Monday Minutes With Pastor Chris McCool (August 15, 2022)

Last week, I shared the first part of an article by Elder Buddy Abernathy regarding baptism. In that portion of the article, Bro. Buddy began to deal with the issue of “time” versus “eternal” salvation. Today, we conclude that article with a look directly at baptism, and how it “saves” us. Clearly, the salvation under consideration is some kind of timely deliverance, and NOT eternal salvation! I hope you enjoy the conclusion to this article.

May the Lord bless you is my prayer.

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor


by Elder Buddy Abernathy

What about baptism? Mark writes, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved…”. Baptism ought to be the first act of obedience for the one who believes Jesus died for his sins and rose again for his justification (Acts 2:36-39). If we believe but don’t obey, we will not experience the fullness of this salvation because baptism is “…the answer of a good conscience toward God…” (1Pe 3:21 KJV). Since we believe the resurrection of Jesus is a reality, we are now ready to be “…buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Rom 6:4 KJV). We need to “…put on Christ.” (Gal. 3:27). The Bible presents baptism as the logical response for one who believes the gospel (Acts 8:26-39). Baptism portrays the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The representative does not save us from our sins. Jesus is our salvation (Mat. 1:21) and baptism is the depiction of our salvation.

What about damnation? Mark writes, “…he that believeth not shall be damned.”. The word “damnation” appears eleven times in the King James Translation of the Bible. It is used to condemn the Pharisees (Mat 23:14, Mark 12:40, Luke 20:47), those who misrepresent the implications of God’s grace (Rom. 3:8), those who resist civil authority (Rom. 13:2), those who participate in the communion service “unworthily” (1 Cor. 11:29), those who “…cast off their first faith.” (1 Tim. 5:11-12) and “false teachers” (2 Pet. 2:1-3). It is also used with reference to the “damnation of hell” (Mat. 23:33), “eternal damnation” (Mark 3:29), and the “resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29).

The word “damned” appears three times in the King James Translation of the Bible:

“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mar 16:16 KJV

“And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” (Rom 14:23 KJV)

“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thes. 2:11)

The Greek word, “katakrino”, is used nineteen times in the New Testament. It is translated “damned” in Mark 16:16 and Romans 14:23. It is translated, “condemn”, “condemned”, “condemneth” in all the other verses.** So why did the King James translators choose to use “damned” in two of the verses? The two verses which use the word “damned” are referring to self-condemnation. In Mark 16:16, Jesus is referring to the sense of condemnation a child of God feels if he doesn’t believe the gospel. If he doesn’t believe that Jesus “…by himself purged our sins…” (Heb. 1:3), he may continue to have doubts and fears (Acts 15:10-11, Rom. 10:3, 2. Cor. 11:3-4, Gal. 2:21). In Romans 14:23, Paul uses the word “damned” to refer to the conviction of conscience the child of God experiences if he does that which he believes to be a sin. In particular, the condemnation felt by one who eats that which he considers unclean (see verse 14 & 23) The other seventeen verses** are not referring to self-condemnation or one’s personal conviction of sin. They speak of condemning the actions of others or behaving in a manner which attracts the condemnation of others. None of the verses containing the Greek word, “katakrino”, refer to eternal damnation in hell. If Jesus was speaking of eternal damnation in Mark 16:16, then he did not save anyone. Only those who believe and are baptized will go to heaven. All unbaptized persons will go to hell, including unbaptized believers. This interpretation contradicts multiple verses.**

So, did Jesus save us from hell or does belief and baptism save us from hell? When Mary was found with child of the Holy Ghost, the angel of the Lord said to Joseph, “…she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Mat 1:20-21 KJV). The Apostle Paul writes in his second letter to Timothy that God, “…hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” (2 Tim. 1:9 KJV). In his epistle to the Romans, the Apostle Paul explains that Jesus, “…was raised again for our justification.” and that “…being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (Rom. 4:25 & 5:9). “Justify” means, “to render (i.e., show or regard as) righteous”. When a jury renders the verdict, “not guilty”, they are declaring that, based on the evidence, the person on trial is innocent regarding the charges against him. Regarding our sins, we have been declared “not guilty” because God, “… hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Cor. 5:21 KJV).

When we feel convicted of sin, we long to find relief from our guilt and fear. Baptism is “…the answer of a good conscience toward God…” (1 Pet. 3:21). It answers Job’s question of long ago, “I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?” (Job 9:2). To be baptized “…in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (Acts 2:38) is to express one’s confidence that Jesus Christ has remitted (forgiven) his sins (Mat. 26:27-28).

**(Mat. 12:41-42, 20:18, 27:3, Mark 10:33, 14:64, Luke 11:31-32, John 8:10-11, Rom. 2:1, 8:3, 8:34, 1 Cor. 11:32, Heb. 11:7, James 5:9, and 2 Pet. 2:6