Do We Have to Be Baptized? And Do You Ever Feel Guilty That You Believe?
Question: How can the words of Jesus, “It is finished,” be true if man has to do something subsequent to the finished work of Jesus?
Also, do you ever feel guilty about not believing the traditional way now that you believe in Universalism? I am treated like an outcast by people who believe like the Church of Christ teaches.
Response: “It is finished.” You don’t have to be baptized to be saved, but the Lord asks you to be baptized, just like he asks you to love him and love your neighbor. Just because you’re married to your groom, you surely wouldn’t expect him to stop asking things of you—you’d just expect him to ask things of you in a different way. He might ask you to go out to dinner with him . . . but your marriage wouldn’t depend on it. Just because Jesus asks you to get baptized as a symbol of what you believe, it doesn’t mean that your marriage to him depends on baptism, any more than a bride’s marriage to her groom depends on wearing a ring.
I do often feel like an outcast and I’m sure the evil one tempts me to guilt, but I know that I’d feel far more guilty if I denied what I believe to be true, just because of the pressure of the crowd.
When you feel like an outcast, give thanks that you are suffering as a disciple (Luke 6:22-23). You hope in God’s salvation. Other’s hope in their ability to save themselves—that’s why they’re offended at your hope. Your hope is “God is Salvation,” (Jesus), and it means that nobody saves themselves, including them.
PS I don’t think those folks are in the true “Church of Christ.” The true Church of Christ is a Bride that rejoices in the work of her Groom. Her Groom came to seek and to save the lost. If we don’t rejoice in his seeking and saving the lost, we don’t rejoice in him, but in ourselves. The false church worships her own ability to save herself. She’s not pregnant with the life that comes from submitting to Jesus. She’s just full of herself—her own flesh. Sorry to be graphic but that’s the picture that Scripture paints for us. A bride becomes pregnant from surrendering to the desire of her groom. Our Groom desires to save. Don’t feel guilty for hoping in his salvation of the lost! Thank God that you love your Lord, the Great Bridegroom.