Mark 16:

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:15- 6

  The Generation to Which the Gospel was Preached

The message was again confirmed that the gospel is not for those who refuse to associate with Jesus in His great work. This left the musical celebraters and applauders of the expected drunken street preachers or performers with some very bad news. The contrast is drawn between those who accepted the will of God for their lives and those who wanted to continue the party which doomed their forefathers:

And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? Luke 7:31

They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept. Luke 7:32

You know the type. We will just sit here in the marketplace and when Jesus comes in we will make Him into a dancing god like Dionysus. If we pipe and He laments and dances then we have found our god we have really been looking for. He will be the god of bread, miracles and circuses. Then we can just sit here where the strollers and shoppers and seekers come in and out and we won't have to "go into all of the gardens to plant, water, weed and harvest."

They believed in the free gift of God but they didn't believe in planting, watering, weeding and harvesting. They believed that the new "god" would be the god of power and wealth but they wanted to continue to steal it from the poor in the temple of prayer. Why "sign up" with baptism to a God who wasn't going to give them the gift of God without strings? They had things pretty well under control already. Therefore they rejected God's counsel, refused to be baptized and the free gift was thrown away.

The good news John the Baptist preached, and Jesus obeyed to fully preach baptism, included the command to be baptized.

This baptism looked forward to the prophesied work of Christ. This meant that our old body be planted with Christ.

After His resurrection, baptism for the very same purpose was to look backward to the accomplished Work of Jesus Christ as the visual proof that the prophecy had been fulfilled and that indeed Good did visit mankind.

Jesus Promised to be the Head or Father of His Kingdom

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another (a fuller in a different form) Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; John 14:16

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him (the Incarnate Word); for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. John 14:17

I will not leave you comfortless (Fatherless): I will come to you. John 14:18

God (full Deity) had laid aside His Majesty and Authority like a garment upon His "throne" which is symbolic of His Rulership of the universe. He took on the form of a servant and would return to His Throne of full rulership and then return as Holy Spirit and prove it on the Day of Pentecost to the Apostles in the upper room. Thereafter, where two or three are gathered in His Name He promised to be among them. This fact should define how we will worship Him. It will not be with the lostness of ceremonial legalism but we will sit quietly at His feet to learn of Him.

The Gospel which looked backward to the proof that Jesus was Who He said that He was -- God -- would be offered on the day of Pentecost. Peter would preach the Gospel.

Jesus commanded the Apostles:

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:16

Just as in the forward-looking baptism, those who rejected the counsel of God for their lives were lost. The process continues: those who don't believe reject the counsel of God and therefore refuse to be baptized as part of the free gift of God.

The Gospel is clearly not good news in any sense until it fulfils its end: salvation as a result of believing the evidence and accepting it into your life.

E-Mail: "If you believe then you should be baptized...I agree with Mark 16. It says those that believe not shall be damned, not those who believe & are not baptized shall be damned. That is why it is called the believer's baptism. You believe so you get baptized, even a child can understand that. Future tense or past tense isn't the focal point here. Salvation is the point here. If someone believed & refused to be saved then I would worry that they weren't saved. "

Well, Mark 16:16 seems to be an imperative and tense is important because the writer wants to move "slall be saved" backwardin time like this:

He that believeth shall be saved and is baptized; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:16

Next, look at a proposition just like Mark 16:16:

He that accepts the gift and comes to the bank gets a million dollars.

He that accepts not the gift------------------gets not a million dollars.

You complain to the banker and tell him:

"Your add said that 'those that accept not not the gift shall not get the money.' You did not say that 'those who accept the gift & and do not come to the bank shall not get the money!'"

"That is why it is called the accepter's free money, you accept so you come to the bank because you already have the million dollars. Even a child can understand that." Well, don't try spending any of your money before you get to the bank.

So, we agree that one who believes is probably going to get baptized. However, we still have salvation to the right side of both "believe and are baptized." How are we going to explain that to Jesus if we put believ and saved on the left side and baptism on the left? Now, James didn't say that you can work and "earn" something. However, the principle is absolute:

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. James 2:18

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe (same as Mk 16:16), and tremble. James 2:19

Jesus said, in effect, show me your faith by your obedience because faith without it is worthless. Take a look at how Paul treats faith and baptism:

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Galatians 3:27

In other words, faith is operative only if the people "do not reject the counsel of God for their lives" by rejecting the baptism part which Jesus connected to faith.

Second, I am sure that a lot of people sincerely believed in Jesus as an established fact. However, their belief did not include the courage to admit publically that they were to become Christians. Baptism is the ultimate public confession which completes faith:

And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified (showed regard for) God, being baptized with the baptism of John. Luke 7:29

But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God for themselves, being not baptized of him. Luke 7:30

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20

The Pharisees were the exclusively religious Jews. They were separated as clergy from the rest of the people.

Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess (covenant with) him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: John 12:42

For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. John 12:43

Is it barely possible that people are out there quite militantly telling people that they should not be baptized. Are there a lot of people who would like to confess Jesus as the purchaser of their free gift by obeying just what He told them to do?

The Free Gift of God By Faith
Living Waters
Beginning of the Gospel
What is the Gospel - Baptized For the Dead
The New Birth
First Command of the Gospel
The Gospel at Pentecost
Paul, the Gospel and Baptism


Home Page