Salvation Is Separate And Distinct From All Ordinances
--not but that ordinances are right in their place.
Many people think it is impossible for any one to get into the
kingdom of God if he is not baptized into it. I know people who were
greatly exercised because little children died unbaptized. I have
seen them carry the children through the streets because the pastor
could not come. I don't want you to think I am talking against
ordinances. Baptism is righ
in its place; but when you put it in
the place of salvation, you put a snare in the way. You cannot
baptize men into the kingdom of God. The last conversion before
Christ perished on the cross ought to forever settle that question.
If you tell me a man cannot get into Paradise without being
baptized, I answer, This thief was not baptized. If he had wanted to
be baptized, I don't believe he could have found a man to baptize
I have known people who had sick relatives, and because they could
not get a minister to come to their house and administer the
sacrament, they were distressed and troubled. Now, I am not saying
anything against the ordinance by which we commemorate the death of
our Lord, and remember His return. God forbid! But let me say that
it is not necessary for salvation. I might die and be lost before I
could get to the Lord's table; but if I get to the Lord I am saved.
Thank God, salvation is within my reach always, and I have to wait
for no minister. This poor thief certainly never partook of the
sacrament. Was there a man on that hill that would have had faith to
believe he was saved? Would any church to-day have received him into
membership? He had not to wait for this. The moment he asked life,
our Savior gave it.
Baptism is one thing; the sacrament of the Lord's Supper is another
thing; and salvation through Christ is quite another thing. If we
have been saved through Christ, let us confess Him by baptism, let
us go to His table, and do whatever else He bids. But let us not
make stumbling-blocks out of these things.
That is what I call sudden conversion--men calling on God for
salvation and getting it. You certainly won't get it unless you call
for it, and unless you take it when He offers it to you. If you want
Christ to remember you--to save you--call upon Him.