Ok. Let’s talk about this foundation I have mentioned. Are repentance, baptism, and speaking in tongues necessary steps to complete in order to make it to Heaven? This is a big debate between denominations. Some believe you have to be baptized but not speak in tongues, some believe you have to do both, and some believe you dont have to do either. So what is correct? I guess we will truly find out when we go or don’t go to Heaven. But the one thing all the denominations believe in is “believing.” In this blog, I will give my opinion on what I feel is the way to get to Heaven.
First I want you to read a number of scriptures.
Mark 16:16-17 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
John 3:14-16 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:18 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
John 3:35-36 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
John 5:24 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
John 6:35 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
John 6:40 40 “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
John 11:25-27 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
John 20:30-31 30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Acts 8:36-37 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”37 And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
Acts 16:30-31 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Romans 1: 16 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Romans 10: 8-10 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
1 Thessalonians 4:14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
1 John 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
Ok… So why is there a debate? If you read the scriptures above I think it clearly states what salvation consists upon. Believing! There are no extra steps in salvation. Just believe! Some that are reading this are going to say look at Mark 16 (the first scripture I listed). It says those who believe and are baptized will be saved. Well let’s keep reading. Right after saying that, it says only those who don’t believe will be condemned. So apparently the point the author was trying to make was the fact that you have to believe. John said that he wrote the book of John so that we would believe in Jesus Christ and by believing have life in his name. That was his whole purpose behind the Gospel according to John.
I think it is clear to what I feel like the Bible clearly lays out. Baptism and speaking in tongues are just part of the Christian life. I truly feel like Jesus is looking down and thinking to himself: “I have done the hard stuff already. I have come and suffered that you might have life. You can have eternal life by believing in me. Why are you making it so hard on yourselves? Just believe. John layed it out perfectly in John 3:16. Come on guys, just believe in me!” But remember that the demons believe in Jesus and they tremble at the mention of his name. Therefore believing has to be lifestyle. The lifestyle that Christ lived, and the lifestyle in which the entire New Testament teaches us how to live.
First we believe in Christ. Upon believing I feel we should be baptized. This is the example laid out throughout Acts. Baptism is symbolic of the death and resurrection of Christ. Romans 6 clearly lays this out. To close this blog out I want to you to read what Romans 6 says. This is what I mean by it is a lifestyle. (It won’t hurt you to read a chapter out of the Bible, so keep reading. It will explain everything I think believing means.)
Romans Chapter 6:
6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.