Some protest the need for baptism in Jesus name ( Acts 2:38; Lk 24:47), saying something like “But God has answered my prayers for a long time, so how could I not be saved?”
Answered prayer is not “proof” we are saved. God answers prayers of unsaved people all the time. That is how loving, caring, all-powerful, all-knowing, merciful, and perfect God is.
“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” –Matthew 5:45
When God answers our prayers even before we are saved, He is drawing us to Him. When we reach out for God, He does not push us away. He answers so we will know He is there. He answers so we will know he is real. He answers so we will believe He exists. God answers so we will continue to seek after Him.
It is not unusual for God to hear the prayers of people that are seeking Him, even before they are saved. See Cornelius in Acts chapter 10:
Verses 30-33 says
Cornelius answered: "Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at
three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me and said, 'Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. Send to
Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner,
who lives by the sea.' So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come.
Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has
commanded you to tell us."
God not only heard Cornelius’ prayer before he was saved, He sent an angel in response to provide him with more information through Peter! Peter later told Cornelius the rest of the message so that he could be saved ( Read Acts 10:43-48).
Jesus warned us that even miracles performed in His name does not mean we are saved:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' ( Jesus said, " I Never Knew you" He didn't say " We Never knew you"- This proof that Jesus is the One true God, beside Him there is no other God- Isaiah 44:6- Rev 1:8; Col 2:9-10).
In the above verse, how could these people cast out demons unless they pray? How could they perform any of these works without prayer? Notice Jesus does not deny they did these things. But Jesus tells them to depart because they did not do His will. How do we know what God’s will is? By reading the Scriptures (Bible- II Tim 3:16-17) and doing what they say.
Think about this: If God did not answer our prayers at all before we were saved, how would we ever find Him?
Imagine a parent that looses their child in a store. Does the parent not cry out and call to that lost child? And when the child hears his mother or father, does he not run in the direction of that voice?
That is what God does with us!
And, in God’s eyes, we are not considered found until we are in Christ:
• Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? –Romans 6:3
• For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. -- Galatians 3:26-27.
Some still protest the need for baptism in Jesus name, and they often quoted John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life?"
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
This is perhaps the most often quoted verse in the New Testament. It is often isolated and set apart from the rest of the dialogue in which it took place. Remember! To “believe in Jesus” means to believe the gospel message, and baptism is a part of that gospel message. It must also be remembered this verse is only one small part of a much larger conversation that Jesus had with Nicodemus. Verse 16 (of chapter 3) deals with faith JESUS. Repentance is talked about in regards to the snake that was lifted up and then again in verses 19-21.
Verses 3 and 5 also deal with baptism in Jesus name. This shows the importance of looking at the overall picture and not focusing in on any single verse or passage.
Furthermore, the NIV is the only translation that uses the word “shall” in John 3:16. All other translations render this verse, “…whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The NIV erroneously takes a “maybe” and turns it into a “will be”.
According to James, faith alone, by itself, will not save us:
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Remember this, faith must have actions to back it up with!! ( Acts 2:37-41; 19:5;16:30-33; Mark 16:16).
Some still protest the need for baptism in Jesus name, and they often quoted the bible verse from Acts 16:30-31He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household."
This verse is often quoted but then the questioner stops short right in the middle of the story. People like to quote verses 30 and 31 but they don’t quote verses 32 and 33. Those very next two verses state that the Word of the Lord was preached to them and then they were immediately baptized. We know Apostle Paul and the early church always baptized people in the name of Jesus Christ ( Acts 19:2-5; 22:16; 10:48; Col 3:17; Eph 4:5). We also know from James 2:19-20 that the jailer did not stop once he had a belief in Jesus. Indeed, there was more as verses 32-33 illustrate so clearly. See
Acts 16:16-33 for more detail:-
Verse 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Verse 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Verse 32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
Verse 33 -And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
It does no good to tell someone about baptism unless they are first told the message of Jesus Christ. The first step is to believe, then baptism will be effectual ( Mark 16:16 says " He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned"). Faith in Christ is what gives baptism in Jesus name- its significance. Obviously, it does no good to tell someone to get baptized unless they have first heard the message of the calvary and the story of Jesus.
Today we are commanded to obey the gospel of Christ and continue in the apostles doctrine ( Acts 2:38-47; John 3:5;. Rom 10:10; Rev 2:10; Acts 2:42; 2 Jn 9). Do this and live forever.
LIVE FOREVER-obey ACTS 2:38!