9. What happens to those who are not baptised in the kingdom?
- It depends – to answer this question we need to explain the judgment seat which happens between now and the kingdom – show responsibility to judgment chart
- Knowledge is the basis of responsibility to judgment – John 3:19 for God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe in him is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because there deeds were evil – So knowledge of Jesus enlightens people which requires a response and therefore judgment (+ve or –ve)
Also Luke 12:47-48, 19:22-23, Jam 4:17, Rom 5:13
- Ignorance bears no responsibility though results in death – Psa 49:20 man in his pomp, yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish – most people!
(God is just in this – ultimately man is without excuse – Rom 1:19-20)
Also Isa 26:14, Eph 2:1, 12, 4:8, Jer 51:39, 57, Obad 16, Psa 37:10-38, Psa 104:35
- Eg a parent disciplines a child only when they have been adequately instructed
- Mark 16:15-16 – Jesus said to them, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned – believe the gospel + be baptized = saved. Hear the gospel but believe not = condemned (judged unworthy)…next quote expands on this group
- John 12:46-48 – deals with the category of the unbaptized/enlightened
I have come into the world as a light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him, for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge, the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.
- jesus is a light to the world, believe = light…else remain in darkness
- hears the words of Jesus & believe not have rejected jesus and receiving him not – the words of Jesus shall judge them at the last day (judgement)
- So people who know of Jesus but believe not are therefore accountable to judgment
- The unbaptized enlightened will be required at the judgment and will have no opportunity for entry into the kingdom (Luke 13:22-30 – there will be sadness for those that see the kingdom and miss out because the choose not to believe)
- The unbaptized unenlightened are not required at judgment – at Christs return, those that are dead remain so, those that are alive and survive make up the mortal population of the kingdom and have opportunity to learn and accept the truth
- Some follow up questions – What if you are learning the truth but not ready to commit to baptism? Or how much knowledge or what age makes you accountable? Eg too young to comprehend or coming to a knowledge but haven’t committed to baptism or committed to baptism but not yet baptized when Jesus returns.
- We are not given instruction on this in the bible (for good reason)
- We know from Ex 34:6 – God’s character is a balance of kindness and truth, righteous and merciful
- We could speculate that God in his mercy and foreknowledge of the path you would take, knowing your heart, could maintain his character of mercy and truth and allow someone in this category to finish their learning as part of the mortal population in the kingdom to make their ultimate decision
- Urgency required – You could argue that a knowledge of the gospel (the things concerning the KoG and the name of JC) does not take much to know and comprehend and therefore become enlightened. In this case you will be required at the judgment and if unbaptized this will likely result in disappointment. There is urgency therefore to not be found in this category but rather to try to come quickly to a decision of belief and baptism for an opportunity of salvation
- Responsibility to Judgement Chart
- At the return of Christ and the judgment seat, all mankind can be categorized into 4 groups
- Baptized and lived/living a godly life
- Baptized and lived/living an ungodly life
- Unbaptized and enlightened (know God plan but have rejected him)
- Unbaptized and unenlightened (unaware of God’s plan)
- The pink bar shows the state of the person (dead or alive) at Christs return. This further classification is required to explain what happens to group 4.
- The green bar shows who will be required at the judgment seat. Groups 1, 2 and 3 are required as they have knowledge which makes them responsible to judgement i.e. they have known of God’s plan for the world and had opportunity to respond accordingly. Note, those in groups 1,2 and 3 who have died before Christ’s return will be resurrected in order to attend the judgment seat
- The purple bar shows the outcome of the judgment seat. Group 1 will receive the reward of immortality, Group 2 and 3 will be judged unworthy and be punished with death. Those in group 4 who are dead remain so, and those alive will form the mortal population of the kingdom period.
Jn 5:27-29 – and hath given him authority to execute judgement because he is the son of man. Marvel not at this for the hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth. They that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of condemnation
II Tim 4:1 – …Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom
II Cor 5:10 – we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil
I Pet 4:17-18 – for it is time for judgment to begin at the household of god, and if it begins with us, what will become if those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely shall be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? – three categories at judgment: righteous, ungodly and sinner
Dan 12:2 – and many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt – the responsible will be raised for judgment where there will be a separation of righteous and wicked
Rom 14:10 – for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ – all personally responsible to judgment
Mt 25:31-46 – when the son of man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne…separate people on from another as a shepherd separated sheep from goats…goats to punishment and sheep to eternal life
Luke 13:22-30 – teaching…Q; will those who are saved be few? Some shut outside will knock on the door but it is too late…there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the KoG but y ou yourselves cast out – there will be some who miss out and are extremely disappointed…those baptized but haven’t lived accordingly
Acts 1:16-17 – Peter said…Judas who became a guide to those who arrested jesus. For he was numbered among us and allotted his share in the ministry – responsible but ungodly
Jn 3:16-21 – god so loved the world…believe is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already…and this is the judgment, the light has come into the world but people loved darkness rather than light. – accountable as they saw the light but believed not and choose darkness
II Thess 2:8,12 – lawless one revealed whom the lord jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearing of his coming…all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness – did not receive the light and remained in unrighteousness in darkness
Parable of the 10 virgins – need to keep our faith strong