Monday, April 5, 2010

Hypothetical Story – Serious Question!

Once about a time there was a really nice, middle aged couple, by the name of June and Leroy Smith who lived in the small town of Yorkville, Minnesota. Now June and Leroy had worked hard all their lives and did volunteer work for the Boy Scouts of America and for the local VFW post. They both had high moral values and were considered very prominent in the community.

One day, while June was out in her yard weeding her flower beds, her neighbor walked over and started talking to her about Jesus. Now, at first June was a little apprehensive and didn’t really feel comfortable talking about “religious things” with someone she hardly knew. June’s neighbor asked her if she was going to one of the local churches in town. June told her that she and her husband never got around to joining any church because they had been so busy with other things. Now this neighbor began to witness for Jesus and even invited June and her husband Leroy to their church on Sunday. June was sort of excited because she always believed that there was a God, and she had heard stories about Jesus when she was a child. June told her neighbor that no one had ever invited them to church before, and that she would talk to her husband about it.

That evening, June mentioned to Leroy about their neighbor coming over and talking to her about Jesus. Leroy told June that for a long time he had felt that there was something missing in his life, that even though he had everything he wanted, there was still this feeling inside him of emptiness that he couldn’t explain. Leroy told June that maybe they should show up at the neighbor’s church on Sunday and sort of “check it out”.

On Sunday, June and Leroy showed up at the neighbors church early. The neighbor greeted them and was so excited that they had decided to come. June and Leroy were introduced to the pastor and the entire congregation. Both June and Leroy felt so much at home with this church, the people were so nice and friendly and they seemed to be genuinely concerned for them.

After the morning service was over, June and Leroy could not wait to talk with the pastor about finding out how they could become “believers” and join the church. The pastor explained to both June and Leroy that they would have to make a profession of faith in Jesus, repent of their sins, and then they would need to be baptized by being immersed in water. The pastor went on to tell June and Leroy that the Bible tells us that we are to remain faithful to the Lord up to the point of death.

Both June and Leroy were so excited and full of joy as the pastor explained to them what they needed to do so they too could become “believers” and have a place in Heaven when they died. Leroy asked the pastor if there were any reasons why he and June could not make a profession of faith now and be baptized. The pastor explained to June and Leroy that they could make a profession of faith, but the baptism would have to wait until next Sunday. That seemed fine to June and Leroy because they were so excited about coming to Jesus, that waiting only one more week for baptism would not matter.

At that moment, both Leroy and June reached out to God and prayed, asking God to forgive them of their sins and to have Jesus come into their lives. Leroy and June openly prayed before the pastor that they believed that Jesus was the Son of God and that He died on the cross and rose from the dead on the third day. The pastor continued to pray with June and Leroy who opened up their souls and accepted Jesus into their lives as their Savior and Lord . There was so much joy and excitement as other members of the church stood by and watched . The pastor told June and Leroy that he would schedule them both for their baptism the next Sunday morning.

Now, as the story goes, Leroy was involved in a serious traffic accident which left him in a coma at the local hospital, before he was able to be baptized the coming Sunday. June was so devastated and asked the pastor if this would affect Leroy’s salvation if he should die. Well, Leroy did die and this left June with a very heavy burden caused by the death of her husband and also a very serious question that she needed answered regarding Leroy’s salvation.

The Questions are:

1) Is Leroy in Heaven because of his profession of faith in Jesus?


2) Is Leroy eternally separated from God because he was not baptized?

Now before answering one of the above questions for June, please pray that our Lord will give you the wisdom needed and the Holy Spirit will lead you to know what to say to her.

Whatever answer you believe that the Holy Spirit is leading you to choose, please support it by what the Word of God says in scripture and remember that there is only one “true” answer. God is not the author of confusion and He does not contradict Himself.


Mari's Cakes said...

I believe that Leroy is in Heaven because of his profession of faith in Jesus.

Although Jesus says in Mark 16:16 that baptism is necessary for salvation, before that step we need to repent, have faith and confess Jesus as our savior. God knows Leroy did not refuse to get baptize, he had request it and wanted it, it was the Lords division to take him before. This goes to show that although Baptism is a step needed for salvation it is not the only and most important one.

We must learn to repent from our sins, increase our faith in the Lord, confess to having Jesus as our only Savior and intermediary between God and us, by doing this we already begin to change and reborn into a new person in faith. Baptism just closes it all and make us new in the holy Spirit.

Sheila Deeth said...

By faith, not by works. God does not contradict Himself, but He does use human words to explain the divine. He also used Jesus to show us the divine, and asking What would Jesus do might be simplistic, but I suspect that same Jesus who spoke of Lazarus being in heaven would probably say Leroy was too.

Maria said...

Baptism is definitly very important. But think of the theif on the cross...was he baptized? Yet he was saved! So I would say that he would be in heaven with the One in Whom his faith was placed - The Solid Rock!

RCUBEs said...

I'm glad that they both prayed the Sinner's prayer....So, now Leroy is forever happy! :) His death was just the beginning of his eternal life in the presence of the Lord.

Baptism is not as important as being "born again" and professing Jesus as Lord of our lives. It just symbolizes our faith that by doing so, we publicly admit that we are His and that we were buried with Him and rose with Him... Great questions...Blessings to you.

Lynda Young said...

Without doubt Leroy went to Heaven. Maria's example about the thief on the cross explain it really well.

Romans 10:13, Acts 2:21, Acts 16:31,

and even in Mark 16:16 it doesn't actually say you'd be condemned if you don't get baptised - only if you don't believe.

mama'ritha said...

When he confesses Jesus and acknowledge Him as the Messiah, the Son of God, no one can pull him out of Gods hand. I think Gods see his desire to be baptized as the act self. (Sorry sorry, I know my english is not good but I hope you understand what I write / mean ?)

Faith Imagined said...

I agree with all the comments and that Leroy is indeed in heaven! Great thought-provoking post!!!

Mumsy said...

Oh I believe that Leroy is in heaven, because God is a forgiven and God is love.

Chantel said...

Acts 2:41 And WHEN they received the word they were Baptized
Acts 8:12 but WHEN they believed Philip preaching...they were baptized
Acts 8:35-38 as they went on their way the eunuch sees water and immediately the chariot is stopped- the eunuch asks would anything hinder him from being baptized? Philip responds only that you belive with all your heart, you may.

Acts 16:33 and he (the jailer) took them (Paul and Silas) THE SAME HOUR, and washed their stripes; and (the jailer) was baptized and his family
Acts 18:8 and many of the corinthinans hearing, believed, and were baptized
THE PREACHER WAS WRONG TO FORBID THE BAPTISM WHEN THEY BELIEVED THE MESSAGE. At this point he is the watchmen over their souls and at the judgement seat will have to give an account ( Heb. 13:17). I pray nothing like this happens in reality, but God is the righteous judge. OH and the thief on the cross was saved because the dispensation of Grace had not been ushered in yet. He was still under the law. With the ressurection of Jesus Christ, the new covenant (testament) and the dispensation of Grace began, hence the gospel being preached soon after he arose and the disciples waited as instructed to be given power from on high to witness. Hope that wasn't too much : )

Gaia said...

I would like to believe that he will take me home despite my failings... just like the prodigal son!! I have disappointed him often enough, but I do hope he knows I do love him.

Mel Alarilla said...

Now, this is human frailty, trying to discern God's ways by human logic and understanding. There is no conflict really not unless we become argumentative and disregard the admonition of Paul to avoid controversies for they will only lead to the puffing up of the person concerned. Regarding the question, let me give my own two cents worth of personal opinion. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." This is the heart and very essence of the entire Bible and it never mentioned anything about water baptism but about believing (accepting) Jesus Christ. But in Acts 2:38, when the people in Jerusalem asked what they should do, Peter told them to "repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your (their) sins." In Acts 16:31, when the jailer asked Paul what he should do to be saved, Paul replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved- you and your household." In Acts 8:34-38, the eunuch, after Philip explained the meaning of a certain verse in Isaiah and about its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, asked that he be baptized by Philip. In all these, we can see that believing and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and savior, wherein the believing person becomes born again, and wherein the Holy Spirit descends upon him and revives his dead spirit as he becomes a new creation, is assured of eternal life in Christ Jesus as per John 3:16, Romans 10:9, Acts 16:31, Ephesians 2:8-9, and many others. On the other hand John 3:5 says, "No one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born again of water and the Spirit." Many churches claim that water here means water baptism and is therefore a prerequisite for salvation. It is my honest opinion that water here also signifies the Baptism of the Holy Spirit which is the real prerequisite for salvation. Water baptism is a prerequisite to enter a Christian church and becomes a symbol of the believer's death to the world and a new life in Christ. The thief on the cross never had the luxury of water baptism but expressed belief and hope in Jesus Christ and Jesus assured Him that that same day he would be with Jesus in paradise. The Catholic church also has water baptism for children but what really changes a person is the baptism in the Holy Spirit where he becomes born again and a new creation in Christ. Water baptism has its own value in the Christian, since it signals his transfer of allegiance from the world to the kingdom of God. I remember the controversy brought about by the Judaizers in the early Christian church who insisted that all Christians follow the Mosaic laws to be saved. Are we repeating the same mistake again? Thanks for the post. God bless you always.

Deborah Ann said...

I believe he's in heaven, but what I think probably doesn't matter. Only God knows the heart...

Lloyd said...

Salvation is a FREE Gift from God – No Attachments – On the Cross Jesus said, “It is finished!” We can tell Leroy’s wife June, that someday she will see Leroy again in Heaven.

There can only be one true answer to the question to whether Leroy is in Heaven or not. Baptism is very important but only to the point of being obedient to Christ, not to earn your way to Heaven. If we are saved by faith, then we are saved by faith when we believe, not when we get baptized, otherwise we are not saved by faith. Furthermore, if baptism is necessary for salvation then anyone who receives Christ on his deathbed in a hospital and who also believes Jesus is God in the flesh, who died and rose from the dead for his sins, etc., would go to hell if he doesn't get baptized before he died. This would mean that we were not justified by faith because if we were, then the person would be saved.

Also, if baptism is necessary for salvation, then all babies who die go to hell since they weren't baptized. Remember, when someone says that baptism is necessary, there can be no exceptions -- otherwise it isn't necessary.

For those of you that truly believe that Baptism is necessary for Salvation, I humbly and prayfully ask you to read my post “Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?”

Now the Word of God has this to say about our Salvation:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36)

"but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:14)

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. (John 5:24)

"Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him." (John 6:27)

"And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:40)

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. (John 6:47)

But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6: 22-23)

However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.
(1 Timothy 1:16)

As you can see when you read these scriptures, there is no mention of baptism, because it is NOT required for Everlasting Life (Salvation).

I also want to mention that the OT saints were saved the same way the New Testament saints were/are saved, by faith. God did not change how He saved people in the New Testament. It has always been by faith. In the case of the OT people, they looked ahead in time to the Messiah. We look back to Him and see the cross.

Lloyd said...

I want to thank you Mari's Cakes, Sheila, Maria, RCUBEs, Lynda, mama' ritha, Faith Imagined, mumsy, Chantel, Mel Alarilla, Deborah Ann, and Gaia for your visits and comments regarding this very hard subject of Salvation and Baptism.

And Gaia, I want to let you know personally that you do not need to worry about going to Heaven as long as you, by FAITH, accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. God bless each and every one of you. Lloyd

Gregg said...

Thanks for your kind comments. My blog is dedicated to speading a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the glory of God and the joy of all people. The Lord is gracious preparing me for ministry - I must live what I preach otherwise there is no authenticity in my message.

alicia said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I agree with all the comments saying that Leroy is in Heaven, and all the wonderful examples in the Bible proving it to be so. Great thought provoking post!

One Heart said...

Thank you for sharing this. We are saved by faith in He who completed it all at the cross--Jesus Christ. In Him is all we need.

I believe water baptism is just an external natural act symbolic of what has occurred internally and spiritually after we are born again by His Spirit. It is simply something we delight in doing out of what many would call obedience but I like calling love (in essence, that's what obedience is really (John 14 ). Our love for Him simply leads us to do so, but not because of a requirement or duty or for salvation--simply love.

I rejoice that Leroy is in heaven!!!

Great post.

Lloyd said...

Thank you so much Gregg, Alicia, and One Heart, for visiting and commenting on my blog.

Gregg, I will continue to pray for you concerning your ministry. I know the Lord will use you to do great things. God bless, Lloyd

Cathy M. said...

Hi Lloyd,
Thanks for visiting my blog and for this thought provoking scenario. I'm going to be just a bit contrary and say that Leroy isn't in heaven because of a profession or a prayer, nor would he have been in heaven on the basis of a baptism. Rather, he is in heaven because the Holy Spirit quickened his heart in response to the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because he is now a regenerate child of God, he responded by professing Christ as savior and Lord. The fact that he agreed to schedule the baptism seems to be another fruit of genuine repentance. On the basis of his profession and his willingness to submit to baptism, I'd say there is ample evidence that God had truly done a work in his heart and it is on the basis of God's work that he is justified and permitted to enter into the presence of his King.

Lloyd said...

Cathy...I am not really sure what you just said. After re-reading your comment several times, it sounds like you are saying that by FAITH Leroy is in heaven. Thank you so much for the visit and comment. God bless, Lloyd

SDannieG said...

I don't believe that simply professing faith in Jesus is what saves you. When you have the Holy Spirit living within you and you have acknowledged and repented your sins and are walking with Jesus Christ then you are saved.

Lloyd said...

Thanks so much SdannieG for your visit and comments. When you make a "profession of faith" in our Lord, you are asking Him to forgive you of your sins and that you believe that He is the Son of God...etc. And that you want Him as your Lord and Savior. At that moment in time the Holy Spirit enters you and you are SAVED.

Sometimes folks think that they have to do other things to be SAVED, such as getting baptized or joining a church. These things we do in obedience in following Christ, but they are not required for salvation. So in this story, Leroy was saved and when he died his soul made its way to heaven. God bless, Lloyd