Dear Jim,

Can you read Mark 16:16??? Can you explain it? It does say you must be baptized for the remission of sins....Iam going to call our pastor tomorrow and see if he can come over and tell the missionaries to leave us alone...they don't seem to want to listen to me...

Denice

  Denice,

First, let's deal with the Mormon issue. Even if baptism were required for salvation (which it is not) why would Mormons even be _able_ to baptize anyone. Mormonism brings a different Gospel than the Gospel of the Bible. Joseph Smith was a false prophet. Mormonism does _not_ have--as they claim--a restored priesthood and a restored Gospel because it was never lost. It couldn't have been lost because Jesus told us:

I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matt. 16:18) So when the Mormon Church tells us that the Church of Christ was lost from the earth, they are wrong. (Or else _Jesus_ was wrong!) I'd rather trust Him.

Secondly, you can never rip one scripture out of context and make it stand on its own. Mark 16:16 is a good example of where the Mormons twist scripture to make it say what they want. In order to understand what one passage says about baptism, you must understand what _the whole Bible_ says about salvation. And the Bible says Salvation is about having faith in Christ--plus _NOTHING_

Baptism is a requirement, _but not for Salavtion._ You are saved by faith in Christ. Then you are "required" to obey Him. But you do not lose your salvation if you fail to obey. Do you lose your salvation if you lie after you are saved? The Bible says all men are liars, so then if you could never lie after you were saved, no one would ever be saved. Do you lose your salvation if you lust? The Bible commands us not to lust. False Witness? Stealing? All of these things are commandments, but they are not requirements for salvation.

Many of the greatest men of God in the Old Testament sinned greviously. David was a murderer, yet God called him, "A man after my own heart." In the New Testament, Peter denied Jesus three times, yet Jesus told him to "Feed my lambs."

So, we are required to obey, but we are not required to obey all things _for Salvation._

Now, Mark 16:16:
Read it carefully. What does it say? "All who believe and are baptized will be saved. All who "believe not will be damned." IT is true that all who believe and are baptized will be saved. But it does _not_ say "All who believe and fail to be baptized will be damned." It says only those who "do not believe" will be damned. And that is, for sure, the message of the Gospel. All who believe will be saved. Sure, they will also be baptized, they will begin to sin less and less. But their salvation is based on only one thing:

John 3:16-18 says:
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, _that whosoever believeth in him should not perish_, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18_He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned_ already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Hope that helps. It is a short course, to be sure, I repeat, to understand a single passage of scripture, you must understand the _whole counsel of God's word_. The Bible interprets itself. You don't need a false prophet like Joseph Smith doing it for you.

Jim