Answering a Baptist Preacher's "Unanswerable Questions"
(Article Continued)
Larry Ray Hafley


3. If the water pipes broke and the baptistry was bone dry, would my salvation have to wait until the plumber showed up? If I were to die before then, would I go to hell? If obedience to water baptism is the means of forgiveness of sins, then I would.

[Author's Note: Again, this same question was answered in an earlier article. At that time, I did not know that Mr. Martin was the one who had framed the question, hence, you will see no direct references to him in the answer below-LRH

Since it takes baptism to constitute one as a Baptist, "If the water pipes broke and the baptistry was bone dry, would my membership have to wait until the plumber showed up?"

"If the water pipes broke and the baptistry was bone dry," one might decide to go elsewhere to obey the Lord who said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mk. 16:16).

After his broken water pipe scenario, our friend asks, "If I were to die before then, would I go to hell?" Well, suppose another case. If the preacher lost his voice and could not tell an illiterate man about Jesus' death for his salvation, would his salvation have to wait until another preacher showed up? "If he were to die before then, if he were to die before he could be lead to believe, would he go to hell?"

If a broken water pipe nullifies what the Lord said about baptism because someone might be lost without being baptized, would a preacher's inability to speak nullify the fact that one must hear the gospel before he can believe and be saved? If a man dies before hearing and believing the gospel, he will be lost. Regardless of the objections, Scripture still says that one must repent and be baptized "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38; 22:16). If he does not do that, he will be lost (Lk. 13:3; Jn. 3:3, 5).

(Again, this is the conclusion of the insertion of a previous answer to the same question. Below are additional remarks directed to Mr. Martin-LRH).

Mr. Martin, since Paul said we are "all baptized into one body," if the water pipes broke and the baptistry was bone dry, would my membership in the body of Christ have to wait until the plumber showed up (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 5:23)? Since Jesus "is the Savior of the body," and we are "baptized into one body," If I were to die before the plumber got there would I go to hell? Since obedience to God in being baptized into the body of Christ "for the remission of sins" is essential, then I would indeed be lost (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 2:16; 3:6; 5:23-26- "with the washing of water by the word").

One thing is for certain, the Baptist church could not exist if the world's water pipes burst and there were no plumbers, for one must be baptized in order to be a Baptist. Mr. Martin sees no problem with that, of course, for he does not believe one must be a member of a Baptist church in order to be saved. According to him, one can be saved and never even learn of the existence of Baptist churches, and go to heaven when he dies. However, this is not true with respect to the Lord's church, for Jesus is the Savior of it (Eph. 5:23). Jesus' blood purchased His church and none can be saved apart from it (Acts 20:28; Eph. 2:16; 5:23-27, 32), but one can be saved even if he never hears about a Baptist church. Therefore, the Baptist church is not the Lord's church.

Further, not only can one be saved without being a member of any Baptist church, one also can be saved without ever hearing or believing the gospel as preached by the Baptists, but one cannot be saved if he does not believe the gospel of Christ-"He that believeth not shall be damned" (Mk. 16:15, 16; Jn. 12:48). Therefore, gospel of Christ is not Baptist doctrine.]

4. If my past sins are forgiven when I am baptized in water, and it is possible for me to "lose my salvation" and go to hell after being baptized, then wouldn't my best chance of going to heaven be to drown in the baptistry?!! - before I had a chance to sin so as to be lost again? If I wanted to be absolutely sure of heaven, isn't that my best opportunity?

[Author's Note: This question, too, was answered in an earlier article as follows:

If my membership in the Baptist church is conditional, and since I may sin and be withdrawn from by a Baptist church after being baptized into it, wouldn't my best chance to die as a Baptist be to drown in the baptistry?-before I had a chance to sin so as to lose my membership in the Baptist church? If I wanted to be absolutely sure of my membership in the Baptist church, wouldn't it be my best opportunity?

Please observe that our Baptist friend does not appeal to Scripture to sustain and support his position, but to conjecture and his imagination. Over and over he presents predicaments which he thinks undermine the authority of what the Lord has said. He begins the paragraph above with, "If my past sins are forgiven when I am baptized in water...." There is no "if" about it. According to the testimony of the Spirit of God, one is not forgiven until he believes, repents, and is baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus "for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38; Cf. 3:19; 22:16).

Further, if one cannot lose his salvation, why all the warnings in the Bible about it (Heb. 2:1; 3:12; 4:1, 11; 12:15; 2 Pet. 3:17)? Why does the Bible tell us to take heed lest we fall, if we cannot (1 Cor. 10:12-see context of that statement, 10:1-11)? Why does Scripture speak of those who "are fallen from grace" if such a thing cannot occur (Gal. 5:4)?]

5. If as a Christian I can sin so as to "lose my salvation," just what sin or sins will place me in such danger? Is it possible to know at what point one has committed such a sin, and become lost again? Please be specific and give clear Bible references.

[Author's Note: Below is an answer previously given. Again, though there are no direct references to Mr. Martin, the material and its questions are now intended for him!

What "sins will place me in such danger?" (1) "Whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire" (Matt. 5:22). Now, this cannot be talking only to unsaved men for they are not merely "in danger" of hell fire, but are "condemned already" (Jn. 3:18). So, it is addressed to the saved. Does our Baptist friend believe that a child of God shall be "in danger of hell fire" if he says, "Thou fool"? If a child of God cannot go to hell, how could he ever be "in danger" of it? Let our friend explain. (2) Is it possible for a child of God to commit murder? Yes, for David "killed" a man (2 Sam. 12:9). What does the Spirit of God say about a man who commits murder? "Ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him" (1 Jn. 3:15). Obviously, an alien sinner does not have eternal life abiding in him, so there would be no question about whether he had eternal life, even if he had not murdered anyone. Hence, the passage is speaking of brethren, of children of God. One who hates his brother is a murderer, "and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." Does our Baptist friend know that? Yes, it is "possible," as our Baptist friend inquires, "to know at what point one has committed such a sin," for Nathan told David. If a man can know that he has said to another, "Thou fool," and if a man may know that he has murdered another, then, it is "possible to know at what point one has committed such a sin and become lost again."

Since he asked us to "be specific and give clear Bible references," please note that we have done so. (End of previous reply. Below are additional remarks for Mr. Martin.)

Mr. Martin boldly asks "just what sin or sins will place me in such danger?" As expressed by one of his brethren, "Pastor Sam Morris," there is no sin a child of God could commit which would place his soul in any danger. Below is what Mr. Martin believes and teaches. Let him deny the words of Sam Morris if he will. I dare him to tell us he does not believe the quotation below. Speaking of the Baptists, Sam Morris said:

We take the position that a Christian's sins do not damn his soul. The way a Christian lives, what he says, his character, his conduct, or his attitude toward other people have nothing whatever to do with the salvation of his soul....All the prayers a man may pray, all the Bibles he may read, all the churches he may belong to, all the services he may attend, all the sermons he may practice, all the debts he may pay, all the ordinances he may observe, all the laws he may keep, all the benevolent acts he may perform will not make his soul one whit safer; and all the sins he may commit from idolatry to murder will not make his soul in any more danger" (Sam Morris, Do A Christian's Sins Damn His Soul?)

Will Mr. Martin tell us whether he agrees with the quotation above? Will he give us a "straight answer," or will he resort to "swimming in circles"? Mr. Morris's words are the consequence of the Baptist doctrine of "once saved, always saved." If Mr. Martin denies them, he denies his doctrine. If he agrees with them, let him tell us plainly.

6. If as a Christian I can fall and "lose my salvation," is it possible to regain it? If so, how? If God "takes away" my salvation, doesn't that make Him an "Indian giver"? How could I ever know for sure that I was saved or lost?

[Author's Note: From an earlier response to the same query.

Yes, it is possible for one to regain his salvation. "Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee" (Acts 8:22; Cf. 1 Jn. 1:9-"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." It is possible, for David, who had committed murder, and who, therefore, had no eternal life abiding in him, was forgiven and restored (Psa. 32:1; Rom. 4:6).

But, "If God 'takes away' my salvation, doesn't that make Him and 'Indian giver?'" Well, let us try that same reasoning on the Baptist church. "If the Baptist church withdraws from me and takes away my membership for some sin I have committed, doesn't that make it an Indian giver?" We know that Baptist churches will not keep a drunken adulterer in their fellowship. When they withdraw from such a man, after having once accepted him as a member, are they "Indian givers"? If not, why not?

Again, our Baptist friend relies on his own human reasoning. Let him read the verses below and then tell us if he thinks God is an "Indian giver."

(1) David said to Solomon, "If thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever" (1 Chron. 28:9). Was David telling Solomon that God is an "Indian giver"? (2) "The Lord is with you while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you" (2 Chron. 15:2). Does this make God an "Indian giver"? (3) "Because ye have forsaken the Lord, he also hath forsaken you" (2 Chron. 24:20). Was God an "Indian giver," according to our Baptist friend's rules? (4) "If we deny him, he will also deny us" (2 Tim. 2:12). "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels" (Mk. 8:38). Is God an "Indian giver" when he denies those who deny him?

Tell us, Mr. Martin, is he?

What of the unbeliever who is assured of damnation, but who later turns to Christ, becomes a believer and is saved (Jn. 3:16, 18, 36; 5:24)? Is God an "Indian giver" when he fails to send the former unbeliever to hell after he had promised him that he would? Just as God is not an "Indian giver" when he cancels the condemnation of the unbeliever who becomes a believer, neither is he an "Indian giver" when he condemns the believer who turns away from him in an "evil heart of unbelief" (Heb. 3:12).

Finally, in this connection, God is not an "Indian giver" when he condemns those who turn from him, for he is giving them exactly what he said he would if they forsook him (1 Chron. 28:9; Rom. 11:22; 2 Tim. 2:12).]

7. After becoming a Christian, are there any sins that will put me beyond the "point of no return" so that I cannot regain salvation? What sin or sins will put me in such jeopardy, so that, after becoming a Christian, I would be doomed to hell without any recourse? Please be specific and give me clear Bible references.

[Author's Note: More from a previous reply to the same question.

"But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin....If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 Jn. 1:9). Is that "Bible" reference "clear" and "specific" enough?

Let it be noted that we have replied with Scripture, not with our own reasonings and rationalizations.]

8. If I committed some sin -whether in thought, word, or deed, one minute before a fatal car crash - would I go to hell if I did not have time to repent of it? And, please, don't just say that it's up to God without giving me a specific Bible reference.

[Author's Note: Same reply from "Answering A Baptist Attack Against 'Campbellite'"

[If David "killed Uriah" "one minute before a fatal chariot crash," would he have gone to heaven without eternal life abiding in him (1 Jn. 3:15)? "And, please, don't just say that it's up to God without giving me a specific Bible reference."

If an alien sinner, an unbeliever, was on his way to hear a Baptist preacher and died "one minute before the preacher spoke," before he had time to come to faith in Christ, would he go to heaven even though he was still an unbeliever? "And, please, don't just say that it's up to God without giving me a specific Bible reference."]

9. Why does the "Church of Christ" insist that their name is scriptural when it cannot be found anywhere in the Bible? The church is referred to as the "church of God" eight (8) times in the Bible, but never is it called the "church of Christ." The verse they use is Romans 16:16, but it doesn't say "church of Christ." Where does the Bible call the church the "church of Christ"?

[Author's Note: Yet another copy of the answer to the same question.

From my book,"The Christ, The Cross, And The Church," pages 114, 115, we note:

Before we deal with the question as to the advisability of using the designation, "church Of Christ," perhaps we should establish that it is a scriptural label. In 1 Thessalonians 2:14, the Spirit cited "the churches of God." However, when he wanted to speak of one such church, he spoke of, "the church of God" (1 Cor. 1:2). Thus, the singular of "churches of God" is "church of God." In Romans 16:16, the Holy Spirit mentioned "the churches of Christ." Since the singular of "churches of God" is "church of God," what is the singular of "churches of Christ"?

Yes, numerous terms are used to identify God's people in the New Testament, but not one time does Scripture say anything about a "Baptist Church" or "Baptist Churches." As a matter of fact, in no literature, whether sacred or secular, written before 1600 A.D., can one find any reference to a Baptist church, either singular or plural. Perhaps it is fair to ask, since our querist is a member of a Baptist Church, "Where does the Bible, or any literature, written before 1600 A.D., mention either a "Baptist Church" or "Baptist Churches"? We have answered from Scripture regarding "the churches of Christ," now let him do the same if he can.]

10. If the "Church of Christ" claims to worship God only as "authorized" by scripture because they sing only (and do not use instrumental music), then where do they get the "authority" to use hymnals, pitchpipes, pews, and indoor baptistries in their worship services? If the answer is that they are "aids to worship," where does the Bible allow for that? Where is your required authorization? If a pitchpipe can be an "aid to worship" for the song service in the "Church of Christ," then why can't a piano be an "aid to worship" for Baptists who may need more help in singing?

[A piano is not an "aid" for singing. One may sing, either beautifully or badly, with or without a piano. Martin's saying that a piano is an "aid" for worship in song is like saying a car is an "aid" for walking. No, a cane is an "aid" for walking, but when one is in a car, he is riding, not walking. Likewise, a piano is not for singing, but must be played. Playing on the instrument is what God has not authorized. Now, we shall deal with his argument on such "aids" as he has mentioned.

The Bible does not state that Noah used hammers, saws, and axes in the construction of the ark. However, such instruments were authorized by the command, "Make thee an ark" (Gen. 6:14). Without the instruction to build the ark, the tools would have been unauthorized.

The Bible does not mention church buildings per se. However, they are scriptural because of the authority to assemble (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:18; 14:23; Heb. 10:25). Without the right to assemble, church buildings would be without divine authority.

The Bible does not refer to song books. However, they are authorized by the command to sing (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3;16). They assist us in carrying out the divine direction to "sing and make melody" in our hearts to the Lord. Without the authority to sing, songbooks would be unscriptural.

The Bible does not talk about chalk boards, computerized images, or overhead projectors. However, they are approved by the authority to teach (Matt. 28:19). They assist in doing what the New Testament churches did; namely, teach (Acts 11:22-26). Without the authority to teach, boards and projectors would be contrary to Scripture.

The Bible does not say anything about collection baskets. However, they are authorized by the command to "lay by in store" (1 Cor. 16:2). Without the authority for a contribution, collection trays would be unauthorized.

The Bible does not mention plates on which to serve the bread of the Lord's supper. However, they are authorized by the command to "take, eat" (1 Cor. 11:24). Were there no communion, the plates would not be scriptural.

The Bible does not specifically cite a baptistry, an artificial pool in which baptism is performed. However, the command to baptize authorizes a place to baptize. Without the right to baptize, a baptistry would be without authority (Matt. 7:21-23).

Note These Contrasting Parallels

The Bible does not directly mention the use of pianos and organs in the worship of the church. If we had scriptural authority to "play music," such instruments would be authorized. As there is Bible authority for song books because we are to sing, so there would be authority for pianos in worship if we were commanded to "play music." When someone finds Scripture for "playing," he will have found authority for guitars, trumpets, "an such like." Until then, they cannot be used with the approval of heaven.]

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