presumptions do you want quotes for?”

        Let’s start with where do you find in scripture it specifically states that baptism is not a requirement for salvation?

        “But in every instance it is an outward sign of belief.”

        Please quote the verses that you believe support this understanding.

        “Is God unwilling to cross the chasm of His just-ness due to a technicality? If your claim is true, what else would you call the thief on the cross? Did Jesus implore him to have someone quickly help him down and get dunked before dying?”

        Respectfully, you’re again using your subjective understanding of technicalities to assert one exists when that’s just your subjective understanding. In God’s eyes, whatever He deems as just is always completely fair.

        Secondly, I think it’s important you consider the timeline of the example you’re citing. The thief dying on the cross was before Jesus told the apostles to preach the Gospel that one must believe and be baptized in order to be saved. So your example has no relevance to the specific timeline we’re discussing. The only relevant example, would be a case where there was someone who was noted in scripture as having been saved/forgiven of sins without any mentioning of them having been baptized.

        Peace in Christ 🙂

      • I believe that baptism is an outward sign of belief. I take it you believe it is at least that and more, but if you don’t believe that at all and require proofs, I think there may not be enough common ground for us to discuss this matter. For proof perhaps just go and find an example of a private baptism with no witnesses, since that will satisfy your theory but invalidate mine…

        My “subjective understanding” is less subjective than your picking verses to support a claim that a holistic view cannot explain. There are a million pitfalls if we refuse to look at the Bible as a whole. And no one is arguing that God is always much more than fair – He has been exceeding gracious to us always, even if we are subject to His wrath eternally.

        Are you really going to make the claim using the timeline claim that the secret of salvation – namely the ritual of water baptism, was made known at the instance of the Great Commission, at which instance the following immediately became true?

        1. No one was responsible for baptism prior to it, even though John has been baptizing for years at that point, and Jesus affirms it…Yet somehow He forgets to mention that it is required for salvation

        2. Everyone was responsible for baptism from then on, even though 99% of the Earth’s population couldn’t have possibly known about it for months, and everyone who were baptized previously got wet for nothing.

        3. John 3:16 is not entirely true and has an asterisk because it was before Jesus broke the news that there was another requirement…

        Do you see how much of a corner you’ve painted yourself into with your interpretation?

      • When you use the phrase “outward sign of belief”, that suggests to me you mean symbolic, and thus not necessary for salvation, which I think is scripturally wrong. If you mean something different by that phrase, then please correct me.

        To your point number 1, that was a baptism of repentance. We’re talking about baptisms done in the name of Jesus Christ.

        To your point number 2, everyone that was made known of it was responsible.

        To your point number 3, you’re cherry picking. I’ve already explained to you when belief is accomplished based on Acts 16:31-34.

        In conclusion, it seems I’ve mentioned more verses in this conversation than you’ve mentioned to me. I believe all of scripture, and I hope all of us will as well.

        Peace in Christ. 🙂

  6. Baptism is not a prerequisite to being saved. It is symbolic. No where in the scriptures does it say if you are not baptized you won’t go to heaven if you have believed in Christ

    • Hi Onrider. Thanks for your comment. Jesus told the Apostles to preach the gospel that only those who believed and were baptized would be saved. Apostle Peter would be the authority of how the message was to be relayed and understood, because he was there to hear Jesus say that and was given the authority to start spreading the message. And based on what he understood Jesus to be meaning, he preached in Acts 2:38 that one must repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. Exactly what Jesus said. I choose to stick with Apostle Peter’s understanding of what Jesus said, and thus how Jesus wanted everyone to understand salvation, not anyone else’s.

      Peace in Christ 🙂

      • So when someone accepts Christ the Holy Spirit is on hold till they get baptized ? Baptism is symbolic of new life emerging from the death waters. The real change occurs within.

      • I’m not aware of any verse that uses the phraseology “accept Christ” or states “if one accepts Christ they’ll be saved”. I think it’s important we stick with exactly what scripture states. In doing so, I’ve shown two verses where Jesus and Apostle Peter both affirm baptism is a part of the process of being saved. If you look at every process of salvation occurrence in Acts, baptism was involved in every case. I agree that a change within is important. That’s what the first converts to Christianity did in Acts 2 when they were pricked at the heart in Acts 2:37, then they proceeded to follow Apostle Peter’s instruction in repenting and being baptized. As Romans 6 so eloquently expresses, we become united with Christ through baptism.

        Peace in Christ. 🙂

      • I think we can agree that baptism is a biblical directive but to suggest the preeminent soul winner of our time ,a baptist no less, ignorantly sent some to hell because he did not consider baptism as equally important as salvation itself is a bit of a novices understanding.

      • A few thoughts that I hope might be pondered.

        1. No one wins souls but Jesus.

        2. Even if one speaks with great passion about Christ that gets them attention far and wide, they can still be in error (Acts 18:26).

        3. Respectfully you didn’t characterize my position accurately. It’s not that he didn’t consider baptism equally as important as salvation, it’s that he didn’t recognize and preach that baptism is a part of receiving salvation.

        Peace in Christ. 🙂

  7. If anyone here is leading someone to Hell, it’s you. The Bible very clearly states that works can NOT save us. Read Ephesians 2:8-9

    • Hi Maple. Thanks for your comment. That verse is referring to works of the law, and to my understanding, baptism is not a work of the law. Jesus told the Apostles to preach the gospel that only those who believed and were baptized would be saved. Apostle Peter would be the authority of how the message was to be relayed and understood, because he was there to hear Jesus say that and was given the authority to start spreading the message. And based on what he understood Jesus to be meaning, he preached in Acts 2:38 that one must repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. Exactly what Jesus said. I choose to stick with Apostle Peter’s understanding of what Jesus said, and thus how Jesus wanted everyone to understand salvation, not anyone else’s.

      Peace in Christ 🙂

    • The bible also says that faith without works is dead. James Chapter 2. FBT is not leading people to hell. The world is condemned already because of unbelief. Real belief in Jesus is more than in word or deed and a one time declaration of faith. It will bring forth fruit. We know that those who do not bring forth fruit are “cut off as a branch, withered, and burned.” John 15. FBT is simply encouraging others to seek more from the faith instead of placing their faith in a man-made doctrine that leaves people in bondage to unbelief that leads to continued life in sin instead of life eternal. Be careful in judging your brother in Christ so harshly.

    • Hi Cindy. Thanks for your comment. I applaud for recognizing the truth of the Gospel of Christ through watching a Billy Graham TV special. As a follower of Christ who cares for the souls of the lost, I say this to you lovingly. There is no verse that specifically states in order to be saved you must “give your life to Christ”.

      What is in scripture is that Jesus told the Apostles to preach the gospel that only those who believed and were baptized would be saved (Mark 16:15-16). Keep in mind that Apostle Peter would be the authority of how the message was to be relayed and understood, because he was there to hear Jesus say that and was given the authority to start spreading the message.

      Based on what Apostle Peter understood Jesus to be meaning, he preached in Acts 2:38 that one must repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. Expressing exactly what Jesus said about baptism being a part of becoming saved. I lovingly urge you to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost with the understanding that it is necessary for you to be considered saved in the eyes of Apostle Peter, in the eyes of Jesus, and thus the eyes of God.

      Peace in Christ. 🙂

    • Hi Mcdowellblessings. I appreciate your pinging back to my article. With regards to why I wrote what you describe as “rot”, I think it’s important to consider the issue of what the process of salvation is according to scripture (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38). I believe Mr. Graham for all his good in bringing attention to Christ by speaking to millions of people around the world, misinformed his audiences on what the process of salvation is, and thus potentially misled millions to hell. I pray you may be open-minded to considering the scripture on these matters.

      Peace in Christ 🙂

    • In Acts 10 the Gentiles had the Holy Spirit fall upon them prior to water baptism. The issue is is it necessary for one to be water baptized as a part of the process of being saved, which scripture seems to tell us it is. And those Gentiles in that chapter were water baptized in the name of Jesus after that occurrence.

      Peace in Christ 🙂

  8. “Medieval Catholic superstition” believer here…

    There are three kinds of baptism in the Christian life… Fire, water, and blood. Baptism is essentially about incorporation into the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord. One can do this by desire – viz. when baptism by water is impossible – or the normal way, by water, or finally by blood, namely, those who die for Christ, in faith and hope and charity, without the baptism of water. Baptism by blood is the greatest of the three, because it most closely imitates the Passion…

    • Haha, hi CRM. Thanks for your comment, and I don’t think she’ll be commenting on my blog again.

      So for accurate understanding, Catholics believe baptism is necessary for receiving salvation, but they understand that it can be achieved in different ways other than water form?

      • Yes… But the hinge is water, because that is what is commanded and most evident. A person who “desires baptism” must desire to be incorporated in the normal way, and a person who “dies for Christ” must actually be intending to do so, and already have the grace of charity (‘if I should deliver my body to be burned, but have not charity, etc.”)…

        As for the specific case at hand, well, there is the ever looming question of invincible ignorance.

  9. Unfortunately what is being misinterpreted here is the phrase “baptism”. There are two types of baptism mentioned in scripture: water baptism & baptism of the Holy Spirit. Water baptism is an outward act of faith in Christ. It’s like getting a driver’s license. A person doesn’t get a driver’s license to learn how to drive, they get it because they’ve already learned how to drive. It’s a sign of proof. It’s symbolic of being baptized of the Spirit. Water baptism is an outer act of faitn in Christ the person already has because of them accepting Christ as Savior within their heart. Water baptism is not necessary for salvation or else the thief on the cross was not saved. Also we would be calling Jesus a liar and a sinner. Remember it was Jesus Himself who said in Luke 23:43: “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Is Jesus a liar? No of course not. The thief believed in Christ so He was baptized of the Spirit. Being baptized of the Holy Spirit is necessary for salvation, but only Jesus can perform this baptism. So in other words, a person accepts Christ as Savior, they immediately receives The Holy Spirit or be baptized of the Holy Spirit.

    In Mark 16:16 Jesus Christ is referring to being baptized of the Holy Spirit, not water baptism. In Acts 2, Peter was preaching Christ and that only Christ would pour out the Holy Spirit to those who accept Christ as Savior, to sum up the passage. Acts 2:38: “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.” If I have not misinterpreted this verse, the people who heard Peter speak, repented, accepted Christ as Savior, were baptized of the Holy Ghost by Jesus, and then received water baptism as an outer act of faith. Acts 11:16: “Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.” Remember this, man can only baptize a person with water, but only God can baptize a person with the Spirit, or else we make man equal to God which is a no-no. Mattew 3:11: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:”
    Only Jesus can baptize a person with the Spirit. So when we read the scriptures we have to look at an entire passage or else we take it out of context. Always important: seek the Holy Ghost for understand God’s Word.

    We have to be careful with preaching water baptism as necessary for salvation. It not only goes against the Word of God, but it preaches works when it’s all about faith. Christ did the work for us when He died on the cross. All we can do is believe in Him with our hearts, souls, and minds.

    With all of that sad, you should be concerned about Billy Graham because he was a false prophet. The bible warns us about people of the world. The world loves his own. Billy Graham didn’t receive criticism from the majority, but from a small minority of people. He denied the virgin birth amongst other false teachings. I made a vid sharing some of his heretic quotes. As for his ministry, it was not for Jesus. As for people who said those prayers at his crusades, perhaps some may have been saved, but don’t be surprised if most didn’t. Remember this: a person has to believe in Christ to be saved. My point: if a person prays a repentant prayer, in faith, then they are saved. If not, then they are not saved because the their heart is not on Christ. In other words, they are praying a prayer in vain without faith. You know the old addage “if a person’s heart is in it.” Here’s my vid if people want to look at: https://youtu.be/FDRMlVYXmNE

    May the Most High God bless all who read this.

    • Hi Cordell79. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your challenging response.

      “Water baptism is not necessary for salvation or else the thief on the cross was not saved.”

      The thief on the cross was never given the command that Jesus gave to the Apostles and that the Apostles went on to preach around the world. It’d be like the Jews of the time using Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as an example of not having to follow the Law, but that was before the Law was given. Had the thief not been crucified and lived to hear the Gospel preached by the Apostles that commands baptism as a part of being saved, he’d have to get baptized.

      “a person accepts Christ as Savior”

      There’s no verse that states “accept Christ as Savior” in order to become saved. But I’ve shown verses that say “baptized will be saved/baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins”.

      “In Mark 16:16 Jesus Christ is referring to being baptized of the Holy Spirit, not water baptism”

      This passage, along with other salvation occurrences in Acts, proves it’s water baptism. Acts 8:27-39 states “34 The eunuch answered Philip and said, “Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself or of someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. 36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch *said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 37 [[e]And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”] 38 And he ordered the [f]chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, [g]but went on his way rejoicing.”

      “but it preaches works when it’s all about faith. Christ did the work for us when He died on the cross. All we can do is believe in Him with our hearts, souls, and minds.”

      Three points. 1. The works in scripture condemned are works of the law, which baptism was never referred to as such. 2. I agree Christ is responsible for us being able to have salvation, and he told the means of which we could receive the gift of salvation, which involved baptism. 3. Belief is not accomplished until baptism. Read Acts 16:31-34 and observe when it’s the stated the household had successfully believed. You’ll notice it’s after they were baptized.

      “My point: if a person prays a repentant prayer, in faith, then they are saved.”

      No such repentant prayer is commanded in scripture.

      I really encourage you to believe only specific statements that are stated in scripture.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

  10. I think we’ve had this conversation before, but just to say it again, Paul in first Chapter of 1 Corinthians told his readers that he came not to baptise (with water) but to preach Christ. It is the message of the cross that is the power of God to those who are saved. “We preach Christ crucified … the power of God and the wisdom of God.” In Romans 10 (from verse 9) Paul says, “If you confesses with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heat that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. … Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the miracle that brings a person to trust Jesus for salvation (Gal. 3:1-3). Water baptism is not essential for salvation, but it is merely the way a person is associated publicly with God’s people.

    • Hi Don’ttakeitfromme. Thanks for your comment. Yes, we did have this conversation before.

      1 Corinthians 1 was emphasizing condemning factions. And if we’re even to focus on the one line mentioning baptism, yes, he didn’t come to just baptize, because that’s not the whole of the gospel to be preached. Belief is to be preached, Repentance is also to be preached, Confession, and Baptism. And staying committed to the faith as well.

      Romans 10, you’re using one verse to be authoritative over another. You either accept all of what scripture states as true, or you don’t believe any of it. Because it’s all God’s Word, and one can’t pick choose and verses that go along with whatever ideology they’ve been taught to believe. So tying all of scripture together, yes, confession is a part of receiving salvation as the verse Romans 10 states, and as Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38 and Act 8:27-39 and so many other verses illustrate, so is water baptism.

      Peace to you in Christ. 🙂

      • In the whole letter of Romans, as letter undoubtedly about the gospel message, Paul mentions baptism in one or two verses in chapter 6. In Romans, Paul made many references to trusting Christ as the means of obtaining life. His reference to baptism is arguably not a reference to water baptism but to the baptism of the Holy Spirit in regeneration. If water baptism is so important then one would think that Paul would have made more of it in this letter. Kind regards.

      • I would say one does trust Christ by obeying what he commands to be preached in how to receive salvation, which Mark 16:16 shows he commanded baptism as a part of that process. Acts is where we see salvations occurring. Acts 8:27-39 proves the baptism that must be done is water baptism. In that passage we see that being done in relation to salvation, and thus we conclude that’s the baptism as it relates to salvation being referenced in all places.

        Peace in Christ. 🙂

  11. Jesus Christ and Peter had a Ministry to the Jews or the circumsized. Matthew 15:14, Acts 11:19, Romans 15:8. Peter’s audience in Acts 2 was to the men of Israel. The one baptism in Ephesians is Holy Ghost baptism

    • Hi Dave. Thanks for your comment. I would suggest reading Acts 19:1-6. This is when Apostle Paul visited the people of Ephesus, whom this letter is written to. Note in verse 6 Apostle Paul gave them the Holy Spirit by the laying of hands after they were baptized. Since the laying of his hands was the means which they were given the Holy Spirit, this would leave the only possible baptism that could have occurred in this case was water baptism. And thus, the one baptism which Paul could only be referencing in the letter to these people he had visited before, is water baptism.

      Peace in Christ. 🙂

      • Peace in Christ….? You don’t mean that. It sounds good, doesn’t it. Why not say what you mean. “Later asshole.” That’s what you want to say

  12. I believe it is a dangerous thing to condemn to hell all those who have died without being baptized. Only the Holy Spirit knows a persons heart. From my studying, baptism serves as the public sign and seal of a person’s solidarity with Christ and participation in the new covenant community. Just as circumcision was a visible external marker of inclusion in the covenant community of Israel.

    The second half of Mark 16:16 states that whoever does not believe will be condemned. It does not state those that do not believe AND are not baptized shall be condemned.

    A cross reference to Mark 16:16 is Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

  13. Hi Terese. Thank you for your comment. I admire your empathy for souls. I am with you that we don’t want to condemn any soul to hell. I think we agree that’s God’s job alone. The issue that is of critical importance in this is what is the way in which God desires people to be saved. I think we agree on this as well. Now you say from your studying baptism is a public sign and seal of a person’s solidarity with Christ. My genuine question to you, is do you know a verse in scripture that states in those exact words that’s what baptism is? A second genuine question to you, do you know of a verse that states baptism is not necessary for salvation? If there are no verses stating the thing that we promote as a Christian belief, it seems at best that’s a belief one should consider questionable, and at worst, that’s a belief one should consider false.

    I’ve mentioned verses that state exactly what I’m writing about as truth. Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38 both mention baptism as a part of salvation/forgiveness sins. You’ve mentioned one of these verses in your comment, so let’s discuss that particular verse. In your interpretation, it seems you’ve concluded one part of a verse, the disbelief part of the verse, is more true than the believe and be baptized part of the verse. And then you have cited another verse as a deciding verse (Romans 10:9) that confirms your understanding. But with scripture it doesn’t seem to work that way. 2 Timothy 3:16 states, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;”

    Now if all of scripture is profitable for correction, then it necessarily follows that all of scripture is correct. Thus belief + baptism = saved is correct, and disbelieve = condemned is also correct. Now you might be thinking, how can both statements be correct when it looks like a contradiction to say belief + baptism is required to = saved, but only disbelief is required to = condemned. In the point that you made this is the question that you’ve raised, that wouldn’t it also say disbelief and not baptized = condemned if it were the case that baptism is a part of becoming saved? And the answer to that question is no.

    In order to understand the answer to that question, we have to ask ourselves, what is the disbelief that’s condemned? And the answer to that question is given to us through seeing the prior verse. Mark 16:15 states, “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Jesus commands to preach the gospel, and what is the gospel to be preached? That those who believe and are baptized will be saved. It’s this gospel to be preached, “that one must believe and be baptized”, that if anyone disbelieves, they will be condemned.

    Now Apostle Peter was among the apostles who was right there when Jesus said that. So he would be an authority as to how Jesus intended for what he said to be relayed to the first people who would be converted in Acts 2. In other words, he would either not include baptism as a part of forgiveness of sins if it were the case as you have understood that verse, or he would include baptism if it were the case as I have understood that verse. And in Acts 2:38 it states, “Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

    So Apostle Peter’s understanding of the statement Jesus told him and the other apostles to preach about salvation that he relayed to the people that would be first converted, was that baptism is a part of receiving salvation. If he had it understood the way you understood it, he would not have preached baptism as a part of forgiveness. But he did, and thus it appears it is a part of receiving salvation. I ask and pray that you consider what I’ve carefully written out to you for pondering. Thank you again for your comment.

    Peace in Christ. 🙂

  14. I appreciate your concerns but I believe God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit make up a very inclusive and unitive consciousness that is at least as big (I would dare say bigger), as the universe. I am fairly certain that by mentioning the thief on the Cross beside Christ who, likely wasn’t baptized, but who saw paradise that same day according to Christ, is one of those exceptions you anticipated with great excitement and fervor and so, its mention is somehow justifiably irrelevant. That’s fine as engaging in straining out gnats yet swallowing elephants is something I’m confident neither of us finds useful in the backdrop of eternity. There’s surely no way you might be writing this piece with a bit of glee or morbidly “I’m in, you’re lost” enjoyment is there? As far as “easy believeism” Christ spoke directly to this in John 6:29 and there is no such invention as ‘easy believeism.’ As a matter of fact, when asked by His disciples what the “work” of God was, Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29). I can safely rest assured that such a verse reference and its painful simplicity will not suffice for those who are grace adversaries. Would you be livid if you entered heaven and saw people there that you simply knew shouldn’t be in your rules over relationships company? If you kind of dig the idea of a highly exclusive Christ and heaven, you might just get what you would have never bargained for. You’re just being honest and don’t want anyone to perish and thus, you’ve waited opportunely until after the devilish Billy Graham passed away, right? Lisa asked or rather made her remarks about the topic and you seemed to take umbrage with her gracefully more inclusive thoughts. Of course, you needed to correct her. What’s that greatest commandment? “Thou shalt be RIGHT’!” Amen! Jesus did not come to found a separate or new religion as much as he came to present a universal message of vulnerability and unity that is necessary for all religions, the human soul, and the earth’s survival. By very definition, vulnerability and unity do not compete or dominate. The Cosmic Christ is no threat to anything but separateness, illusion, and the imperial ego. In that sense, Jesus, the Christ, is the ultimate threat, but first of all to Christians themselves.

    • Hi Science AND Trinity Thrive. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your criticism as I believe it’s important for this blog to always be a place of iron sharpening iron. I understand the heart of your concern. That I’m placing a law on salvation like the former laws the Jews had to follow to gain God’s approval. I can tell you that we are in agreement that that is not the reality of faith today. We have been given the gift of salvation through Chrits’s sacrifice on the cross, and no one should ever teach otherwise. The matter of difference is only in how we’re taught to receive that gift. I believe what Jesus told the Apostles in Mark 16:16, and what Apostle Peter relayed his understanding of what Jesus told him to the Jews in Acts 2:38, that baptism is a part of receiving salvation. I think it’s important to correct if there is error in something so critical as this issue, just as you felt the need to correct me in your own way, which thus shows us that correcting is beneficial in helping to enlighten all of our understandings.

      Peace in Christ. 🙂

    • Hi fmaddox17. Thanks for your comment. My thoughts are that he brought a lot of attention to Christianity, but many may never have began a journey of salvation according to God’s Word. As far as LGBTQ identity, I don’t know what views he expressed on that.

      Peace in Christ

    • Hi Stephanie. Thanks for your comment. Yes, it’s true God knows who’s saved and who’s not in the end. Does that negate the responsibility to follow instructions given how to be saved?

      Peace in Christ

  15. I agree, there’s no salvation without water baptism. I love the way the man of God explains in this video ;https://youtu.be/D1kSBlwaWyY.
    This is what the Master commanded, “Mark 16:15 Then he said, “Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all. Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized is saved; whoever refuses to believe is damned.

    You hear the word, then believe then you get baptized. That’s how salvation is complete.

  16. This is Gagging on gnats and swallowing elephants. Do you go to hell if you refuse to kneel at the national anthem? “If you being EVIL know how to give good things to your children, how much more will my father give you the holy spirit to anyone who asks.” Why are all of you Calvinists so fearful of love? God doesn’t hate you. Please. Let a few more of us Catholics in

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s