Following on from my ‘How to Botch an Altar Call’ post yesterday, I thought I would talk about what I have seen at so many altar calls in my christian life and how I feel the ‘meat’ of the gospel has been diluted.

What happens a lot is when an invitation to receive Christ is done, the gospel presentation is often not clear, vital information is missed out, there is no mention of hell, no mention of his wrath and as a result the unregenerate person does not get the whole picture and many people are led to have a false assurance that they are saved when the fact is they are not because they never had an understanding of the gospel in the first place.

Sinners Prayer

In fact I would say that the gospel is so diluted in many churches that we have now reduced repentance and faith to ‘Just say this prayer’ as if the prayer was some magic formula.

Here is a classic example of what I am talking about.

How many people do you think watched that (and the many more) broadcasts, prayed that prayer, thought that they were saved but never really counted the cost of true discipleship and believe me, it is costly because it means a complete dying to self.

It was only this morning where I was studying The School of Biblical Evangelism and it was talking about this same thing. If a husband cheats on his wife and she finds out and he realises the mistake that he has made, he does not have to wait for someone to dictate the words to say or give him words to echo. In the same way, when a person realises and understands how they have offended God deeply by breaking his laws, the unregenerate person should not have to ‘repeat a prayer’ but will cry out to God for mercy and forgiveness. Why? Because it has been explained to them properly

Those who do come forward for salvation hardly hear about self denial and/or counting the cost, yet Jesus did not shy away from talking about these subjects.

27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. (Luke 14:27-33)

Now am I saying that noone who has prayed the ‘sinners prayer’ is a christian? Of course not but what I am saying is that are a countless amount who are not because there was not true repentance of sin and faith towards Christ when they prayed. Arthur W. Pink touched on how some of the modern day methods of evangelism are just birthing false converts. You can read it here.

So my conclusion is if Jesus said that people should know what they are getting into, then who are we to argue? Lets give people all the information that they need so that they can make an informed decision and truly count the cost of following Christ.

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Comments
  1. coldfire says:

    Interesting. I still have a problem even with the methods that you are talking about. Many people like Ray Comfort talk the way you do, but their method is not much better. Comfort shows people why they have broken the ten commandments, then that Jesus took their place as a sacrifice so that we don’t have to go to hell, but then what? Comfort then says once we understand this and truly understand repentance that we are to read our bibles, pray, and teach this same message to others.

    Isn’t their more to Christianity than reading our bibles and praying. Even in the passage you quoted, Jesus says we must forsake everything we have to be his disciple. Are we willing to give up everything we have to follow him? Or was Jesus just joking around with that part of the bible?

  2. Adam Smith says:

    You are right with this message. Salvation doesn’t exist through just “the sinner’s prayer.” That is not even Biblical. Repentance comes before prayer. Repentance comes before calling on the name of God. If a person doesn’t have repentance, then they cannot be saved. I get so tired of hearing not just Mr. Osteen, but so many preachers preach on “a simple prayer will bring you to salvation.” People think that they are saved simply because they prayed a prayer. Their life looks more like the devil than Jesus Christ, but they think that they are okay because they prayed a prayer. This is just not true. And, just like you said, some people might be truly saved by this prayer, but it is not because they simply prayed a prayer; they had true repentance in their heart. That is what matters.

    Salvation is not about a single experience either. I do not remember the exact date that I was saved. Does this mean that I am not really saved? Of course not. Christians should not teach in this way either. The devil can counterfeit experiences. Salvation does not lie in an experience, it lies in a person, Jesus Christ.

  3. blackreformingkid says:

    I agree with Bro. Alan. It comes off a bit mechanical when all you do is say the same prayer “and really mean it”. Don’t see that in Scripture though…

  4. Alan Higgins says:

    Coldfire, I dont think Ray stops there. For example he has provided this link for new believers http://www.livingwaters.com/articles_growth.shtml. Not only are we to pray and read the bible but we are to obey what we read, and that includes having fellowship with other believers which will help in the persons growth

  5. Alan Higgins says:

    By the way Adam, I agree with your comment about experiences. The sad thing is, so many sometimes equate feelings to scripture

  6. Carla Beth says:

    There’s something I’m feeling in response to your post, Alan, but I can’t quite put my finger on it just yet. So this will have to suffice for now: I honestly don’t think that many people fully accept this notion of being saved after their utterance of the sinner’s prayer. I think this is being way too simplified. In the “heat” of the moment, I think many people might feel something – a stirring or genuine desire for it “all to be true.” But then they wake up the next morning and it’s life as usual. They look the same, the kids are still yelling, the dog needs to be washed. I don’t feel comfortable with limiting God and Jesus to what we read in scripture. Don’t let that statement freak you out. What I’m trying to say is that there’s much work to be done. There are doubts to explore and overcome, scripture to be learned, and slow and steady steps to be taken on our faith journey. Some people are truly blessed by being able to jump in with both feet and live and breathe the Word straight off the bat. But for most people I’m going to guess that it’s a process, with that first prayer asking Jesus into their lives as the first of many steps. When I first accepted Christ, I felt almost bullied into it. And I truly didn’t understand. But a part of me wanted what the woman had who led me into prayer. Yes, I accepted Jesus, but my walk was wobbly and full of doubts, and I have experienced some highs since then but even more lows. This is just how it is for people these days. We aren’t likely to walk away from our dying fathers or jobs to follow Christ. But I think God gets this. Remember, he knew us even before we were a pile of molecules. Well, at this point I’m hungry and can’t figure out how to wrap this up, so I’ll just say this much more: The Holy Spirit moves me, fills me, whispers in my ear. And I’m NOT very far out the gate. I’m weak, small, and stuck on things like the dude in the fish. But I’ve got Spirit. I see it in even the teeny decisions I make. Simple things. Spirit is with me. And it all goes back to that day I awkwardly and with much embarrassment (we were in a public park! my image was dinged!) said yes to Jesus.

  7. Alan Higgins says:

    Carla, I am not disagreeing with what you are saying. I dont expect people to receive Christ and then they become a theologian the next day. Like you said it is a process even when the gospel is presented properly. My problem is that a lot of the time, the gospel is not presented properly in the first place. I have listened to a lot of witnessing encounters and there are many people who actually DO believe they were saved because they ‘said the prayer’, especially when they were at a young age. Like I have said in another post, it is not about perfection but about direction

  8. Justin says:

    Good post. I have been fighting to get this concept out of the Christians in my church. It is so sad to see a false convert being told he is in the family of God when he or she still needs salvation.

  9. Lonnie says:

    In response to the prayer. I firmly belive that in order to be saved,one has to be completly broken and led by the Lord. If God is not dealing with you then you or me nor anyone else can be saved. The Lord has a drawing spirit that makes you feel lost and undone. Without that,people can pray and pray and never receive anything. To many people today are being led astray by the sinners prayer. How can I tell anyone what to pray when i have no ideal as to what they need? All we can do is point them to calvary and let GOD do the work of saving them.

  10. Paul says:

    Someone please show me:

    Where are “Altar Calls” and “the Sinner’s prayer” in the Bible?

  11. Alan Higgins says:

    Hey Paul, we agree on something 😉

  12. Paul says:

    So, you agree they are not “Biblical”?

    So, does that make them a “Tradition” ?

    I thought nonCatholics condemned all traditions.

  13. Paul says:

    Talking to Carla above, you say something about the gospel being presented “Properly”.

    Is your interpretation of the gospel “Infallible”?

    Who has the Authority to decide what is “Proper”?

    Don’t you believe each person is able to interpret the Bible on his own, as guided by the Holy Spirit?

  14. philip says:

    its good in jesus name.

    i dont have any words to say about this.

  15. Kimba says:

    I am glad to see this post. This has bothered me for many years. I was wanting to know how to please God and was worried about what I had heard that the Bible says the end times. I went forward and prayed after seeing a film about the end times–I did not want to go through that. (whether you believe end times senarios or not is not my point) After praying, I lifted my head and the youth leader asked me “Is He there, do you feel Him?” I did not–in fact I was feeling like I needed to throw up and eventually DID throw up outside the church. They told me I was “rejecting Christ” because I had did not have a “feeling” of peace. A week later I prayed over and over for two hours for forgiveness and salvation and never “felt” anything. My Christian life has been plauged with doubts and shows minimal growth over several years. I am still afraid that maybe I am not saved because I never feel anything–although I have learned that it is based on fact and faith, not feelings. I struggle with bitterness and anger-traits that I know are not to be named among Christians. I can quote you the Roman’s road–I KNOW that you need to repent , accept and believe and think I have–but it just does not seem to show like it should. I have examined myself and fear that I don’t have the Holy Spirit. I understand the Bible with unusual clarity–which the unsaved cannot, but I still do not FEEL anything. Appealing to emotions in a conversion experience can really harm a person’s walk with the Lord.

  16. Alan Higgins says:

    Kimba, thanks for visiting my site. Can I encourage you to go to https://realchristianity.wordpress.com/2007/12/06/how-do-you-know-that-you-are-saved and https://realchristianity.wordpress.com/2007/09/06/save-yourself-some-pain.

    Hopefully, those links will help you grow in your christian walk

  17. steve says:

    1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
    4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

    A positive response to this Gospel should be baptism
    The need to repent and be baptized is part of the Gospel message? Acts 2:38

    If not, then it is a different Gospel to that preached by the apostles.

    I have been a believer for 22years and never heard anyone preach baptism in any congregation I attended as part of the Gospel message.

    If we are not going to use the bibles Gospel from the book of Acts then it is open slather.

    Baptism was always part of the Gospel message, administered straightaway. Why the urgency?

    Act 2:41 Then they that GLADLY RECEIVED HIS WORD were BAPTIZED: and the SAME DAY there were added unto them about THREE THOUSAND souls.

    Act 8:12 But WHEN THEY BELIEVED Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, THEY WERE BAPTIZED, both men and women.

    Act 8:13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

    Philip preached baptism in the Gospel.

    Act 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; WHAT DOES HINDER ME TO BE BAPTIZED ?
    Act 8:38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

    Paul baptized

    Act 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

    Cornelius and the Gentiles

    Act 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48 And he COMMANDED THEM TO BE BAPTIZED in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

    Paul preached baptism TO Lydia

    Act 16:14 woman named Lydia, …: whose heart the Lord opened, that SHE ATTENDED UNTO THE THINGS WHICH WERE SPOKEN BY PAUL
    Act 16:15 And WHEN SHE WAS BAPTIZED, and her household, she besought us, saying, IF YOU HAVE JUDGED ME FAITHFUL TO THE LORD, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

    Paul preached baptism TO Philippian Jailer

    Act 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

    All baptized the same hour the Gospel was preached read Rom 6:3-7 and you will understand that without baptism there is no gospel.

  18. steve says:

    Alan

    I read your article and I believe the Lord has revealed the Gospel to you and that you have a love of the truth.

    Your correspondence on this matter proves that.

    First of all baptism was commanded, this we would agree on.

    There was no long thesis or exegesis on baptism required in the book of Acts people just obeyed. So it is not necessary to fully understand everything about it.

    Now, people argue whether it is necessary for salvation. If not, then this makes it optional. (a position I once held)

    I was ignorant, I had spent a lot of time reading Daniel Revelations, and didn’t know the gospel.

    You have to ask yourself, how did the eunuch know he needed to be baptized?

    How did Lydia know she needed to be baptized?

    How did the Philippian Jailer know he needed to be baptized?

    The only answer is those preaching the Lord Jesus Christ
    also preached baptism in their Gospel message.

    So if people today do not respond to the Gospel by being baptized.

    There are 2 reasons

    1. They are hearing a another Gospel
    2. They are rebellious to that which is commanded.

    Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

    Lydia said “if you have found me faithful to the Lord.”

    How was she faithful, she responded to Paul’s message by being baptized!

    Paul faithfully preached the Gospel, Lydia responded by obeying that which she heard. Same as the eunuch, the Jailer, Cornelius, Crispus, and many others.

    People who argue whether baptism is necessary for salvation, are like children who question their parents. It is a commandment.

    This is why we are baptized

    Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
    (remission of sins agrees with Peter Acts 2:38 and Ananias Acts 22:16)

    Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Born Again newness of life)

    Rom 6:5 For IF IF IF IF we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (no death no resurrection)

    Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is CRUCIFIED with him, ( when? when we are baptized) that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (Jesus did not come just to forgive sin but to destroy sin)

    Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is FREED from sin. (when are we freed from sin? when we are baptized)

    Need I go on. Once you understand that baptism unites us in His death, then we have the remission of sins. Baptism is when the blood is applied.

    Paul concludes this topic

    Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have OBEYED from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

    Baptism was never intended to be a public confession, as many believe that is it’s purpose.

    1Jn 5:6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

    God bless you

  19. Alan Higgins says:

    Thanks Steve for your comment. I would just like to clarify where you stand. Are you saying that baptism is a necessity FOR salvation or are you you saying that baptism is a necessity AS A RESULT OF salvation? I am in the latter camp

  20. steve says:

    After all that I have shown you, using only scripture, I am afraid that I have labored in vain.

    Is the Gospel hid from you also.

    Didn’t you say that the sinners prayer was not sufficient. Then what is.

    You tell me. Why are we baptized? And use scripture for your answer.

    Were not the Apostles obeying the commandment of the Lord

    Are you yet without understanding ?

    Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
    Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

    I believe the word of God.

    Without baptism there is no remission of sins Acts 2:38

    Act 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

    I can understand Jesus’ frustration

    Joh 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

  21. Justin says:

    Steve, check out the articles on whether baptism is a requirement for salvation at http://www.carm.org

  22. Alan Higgins says:

    We are baptized as an outward profession of an inward work and as a commandment. So what happens if a person repents and puts their trust in Christ just before they die? Are they not saved because they did not get baptised before? Was the thief on the cross not saved because he didnt get baptised? Even the scripture you quoted didnt say ‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not or is not baptised shall be damned.’ but says ‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned

    Steve, please do not misunderstand me. I believe baptism is VERY important and the scriptures you quoted proves this but we cannot say that if a person is not baptized before they die, their sins cannot be forgiven because then that baptism becomes a work and we are not saved by works but by grace through faith and repentance

    Justin thanks for your comment and more specifically, here is Justin’s link http://www.carm.org/baptism/bapism_necessary.htm

  23. steve says:

    Every one uses the thief on the cross you weary me.

    Was Jesus dead, when He spoke to the thief? Then He hadn’t died for our sins, or yet been raised for our justification. Under which covenant was the thief forgiven?

    Again you weary me and I know you weary God with your silly arguments.

    Yeah hath God said?

    Mark 16:16 – He who believes and is baptized will be saved.

    Acts 2:38 – Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.

    Acts 22:16 – Be baptized and wash away your sins.

    Now we need Alan Higgins and carm to tell us what Peter, Jesus and Ananias really meant.

    Yeah hath God said?

    sounds like the voice of a stranger to me

    Mar 11:29 And Jesus …..said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me,

    You tell me. Why are we baptized? And use scripture for your answer.

    Here is the word of the Lord for you.

    Jer 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

  24. steve says:

    Mat 26:28 ForG1063 thisG5124 isG2076 myG3450 bloodG129 of(G3588) theG3588 newG2537 testament,G1242 which is shedG1632 forG4012 manyG4183 forG1519 the remissionG859 of sins.G266

    Act 2:38 ThenG1161 PeterG4074 saidG5346 untoG4314 them,G846 Repent,G3340 andG2532 be baptizedG907 every oneG1538 of youG5216 inG1909 theG3588 nameG3686 of JesusG2424 ChristG5547 forG1519 the remissionG859 of sins,G266 andG2532 ye shall receiveG2983 theG3588 giftG1431 of theG3588 HolyG40 Ghost.G4151

    forG1519 the remissionG859 of sins.G266

    The exact same phrase in both scriptures look it up in the Greek

    According to carm, where you sent me. Mat 26:28 should read

    Mat 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many BECAUSE OF the remission of sins.

    we are baptized BECAUSE OF remission of sins

    If I was a new believer you may have sent me to hell, but then I don’t suppose your fear God enough to care.

    When you humble yourself and receive with meekness the
    Word of God ask Him to forgive you. Lucky for you I am well versed in the word.

  25. Alan Higgins says:

    OK, lets keep this simple. A person gets involved in a car accident with minutes to live with no sight of water. Before that person dies, i am able to give them the gospel. Are you telling me that that person is lost and cannot have their sins forgiven?

    PS. I dont mind having a intelligent discussion but I find your tone is a bit disrespectful and if itcarries on, I will just not respond and will delete your comments

  26. steve says:

    If I sounded angry, I was, but forgive me.

    Have you responded in kind to me, as I have answered specific questions you have asked.

    Re-read the comments posted by both of us.

    Look at your arguments from my perspective, in light of scripture.

    I have presented nothing but scripture.

    I have preached that baptism is the scriptural way to respond to the Gospel, and, by taking that position, I have peace with God knowing that the Gospel I preach is the same as Peter Philip Paul and Jesus taught.

  27. steve says:

    I have presented nothing but scripture.

    You interpret that baptism is an outward profession of an
    inward work.

    This is not taught in scripture.

    You argue, the thief on the cross, which I explained correctly.

    But you did not even respond with, you are right Steve

    You then take the position of not what Jesus said but what He did not say.
    Mark 16:16 – He who believes and is baptized will be saved.

    You then send me to a website (carm), which I believe you must approve of.

    Which I humbled myself and read.

    (Matt Slick) in his discussion of Acts 2:38. He begins by quoting the passage:

    He then muses: “This verse is a tough one.”

    It’s not so “tough”—unless one already has his mind abused with the notion that baptism cannot be a condition in the plan of redemption.

    Now Alan you are presenting a hypothetical? When people present such arguments they have digressed from the Word of God considerably.

    It is not up to me to say when anyone is saved, you will have to seek God for the answer.

    Alan with all due respect I have read and answered all of your arguments.

  28. steve says:

    If you want to understand baptism and why the apostles were so urgent about administering it.

    I humbly ask you to read Romans 6 from the bible, not a commentary or some other reference work, let Holy Spirit interpret scripture. Read it through let it soak in then read it again and again.

    Then after reading ask yourself, is baptism part of the redemption process?

    Baptism was the expected response to the Gospel in the early church, not today. The epistles were addressed to believers, so one would expect they had already been baptized if we use Acts as our reference.

  29. Alan Higgins says:

    Steve, thanks again for your comments and you have correctly asked me to answer this from scripture (which I always tell people to do) so please give me a few days and I will respond.

    God bless

  30. Alan Higgins says:

    As I said before if baptism was necessary,why did Jesus NOT say ‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not nor baptised shall be damned.’ Surely if it was so essential he would not have left it out in the second half of the sentence. So by saying ‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved’ is no contradiction at all to what I am saying.

    Also, when we look at the bible,we must use what we call the analogy of scripture. That means that scripture interprets scripture and does not contradict itself. For example, there are scriptures that say that we should ‘believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and we shall be saved’ (Acts 16:31) but we know from the book of James that belief alone will not save us and we also know that if there is no repentance, we will perish (Luke 13:3,5) so when looking at a particular doctrine we must look at the whole of scripture to form a docrine and not just a few verses. There are many scriptures that indicate that no outward ritual or act is necessary for salvation e.g. Eph 2:8-9 and that we are justified by faith, and we know that are instances in the bible where disciples received the Holy Spirit BEFORE they were baptized (Acts 10:44-48). If baptism is part of the gospel of salvation, then why did Paul say that he didnt come to baptize but to preach the gospel? (1 Cor:17) He obviously did not link baptism to salvation.

    So that is the reason why I believe what I believe. I cannot see a consistent presentation in scripture saying that baptism is necessart for salvation.

  31. Tim says:

    Why was Jesus baptized? Certainly not for the remission of sins. He was sinless of course.

    What I am still amazed at, is how people who claim to know the scripture the most tend to be the most hateful when discussing a doctrinal issue that may have more than one interpretation. Still amazed, that those who are always talking about who’s out and who’s in, always tend to lump themselves in the “IN” group. Amazing.

    Ephesians 2:8-9 says this faith thing has nothing to do with our rituals or acts, which I would imagine our steps into water to be baptized as well.

    What is truly silly is your attitudes toward each other on this issue. What does this discussion say about your baptism. Are we identifying ourselves with Christ, when we can’t speak kindly to one another. AMAZING. I’m not questioning anyone’s salvation here, because the Bible does say, “We are NOT to know the hearts of men.” But believers and non-believers alike can certainly question your maturity.

    And yes I am writing to you Steve because I don’t know enough about you to know whether your self-centeredness is a choice you made for approaching this doctrinal topic or if self-centeredness is a habit of which you are already a prisoner too. We all got something we wrestle with. If we had it all together and the scripture “correctly” divided according to our brand of Christianity, then how badly do you need Christ? Is that need still in you bro? Amazing.

    The reason some people want nothing to do with following Christ isn’t because they disagree with your view on the salvific power of baptism. It is because you behave like a judgmental fundamentalist who thinks they are the moral police of the world. That is a prison as well. A choice, turned habit, turned lifestyle.

  32. Laura says:

    The guy who died on the cross next to Jesus certainly wasn’t baptised.. yet because he believed Jesus, Jesus said to him “Today you will be with Me in paradise.”

    Baptism is a sign of obedience towards God, He commanded us to do it so we should, I don’t think that the un-baptised Christian will perish though, God is bigger than that. It is the state of our heart which determines where we are going.

  33. Ben says:

    Wow, it seems like a few people jumped on Steve but none of your responses refuted his claim. Please stop using scriptures about belief to justify your opinion about baptism. Please stop using scriptures about faith to justify your opinion about baptism. Those scriptures are fully valid and inspired by the Holy Spirit but your logic is flawed. Baptism is our participation in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It is not a symbol or a sign, that’s not in the Bible.
    Before you use all your old arguments or start attacking people like Steve and myself, please read the Bible. Look at every verse that mentions baptism and decide if it says “you should be baptized” or “you don’t need to be baptized” I believe what I believe because I hold the Word of God in high honor, not because my “self-centeredness is a choice I made for approaching this doctrinal topic or is a habit of which I am already a prisoner” WOW.
    Like the original intent of this post said, the cost of discipleship is high; it will cost you everything…even your comfortable interpretations of the Bible.
    Thank you Steve, there are people in total agreement with you, but are very afraid to get intellectually assaulted.

  34. Alan Higgins says:

    First of all, I never attacked Steve and I dont mind having an intelligent discussion. As I stated before, as you said you have to look at all of scripture and not just a part but however, if we go down your logical route and ‘Look at every verse that mentions baptism and decide if it says “you should be baptized” or “you don’t need to be baptized”’ then as I stated before why did Jesus NOT say ‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not nor baptised shall be damned.’ Surely if it was so essential he would not have left it out in the second half of the sentence

  35. Joshua says:

    I agree with Steve and Ben, nobody has refuted the scripture he has given, He speaks the oracles of God

    I saw this scripture quoted…

    Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

    Look a bit before that, It speaks about baptism

    Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath QUICKENED us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
    Eph 2:6 And hath RAISED us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

    Parallel Scriptures

    Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are RISEN with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
    Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he QUICKENED together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

    quickened and risen with him agreeing with Ephesians

    Even Cornelius was told by the angel that peter would what?

    Act 11:14 ..tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.

    Cornelius said to Peter…

    Act 10:33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear ALL THINGS that are COMMANDED THEE OF GOD.

    What was commanded? Baptism?

    Act 10:48 And he COMMANDED them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

  36. Alan Higgins says:

    I am not saying that baptism is not a commandment and should be an automatic response after a person has repented and put their trust in Christ for their salvation. All I am saying is the actual act doesnt save anybody. If a person repented and put their trust in Christ on their deathbed and died without being baptised, are you saying that they would be lost?

  37. Joshua says:

    I believe you are going by your emotions over the word

    actually sir, according to Peter Baptism does save us, and he preached it …

    1Pe 3:20 … in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by WATER.
    3:21 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:

    Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh…

    Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:

    Now I ask you a question…

    Mar 11:30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.

    Mat 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness…

    Mar 1:4 …did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

    Luk 7:29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, JUSTIFIED GOD, being baptized with the baptism of John.
    7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers REJECTED THE COUNSEL OF GOD against themselves, being not baptized of him.

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