A visitor to the web page containing these articles writes, “I repented and placed my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in April of 1961, but I was not baptized in water until ten years later. If I had died during that interval, would I have gone to heaven or hell?”
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Only God, who alone sees all inner hearts and outer circumstances, knows for sure who is saved or lost. Should someone ask me the same question you asked, while going through such a ten-year period, I would want to inquire why that person had not obeyed the Lord’s command to be baptized. If she or he were seeking to obey Jesus in all things, but did not know that he had commanded baptism, I would attempt to lead that person into a greater understanding of Christ’s will so that he or she could obey Jesus and enjoy the blessings of such obedience.
If, on the other hand, the individual said that she or he well knew Christ’s command but simply refused to do what he said, that would raise a serious question in my mind about the authenticity of that individual’s profession of faith — and it would prevent my being able to encourage salvation assurance for that reason.
I am not afraid for the destiny of any person who comes to God as a repentant sinner, throwing herself or himself on God’s mercy as demonstrated in Jesus Christ. And I am fully confident that a person of such genuine faith will be not only willing but eager to be baptized in water as soon as he or she personally understands that the Lord Jesus commands it.