Can you go to Heaven if you’re not baptized?

HomeChristianity and the BibleCan you go to Heaven if you’re not baptized?

I saw your comments regarding baptism and you said baptism is not necessary to get to heaven…but its Jesus’ commandment for us to be baptised. If we don’t, aren’t we disobeying? Isn’t disobedience a sin? How can we get to heaven without baptism?


You ask an interesting question, and it’s one that puzzles a lot of people. Your question isn’t really about baptism, but about salvation. How, you ask, can a disobedient person go to Heaven? You may be surprised at the answer:

Sin isn’t what sends people to Hell, so it’s not the disobedient who go there.

I know: that’s not what you’ve heard before. Let’s walk through it together…

  1. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) . The Bible is very clear on this. There’s a penalty for sin.
  2. Jesus paid the penalty for all sin, for all people, for all time. 2 Corinthians 5:14 tells us this very clearly: ‘one died for all, therefore all died’ . Jesus died to take our place… He paid the penalty for ALL of our sin. There’s no sin that His death did not cover.
  3. Because #1 is true, and because #2 is true, then #3 is equally true: were you to sin by never being baptized, that would not send you to Hell. God would not make you pay the penalty that Jesus paid for you!

Now, that leads us to another question: why does anyone end up in Hell? The Bible is abundantly clear that some people will be there, but it’s not because of their sin. Read more in 2 Corinthians 5: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” Those who are reconciled to God go to Heaven. Those who are not reconciled to God go to Hell. Sin is no longer the issue because, as that passage tells us, “all died” when Jesus died for us. There’s no penalty left to pay.

So: because all sins for all time were covered by Jesus’ death, nobody would go to Hell for not being baptized. They would only go there for not being reconciled to God. Let me ask you: are YOU reconciled to God? We’re not perfect, but God’s children will naturally mature and look for ways to please Him. If you’re a Christian, you should be baptized… not so you can go to Heaven, but because you want all that God has for you. If God thinks baptism important enough to command it, then we should do it.

Join me on Substack! Join me on Substack!

Bookmark this page!
Bible Reading Checklist
Visit Awesome Christian Music


All Comments are held for moderation. Your comment will appear after it's approved.

209 responses to “Can you go to Heaven if you’re not baptized?”

  1. nick says:

    can a guardian angel appear as a family member

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      An interesting question, Nick. The Bible doesn’t provide enough information to answer. The existence of ‘guardian angels’ as they’re portrayed in popular culture is barely supported in Scripture. The idea that they might disguise themselves as a person we know has no basis at all.

      I don’t like to ‘argue from silence’ – that is, make a statement without evidence to back me up – but I’m going to go out on a limb and answer. God can do anything He wants to, including giving angels the ability to look like someone else. Because we have no evidence in Scripture that He does that sort of thing, and because that would make God a deceiver, I’m going to say NO.

      • nick says:

        thank you. that is a good point.

      • nick says:

        i do have another question.

        • Tony Scialdone says:

          Go ahead, Nick. Ask anything you want.

          • Mary says:

            I feel guilty and stressed up because I am not baptized neither my child.

          • Tony says:


            You should not feel guilty and stressed about this. Baptism isn’t a spiritual act. It’s a public declaration of your faith…not to God, but to a community of Jesus-followers. If you have a faith community – that is, a group of Christians that you worship and learn with – you should be baptized in their presence as a statement of faith. This tells them that you believe as they do, and that you wish you be part of their fellowship. That’s all baptism is.

            If you don’t have a community of faith, let me encourage you to find one. They should teach the Bible all the time, rather than other things. They should be welcoming and encouraging to you, offering to help you grow in faith. When you find such a place, ask them when you can be baptized…and then do it. If your child has come to faith in Christ as well, they should be baptized…but it’s not an act that accomplishes something spiritual. Baptism is just getting wet…but it’s getting wet in front of people to tell them you want to walk with them in faith.

        • lilly says:


      • Sarkar says:

        I have a question. Will God still consider you a christian if your parents do not allow you to be baptized?
        Can you baptize yourself in your bathroom?

        • Tony says:


          You ask good questions.

          >> Will God still consider you a Christian…

          Being baptized does not make you a Christian. Being baptized only gets you wet. If you understand that Jesus died to save you from your sins, and if you then trust God with your life, you are a Christian. After becoming a Christian, you should be baptized…but not being baptized does not make you not a Christian.

          >> Can you baptize yourself…

          Baptism is a public event, where you make a statement to the community of faith that you have decided to join them. There are no private baptisms in Scripture for that reason. You can get wet anytime you want, but that won’t be baptism.

          If you want to be baptized but are not allowed, relax. God will not judge you for things you cannot control. When you are able to both obey your parents and obey God, be baptized. Do it in front of your Christian brothers and sisters as a sign of your faith and your decision to serve God with your life. Until then, let your life be an example for your parents, friends, and family. Talk to God about your situation every day, ask Him to help you live as you should, and let those who see you also see Christ in you.

      • Douglas says:

        I have had two experiences in My Life Time , Once in a Pool of Water (I felt this awesome feeling go thur my Hand and through my Arm, I was a Feeling of total peace ! Oh another occasion, I was watching my Television that was on the Wall and Light off , sitting on the edge of my Couch and a Figure appeared to me I seen something that looked like a Robe but the face and arms didn’t show , my immediate response was Lord why did you scare me! I could testify all day long of things that have happen to me. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. Yes Baptism is a requirement, Even when Jesus came to John the Baptist , John Baptist Jesus ! Put your Trust into God! Pray he will show you many things,

      • Doug says:

        If we read John 3:3 in King James here you find your answer on Baptism.

        • Tony says:

          No, Douglas. Baptism cannot be a requirement for salvation. If it were, the account of Cornelius and his household would be false. Do you believe that a non-believer – one who has not been born again – will hear the gospel, receive it, receive the Holy Spirit, speak in tongues and praise God? I certainly don’t believe that. Peter, seeing this, said: Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have. You can read about it in Acts 10.

          After you read it, please come back and let me know whether you still believe that one must be baptized to be saved. Thanks!

          • Nidel says:

            I believe all Christians need to get baptized. But it’s not a “right now” need. I feel God will call you to get baptized when it’s right, and there’s no need to rush. It should be something you decide and not something pressured on you.

          • Tony says:


            Thanks for your comment! I agree, and I disagree. Let me explain why.

            There were different kinds of baptisms in Judaism. One kind of baptism was to publicly show that you had converted to Judaism. It was a fairly common occurrence, and brought joy to the community of faith. The first converts to Christianity were Jewish, and knew exactly what convert baptism was for: to show the community of faith that you have decided to follow Jesus. That is the purpose of Christian baptism. Because this is true, it seems wise to not put it off. They considered conversion and baptism two parts of the same process: you became a believer, and you joined the community of believers. That’s why Peter, in Acts 2, told people who wanted to be saved that they should “repent and be baptized.” You didn’t do one without the other.

            However: that’s not the entire story. Because people in Israel had lived as followers of God for many centuries, they all understood what baptism meant. Today, most in the western world don’t. A friend, who was a missionary in Pakistan for many years, explained it to me. In the middle east, they understand what a disciple is. When someone decides to follow a teacher, they make a permanent, lifetime commitment to follow that teacher and obey them, no matter what. That, he explained, is how we get suicide bombers: they are told to do it by their teacher. When someone in the western world decides to become a Christian, they usually have no idea that THAT is exactly what being a disciple of Jesus Christ means… not being a suicide bomber, but following what Jesus taught, and being obedient to Him, no matter what. Because of the nature of being a disciple, my missionary friend wouldn’t baptize anyone until they had learned what Jesus actually taught. Only then could they make that kind of commitment. In Pakistan, you may be killed for your faith. It’s a big deal to be baptized, and he didn’t want anyone putting their life in danger unless they understood what Jesus requires of us.

            Do you see why I agree, and disagree? Nobody should be manipulated into being baptized… but, to be baptized as we see in the New Testament, new converts need to understand the nature of the commitment they’ve made. Only then can they claim to be a disciple and publicly display their faith. Our model is clear: people need to know what Jesus taught, and then be willing to obey Him. Only then should they be baptized. God has already called all believers to be baptized, and there’s nothing in the New Testament about Him calling individuals ‘when the time is right.’ Take a look at Matthew 28:18-20 and see if you can put these pieces together:

            Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

            Christians are to baptize disciples. All believers should actually be disciples. That’s intended to be a permanent relationship, and not entered into lightly. For that reason, people shouldn’t be pressured into being baptized until they’re ready to make that commitment. Once they understand, they need to know that God has already commanded them to be baptized. At that point there is no reason to wait.

            Does that make sense?

          • Nidel says:

            I’m also not trying to call anyone out. Even though we might think different things we still all believe in God.

        • Suzanne says:

          If you read Acts 2:38-39 you will see that Baptism is indeed a necessity! There are 3 Steps to Salvation that Jesus declared that we MUST do! First, we must repent of our sins (Yes, Jesus paid for our sins, yet, we are still born in sin). Step 2 is we MUST be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the REMISSION of our sins… (When we get baptized in Jesus Name, it is a “symbol” of Jesus’ blood applied over us for the “washing” away of our sins). Step 3 is receiving the “gift” of the Holy Ghost, with the evidence of speaking in tongues… You can’t deny this, as it’s Scripture! All of the above is actually Step 1 combined for receiving the Holy Ghost… Then there’s Mark 11:24 where Jesus says you WILL receive what your heart desires.. so, if you desire to make it to heaven, Jesus made this promise to believers.. Then there’s Acts 2:4: “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Whoever says that this was for then, is highly mistaken! If Jesus was, is and is forever, then you better believe that these steps to Salvation is also for TODAY!
          Rev. 22:18-19 says: “For I testify unto “every” man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall “add” unto these things,, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall “take away” from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall “take away” his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” In other words, Baptism is a MUST for getting to Heaven… There’s no denying this according to Acts 2:38!

          • Tony says:


            You’re kind of right: if you ONLY read Acts 2:38-39, you will see that baptism is indeed a necessity. If you do as you’re instructed, and study the Scriptures, you will see that your understanding of Acts 2:38-39 cannot be complete. Here’s an important question: reading through the whole New Testament, what can we learn about the requirements for salvation?

            The thief on the cross wasn’t baptized, yet he was saved.
            Cornelius and his whole household weren’t baptized, yet they were saved.
            These people were saved without baptism… in fact, they didn’t even know who Jesus of Nazareth was: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. These were all commended for their faith.

            No, baptism is not required for salvation. Baptism is a command for those who ARE saved, not a command for those who WISH to be saved.

            As for tongues, you’re simply wrong. You clearly have not studied the Scriptures on this topic. How do I know? Because I used to be on staff at a church that taught what you believe: that the initial physical evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues. I took a class on the subject, where we had 4 pages of Scriptures and explanations of why it’s true and right. My wife and I took those 4 pages home and looked up every Scripture. We read them in context to make sure we understood them. Then we went back to the pastor and told him that NOT ONE SINGLE VERSE said what the lessons claimed. His response:

            Yeah, I know.

            If speaking in tongues is a necessity, why would Paul explain that not all do? Why would he say that it’s better to prophesy than to speak in tongues… wouldn’t that disqualify a whole bunch of people? No, what you’ve claimed here is simply NOT found in Scripture.

            Do yourself a favor. Stop thinking in your head that I’m wrong and go look it all up. When you’ve finished studying what THE BIBLE says – not what some person like me says – then you can come back and set me straight. With respect, I have every reason to doubt that you’ll do it… but I sincerely hope that you’ll surprise me and be like a Berean. Check the Scriptures, my sister. You say “You can’t deny this, as it’s Scripture!” Well, show me. I’ll be happy to change my mind, retract my articles, and publish new articles that agree with you… if you can show me. You can’t, but you’re welcome to try. I’m open to correction, but it has to come from the Bible.

            I love you. Have a great day!

          • kobie says:

            than man on the cross was not baptis and he went to heaven

      • thomas says:

        i realize i’m not part of the discussion and while i agree with most of your answer,,there is one sin god won’t forgive,,regardless of Jesus dieing for all..the denial of God..even Jesus tells us that..

        • Tony says:


          Thanks for taking part. You’re now part of the discussion. =)

          A question for you: when will God not forgive that denial? Doesn’t it seem like every sinner who has heard the gospel but has not yet been born again has denied God? Didn’t Peter deny Jesus Himself? I would suggest that you’re not wrong, but that God can – and will – forgive anyone for any sin until they die, or until they’ve sinned so much that He gives up on them. What do you think?

          • Jordan says:

            How do you know you have a relationship with god

          • Tony says:


            Thanks for asking!

            Sometimes the language Christians use can be confusing. We sometimes ‘spiritualize’ things too much. We know we have a relationship with God in exactly the same way we know we have a relationship with anyone! Before you came to GodWords, you had no relationship with me. When you visited my website, you began a relationship with me… but it was pretty much one-sided: you read what I wrote. You might have said to a friend, “I read this guy’s blog the other day.” That’s a relationship, but it’s not much. Then you asked a question and changed the nature of our relationship. I can now read what YOU write. I’m replying to you, and our relationship is growing.

            The Bible tells us that God has been working on you for your whole life. He knit you together in your mother’s womb. He causes you to be curious about Him, and to wonder about things like having a relationship with Him. At that point, your relationship with God is pretty much one-sided. When you responded by seeking more information about Him, that changed the nature of your relationship. As you interact with God, your relationship will grow.

            Same same. Does that make sense?

            Now: it may be that you’re really wondering about having a GOOD relationship with God. There are plenty of people who have bad relationships with God. He makes Himself known to them and they reject Him. He offers peace and joy, and they turn their backs to Him. Everybody HAS a relationship with God, but not all relationships are good. If you want to know whether you have a good relationship with God, there’s a simple test:

            Do you do what He told you to do?

            It’s really that simple. I know… a lot of people don’t like to be told what to do. That’s one of the reasons – probably the main reason – that people reject God: they want to do their own thing. The problem with that idea is that people think they can do whatever they want in life, and there will be no consequences. They think that God is no big deal, and that they’re as free to reject God as they are free to not eat salads, or bacon. They’re wrong, of course. Rejecting God means that they are on their own in this life, and that they will spend eternity separated from Him – by choice – and that will be awful. Accepting the fact that God is God and we are not, and taking advantage of His invitation to be loved and protected and nurtured and accepted and taught by Him means that we are not alone in this life, and that we will spend eternity in relationship with Him – by choice – and that will be wonderful.

            Jesus said in John 3 that no one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are ‘born again.’ When we accept God’s offer to be our King, we are changed. In 2 Corinthians 5, this is described as being ‘a new creature.’ The apostle Paul described this as being adopted by God, and we become His children. He calls Himself “Father” for that very reason: He wants to be our spiritual father, and He’s very good at it. To be more precise, He’s the perfect father. That’s very meaningful for people like myself, whose earthly father fell short in significant ways.

            Are you a new creature, Jordan? Have you been born again? If so, you are my brother. If not, I want you to be my brother… so let me know how I can help.

          • Marla says:

            It’s my understanding that God will never give up.

        • Ken Eichman says:

          Baptism is in Mathew many scriptures is a part of salvation book of John you must be born of the water and the spirit or you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven therefore it seems you cannot remove or lessen it those who done good to the resurrection to die like Jesus and rise a new life water is his method the simple confound us .

          • Tony says:


            Thanks for writing! Yes, baptism is in many New Testament Scriptures, and I believe all of them 100%. The question isn’t whether baptism appears there, but what is SAID about baptism. If we read John 3 carefully, we can see that Jesus is drawing a parallel. He said that we must be born again. This, of course, is a weird and shocking thing to say. Nicodemus was puzzled, of course. Jesus explains, mentioning the first birth (water) and the second birth (spirit).

            This is underscored by what John the Baptist said about Jesus in Mark 1:7-8: After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

            Salvation is not accomplished by getting wet. Forgiveness of sins is not accomplished by getting wet, either. The new birth is baptism with the Holy Spirit. That is what makes an old creature into a new one.

            Don’t get me wrong: baptism is important. When we’re baptized, we’re making a public declaration of our faith to the community around us. We “identify” with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection in baptism. The picture is of dyeing fabric. We dunk fabric in water and dye, and pull it up to see if the fabric has changed color. If not, we dunk it again until the fabric “identifies” with the dye. That’s what baptizo means. It’s not a spiritual act by itself, and it produces no spiritual change in our hearts. All believers should be baptized in front of their community of faith, but that has never, and will never, save anyone.

            Does that make sense?

      • jim says:

        god sent 2 angels to sodom , so yes god does allow angels in human form

        • Tony says:


          You don’t appear to have read what I wrote very carefully. Nick’s question was very straightforward: “Can a guardian angel appear as a family member?” You didn’t address Nick’s question, and you didn’t address my response. Yes, the Bible tells of a number of times that angels appear as human beings. That’s not at issue. The question is whether they can appear as a PARTICULAR human being, like your grandmother.

          Got anything to say about that?

      • Doug says:

        I am not baptized but I am not afraid of Judgment day. I don’t believe that I belong in hell. You will be surprised at who is and isn’t in Heaven when you get there. Jesus saved the sinners. I don’t have religion but it seems to me that he saves those who NEED saving. I will accept God’s judgment on me. And, I will have access to ALL of heaven, not just Jeaus’ Kingdom. I have read many “Bibles” from various religions and I believe I understand the right path for my own being. All religion contains both Justice and a message of piece. It’s not a choice of modern man as to the Holy Books contents. Every scripture, in every major religion was chosen by man. In accordance with each Man’s individual ‘motivates’ , centuries ago. I invite your comments on my opinions no matter which side you fall on ( agree or disagree).
        You choose your own path in life. If you have suffered more than the suffering you have caused and believe yourself to be a good person ( in this case; Righteousness doesn’t equal good. Righteousness equals belief), then you deserve to access all of the realms and Kingdoms in the heavens with God ? We don’t need a ‘holy book ‘ to tell you right from wrong. If you do, then you may need a saviour such as Mohamed or Jesus. The brutality of the Karan ( preachings of Ala ), or the King James Bible ( Preachings of God ) are telling us that True Justice, and all of it’s brutality, if truly righteous, is not a sin. I welcome your input and I am not unable to change my convictions. I am a seeker of knowledge, nothing more!

        • Tony says:


          Thanks for writing. I really appreciate it!

          It sounds to me like you’ve decided to make up your own religion. A little from here, a little from there. Accept the things you like, reject the things you don’t. This is a lot more common than most people think.

          Of course, it’s pretty dumb. The question isn’t “do you think you should go to Heaven?” but “what does it take to go to Heaven?”. You didn’t make Heaven. You don’t get to decide who gets in or stays out, do you? I lived in Southern California until I was 10. We went to Disneyland a bunch of times. You know what was weird about Disneyland? You had to have a TICKET to get in. You couldn’t just walk up to the gate and tell them you deserved to come in and play all day. You had to buy their tickets, at their prices, and you had to show up during the hours when they were open… or you would remain in the parking lot all by yourself.

          There’s a saying that some use to describe your point of view. I hope you’re not offended by it: you’re climbing into God’s lap so you can reach up and slap His face. What do I mean by that? You’re borrowing ideas from the Bible, but pretending that they mean whatever you want them to mean. You’re accepting some things, but rejecting others. Atheists (who don’t believe in God) borrow the idea of evil to condemn the idea of God, who appears to allow evil. Mormons borrow the idea of God, then use that idea to claim that God was once a man and that men can become gods. Jehovah’s Witnesses borrow the idea of Jesus, then claim that He isn’t God… but only the first person created by God. 21st-century therapeutic moral deists (like yourself, it must be presumed) borrow the idea of Heaven and judgment and sin and forgiveness, but reject the idea that their sin must be forgiven or they will be judged as undeserving of Heaven. That’s entirely illogical.

          The question is not what you like or dislike, Doug. The question is whether what you believe is true.

          • What makes you think there will BE a judgment day?
          • What makes you think there’s a Heaven at all?
          • What makes you think Jesus will save anyone?
          • What makes you think there’s a “right path” to anywhere?
          • What makes you think that “good” and “bad” exist?

          You’re borrowing those ideas from Christianity, but don’t seem interested in the rest of the story. Christianity is exclusive. Jesus said that HE is the only way to the Father. Is He right, or wrong? Why accept one thing that Jesus taught and reject another? That probably matters, if one wants to go to Heaven. You seem confident that you don’t belong in Hell. You appear to base this confidence on the idea that you’re a good person… that the suffering you’ve endured is greater than the suffering you’ve caused. Is that what gets someone into Heaven, or are you pretending that that’s what gets someone into Heaven?

          Let’s say that you and Jesus are having lunch together. You might complain about your boss at work, and He might complain that there’s a whole bunch of people who think they’re going to Heaven but really aren’t. Do you think He would agree with your assessment of how the universe works? Do you think He might tell you that you have it all wrong?

          I’ve been studying what Jesus said and did for a long, long time. I have a pretty good idea of what He would say to you. He said it to me, in fact. I now understand that I can never become the man I was intended to be under my own power. I can try to be the right person, but I will fail on my own. Honestly, while Heaven sounds great, I’m at least as concerned about the here and now. I have peace in my heart at all times. I have patience, and confidence, and a very fulfilling life… not because I believe the right things, but because I’ve been born again. You have to believe some things to be born again, but it’s not simply about believing. It’s about surrendering your will to God’s will. He then comes to dwell in you and make you new.

          Surrender, Doug. If you need to do some homework to understand exactly what God requires of you, I will help you… but you will not go to Heaven if you don’t surrender your life into God’s hands.

    • Penzo says:

      No, that would be demonic spirits masquerading as your loved ones.

    • Debbie says:

      My grandsons were murdered 16 and 14 stabbed to death and burned this year so very hard for our family .They werent baptized but they did believe in Jesus and know what he stood for they weren’t raised in church .They came from a 1 parent family They were good boys but they were hanging with the wrong crowd .I feel in my heart they are in heaven .The other night I was laying in bed and I know I saw Larry the 14 year old looking around the corner at me I miss them they were my only grandsonvi feel lost empty sad depressed but I keep going wondering why did such a terrible thing happen to these two your boys it still feels like a dream

      • Tony says:


        I am so very sorry to hear about your grandsons. That’s a horrific tragedy.

        With respect, we should avoid using our feelings as a test for truth. Your grandsons may be in Heaven, or they may not. We don’t know. What we do know is that God will do what is right. There will be no unfairness or injustice in God’s decision. We should not place our hope in our feelings, which may change…we should place our hope in God’s character, which He has revealed to us.

        I have a question for you, Debbie. Will you be going to Heaven when you die? If your grandsons are there, they will be hoping to see you. Nobody goes to Heaven without being reconciled to God. That’s what God wants, and if you’re going to Heaven, it will be because you are willing to submit yourself to God. He loves you. Do you love Him?

        Let me know if you’d like to talk this over.

      • Gabrielle Shaner says:

        . “I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming, the … So Jesus is saying here in Acts 1:5

    • sarah rowe says:

      I believe so because my sister’a favorite color was yellow and she always appears to another sister and I as a butterfly..

      • Tony says:


        I would caution you on this. Sometimes we see what we want to see, and our feelings will often confirm our hopes. We have no evidence that our dead loved ones appear to us at any time, let alone as butterflies or flowers or rabbits or ghosts. You may feel strong emotions when you see yellow because of your love for your sister, but that does not mean that she appears to you in butterfly form. This kind of thinking is relatively benign, but can – and has, for many – lead to serious theological problems. Theological problems inevitably lead to relationship problems with God, which is why I feel the need to caution you.

    • Willissa says:

      My dead twin sisters are my guardian angels

      • Tony says:

        No, Willissa…they are not. I’m sorry to hear that your sisters have died, but people do not turn into angels. Angels and humans are simply two different kinds of beings that God has created, like cats and giraffes. I’m curious: what happened to your sisters?

    • leslie says:

      Tony can you explain reconciled to God ? Also you say that means you won’t go to heaven or hell. where will you be if you are not reconciled and once you die is it too late?

      • Tony says:


        Thanks for asking! The word “reconcile” is the Greek word katallasso. It has to do with money, as with balancing your checkbook, or making sure you got the right change after you buy something. Paul uses this word in several places, but with relationships. We do the same today. When two people are estranged, they need to reconcile. That is, they need to ‘clear their accounts.’ To be reconciled, each person needs to come to the other and make sure there’s nothing keeping them from being together again.

        God did that. As we read in 2 Corinthians 5, God has reconciled the world to Himself through Jesus’ death. That gracious act is only half of the equation, though. If you read through chapter 6, verse 1, you’ll see that we have to respond. As with any troubled relationship, it takes two sides to make things 100% right. God has done His part, and we are His ambassadors, begging people to be reconciled to Him.

        >> Also you say that means you won’t go to heaven or hell. where will you be if you are not reconciled and once you die is it too late?

        I’m sorry for any confusion, Leslie. I’ll try to be more clear. Most people think that being forgiven is what allows us to go to Heaven, and not being forgiven sends us to Hell. That’s not what the Bible tells us. The Bible tells us that everyone has been forgiven. Read that 2 Corinthians passage and you can see it. So: if everyone is forgiven, doesn’t that mean everyone goes to Heaven? No… of course not. People will definitely be in Hell. The New Testament is clear that everyone will either be in Heaven or Hell.

        What’s the difference between going to Heaven and going to Hell? It’s not forgiveness, since everybody has been forgiven. It’s reconciliation. That’s the missing piece in our relationships with God. He has reconciled the world to Himself, and – in response – we need to be reconciled to Him. I hope that makes sense. If you take the time to read 2 Corinthians 5 a few times, you’ll get it. Let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

  2. Cynthia says:

    I am worried about the end of times. I feel it is very near and I’m afraid for my husband and myself. I want us both to go to heaven but I have never been baptized and we dont live a very Christian life. We believe. But we dont live our life by it. Can we still find salvation in the end?

    • Penzo says:

      Ask yourself this, if you believe in Jesus ? why do you not know His voice and walk with Him ? why are you not on fire for Him and living the Christian life and bringing people into the Kingdom of God by telling them about Him ? Is it that you don’t really know Him ? or have had an encounter with Him ?
      I say once you spend time in prayer and have an encounter with Jesus you can’t shut up about Him and what He is doing in your life. So I suggest reading your Bible and praying until you know Jesus spoke to you and ask Him His plan for your life and don’t stop until you fulfill your calling. We have the Holy Spirit living in us and you would know if you knew Him 🙂 You would be doing extraordinary thing’s for God and walking in His ways.

    • sarah rowe says:

      Read Roman’s 10:9 If you believe that Jesus died for us all and rose on the third day, thought shall be saved. I try to stay in the word because I find that the more I do I don’t want to lie it down. Jesus is awesome and a forgiving heavenly father. The more we study to show ourselves approved just as the Lord ask us to, the closer walk we can have with Jesus. Everything that happens each day is because Christ already laid it out before the foundation of the world. There is no qoincidence with God.have your own personal relationship with God and you will see that if you draw nigh to him, he will draw nigh to you. I hope this helps you* 2no Timothy 1:7 For God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. the Lord Jesus is all about love, he doesn’t bring sickness and disease on us, but he can allow things to happen. Stay in the word ask Jesus into your heart.. God bless!*

  3. Tony says:


    Anyone can find salvation at any time before they die. The trouble is that we have no idea when that will actually happen. You could get hit by a bus, or bitten by an angry goat, or have a sudden aneurysm, or trip on a crack in the sidewalk and hit your head on the corner of a little kid’s red wagon, or slip in the shower and break your hyoid bone on the faucet, or any number of other things.

    If you believe in Jesus Christ, why are you waiting?

    Let me suggest that you get as serious NOW about your faith as you hope you’ll be the moment before you die. You don’t need to be baptized to be saved, but you should be baptized after you’re saved. The question isn’t whether you’ve been dunked, but whether you trust God with your life. It doesn’t sound like you do.

    There’s a HUGE difference between mentally agreeing with the general explanation of the gospel and believing the gospel. It sounds to me like you generally agree with what you know about Jesus, but you’re unwilling to surrender to Him.

    Please: surrender to Him.

    I’m writing an email to you as well, so you have my contact info. I will do whatever I can to help you and your husband.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Tony.
      I’m so confused as well. I’m 32 yrs of age and I was baptized at 15 yrs old when I wasn’t truly ready. I didn’t take my time to truly know GOD and who he was. I got baptized for a selfish reason. I got baptized because I was scared to go to hell and thought I had to do it to be saved.. I sinned and did what I wanted after. I didn’t study the bible and I went to bible study once. I always cared about what others think ever since I was a small child and dealt with vanity too. I’m scared and Idk know what to do. How can I truly and get to know GOD genuinely without selfish motives? How can I get to know who he truly is and fully trust him? And not a false image of GOD? Thx

      • Tony says:


        I’m so glad you wrote to me! I’ll make it really, really simple.

        1. There’s nothing wrong with coming to God with selfish motives. Take a look at Hebrews 11:6. …without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. It’s in our best interest to seek God. He set it up that way. You can relax about having pure motives. As you grow in your relationship with God, He will purify your motives over time.
        2. Anyone can get to know God. He has revealed Himself to us in many ways. We’ll never understand Him completely, but we can learn what we need to know. He has revealed Himself in the Bible, in nature, and in person. By “in person” I mean two things. First, God came to earth as a man named Jesus. As we learn about Jesus, we learn directly about God… who He is, what He’s like, what He wants, and what He’s done. Second, the Holy Spirit (who is also God) comes to dwell in every believer… personally. That means that if you’re born again, you have God living in you. That doesn’t make you God, or anything like that. It means you’re never alone, and that you have a personal relationship with the One who created you. It’s amazing. As you read in the Bible about God, God Himself helps you understand it. Very cool.
        3. Fully trusting God has two parts. Faith, in the Bible, isn’t anything like “just believing.” It’s being convinced by the evidence. If you don’t know God, it’s harder to trust Him. The more you know about God, the more you know you can trust Him… so learn about God by reading what He has revealed about Himself. Read the whole New Testament. Study it. Watch each passage to learn about God. I don’t know if you caught the two parts in this section. It’s knowledge and trust. We can learn a lot about God, but there will always be a gap between what we learn and what we need to fully trust Him. That’s why the Bible says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Your personal experiences with God will add to your knowledge of Him, and you’ll trust Him more and more as you interact with Him.

        Does that make sense? I’m totally stoked that you want to know God… truly, genuinely, and completely. I’m here for you. You can contact me directly if you want to be more personal. I will do whatever I can to help you trust God more and more. You’re awesome!

  4. tammy smith says:

    Im confused about what happens when you die. The bible speaks of being asleep unconscience not knowing of anything at all until jesus returns and calls you up. Which says to me dont get cremated.dont have your ashes spread out or dispersed to loved ones. However the bible also surports your soul going on to heaven immediately. it cant be both. I believe i go to heaven immediately. i choose cremation due to cost and i dont want this body of mine for worm food. So which is it that happens?. And do i get cremated or is that wrong?

    • Tony says:


      We don’t know exactly what happens when we die. When the Bible speaks of the dead being “asleep”, it’s a figure of speech. It’s meant to convey that death is temporary, and that we will at one point in the future “awaken” to eternal life. In Matthew 25 we read that Jesus speaks of the resurrection of the dead:

      “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left…”

      You should take a look at that passage. At this point in time, nobody is in Heaven or Hell. We know this because there has been no judgment! Jesus will, as we read in Matthew, judge everybody in the future. After the judgment, THEN people will receive their eternal reward.

      Now, on to your question about cremation. You should not worry about how your body will be handled after you die. The reasons some people have objections about cremation? Because they’re worried about the cells in their body being dispersed and then being irretrievable. That’s silly. Someone who was buried 600 years ago has decomposed, and the surrounding plants and animals and bugs used their body for nutrients. The God who is able to create Adam from the dust is able to handle this situation, obviously. Another objection to cremation is that pagan cultures have cremated the dead for centuries, and (as the argument goes) we should avoid doing what the pagans do. That’s also nonsense. The pagans give birth, eat breakfast, and shake hands with strangers…should we avoid doing these things? Of course not. You can relax. If we were supposed to worry about our dead bodies, we would have specific instructions in the New Testament to guide us.

    • Ruth says:

      Thanks for that… I have a neughbour that believes in oneness pentecostalism and he tries to make me believe him..i mean at some point it seems that he’s talking the right thing.
      He says Baptism should be in jesus name and we say it should be in the father,son,holy spirit. except mathew 28 every one was baptized in jesus name…and I found out that mathew 28 was written for the people that are not jews it says “to all nations” but every jew was baptized in the name of Jesus.
      I am not baptized yet and im not sure by which name i have to be baptized

      • Tony says:


        Oneness Pentecostals substitute their own teaching for the clear witness of Scripture. When I explained the Trinity to a former oneness lady in my church – just by showing her what the Bible says – she understood immediately that the oneness church she grew up in wasn’t telling her the whole truth.

        In the same way, your neighbor is misled. He believes, as many oneness folks do, that baptism only works if you do it exactly right. What he’s missed is that baptism isn’t only for the one getting wet…it’s for the community of faith as well. Baptism says, “I believe as you do, and I want to join you.” If you’re a believer, you’ve already been baptized, by Jesus, with the Holy Spirit. Water baptism is a public declaration that you’ve made a commitment to follow Jesus, and that you want your community of faith to know it. Like Paul, I don’t baptize. If I did, I would do it in the name of the Father, and in the name of the Son, and in the name of the Holy Spirit. Oneness folks won’t do that, as they don’t believe in the Trinity. I do, so I would baptize as we see in Matthew 28: in the names of the three persons who are all one God.

        • Gina says:

          Since you clearly state you baptize based on Matthew 28, please re-read and take notice that this verse is written in the ‘singular’ not the plural, and I quote (from KJV Matthew 28:19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the ‘name’ of the Father, ‘and’ of the Son, ‘and’ of the Holy Ghost:
          Please note that it says in the ‘name of’ singular, not ‘names of’ plural.. If there were 3, it would read ‘baptizing in the names of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. It does not, why because there is only 1, and His NAME is Jesus.
          John 1:1 tells us clearly,
          In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was WITH God, and the Word WAS God.
          Here it clearly states that the Word was in the beginning, and it was not only WITH God, it WAS God.
          John 1:3 All things were made by Him;
          By who, by the Word. Who is the Word, Jesus. And the Word was With God AND Was God.
          John 1:10 He was IN the world, and the world WAS MADE BY Him, and the world knew Him not.
          Who was in the world.? Jesus was in the world. And who made the world.? God made the world; therefore this clearly states that God and Jesus are One.
          John 1:14 And the Word was MADE Flesh, and dwelt AMONG us.
          Who was the flesh that dwelt among us.? The Word/Jesus was the flesh. And we know from verse 1 that the Word WAS God. So Jesus WAS God robed in flesh, because there had to be a Blood sacrafice to reconcile us back to Him. Spirits do not have bodies muchless blood to atone with, thus the manifestation of God/Christ in the flesh. 1 Timothy says it like this I Timothy 3:16… God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.
          Who was here in the flesh~Jesus; Who was justified in the Spirit~Jesus; Who was seen of angels~Jesus; Who was preached unto the Gentiles~Jesus; Who was received up into glory~Jesus.
          The way I explained it to my son was like this: if your father came home with his paycheck and signed father on the back, would they cash it.? He said no, I said why, is he lying, isn’t he a father.? He said yes, but it’s not his Name. I said ok, if he signed carpenter (because that’s what he does for a living) would they cash it.? He said no, it’s not his name. I said is he lying about being a carpenter he said no, but it’s not his name. I said ok, what about signing son. Again, no, it’s not his name. So I said ok, just as you have your father, who is also a carpenter, and a son, three distinct things but only ONE person and his name James. The same is true of God, Son and Holy Ghost (John 14:26 But the Comforter, which IS the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in MY name..). They are all One, with One Name, and that Name is Jesus.
          As for the mention of Baptism earlier, Jesus also taught 3 criteria by which a man must be saved to enter into heaven.
          In John 3:5 Jesus tells Nicodemus, Except a man be born of the WATER AND OF THE SPIRIT, he CANNOT enter into the kingdom of God.
          And in Mark 16:16 Jesus states He that believeth AND IS BAPTIZED shall be saved;
          In order to be saved, you have to believe. But believing on Jesus is only the beginning, not the finalization. And then once you believe, then Jesus’ 3 criteria comes into play.
          On the day of Pentecost, when Peter and the other disciples were in Jerusalem in the upper room, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak in other tongues. As this was happening, others heard and were marveled after Peter spoke unto them about the occurence and in Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethern, what shall we do.?
          And here’s the important 3 criteria sent and commanded by Jesus…
          Acts 2:38 … Repent (turn away from sin), and be baptized every one of you in the NAME of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye SHALL receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
          39 For the promise is unto YOU, AND TO YOUR CHILDREN, AND TO ALL THAT ARE AFAR OFF, as MANY as the Lord our God SHALL call.
          So we must believe upon Jesus, but then we are commanded to repent-the old man dies out, be baptized-going under the blood having our sins washed away, then filled with the Holy Ghost-ressurecting in Newness of life..

          You must put line upon line, and precept upon precept.. The Bible was, is and always will be the infallible Word of God. Therefore, I encourage all to delve into it deeper and as they do to ask God to open up their understanding and to bless them with true wisdom and enlightenment to His Word.
          God bless..

          • Gina says:

            Also, one more point I like to make, if all we had to do was ‘believe in Jesus’ to go to heaven, then satan would be going to heaven too, because the Bible clearly states in James 2:19 Thou believest that there is ‘one’ God; thou doest well: the DEVILS ALSO believe, and tremble.
            So, by that thought process you only have to ‘believe on’ and be saved/go to heaven; then satan and his minions are going to heaven also because the Bible clearly states they believe too.

          • Tony says:

            You make a good point, Gina. The modern notion of believing something isn’t at all like what we read about in Scripture. Faith isn’t simply mentally agreeing with the truth…it’s placing your trust in the object of your faith. If the object of your faith is a chair, you can think it will hold you up…but until you sit on it, you aren’t placing your faith in it. The Bible doesn’t teach about faith as a kind of mental agreement, but as trusting the One who made us.

            So, when Paul wrote that we are saved by grace through faith, he wasn’t talking about some kind of easy-believism. He was talking about surrendering to God and trusting Him, rather than trusting that our own efforts might save us. They cannot, of course.

          • Tony says:


            First, thanks for taking so much time to write to me. I really appreciate it.

            As for your post, I’ll try to reply simply, but without being too short. The doctrine of the trinity isn’t spelled out in a single verse in Scripture, of course…but that doesn’t mean it’s not clear. You’re correct when you say that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one. There’s absolutely no question about it. The trouble with your comment is that you leave out a whole bunch of other verses. There is only one God, but there are three persons who make up that one God. The Father is not the Son, nor the Spirit…and the Spirit is not the Son. You might take this part of the conversation over to another page on this site, The Doctrine of the Trinity. I’d be happy to discuss it further if you feel the need.

            On the topic of baptism, you again pick and choose a few verses, but fail to include other verses that apply. Here’s one:

            The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Luke 3:16).

            Those who believe in baptismal regeneration are focused on John’s baptism…the baptism that signifies to the community of faith that one has chosen to join them. This baptism means nothing without the other, spiritual baptism: the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Jesus provides this baptism, and it is this baptism that makes one a Christian. This baptism needs no ritual, has no script, and cannot be done by human hands.

            I appreciate your post, Gina. Let’s talk further about your hermeneutics…the principles you’re using to interpret Scripture. We must use ALL of Scripture, and not only the parts we like. We must test our beliefs against Scripture, as I’m sure you would agree. Have a great day!

          • Alexis says:

            Gina, Thank you for that explanation. The Holy Spirit brought me to your message because I was reading this page and decided to say a prayer but was a little confused while praying because I was not sure if they are one. I Kept addressing “them” as separate entities, praying to the father in the name of Jesus, his son. I asked God to give me clarity on this matter and saw your message a few minutes later. But, I have a question: when the disciples asked Jesus if they should pray to him he replied, no you pray to the father. So that’s what made me believe that they were separate because Jesus Himself implied that in that specific scripture. And if he was the father why did he have to pray so much while on earth? Logically speaking, wouldn’t That mean he was praying to himself? I even corrected my boyfriend when he said Jesus was his God. I said no God is God, Jesus is the son, our savior. I thought that Jesus was a piece of him in human form but not him entirely. After your explanation it makes more sense. But if you could please answer that question for further clarity that would be helpful in my journey in getting closer to the lord. Also, I went to catholic schools most of my educational years and have asked this question to teachers and PHD theology professors in college and I never got a clear, concise answer that made sense to me. You did more for me with your signing of the check analogy than they did. Which is why I’m curious on what you have to say my next question: If God’s word is infallible why do Christians eat pork and shellfish? When in the Old Testament it says not to. I also asked my college theology professor that question and his response was that Jesus made everything clean again. But no where does it specifically refer to Jesus doing that in reference to animals. Christians use the verse in mark ( I forget which chapter) to defend their view. The verse says what comes out of your mouth defiles you, not what you put in. To me, that isn’t enough evidence to Change what was said in the Old Testament. And if people DO agree that there IS evidence in the New Testament about this subject doesn’t that make Gods word not infallible since it contradicts his word in the Old Testament? And Last question: GOD told us to keep the sabbath, GOD’s holy day. Which Jesus kept but on Saturday not Sunday. And it remains on Saturday for Jews (which Jesus was) because that’s the day stated in the Old Testament. Why have Christians moved it to Sunday? It’s the same GOD of the Old Testament and his word is infallible so I’m confused about the change. Please help! Thank you in advance and being part of my journey in getting closer to GOD

          • Tony says:


            With all due respect to Gina, don’t listen to her. Don’t listen to me, either. Read the Bible. Listen to the Bible. If you’re born again, ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you read. Gina is part of a group of “oneness” folks, who believe not just that Jesus is God, but that God – all of God – is Jesus. This is modalism, as I outline below… and it’s unbiblical. Modalism teaches that Jesus didn’t teach anyone to pray to the Father, because Jesus IS the Father. Modalism teaches that the Son didn’t ask the Father to send the Spirit, because the Father and Spirit ARE Jesus. That’s unbiblical.

            The Bible makes it clear that there is only one God. Judaism and Christianity are entirely monotheistic.

            The Bible also makes it clear that the Father is God, Jesus is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. Some take this to mean that trinitarians are polytheists, or “tritheists.” This is certainly not true, because there is only one God.

            That leads some to believe that the Father, Son, and Spirit are exactly the same. This is known as modalism, where the one God reveals Himself in three different ‘modes,’ like fitting Himself differently into different situations. This is certainly not true, because – as you point out – the Bible clearly shows that the Son is not the Father, and the Son is not the Spirit, and the Spirit is not the Father. All throughout Scripture, we see that they are not the same person. After being left behind in the temple at 12 years old, He told Mary that He had to be “in my Father’s house.” Jesus doesn’t do whatever He wants… He only does what the Father tells us to do. Jesus had to go away so that the Spirit could come. The Father sent the Spirit. The Father and Son are mentioned as distinct over 200 times. They’re both in the same verse over 50 times. In John 20:17, Jesus said, Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”

            These things would not be true if the Father, Son, and Spirit were all Jesus, as Gina and others claim. Their claims are often given a second glance because we can’t really understand how three persons can be one God, but it’s clear that the three are not one another, even though there is only one God.

            What we’re left with is a difficult idea to grasp, as there’s nothing else in the universe like Him. We can’t look around and really say, “God is like…” anything at all. Every analogy falls short. What we can say is that all three persons are one God, but they are not each other.

            Don’t fall for ideas that seem to make sense of the trinity but contradict what we see in Scripture. That’s never a good idea. It’s not wrong to say “them,” even though there’s only one God. It’s not wrong to say “Him,” even though the one God is three distinct persons. What IS wrong is to suggest that there’s more than one God, or that the Father and Son and Spirit are the same person. Clearly, they are not.

            There are groups of people out there who call themselves Christians who insist that believers have to be baptized using very specific words, in a very specific way, or it somehow doesn’t count… or that it’s wrong, and that God would be displeased by it. That is nonsense, and it’s usually based in the idea that baptism is a spiritual act that must be performed by following a formula. That’s superstition. It’s like performing a magical incantation, as if saying the right words in the right order is what makes it work. Baptism is not a spiritual act. It’s a public declaration of faith. It was that way for the Jews, and it’s that way for Christians.

            Every Christian should be baptized. We should baptized by following the example set for us in Scripture. What we shouldn’t do is go beyond what Scripture teaches and trade it for the traditions of men. That’s what ‘oneness theology’ is: a tradition of men that contradicts the Word of God.

  5. Lloyd says:

    You should be buried like Jesus was not cremated fire after death? No thanks

    • Tony says:


      Jesus was buried in a tomb, as this was the tradition of that day. Later, they would open the tomb and remove his bones, putting them in an ossuary (bone box). The ossuary would then be placed with other ossuaries containing the bones of family members. Are you suggesting that you and I should be “buried like Jesus” in this way?

      The traditional reason that Christians haven’t been cremated is that it would ‘destroy the body’, making it impossible for God to put the parts back together for the resurrection. This is silly superstition, to be sure. First, we know that the molecules in our bodies will end up somewhere else, regardless of how our corpses are handled. Second, the God who created the universe and everything in it isn’t limited by our burial methods.

      I see nothing in the Bible to suggest that Christians need to dispose of their bodies in any particular way. Do you?

      • Hannah says:

        Hey tony .. praise the lord, I have a question too… I am born in an indian emirati background my parents are Christian’s.. Pentecost and so am I since birth… I am 15 right now… I want to get baptized but I have no confidence … my parents keep saying my relationship with jesus has grown short , which I surely dont believe and kind of makes me tear up whenever they talk about it. I want to grow more in christ and get baptized I have accepted jesus as my personal saviour.. and got the holy spirit when I was in my 4th grade a very young age.. I have always wanted to see and touch jesus that’s been my only desire .. but from what I hear from my parents gives me a low self esteem … could u tell how to grow in christ and be in a more strengthen relationship with jesus. So that I may also be proclaimed to be in the community of the children of god.

        • Tony says:


          First, it’s nice to meet you! I’m very glad that you came to visit my website. Also, I’m pleased to read about your desire to become more spiritually mature. I hope I can be both helpful and encouraging.

          Every follower of Jesus should be baptized. It’s good that you want to be baptized, and I understand your frustration with your parents. However: it is wise to pay close attention to such criticisms. Yes, at times others will be wrong about us… but the times when they’re right are so important, and so helpful, that we should be grateful for criticism. It’s possible they see something that you don’t see, so I would recommend having a conversation with them about it. One sign of maturity is the ability to separate our feelings from the facts. If you’re able to ask them for advice, you may find their information helpful… even if it hurts a bit.

          You might not want to hear this, but it’s true: God wants you to submit to your parents. If they resist your desire to be baptized, you should not disobey them. If what you’ve told me is the whole story, I disagree with them about your baptism… but that’s not meaningful at all. Baptism is a public declaration of your faith, and that’s important. If anyone is born again, I would recommend that they be baptized as a sign to their community of faith. I wonder, though: what sign would you give to your faith community by defying your parents? Be patient, little sister. It’s okay to not be baptized if your parents forbid it. You can still show your faith in ways that your parents will appreciate, and you can be baptized later.

          So… you want to grow in Christ, yes? Awesome! Here are some suggestions:

          Read the New Testament. I don’t mean that you should just follow along during a sermon at church. I mean that you should read the WHOLE New Testament on your own. I deal all the time with spiritually immature believers, and the one thing they all have in common is that they don’t really know what God has already told them. You can’t be spiritually mature if you don’t know what God has said about being spiritually mature!
          Pray. Following Jesus isn’t just something we do “on the outside.” When we’re born again, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in each of us. God lives in you, Hannah! That’s good news! Spend time with Him. Talk with Him. Spend some time in silence each day, listening for His guidance. Keep in mind that the Holy Spirit – who is God – will never lead you to do anything that contradicts the gospel.
          Listen. In addition to listening to the Scriptures and to the Holy Spirit, pay close attention to those around you who are more spiritually mature. Jesus had disciples, and He taught His disciples to make more disciples. The word “disciple” is MATHETES, which means “learner” or “student.” More than anything, we who follow Jesus should be students who never stop learning. So, in our quest to keep learning, we need to listen. Keep in mind that listening a lot will often bring you information that you don’t need, or that is incorrect. Don’t believe everything you hear about who God is and how He works. Read more about this in the next item on the list:
          Be like the Bereans. In Acts 17 we read about the Christians in Berea. They were commended for doing something that most people will not do today. Check it out: Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Did you catch that? They listened to what they were told, but then they went back to God’s Word to make sure that the apostle Paul was right. I’m going to tell you something that may be hard to hear, Hannah. Are you ready to hear something that may be difficult? Here it is: much of the time, Pentecostal churches are not very good at teaching from the Bible. I’m sorry to have to say it, but it’s true. I grew up in a church that was Pentecostal, and have been a leader in different churches, and have seen that those in the Pentecostal movement are sometimes more concerned with feeling spiritual and with having spiritual experiences than they are with knowing and living the gospel. For that reason, many in Pentecostal churches remain immature, rather than growing to maturity. Their spiritual growth is stunted because they spend more time on what they GET from God, rather than on what God wants FROM THEM. Jesus didn’t come to Earth to to have awesome spiritual experiences. He had some, but He came to serve. He taught His disciples to serve, rather than be served. You and I need to look for ways to serve others, and not focus on having God serve us by making us feel good all the time. I’m NOT saying that the people in your church are wrong. I don’t know them. I’m telling you to be aware that some in your church may sound wise and mature but still be spiritual infants. Like I said before, listen carefully… then be like a Berean. Check God’s Word to make sure that what everyone says – including me – is true.
          Be patient. You’re 15. You’re exactly the age God wants you to be. There’s nothing wrong with being young! However: one of the things that young people struggle with is patience. Older people do too, but usually less. Young people want things now, but that’s not usually how God works. He has a plan for you. As you grow, He will guide you in exactly the right ways. Don’t try to grow on your own! Let God grow you. Most of the time, you will have no idea what He’s doing, and that’s normal. He’s still working in you, even when you can’t see it and can’t understand it. I’d like to share a passage of Scripture with you, from me to you:I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. I hope you will share my confidence that God WILL help you grow into exactly the woman He wants. Neither you nor I know what that woman looks like, but – if you cooperate with Him – you will be amazed at how you’ve changed.

          I hope that these bits of advice make sense to you. If you need to talk, I will always be available. You can email me if you think it will be helpful. Obey your parents, young one. Study the Scriptures. Trust God’s plan for you, and your life will be good. I promise. At times things will be very, very difficult… but that doesn’t mean it won’t also be good at the same time. I love you, and hope you will keep in touch.

          Have a great day!

          • Hannah says:

            Amen. Thankyou so much for the encouraging words, and no that wasn’t hard to take in, it is kind of true our church pastor even talks about how immature Pentecostals have grown, I will be patient and try reading the new testament.

    • Chyanne Tuttle says:

      that was so rude what u just say that and who ever u say that too ; jesus is watching ??????

  6. Kal says:

    Myself and my father go into interpretations of Christianity and related religions, but I also note that I was born unbaptized and have yet to be. If Jesus died for all our sins, then what is the limit of human sin? I remember the moral stories of Cain being punished for murdering Abel, Adam and Eve being cast out for disobeying god, and much more, so it’s left to ponder – What defines an action as wrong in the eyes of god?

    Admittedly, I’ve strayed from the straight and narrow, I think it’s normal for a teenager, but I usually try my best to be productive, polite, and helpful, not necessarily for salvation, but because I thought it was the right thing to do. It’s frightening for me to imagine that the same…Well….Creator, God, that demolished Sodom and Gomorrah for their glut of sin would allow monsters such as Hitler or Robespierre free entry into Heaven with saints, popes, Jesus.

    Is there ever a level of Sin where repentance and acceptance of Jesus as one’s savior can’t cover it?
    I’d like to think that Justice is based on much more than devotion, but I don’t feel I have the right judging others – It’s not my place.

    I’m not the most devout: I don’t go to church, nor say my prayers out-loud or frequently, although I think them often, and I’ve yet to come to terms and fully comprehend the power of God and what exactly his actions and the actions of his vessels entail. I also admit, I’m wary to fully trust the bible as it was written by the hands of man, which is subject to the will of man leaving me afraid that I hadn’t followed god’s doctrine correctly. (Note the King James version which while written in an English format, also allowed Divorce, which wasn’t legal at the time.)

    Is there any good way to explain it, or understand it better? I salvation defined by one easy action, or is purgatory deniable? (Going based off the idea that one must atone for sin before entry into Heaven)

    • Tony says:


      Thanks for writing. You’ve asked some good questions. I’ll try to provide what little insight I have.

      >> If Jesus died for all our sins, then what is the limit of human sin?

      I’m not sure I understand the question, but I’ll guess. Jesus did indeed die for all sins, for all people, for all time…there are no sins that were not covered by His death, save one: failing to be reconciled to God before you die.

      >> What defines an action as wrong in the eyes of god?

      It appears that “wrong” may or may not be the best description. God’s instructions, which are to be obeyed, seem to be of a few varieties. One variety is to not do something, like lying. Another kind of instruction is to do something, like to love your neighbor. Still another kind seems centered around accomplishing a part of His plan. This would include things like not wearing two kinds of fabric together…an instruction for the ancient Israelites, as a reminder to not mix worship of the One True God with the worship of anything else. I suppose “wrong” is simply not trusting that God knows best, and failing to submit to His instructions.

      >> Hitler or Robespierre free entry

      This is a totally understandable feeling. Who would think that a just and reasonable God would keep out a person who spent their life caring for others and let in someone who made life miserable (or very short) for others? That is, however, the wrong standard. Let me put the scenario into another context. God wants everybody to be with Him for eternity, because He loves everybody. He wouldn’t, however, force someone to be with Him for eternity against their will. So, the caring person who wants nothing to do with God gets their wish…and the hateful, terrible person who wishes to change and be forgiven and to do things God’s way also gets their wish, and will be in Heaven. It’s the only logical way to see it, from where I sit.

      >> Is there ever a level of Sin where repentance and acceptance of Jesus as one’s savior can’t cover it?

      No…not a “level of sin”. Sin doesn’t keep people out of Heaven or send them to Hell. The penalty for sin has been paid…all that’s left is to be reconciled to God.

      >> I’m wary to fully trust the bible as it was written by the hands of man, which is subject to the will of man leaving me afraid that I hadn’t followed god’s doctrine correctly.

      Let me encourage you to do a little homework in this area. I’m a skeptical man, and I’ve done a lot of reading about whether we can trust the Bible. After doing my homework, I can say without doubt that the Bibles we have now are very reliable. There’s no question about the transmission of Scripture. As for whether “the will of man” was involved, it seems clear that it was…but what is your concern? Are you worried that the writers of Scripture had an agenda other than accurately conveying what God had communicated to them? You say that you’re concerned about following God’s doctrine correctly. That’s an admirable concern, but think about it for a while: if God is just (and I believe that He is), why would He hold you morally accountable for information you didn’t have access to? He wouldn’t, clearly.

      I’ve just finished reading Cold Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace. He was an investigator, specializing in cold cases that nobody else could solve. He spends a lot of time in the book explaining why the Gospels (for example) are very credible eyewitness accounts of the life of Jesus. He comes at this not from a religious point of view, but as a former atheist who wanted to prove the Bible unreliable. He’s an expert in looking at the evidence to find holes in people’s explanations. It’s very good, and I recommend it highly.

      >> Is there any good way to explain it, or understand it better? I salvation defined by one easy action, or is purgatory deniable? (Going based off the idea that one must atone for sin before entry into Heaven)

      Salvation is both a “here and now” and a “not yet” kind of thing. We gain eternal life when we trust God, but (clearly) don’t enter into that life fully until later. The question of purgatory is entirely illogical to me, having read the Bible. Purgatory is where people atone for their own sins…the ones they committed before dying, after their last confession (being a Roman Catholic rite). The way I understand Scripture, Jesus is “the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world”. He is the final and perfect sacrifice for sin, and there is no penalty left to pay. If you cheat on a test and die before making it to confession, Catholicism would have you believe that you must suffer for your sin prior to gaining entrance into Heaven. If that’s the case, then Jesus didn’t actually die for your sins…did He? As I point out in the article above, ONE DIED FOR ALL, THEREFORE ALL DIED. There is no penalty left for sins, so Purgatory is a false doctrine. Let me know if you have any questions.

      • Leah says:

        As you said in your response to Kal, “So, the caring person who wants nothing to do with God gets their wish”, what does that mean exactly? Like what is said “wish”? Does that mean that a caring and good person would go to hell just for not being religious even if they never did any crimes against humanity or anything really bad? I get what you mean when you said that they didn’t want God in their life, so they didn’t have Him in their afterlife either, but doesn’t that sound wrong for them to end up with Lucifer in Hell? It seems very unfair that someone who murders or rapes or any other sick crime could be let into Heaven while someone who loved and respected all living things would be tortured for eternity in hell? Why can’t someone just peacefully coexist on this planet and be a good and compassionate person who loves all organisms without having to be bound to any religion? Also, what if you’re not baptized nor have any religion, but still believe in a higher power, just not part of Christianity or anything specific; does that mean you’re going to hell? It is just so confusing because why would someone go to a place that they aren’t even sure exists and be punished so severely for their personal beliefs?
        Sorry if this is a bit all over the place, I’m just confused and never really learned about religion that much and I’m a teen. Thanks.

        • Tony says:


          Thanks for writing to me. Your questions are good, normal questions…you’re asking the same things that we all should ask: will God be fair, or unfair? Well, the God that Christians worship is just. That means that He will always do what is right, and will never be unfair. If someone ends up in Heaven, it won’t be by accident. If someone ends up in Hell, it won’t be by accident.

          I will summarize the answers for you here, to try to answer your questions simply…but you might want to take a look at another couple of posts on GodWords as well:

          4. First, we should ask ‘what is Heaven?’. Heaven isn’t like a retirement village, or like a vacation destination. It’s simply the place where God is. I don’t mean that God is in Heaven…I mean that Heaven is wherever God happens to be. The point I’m making is that going to Heaven after we die isn’t simply like going on a trip to a nice place…it’s going to be with God. That’s the entire reason for Heaven to exist.

          3. Next, we should ask ‘who decides who gets into Heaven?’. Clearly, God decides. He’s in charge. If God wanted to only let into Heaven those people who sing 19 songs to Him every day, it would be up to Him. We don’t have to like it, but we do have to deal with it. I would definitely sing 19 songs, if that’s what it took. It would be pretty dumb to say “I don’t like to sing, so I guess I won’t go to Heaven when I die”, wouldn’t it? Of course, people make dumb decisions all the time, including the decision to turn their backs on God because they don’t want to do things His way.

          2. Next, we should ask ‘how good is good enough?’. If being good is the ticket to Heaven, how good do we have to be? 1% good? 51% good? 99% good? What if we’re very bad when we’re young, but we wise up and become very good when we’re older? Would it be unfair for God to tell infants who die that they didn’t do enough good things to get into Heaven? Would it be unfair for God to tell old people who die that they lived long enough for their mistakes and bad judgments to add up and disqualify them? What about people’s good intentions…is it enough to believe that doing good is good, even if we never get around to doing good things? What about good deeds done for the wrong reasons…can someone get into Heaven for doing good when they have selfish reasons?

          Don’t get me wrong: God loves good deeds. When we show love to others, we are being like God. That’s awesome…but that’s not how God judges whether we should get into Heaven. Being good isn’t the measurement. I know, that sounds weird. Every religion talks about being good. Christianity talks about being good, too (more on that below) but God doesn’t bring us to Heaven because we’re good. God brings us to Heaven because we want to be with Him. Think about it like a family. The Bible describes Christians as people who are adopted into God’s family. We belong to Him, and to each other. Heaven is HOME for us, where we get to be together with our family forever.

          If you’ve had a childhood like mine, that doesn’t sound so great at first. I was mistreated as a child, and the idea of spending eternity with people who treated me badly doesn’t sound like fun at all. When we think about a good family, though, that changes things. We all want to be loved, and accepted, and taken care of, and cherished, and valued. That’s Heaven: being with God, who is a perfect Father…and being with His other kids, who are learning from Him how to love each other. Christians begin this process before they die. We’re not all great at it yet, but we want to be like God. It’s not a matter of being good enough, Leah. It’s a matter of knowing we can never be good enough on our own.

          1. Finally, let’s talk about religion. A lot of people are confused about religion. In a sense, Christianity is just one religion among many. It’s a group of beliefs about what God is like. In a more specific sense, it’s entirely unlike any kind of religion at all:

          • In a religion, people look for ways to make God happy with them so He will give them good things. Christianity teaches that it’s the other way around: God takes the first step to convince us that He loves us.
          • In a religion, God will remain displeased until we do just the right things to please Him. Christianity teaches that it’s the other way around: God isn’t interested in sacrifices and offerings, but simply wants a good relationship with us…like any good father wants a good relationship with his children.
          • In a religion, we have to clean ourselves up to be pleasing enough to God…or we have to learn just the right information, or we have to perform a minimum number of good deeds. Christianity teaches that it’s the other way around: first God adopts us into His family because we accept His love, and then – with His help – we grow and learn and serve. We don’t earn a place in God’s family by doing the right stuff, we do the right stuff as a result of being changed, from the inside out, to be more like God.
          • In a religion, people are on their own. They have to meet God’s standards or they don’t ‘get in’. Christianity teaches that it’s the other way around: we are never alone. God knows that we can’t be all that we should be without His help, so He offers His help. I accepted His help when I was young, and continue to accept His help today. I explain that in my story, which is something else I think you should read.

          We can’t be good enough to earn a place in Heaven. That’s not how it works. If we want to be with God, we will accept His offer of love and help. If we reject His offer, He won’t drag us into Heaven against our will.

          God loves you, Leah. He doesn’t love you because you know everything, or because you perform good deeds…He loves you because He’s a loving kind of person. You can’t earn that. You can only accept it or reject it. The number of sins you commit changes nothing about His love. Jesus told a story where a son who did pretty much everything wrong. The story isn’t about him and his mistakes, though…it’s about the loving father who watched the road, waiting for his son to come home. When the son ran out of money and was ashamed of himself, he went home. The father saw him coming and RAN TO HIM, accepted him back, gave him a place of honor and threw him a big party. It had nothing to do with the son’s good deeds, or good intentions…it was only because the son came home to the father. Jesus told this story to show us what God is like. We can be pretty awesome, or we can be pretty awful…God only cares that we come home, so He can lavish us with His love and teach us how to be more like Him.

          I hope that makes sense, Leah. Sometimes I wish I could just transfer ideas from my brain to someone else’s, so you could see what I see. Words sometimes aren’t good enough…but they’re all I have, so I hope I’ve answered your questions. I hope you’ll write back and let me know. In the meantime, I’m praying for you…asking God to make Himself clear to you.

  7. Keaka says:

    Im thirteen and I will not be able to be baptized because my parents are not christian. I go to a christian school but no church. I learned so much from two years there. I love God. But will i still go to heaven and live with him for eternity.

    • Tony says:


      Thanks for writing! I don’t want you to be confused about this issue, so I’ll speak very plainly. When we read the Bible, we see that we are saved by God’s grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8), and that’s it. We read a number of times in the Bible that Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. Believers have always been saved in the same way: by believing. Baptism is something that believers do AFTER they believe, and not being baptized will not send you to hell.

      My advice to you is simple. If your parents will allow it, you should be baptized. If your parents will not allow it, wait until you’re able to decide for yourself…and, in the meantime, grow in the faith. Surround yourself with people who also follow Jesus, and learn from mature believers how to serve God where you are, in your situation. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have more questions!

  8. Mac says:

    I was reading through and I saw you say that no one is in heaven or he’ll at this moment. I was very surprised. Does that mean that when people say “They’re in a better place” or “they’re not suffering anymore”, that it’s not true? If so are you even aware that you’re dead?

    • Tony says:


      Good question. It’s important to separate what we know from what’s just traditional. Some traditions are based in fact, while others grow on their own. When someone tells a grieving person “They’re in a better place”, they’re trying to comfort that person. It’s a misguided attempt at helping, and it virtually never actually helps. It’s on my list of just-don’t-say-it phrases.

      If you’ll read the “Parable of the Sheep and Goats” the end of Matthew 25:31-46, you’ll see why I say that no one is in Heaven or Hell at this point. This isn’t the only passage where I get this info, but it’s pretty straightforward. Everyone will be judged, at the same time, and will then be either welcomed into Heaven or sent to Hell. This hasn’t happened yet, because we’re still here. Thanks for asking!

      • Debbie says:

        Well Tony I truly feel my grandsons are in heaven right now

        • Tony says:


          It’s never a good idea to suggest that truth can be determined by our feelings. Feelings change, but truth does not. You’re old enough to have grandchildren…I’m confident that you can think of a number of times in your life where your feelings have been disconnected from reality. I truly hope that you’re right, and that your grandsons are in Heaven. Let’s not pretend that feelings have anything to do with that.

      • Therese says:


        • Tony says:


          First, thanks for visiting.
          Second, thanks for commenting.
          Third, thank you very much for your criticism. I take it very seriously.

          I’m not going to publish your full comment at this time. Why? Because you should probably have your own website. You should at least have a diary, if you feel the need to write that much. I’ll address a few of the things you wrote here, in case they’re helpful for other GodWords readers. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

          >> I do believe we go to be with Jesus when we die.

          I agree that we who are born again will be with Jesus after we die. How that all works, exactly, is still unknown. We have a little about it in the Bible, but what we have isn’t abundantly clear.

          >> Matthew 25 was written before ad70 and has been finished.

          Yes, Matthew was written before 70. No, what Jesus said in Matthew 25 has not all been accomplished. Do you believe that ALL of the nations were gathered before Jesus in 70? Do you believe that everyone was judged in 70, and went to their eternal reward or punishment? Of course you don’t. That’s a silly idea. Clearly and obviously, at least part of Matthew 25 is still in the future.

          >> The thief on the cross was told he would be with him that day in paradise.

          and that’s what happened.

          >> I have read very deeply the word.

          That’s very good. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily good enough to convince anyone. In fact, I would avoid even making the claim in public. What do you do when someone (anyone) has ALSO read very deeply the word, and still disagrees with your conclusions? Do you write them off as unspiritual? Demonically controlled? Stupid? Wrong? No, I don’t think you’d do those things… but you seem to have no problem suggesting that you’re right simply because you’ve read the Bible very deeply. A lot of people with whom you would disagree have studied far more than you or I, so just reading and studying is no indication that you’re right. One of the foremost New Testament scholars in the world doesn’t believe in the resurrection. Another is an agnostic. Both have probably forgotten more about the Bible than you or I have learned so far. The fact that they’ve read very deeply is no indication that they’re on track, let alone in a position to correct someone else in spiritual matters.

          >> These people reading here need the truth their loved ones are somewhere.

          Nothing wrong with that. However: nobody disputes that they’re somewhere. Nobody has suggested that they’re nowhere. The question of exactly what happens after we die is still largely unanswered. That you would presume to say otherwise speaks volumes. We want to say something to make people feel better, and we too often aren’t worried about whether it’s actually true.

          >> I understand all children go straight into the Lord’s arms.

          Do you? That’s a common traditional thought in the modern world. I generally agree with you, in fact… but neither of us can say this with certainty, as God has not said it.

          >> that’s what I know the Bible teaches.

          Chapter and verse, my friend. Chapter and verse. Without that, you’re just blowing smoke.

          >> The baptism talked of is controversial

          Yes, it is. It should not be. The fact that people don’t agree is no indication that every theory carries equal weight. They don’t. A careful examination of the Scriptures is required, and THAT is what I recommend on GodWords, again and again and again and again. I teach things as I understand them, and I have no problem with people disagreeing. The problem is that a lot of people disagree without having done any homework. They’ll parrot what they learned in Sunday School (I recommend Sunday School) or what they heard on TV (I generally don’t recommend TV), but they can’t back it up with God’s Word. With respect, your comment is full of popular ideas but short on Scriptural support. You can do better!

          >> Tony you are demeaning and argumentative with everyone on here.

          Clearly, that’s not true. There’s no question that I use stronger words than some are comfortable with. I always work to be better. If you read more broadly, you’ll see that my responses are largely dependent on who I’m responding to. However: nobody is served by having their dumb ideas bronzed. It’s not helpful to pat someone on the back for believing something that contradicts Scripture. Nobody is forced to visit GodWords and read what I write. Nobody is forced to agree with me, either… in fact, time after time, I tell people to NOT TAKE MY WORD FOR ANYTHING. I tell them to be like the Bereans, and double-check everything with Scripture. You and I are wise to do this. Your criticism is noted, and I’ll be keeping an eye on myself to make sure I’m not being unduly harsh. Thanks!

          >> people on here are not wrong they view things different to you

          LOL. No, a whole bunch of people on here are wrong. I have no doubt I’m wrong plenty of times as well. The goal isn’t to agree with each other, Therese. The goal is to agree with what God has said. Everyone is welcome to correct me with Scripture. I welcome it. It hardly ever happens, and I wish it would happen more often.

          >> I write not to argue

          Um… that’s a nice little fantasy you have there. You’re writing to tell me I’m wrong, but you’re ‘not arguing.’ You can pretend to not be arguing, but it’s better if you own it.

          >> The flood was the first baptism.

          Nonsense. I’d say “hogwash” but the hogs on the ark weren’t washed by the flood, and the hogs on the earth all died in it.

          >> The problem is new theology or beliefs that get away from the traditions taught

          This is false. 100% false. Demonstrably false, and dangerous. We should not cling to the ‘traditions taught.’ We should cling to the gospel as it was first handed down, and work to make sure everybody knows the difference. What you’ve written so far is largely tradition and not Scriptural at all. People need to understand the difference.

          >> I lost my eldest son a while ago and it’s a huge journey to go through

          I’m very sorry to hear that, Therese. I wish no parent had to suffer in this way.

          >> If you are unsure on what to do and you are alive breathing by his grace persue truth and strive for righteousness. Be blessed.


  9. Dillon says:

    Isnt it paradoxical, for example. If a serial killer believes and has faith in God and commits every sin in the world such as hitler, he will get into heaven. This can’t be. We must have faith and follow the rules that of which God has put forth and listed. How can it be for us to get into heaven by faith alone but yet can get away with anything?

    • Tony says:


      I appreciate you asking this question. Do me a favor, would you? Take a moment to read my article Is Christianity about Being Good?. When you’ve given it some thought, I’d love to have you leave a comment there. You’re not alone when you struggle over whether it’s fair for truly bad people to go to Heaven, and about whether faith alone saves us.


  10. Dmalc says:

    Hi, I have most of my life. I was actually Bi. I knew of Jesus, and I knew him as my Lord & Saviour most of my life. My grandma would always help me pray, I am a great person. Between 2012 – July 2015, I sinned, I thought I have lost my faith in God, as I didn’t really pray to him much, I didn’t talk to him much. I attended church in my early childhood years. but later on, I hadn’t attended church in a while. I stole, I committed adultery a lot! I lied, and I did lots of sin. Back then, I had almost been hit by a vehicle. My friend, if he hadn’t of looked to his side. We both could of been hit by that vehicle. Do you think god was watching over us that day, and still is? I found rumors about the world ending soon. I started to see more posts about people should be looking towards God during these end times. I always think, is it too late? I’ve done so much in the past that was not good in Gods eyes. But I started to look more towards god in 2015, and my life started to get better. I lived in another place where I was no where near god, I had forgotten about him. I moved to my grandma’s at some point in 2012. At night, she would always teach me to pray to god. Just in 2014, or 2015. My life had started to get better, as every now and then. I talked to god, and I was with other Christians who had prayed, and taught me to pray. I have a couple questions. PLEASE Give me some reassuring answers. I’m scared, my anxiety is bad, and I’m scared i’ll never see my grandma or my Lord ever in the afterlife, and I wonder. If the rapture were to happen, would I be saved with my Grandmother and other friends & family?

    1) Do you think, me moving to my Grandma’s, who was always with god, and taught me to pray and talk to God. Was God’s plan for me? To help me get in touch with him?

    2) Was/Is it too late for me to be saved? I started praying to god shortly after the 10th, I am trying my best to not sin. (Repent) I feel bad for the sins I have done. I was told before that sin was bad, but I still commuted it, as I forgot about the will of God. It’s working though, I don’t steal. I don’t commit adultery any more. I was gay, but as I looked towards God, my lust for men & women had slowly started to go away. I don’t like to steal, I forbid myself of stealing. I checked up on the Sins that man should not commit. Again, is it too late for me to be saved? I don’t attend church often, but I do pray. I do believe Jesus as my lord & saviour. I never knew how wicked, and how bad I was until now. And I have asked him to forgive me. I hope to not sin again, and if I do. I will keep repenting. I hate sin, and I dislike sin! I love Jesus with all my heart, cause I know how of the burden he took on for me and many other people.

    3) Did God want me to find all these Rumors & posts so that I may look up to him again and so I can get intouch with him?

    4) How will I be sure, I don’t go to Hell. Is it too late to be forgiven? 🙁

    • Tony says:


      That’s quite a lot of stuff in one comment. I appreciate you taking the time to ask. =)

      >> 1) Do you think, me moving to my Grandma’s, who was always with god, and taught me to pray and talk to God. Was God’s plan for me? To help me get in touch with him? 3) Did God want me to find all these Rumors & posts so that I may look up to him again and so I can get intouch with him?

      I don’t know whether that was God’s plan, but I would be grateful that it happened. I would also seek to honor your grandmother by making sure you know what you believe.

      >> 2) Was/Is it too late for me to be saved? 4) How will I be sure, I don’t go to Hell. Is it too late to be forgiven?

      Nope. You can be saved right now. When Jesus died on the cross, He paid the penalty for sin…all sins, for all people, for all time. There’s no sin that Jesus did not pay for. Now, we know that not everybody will go to Heaven, right? So it’s not sin that sends people to Hell, since Jesus paid for all sin. What determines whether someone goes to Heaven or Hell? Reconciliation.

      Think of it this way: God is a King, and He has a Kingdom. If you want to be part of His Kingdom, you must acknowledge that He is King, and that to be part of His Kingdom you must submit to His authority. Instead of pretending that your life belongs to you, and that you can do whatever you want with it, decide that your life belongs to God and is HIS to do with as He pleases. You’re either running TO God or running FROM God…the choice is yours.

      Don’t put it off, Dmalc…commit yourself to learning and responding to the truth. I would love to discuss this with your further, should you need a hand.

  11. Michelle says:

    I was baptized in seventh grade. I thought I was a Christian then. I believed in Jesus and that He had died for my sins, to make a way for me to go to heaven when I died. I didn’t understand the fullness of the gospel, though. I tried to follow legalism until I was 26. Then I lived in license doing many sinful things until I was 28. Then, I finally really pursued God. I started listening to a great many sermons and began meeting with a Biblical counselor. Then I came to really understand the fullness of the gospel. I really began to live as a Christian then, and to truly understand the gospel then. Do you think I should be baptized again now (age 31)? I asked someone else, and they said they thought it wasn’t necessary because baptism is an outward way to declare you are a Christian. I really thought I was a Christian in seventh grade and made that outward declaration, so it isn’t necessary to do it again. Would you agree? Thank you very much for your input.

    • Tony says:


      Thanks for writing!

      What you’re describing is very common. Very few really understand what they’re getting into when they decide to submit to God. We all learn as we go. You had some things wrong when you were young, and you’ve gained a greater understanding of God and how He works since then. Very likely, you’ll feel this way again (and again) as you continue to grow and study. I know that I have.

      The question behind your question is “what is baptism?”. If baptism is something we do because we understand God and what He wants from us, then we should all be baptized over and over as we learn more about Him. Instead, baptism is primarily identifying with Jesus’ death and resurrection, and doing it publicly to declare your allegiance to God. That was your intent in seventh grade, and it’s your intent now. While there’s no prohibition against being baptized more than once, there’s certainly no reason for you to be baptized again.

      Let me know if you have any other questions. Have a great day! =)

      • Aidan says:

        Hi I am 12 years old and i have never been baptized, but I do Believe in God very much so. A few years ago my Grandfather died he was a good man he served in the military and lived life good. I have committed sins before. I want to know if god loves me or not. And if my Grandpa is in heaven. Thank you. And god bless you

        • Tony says:


          First, it’s nice to meet you! Thanks for visiting my website.

          Second, I’ve removed your last name from your comment. It’s a safety thing, especially for kids.

          Third, you ask good questions! I have good news for you: God loves you! He really does. The whole world – actually, the whole universe – was created so God could have people to love. You and I are people, and God loves everyone. Always remember that God loves you.

          As for your sins, welcome to the club. You’ve sinned. I’ve sinned. Everybody has sinned. That doesn’t make it okay, of course… but it does mean that you’re no worse than anybody else. I’m much older than you are, so I’ve sinned much more than you have. I don’t like the idea, but it’s the truth. It’s a good thing that Jesus died for us, isn’t it? God forgives us for turning our backs to Him and doing things our own way. When you sin, talk to God about it. Don’t try to hide your sins, Aidan… God knows about them already. As you grow, God will help you to sin less and less. We may never be entirely sin-free on Earth, but we can definitely get better at pleasing God. Ask Him to help you, and He will.

          Baptism is kind of like making a speech. When you’re baptized, you get dunked in front of other people. The idea is that you’re showing them that you believe like they do: that God loves you, and that you’ve chosen to live the way God wants us to live. It’s just a public ceremony. I recommend it for every believer… in fact, the Bible teaches that believers are expected to do this. It’s an important part of being in God’s family.

          I don’t know if your Grandpa is in Heaven. I hope he is. I loved my Grandpas, and I hope they’re in Heaven when I get there. I know this is a hard subject, but it’s important to think about this clearly. We all want our loved ones to be in Heaven. We don’t want anybody left out. The truth is that some people won’t be in Heaven. Why? Well… to get to Heaven, everybody has to do the same thing. They have to trust God with their life. People who don’t trust God don’t go to Heaven. People who trust God do. That’s it.

          If your Grandpa trusted God, even in the last minute before he died, then he will be in Heaven. I don’t know if he did that. It doesn’t sound like you know, either. That’s one of the hard things about life. Some things, we just don’t know. We have to wait to get to Heaven to learn if our loved ones are there. Sure, we can know that a lot of our loves ones will be there. Sometimes it’s obvious that a person trusts God with their life. Sometimes, it’s not obvious. Sometimes, we just didn’t know the people very well, or even know them at all. One of my Grandpas died before I was born, so we never met. I don’t know if I’ll see him in Heaven or not. I just have to wait and see!

          The most important question for me, right this second, is whether I’ll see YOU there. I’d love to meet you! You say that you believe in God very much. That’s awesome! Me too. I hope that you’ll choose to trust God with your life… not just a little, but completely. That’s the best way to live. God loves you so much that He would never steer you wrong. Doing things His way is always the best decision. If you can, let me know whether you trust God completely, or if there’s some way I can help you. Thanks again for writing, my friend.

          Have a great day!

  12. Christian Psychonaut says:

    I believe fully in the gospel of Jesus Christ but I have yet to be baptized and it is for this very reason: every church I have attended is visibly wicked. They idolize material wealth, success, and abstinence from “sin” (regardless of whether or not it is actually sin). I have been baptized in past lives and I know this from regressions, however I am afraid to get baptized in this lifetime and this fear resonates in my soul. I believe that unless you understand very well what church you are joining by being baptized that it is possible to disobey god by being baptized into a false church. In fact I believe it is more likely a “christian” (if that word has meaning anymore) will be baptized into a church of satan than a church of God. I also understand in my heart that Jesus Christ saved us all, sinners and saints alike. I believe that choosing not to be baptized in this wicked lifetime is a superior moral choice to being baptized into a false faith. Hopefully before the end comes I can find a church which preaches the light and truth, unadulterated by satan. I want to be saved and I know that Jesus will save me if I stay true to him. I pray that he will give me the strength to know when I have found a true church, where saints and sinners can pray together and be saved by Christ’s plan before our planet Terra is transformed into Hades through “world peace” and New World Order.

    • Tony says:

      Dear CP:

      I honestly can’t tell if you’re trolling me. What you’ve written is so vastly different from Christianity, I’m having a hard time believing that you believe what you say you believe. In case I’m wrong, and for those others who will read this, I’ll address your comment from top to bottom as briefly as I can without losing all meaning. I’m open to discussion, and to being shown wrong…don’t hesitate to re-engage.

      1. I’m happy to hear you believe fully in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
      2. I’m happy that you want to be discerning about which church(es) to associate with.
      3. There are no perfect churches. That doesn’t mean that just any church will do, but that we should make sure that our criticisms (yes, I have plenty as well) are both valid AND gracious. We should not expect everyone to meet our standards. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry with regard to choosing a faith community.
      4. The notion of past lives is incompatible with the Bible. I believe that you believe in them, but that you’ve been misled. If you’d like, I can show you where to read that they’re incompatible. If your response is that you don’t believe the Bible, I would have to question your opening statement (#1).
      5. Baptism is not a kind of spiritually binding, must-get-it-right sort of thing. Ancient Jewish converts and early Christians were baptized for the same reason: to tell the faith community that they a) have come to share their faith, and b) wish to join their community and live out their faith together. It’s not as if being baptized in the wrong church will hurt you…they’re just witnessing you getting wet.
      6. Christian is still a word that has meaning. It was used as a slur in the very beginning, and it’s often used as a slur today. That doesn’t change its meaning. Sometimes, for clarity, I say that I’m a “Jesus follower”…but it still means what it meant 2000 years ago.
      7. What do you mean “before the end comes”?
      8. How does being reborn into your next life change by being saved in this life?
      9. I would worry more about learning what Jesus taught than about the future of the planet. First things first.

      Again, I’m afraid that someone (or many someones) has led you astray. There are some large inconsistencies in what you’ve written, and I would be thrilled to be able to talk with you more about Jesus, the Bible, and the nature of things. Let me know.

  13. shayne says:

    Hi. I’m 16 years old & I feel absolutely ridiculous writing this to you because I think it’s pointless. But I have a question, does God not accept people who believen other gods? And does he accept Catholics & Mormons?

    • Tony says:


      Thanks for writing. I’m sorry that you felt ridiculous. =)

      You’ve asked a very common question. I hope to answer you as simply as I can, without leaving out any important parts. I also hope that my answer won’t create too many more questions.

      You asked “does God not accept people who believe in other gods?“. The simple answer is that He does not.

      One might suggest that this is unfair, and they might seem to make a good point. If God is just (or “fair”), how can He not accept people just because they have the wrong information? Well, that would indeed be unfair.

      God doesn’t judge people based on what they don’t know. He will judge us based on what we do know. The Bible teaches that everybody already has all the information they need to know that God exists, to know what He’s like, and to be saved. Nobody will be kept out of Heaven because they made a mistake, or because they were misled, or because they got a bit of information wrong. Everybody has the same opportunity to be saved, and only those who purposely reject God will be “not accepted”, as you say.

      You asked “And does he accept Catholics & Mormons?“. The simple answer is that He does…sort of.

      One cannot be found acceptable to God because they follow Catholic or Mormon doctrine. Where their teachings match what’s found in the Bible, they’re right. Where they differ, they’re wrong. Closely following Mormonism or Catholicism will not save anyone.

      Here’s how it works: God has made Himself evident to everyone, and He draws everyone to Himself. If someone responds by saying “yes” to God, they can begin a relationship with Him. That’s salvation. If someone responds by saying “no” to God, and insists on living life on their own terms, they have no relationship with Him. Those who are “reconciled” to God (as we read in 2 Corinthians 5) can be with Him forever, and those who are not reconciled cannot.

      Does that make sense? One isn’t saved by being a Catholic, or a Mormon, or a Jew, or a Baptist, or a Presbyterian, or a Nazarene, or anything else. We’re saved in exactly the same way that Abraham and everybody else in the history of the world has been saved: by believing God. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  14. Hi
    I’m 16 and I haven’t been to clear on what I believe in. For most of my life I believed in a higher power and that person to me is God. I do believe in God and I trust him, but now I know that it’s not enough. I’m very confused about what I should be doing I’ve read very little of the Bible and I’m going mostly on what my grandmother and my mother believe in and what they have tought me. I’m not baptized but I still try to go to church twice a month because their the only days when I have time. Christianity itself has never been truly explained to me and I’m afraid that if I don’t do something soon it will be to late. But I know if it is explained to me and that i truly do believe in Christianity than I have no doubt in my mind I will do what everything it takes to go back on the right path.

    • Tony says:


      First, thanks for writing. I appreciate hearing from you.

      Next, I’m very happy to hear that you will do whatever it takes to be right with God. That’s awesome. I’m going to try to explain Christianity, very simply, and I hope you’ll reply with whatever questions you might have.

      God created us, and wants us to have a good relationship with Him. As you know, you can’t force someone to like you or love you…so, when God created us, He gave us the ability to accept His love or reject it. We have all chosen, at least at first, to do things our own way. To demonstrate how much He loves us, God came to earth as a man (that’s Jesus). Jesus died to set us free from slavery to sin, and to show us how much He loves us. God raised Him from the dead to prove that He exists, and to show that He has the power to do anything. Before He died, Jesus taught us about His kingdom, about how we should live, and about Heaven and Hell. Heaven is for those who choose to submit to God and do things His way…that is, it’s for people who want to be with God. Hell is for those who refuse to submit to God…that is, it’s for people who want nothing to do with God.

      Here’s what happens to everyone who chooses to submit to God. We’re “born again”. Jesus talked about that in John 3. We also gain eternal life. That’s also in John 3 (and in many other places). At the same time, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. He helps us understand the way things work, helps us learn to be like Jesus, and leads us to love and serve others. When we die, we will be with God forever…first in Heaven, then on a new, recreated earth. That’s going to be awesome. In the meantime, God wants to give us joy, and peace, and confidence, and courage.

      Sometimes, life is tough. We need help and encouragement. That’s where the church comes in. The church is not a denomination, or a religion. The church is simply everyone who has been born again. These believers gather together regularly to worship God, learn about Him, and to support each other. I’m happy to hear that you join them twice a month. Try to connect with a bunch of people at the church. Find some that you can trust and let them know how things are going. Take advantage of their desire to help you grow.

      You should be aware that not everybody who gathers with the church is born again. It’s important to take advice from people who know what they’re talking about, right? If you want to be a mature follower of Jesus, you should make sure to take spiritual advice from people who are already mature followers of Jesus. Ask one of your church’s leaders to help you identify a mature believer for you to talk to on a regular basis. That will help a lot!

      Becoming like Jesus takes time, Fernandez. It’s important to do your best to live like Jesus, but don’t beat yourself up when you mess up. God loves you, and will make sure that you get there. Your responsibility isn’t to be perfect, but to always trust God…even when you mess up. Talk to Him all the time. You should learn about God, and read about what He’s done with other believers. The best place for that is the Bible. It might seem a little intimidating at first, but sit down and read a little regularly. Make it a habit. I would start with the books written by Mark and John and then Acts. You can read them online anytime. There are also great free Bible apps for your phone, if you have one. If you want a printed Bible, I’m sure your church can get you one. If not, let me know.

      Does that make sense? Let me know if you have any questions.

      • deborah dodge says:

        I am Jewish and Catholic and was Baptized I am very concerned about cremation I hope I am doing the right thing it is cheaper on the cost I want my Daughter to have the money to help her out thank you for answering back deborah

        • Tony says:


          Thanks for writing! How did you find me? I’m always curious.

          This is a common concern, as many Christians want to make sure they’re doing things as God intends. I’ve studied and discussed this many times over the years, and – as my own mother passed away in 2018 – considered it as more than a simple intellectual question. Let me reassure you: there is nothing in the Bible about how Christians are to handle this issue. If it were important, it would be in there. From a biblical perspective, it doesn’t matter at all. You can choose to be buried or cremated, and it doesn’t appear that God has a preference for either.

          Why are so many concerned about it? The idea seems to be that they’re worried about the resurrection…that cremating their body will somehow make it harder for God to reunite their spirit with their flesh. This is, of course, nonsense.

          The question isn’t really what to do with your body after you’re dead, but what to do with your spirit while you’re alive. You’ve given me some clues, but I’d like to ask a few questions. You say you’re Jewish, but that’s usually a simple statement about your family history. You say you’re Catholic, but that’s often a simple statement about which church you attend. You say you’ve been baptized, which says a bit more…but many are baptized who don’t live for Jesus. The important question is whether you’ve been born again, Deborah. Jesus talked about that in John 3. He said that no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again…so our family history, church attendance, and baptism are irrelevant if we haven’t been born again.

          Have you experienced the ‘new birth’ that Jesus talks about? If so, you are my sister in Christ. If not, let me encourage you to write back so I can help you understand a little better what Jesus said. =)

  15. Ruth says:

    Do you believe in trinity? does it really matter if we believe that God is living in three bodies or in one? i am really confused help me out

    • Tony says:


      >> Do you believe in trinity?

      Yes, I do believe in the trinity. That is, I read in the Bible that the Father is God, that Jesus is God, and that the Holy Spirit is God…and that there is only ONE God. This seems weird, but the doctrine is certainly biblical.

      >> does it really matter if we believe that God is living in three bodies or in one?

      What we believe about God does indeed matter. Here are three reasons why:

      1. Believing what’s true about God makes it easier to trust Him. Believing what isn’t true about God makes it harder to trust Him.
      2. The Bible teaches that we must worship God ‘in spirit and in truth’. That means that our worship must come from the heart (not just going through the motions) and that our worship must be based on what God is really like.
      3. How can we have a meaningful relationship with a person that we barely know, and that we misunderstand? Christianity isn’t a set of rules and beliefs to follow. Being a Christian means that we follow Jesus and learn what He taught, for sure…but when you’re a Christian, the Holy Spirit comes to live in you. That’s God, living in you. When that happens, you begin a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe! Because we have a relationship with God, and because we want to know Him better, we should make sure that we learn all we can about Him. Imagine dating someone and never asking them about their childhood, or learning about their family traditions, or about their favorite food…that would be strange, wouldn’t it? It’s equally strange to think that we can have a relationship with God but never figure out what He’s really like.

      Let me try to clear something up. First, you should read my article about the doctrine of the Trinity. Second, about bodies. Think about the time before God created the universe. The Father and Son and Spirit are ONE God, and have no body at all. The Bible says that God is spirit (John 4:24). Then, about 2000 years ago, God came to earth as a baby. That baby’s name is Jesus. He grew up, and He had a beard. He died to save us from sin, and was resurrected. After doing a little more teaching, He went to Heaven to be with the Father. He still has the body in which He was resurrected. After He left, the Father sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in those who trust in Him.

      >> i am really confused help me out

      That’s okay. Sometimes, things can be very confusing. Please don’t hesitate to ask a LOT of questions, and do a little homework. I will do anything I can to help you be less confused…all you have to do is ask.

  16. Roger says:

    What’s the difference between a false teacher and someone who just has contradictory viewpoints of certain issues like homosexuality, transgenderism and etc. I ask because I like to read Rob bells books and listen to his teachings a lot. When I go to look up some recent updates about rob bell I see articles and certain websites and even some videos that horribly criticize Rob bell because I guess they consider him a disgrace to the Christian Faith and a false teacher. He wrote a book called love wins in which he questioned some of the views of hell and critics have just basically tore him apart for it and in some cases they have discouraged people from reading the book. I read the book many times and I didn’t seem to have a problem with it. Is Rob Bell a false teacher because it seems like some loud voices seem to think of him as one.

    • Tony says:


      Good question! There’s a significant difference between a false teacher and just having a different opinion. First, a false teacher is a teacher. That might seem obvious, but it’s not. You and I probably believe some things that aren’t true, but that doesn’t make us false teachers…it only makes us incorrect. The distinction is important. If we look at Galatians 5, where Paul talks about false teachers, we can see a few things that identify false teachers:

      Verse 7: false teachers distract us from being obedient.

      Verse 8: false teachers do not have the authority that comes from God, where what’s being taught matches the gospel as it was initially taught by Jesus and His disciples.

      Verse 9: false teaching spreads throughout the church, changing the way believers see everything. Usually, an error only applies in specific situations. False teachers throw almost everything into question when they deviate from the gospel.

      Verse 10: false teachers spread confusion. They don’t clear things up, but make things muddy.

      You speak of Rob Bell. He’s an interesting guy. I don’t consider myself an expert on his teaching, but I’ve spent some time on it. I do not know his motivation, or his spiritual condition…so please take note that I’m not judging Rob Bell. I’m going to comment on what I’ve read…not from others, but from his own writings.

      Does Rob Bell distract us from being obedient, or inspire us to be more obedient? This may vary from person to person, but nothing of his that I’ve read speaks of the submission inherent in being a disciple of Jesus Christ. Sure, he uses the same kind of language that others do…but he seems more concerned about straightening out how people have misunderstood the gospel than he is about helping people trust God more. I’d consider this a red flag.

      Do Bell’s teachings have the ring of authority that comes from matching up with the gospel as Jesus and His disciples taught it? I don’t think so. What I’ve read is pretty squishy. By that I mean that you and I and somebody else can read into his words whatever we want them to say. He speaks generally, and raises more questions than he answers. I’d consider this another red flag.

      Do his teachings shed light on difficult passages of Scripture, clearing up misunderstandings? Or do his teachings tend to make readers re-evaluate everything they believe about God? My experience is very clear in this regard. As I said above, Bell raises more questions than he answers. A teacher teaches, right? When you finish a Rob Bell book, do you feel more informed or more unsure? For me, this is another red flag.

      You seem confused, Roger. So do others who talk with me about Rob Bell’s words. Let me be frank: I enjoy discussing Bell’s words. I’m not against Rob Bell. I’m against the distractions and confusion that come from his teaching. Consider for yourself the controversy over his books. While there will always be controversy over almost anything, ask whether his teachings help you understand Jesus better, help you learn to obey God better, and help you learn how to make disciples better. I’ve seen nothing like that in Bell’s teaching. What I see is a reframing of Christianity, a challenge to orthodoxy, and doubts about whether sincere believers have understood what Jesus really meant.

      You asked about false teachers, not about Rob Bell. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with you, Roger. To me, Rob Bell may indeed be a false teacher. He seems to fit Paul’s description of the false teachers in Galatia. Think about Love Wins. Did you read that book and then wonder whether there’s a real Hell, and not just ‘hell on earth’? Bell spent a whole book talking about this subject, but didn’t draw any solid conclusions in the end. He left the conclusions up to you and me. That’s not a teacher…that’s a troublemaker. The Apostle Paul taught with authority, helping people understand the one true gospel and avoid anything that didn’t match it. He didn’t raise questions and leave people hanging. Again, I’m not against Bell personally. My point is that if a Christian leader is going to teach Christians and non-Christians about Christianity, he should answer questions and clear up misconceptions and make trusting God easier. Instead, Bell is a lightning rod for controversy who casts doubts without relieving the tension that comes from doubting.

      I don’t know if Rob Bell is a Christian. I have no way of knowing that. I do know that he seems to fit Paul’s description of a false teacher. I could be wrong, of course…what do you think? You wrote to me to ask my opinion. You have it. What have I missed? I want to be fair to Bell, and to answer your question responsibly. Let me know your thoughts.

  17. Roger says:

    Well i know that when rob bell was interviewed about his book he said that he never meant to start controversy. His book love wins caused many people who were attending his church at the time he was pastoring mars hill to leave which probably led to his departure on 2012 after pastoring the church he found in 1999. When i read his book love wins the questions that he asked made me think and question some of Christian views i grew up believing. It didnt make me reject the views just to gain more insight on them. Basically bell seems to be asking me what kind of God do i worship a god who is loving and wants to reconcile everyone or a God who is angry and hateful just waiting for someone to sin so hell can throw them in hell. Im not sure if i would say he is a false teacher because i dont see him questioning the resurrection of Jesus or the purpose for hom dying on the cross. He says he is a Christian and i believe him. But im just not sure what to think of him as.

  18. Roger says:

    There are some things about Jesus that im confused about. Jesus was human and so he could have sinned and fell into temptation but he did not because he is God and God is perfect sinless and flawless. It sounds like a paradox to me. Did Jesus not sin because he is God and God can’t sin due to being perfect or was he just different from all the rest of humanity in some way?

    • Tony says:


      What you’re talking about is known as the ‘impeccability’ of Jesus. It’s been a topic of debate for hundreds of years, and I don’t believe anyone can settle the matter. We know that Jesus did not sin. The question is whether He could have sinned. James 1:13 says Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. Hebrews 4:15 says For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is God. So, we seem to have a bit of a conundrum.

      It’s my position that Jesus was tempted – that is, He was enticed by sin. Just as Adam and Eve had the option of sinning or not sinning, so Jesus had the option as well. While Adam and Eve sinned, Jesus did not. This isn’t the only time in Scripture that we see Jesus, who is God, being limited in ways that the Father is not. We also have Jesus telling His disciples that He didn’t know exactly when He was coming back…that only the Father knew that. If Jesus the man was ignorant of the time of His return (Matthew 24:36), then He could also be tempted as a man.

  19. Roger says:

    Do you think that with all the money that some not all megachurces spend on making a luxurious life for their pastor will one day haunt them in the form of bankruptcy or debt. I realize that there are spiritual consequces for the actions done

    • Tony says:


      Are bankruptcy and debt spiritual consequences? I wouldn’t think so. There are consequences, to be sure…but I wouldn’t suggest that God would punish financial excess by taking out a loan in someone else’s name. Instead, I would suggest that the unrepentant will suffer the consequences of their actions in the afterlife (at least then, if not before). In Revelation 22:12, Jesus said Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.. As I understand it, the “according to” part suggests that each person’s ‘reward’ is unique to them…whether good or bad.

  20. Roger says:

    Why do some religious establishments usually Christian seem to be so judgmental of homosexuals and gay marriage and homosexuality period but turn a blind eye to fornication, rape, incest and child abuse? It seems unfair. They seem to act as if homosexuality is a horrible problem or something.

    • Tony says:

      Why? Because they don’t think clearly. While the Bible teaches that homosexual activity is a sin, so are gluttony and pride and, as you’ve pointed out, fornication and a whole bunch of other things. Fortunately, every sinner can accept God’s gracious offer of forgiveness and new life. Let me explain how I deal with this issue. I believe that each person’s sin, while grievous to God, is irrelevant in one sense: that a sinner who is reconciled to God will be considered righteous because of Jesus’ death on their behalf. My concern is not whether I can convince sinners to stop sinning, but whether I can make a case for them to trust God with their life and accept His free gift of salvation.

  21. Jasmine terrell says:

    This may sound weird and I actually recently found someone with the same gift( as we like to call it) as me but ever since I was younger I dreamt of judgment day. It seemed to be more frequent when I was pregnant with my daughter . I had it almost every night and the setting never changed. I never was able to finish it once I realize that it was another judgment day dream so I would force myself to wake up. I recently found someone that I was comfortable to open up to and he told me he share the same thing and he learned to accept it . and now I learned to accept it and to not be afraid of it. I recently dreamed of it 2 nights ago and I went further then I usually do and I woke up fearless I actually cried . I need answers on how to deal with this. Its like I want to share my gift to others but I guess I fear of being judge. The guy I met that had the same visions as I do told me it’s God way trying to get me to spread the word and to be prepared. Its a bitter sweet feeling. I just need guidance

    • Tony says:


      I appreciate you writing to ask for input. I’ve dealt with this situation a number of times in the past, and it has always ended in one of two ways: heartbreak or disaster.

      Let me explain why I say that. It’s not that I disbelieve in any part of what you’re saying. It’s that everybody I’ve ever dealt with who has experiences like yours makes the same mistake. I write this because I hope you will listen, and consider what I say, and possibly be spared great difficulty. I will write simply and briefly, to try to be as clear as possible.

      You may or may not be hearing directly from God. If you are not hearing from God, your dreams have no spiritual importance.

      If you are hearing from God, they are certainly spiritually significant…but be careful. The problem is not your experience, but what you do as a result of experiencing it. The temptation is to examine your experience, to try to extract its meaning, and then to proclaim to the world what they need to change to be right with God. That might be a huge mistake.

      I once had a friend named Ted, who believed that God had given him a vision. In this vision, he was to tell the city of Salem, Oregon that they would be devastated by an earthquake if they didn’t repent and turn toward God. Ted spent months trying to spread the word on the internet, since he didn’t live near Salem. The earthquake was to happen on December 25 of that year (1999, if I remember right). I kept asking Ted a simple question: if Salem didn’t repent and there was still no earthquake, would he admit on December 26 that he was wrong? He kept saying that he had no problem with the idea, but that he wasn’t wrong. I tried to contact him on December 26, but he wouldn’t respond. In March of the next year, he finally got in touch. He was suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts because he had thought he failed God somehow. Later, he concluded that the vision was a test from God intended to help him grow. At no point could my friend conclude that he was simply not actually hearing from God.

      You are not Ted. You are also not Alex Malarkey (made famous by the book The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven). Alex made up his story, and later admitted that he had lied to the world about it. There are lessons to learn from both, though. Trouble awaits those who make bad decisions. I’m now going to give you my best advice…the only advice I have.

      First, WAIT.

      I don’t know whether you’re hearing from God, and I’m guessing you don’t either. We all want to hear from Him, but we seldom do. You may be tempted, because you know that people need to trust God, to move forward as soon and as quickly as you can. In my experience, that would be a gigantic mistake. Instead, you should wait. Wait for confirmation that your dreams are from God. Look for confirmation from Scripture that the message you think you’re getting matches the message that God has been sending. Wait until you are 100% certain, until your godly friends confirm for you that you seem to understand this situation properly, and until there are no more questions to answer.

      What normally happens in these situations? The opposite. The one with the dream, or the vision, or the supposed prophecy, believes that the world must hear them…and hear them immediately. They put themselves in the position of prophet, proclaiming what they believe to be God’s message, and they get into all kinds of trouble. I’ve never seen this work out well…not once. Please consider my words carefully.

      We can turn to a passage of Scripture to see why I’m so concerned. People tend to think, “Surely a message such as mine will convince people that God is real, and that they should heed my warning, and that I can help bring about revival.” Maybe…and maybe not. Let’s see what Jesus said:

      There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ (Luke 16:19-31)

      Did you catch that? The man was worried about his loved ones, and was eager to help them avoid his fate. That’s good, right? Of course it is. According to Jesus, Abraham’s response was that even something as incredible as someone coming back from the dead would not be enough to convince those who do not want to be convinced. They had enough information already…God had revealed Himself sufficiently already, and they wouldn’t believe that.

      You’re not the rich man, but you share his situation. You have a message for those you love, and that’s good. You want them to avoid the rich man’s fate. From where I stand, you should follow Jesus’ lead. If you really want to ‘spread the word’ to the world, spread the gospel. Don’t spread your dreams, which might be only for you. Spread Jesus’ message…the same message that He preached, that His disciples preached, and that believers have preached for many centuries. People probably don’t need to hear that you’ve had miraculous dreams, but they definitely do need to hear the gospel. Learn the gospel. Live the gospel. Share the gospel. Make disciples who make disciples who make disciples. Please don’t make the rich man’s mistake and believe that the world needs to see a miracle before they’ll believe. Trust that Jesus knows best, and avoid the idea that your dreams are what people need. All they really need is Jesus, and for you and me to tell them about Him.

      Second, PREACH THE GOSPEL.

      Please don’t hesitate to write back, either here or in private. I’m greatly concerned for you, because – too many times – I’ve seen this exact situation end in tragedy. I’m praying for you, Jasmine.

  22. Olive says:

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this fantastic blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will share this website with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

    • Tony says:

      Thanks, Olive. You’re very kind! I do indeed accept donations. If you’d like to give, feel free to contact me. I’ll give you my PayPal email. Blessings!

  23. Solomon says:

    Wow am in love with this site. Sir Tony may the almighty God grant you more grace and the anointing to continue the good work. Amen. Am a young man that is so much interested in the things of God and growing spiritually

  24. Ana says:

    Jesus came to me in a dream and told me “I am coming soon” this was in 2015 sometime in February I am scared because when that comes my grandma believes in something else but not jesus but she is a really good person I do not want her to go to hell and I don’t want to tell her what to believe in I really need help.

    • Tony says:


      I very much appreciate your comment. If you’re concerned, make sure to pray for your grandmother (starting now, in case you haven’t). Tell your grandmother how much you love her. Tell her that you’re worried about her, and that you want to be together forever. If you can, explain the gospel to her. Do not worry about exactly when Jesus will be coming back. I mean that…do not worry about that. Just do what God wants you to do, and leave the details to Him. God has been reaching out to your grandmother, and He wants her to understand how much He loves her. Jesus died to demonstrate God’s love for us. Trust the Holy Spirit to do the real work in her heart…you just love her and tell her what’s on your mind. I will be praying for you.

  25. Sue Bailey says:

    My church teaches we go to heaven after death. However after looking at scripture im beginning to believe we are in our Graves until Jesus returns and we are the resurrected. Now I feel completely lost. I love my church members who are doing so much in love of Christ and are very sincere. I also believe God led me to this church. Now what?

    • Tony says:


      I don’t think there needs to be a ‘now what’ in this situation. It could be that your church’s leaders haven’t spent any time on this issue, and have only repeated what they’ve heard. It’s important to do our best in understanding the Bible, but this isn’t a deal-breaker. There are a lot of things that Christians disagree on. Sometimes it’s due to ignorance, and sometimes it due to a difference in perspective. I wouldn’t leave a church over their teaching on this subject, and I wouldn’t create any division in the church over it. As long as your church has all of these important parts right:

      1. Only those who submit to God will end up in Heaven

      Yeah, that’s probably it. If it really bothers you, spend a little time with your pastor(s) and ask about it. Don’t accuse them, just ask. Then listen. If you disagree in the end, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Let me know if there’s more I can do for you.

  26. alexandra says:

    I’ve been saved since i was 5 and I’ve been having a lot of troubles in my live so far and all of these things happening have been taking my mind off of what truly matters. my reason for not getting baptized before now was that i was “scared of water” and this morning at church, i told one of the men that might be the pastor soon that i wanted to get baptized. i know this is the right choice, but everything keeps getting in the way.

    • Tony says:


      I appreciate hearing from you. Let me encourage you to go ahead and be baptized. If you truly have a fear of water that’s preventing you from being baptized, your church should accommodate you. While baptism is traditionally understood as being dunked, it’s not a rule. The point is that you’re making a public statement about your faith in Jesus.

      In case anybody reading this wonders about what I just wrote, let’s consider a real-life scenario. A woman has heart trouble, and doctors install an external pacemaker. This machine keeps her alive, and runs on electricity. She can’t get it wet. How can she be baptized in the traditional way? The simple answer is that she can’t. Period. Turning it off risks her life, dunking it will break it, and there are no real options. True story. She became a Christian and wanted to be baptized, so her church adjusted their normal baptism ceremony to make sure she was able to be publicly baptized without risking her life. If you have a phobia and really can’t be baptized, your church should have no issues making adjustments for you.

      There’s something else on my mind. It’s your troubles. Now, I don’t know you or your situation, but I’ve been around for a while. I’m kind of old, and have been around the block a few times. When I read that you’ve had a lot of troubles, do you know what comes to mind? All of the people I’ve known over the years who have said the same kind of thing. Troubles. The kind of troubles that keep cropping up again and again and again. All of those friends have at least one thing in common: they are what the Bible describes as spiritually immature.

      Now, I don’t want to offend you unnecessarily. You might not fit into that category. If not, I’d be very happy to hear it! However: if you do fit into that category, I have good news. Those friends who had lots of troubles, who were spiritually immature, found that many – or most – of their troubles disappeared as they chose to take charge of their walk with Christ. Rather than kind of floating around the edges of their churches, they decided to fully immerse themselves in their relationship with God.

      This brought about a few changes in their lives. First, they gained a different perspective on their situations. Second, their faith grew so they were better able to pray and trust God with the results. Third, they gained wisdom in how to deal with the people around them. Fourth, they had more peace and more joy as they grew.

      Like I said: I don’t know you personally. This might not describe you. If it does, I BEG you to make sure you’re attending a church that teaches directly from the Bible, that gives you opportunities to hang out with more mature believers who will support and encourage you, and that can help you learn to better trust God with your troubles. I’m not talking about simply having a new attitude, or changing your outlook. I’m talking about growing closer to God by plugging into a healthy local church.

      If you’d like to talk more about this, let me know. I’d be thrilled to help.

  27. Paula says:

    before my grandson was born, I was shown him, and God told me I had to help care for him because he was the son of God’s child. He was born with medical problems, and I have done as much as I can to help. His dad, my son, is a wonderful dad. Also, my grandson was born with all of his dads chromosomes and none of his mothers…is that uncommon? I have a lot of ‘visions’ about people I care about.

    • Tony says:


      I wasn’t able to find any information on babies being born with none of their mother’s DNA. If that’s what happened, it seems very uncommon. I’m happy to hear that your son is a good dad, and that you’re involved in helping them. God bless you!

  28. Justin Brown says:

    I have a question. I belive in good and is willing on plan on going to heaven. I am not baptized but want to but my parents dont have the time to . I have created alot of sins before and want them to be gone. Since im not baptized and may commit sins how do i wash that away and go on the the heavon rode ?

    • Tony says:


      Thank you for asking. Let me share with you a passage from the Bible:

      This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:5-9)

      Baptism is good, and you should be baptized when you are able…but being baptized won’t wash away your sins. Do you see what John (one of Jesus’ disciples) wrote about forgiveness of sin? It’s Jesus’ death that purifies us from all sin. When we confess our sins – that is, when we go to God and tell Him that we are sorry for what we’ve done – He will forgive us. He knows when we’re being honest, Justin…if we really want to leave behind our old sinful life, He will both forgive us and help us.

      It sounds like you really want your sins to be washed away. If you haven’t done so already, you should stop reading right now and talk to God. Tell Him that you’re sorry for the bad things you’ve done, and ask Him to wash them away. He has already promised to do this for you, if you ask. Ask!

      Let me know if there’s anything more I can do for you.

      • Abel says:

        So I just want to say something like what was the whole purpose of God putting dinosaurs on this planet which I’m not really including Science.But what was the purpose or is it just lies from other people who are trying to deceive us in saying that dinosaurs roamed on this earth millions of years ago?

        • Tony says:

          Hi Abel. Thanks for visiting GodWords!

          I have no doubt that dinosaurs roamed the earth millions of years ago. This does not contradict the Bible in any way. I live in the middle of dinosaur country (Colorado, USA) and have seen and touched many dinosaur bones and dinosaur eggs. If there wasn’t a big tree in the way, I could look out my window right now and see a hill where you and I could go touch some fossilized dinosaur footprints. I see no contradiction between the existence of dinosaurs and God’s Word.

          God hasn’t told us why He created each kind of thing…but I would suggest that He created the dinosaurs for the same reasons He created everything else: because He likes to create things. I would suggest that God was as pleased to create dinosaurs as He was to create cows and eagles and salmon and palm trees and snow.

  29. Abel says:

    I’m going to ask for your opinion.Why do YOU think iniquity was found in Lucifer?And why do YOU think Lucifer rebelled against God if he knew he would have no chance to dethrone God the Father?And what would you do IF Lucifer Ever DETHRONED God The Father which I’m not saying that he will.But what would you do?!

    • Tony says:

      Why was iniquity found in Lucifer? Good question. I would guess because he opposes what God wants to do. The word satan is Hebrew, and it means “adversary”. It’s used for more than just the devil…it’s used for anybody who is an adversary, like those who fought against the Israelites.

      Why did Lucifer rebel against God? I don’t know. Why do you and I rebel against God? Is it because we want things we shouldn’t have?

      What if Lucifer dethroned God? Tough question. I would probably try to find out how to help God win the next battle. If God couldn’t win, I would try to find out how to avoid making the devil mad.


      For the record, the word Lucifer only appears in the King James Bible…and then only one time. The Isaiah 14 passage that uses the word is describing the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzer II. Lucifer is a translation of the Hebrew word heylel, which means “light bearer” or “shining one” or “morning star”. The word is used (historically, not in the Bible) to describe the moon, the planet Venus, John the Baptist, and even Jesus. For these reasons (and more) I don’t use the name Lucifer to refer to the devil. We’re just not sure it means what we once thought it meant. Instead, I use the term Satan.

      Got any more questions? =)

  30. catheren says:

    I want to ask a question that makes me wanna cry right now.. Before I start, I want to introduce myself.. I’m a 14 years old girl who lives in a family that never go to church but we pray sometimes.. It’s embarrassing to say (im crying right now) that we pray like twice a year.. I was so scares if we didnt go to heaven like what im hoping for.. Sometimes i write “letters” to god in my personal book, and i really hope that god will accept my “prayers”.. Then i have a very serious problem because im a teen girl.. I idolized people (Hollywood) just like justin bieber or one direction.. For me, it’s a very serious problem and i cant stop from listening to their musics.. About minutes ago, i watched a video, “what really happen in hell” and i aalmost crying.. It is because a small mistake can lead us to hell.. From that i was thinking that going to heaven is not that easy.. Im scared that i will not meet my parents when im gone like we’re in the different world.. And i dont want to suffer in hell and ofc i dont want to let my parents go to that place too.. I pray to god that we’re going to heaven but im not thay confident.. People say that they’re not going to heaven if they didn’t accept jesus in their lifes.. im scared cause we’re not living like a very christian family.. and im not baptized yet.. im super super scared.. do god really accept me if i apologies, pray to him to open my parents’ hearts, and do i have a opportunity to change like there’s a place for me and my family in heaven.. If i idolized those artists, does it means that im not reconciling to god.. Please answer me im scared.. And tell me how to change myself to be a good chrstian.. And please tell me that youre not going to say that i cant idolized them cause theyre my inspiration?

    • Tony says:


      It’s nice to meet you…thanks for sharing your story. Don’t stop writing letters to God. They are a kind of prayer. You’re communicating with God, telling Him what you think and feel and hope for. That’s good. Don’t be afraid to ask Him for help.

      Let me reassure you: nobody goes to Hell for a small mistake. People go to Hell for rejecting God. You’re clearly not rejecting God…you seem to want more of Him. That’s great!

      There’s nothing wrong with liking someone’s music. There’s nothing wrong with listening to a song over and over again. I grew up listening to music, and still do (I’m pretty old now). Music is good. There are two things I think about with music:

      1. What kind of person would I become if I listened to, and lived by, the words of each song?
      2. If I had to choose between listening to each song or being a follower of Jesus, what would I choose?

      Here are some thoughts for you that I hope will help you as you continue to grow: trust God with everything, pray all the time for your family and friends, don’t believe everything you read on the internet, read the New Testament (starting with Matthew), and try to find some Christian friends. These friends might be at school, or in a youth group at a local church, or just in your neighborhood. It’s important to have support in the tough times, and Christians are supposed to support and encourage each other to follow Jesus. If you need help finding a good church in your area, send me an email and tell me what town you live in…I’ll help you look.

  31. Chris says:

    I’m Confused:
    I was baptized in my Church when i was a baby where i was sprinkled with water on my face in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, yet in the Bible it says you can only be baptized as a grown up in water. If im ready to be baptized in water, what are the ways to do of baptism. What would the Pastor say to a person before being baptized, what must i be reconciled for.

    Now the question is:
    Lets say a Christian like me who was sprinkled with water as a baby and i still believe in Jesus, therefore in the Bible it says with salvation you are saved in Faith through Jesus Christ by praying and repenting of your Sins and im still never baptized in water, will i still go to Heaven.

    The Confusion is:
    I acknowledge my Sins and pray to Jesus to forgive me, why do I have to be baptized in water. What am i washing off if its not my Sin even though im Human and would Sin again without knowing it, must i be baptized again for every tiny sin i do everytime.

    • Tony says:


      The practice of infant baptism has some biblical support. The idea is that when the head of a household came to faith, their entire household (family and servants alike) were baptized. One example is Acts 10. This is not to be confused with the kind of baptism practiced by John the Baptist, or by Jesus’ disciples and the early church. I’m also not a proponent of this kind of baptism, but I’m not against it. Consider it something like a baby dedication, where parents promise to raise their children in the community of faith.

      The kind of baptism commanded by Jesus is the kind that accompanies personal faith. Each believer is baptized after believing, to profess their faith to the community. It’s not spiritual reconciliation in any sense…that comes prior to baptism.

      Your question is whether a believer who isn’t baptized can go to Heaven. The answer is yes. Baptism doesn’t wash off your sins. Jesus is the Lamb of God, who took away the sins of the world. If you trust God with your life, you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. This is preferable to John’s baptism:

      I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. (Mark 1:8)

      You are born again. Your sins have already been forgiven. You should now be baptized and take part in the community of faith. Does that make sense?

      • Chris says:

        “You are born again. Your sins have already been forgiven. You should now be baptized and take part in the community of faith. Does that make sense?”

        That is the part im talking about, what if said Christian Person feel the need nah im good in Faith with Jesus, but doesent bother to be baptized in water because they believe their Faith is strong in Jesus Christ they think they will go to Heaven and live Eternal with God.

        Now here is my dilemma, im a Christian and i feel ready to be Baptized, but what if you have Christian Parents that insists being baptized as a baby by sprinkling of water on your face is good enough that theres no need for Adult Baptism. It is my Parents that are so afraid of Adult Baptism because they too were Baptized as Babies, that they tell me No its not worth it you are fine with Christ.

        • Tony says:

          You ask good questions, Chris. It’s possible your parents are concerned because being baptized again might be seen as you leaving behind the faith they raised you in. Remind them that you want to be baptized because you want to be obedient to Jesus. There’s no reason to think that getting wet will create a spiritual problem…ask them what they’re really afraid of.

          • Chris says:

            They are raised with the idea that being a Plain Christian and just having Jesus in their Heart will get them to Heaven, i say there is so much more to be in Faith with Christ.

            Now we have been going to the Same Church for many Years, but im not as Lukewarm as my Parents because i decided to Up my Faith and Sing while Cheering for Jesus.

            This is the Life of a Lukewarm Christian that believes living a simple ordinary life will get them to Heaven without being Water Baptized, sadly my Parents with some of my Family and Friends fall in that category.

          • Tony says:

            You’re right: there’s much, much more to being a Christian than just having Jesus in your heart. Mature believers will have a clear understanding of what they believe, and why. They will live for God, and not for themselves. They will seek first His kingdom, and always be ready to explain why they have hope in Christ. They will guide new believers, serve the needy, and watch their life and doctrine closely. In short, they will be a lot like Jesus. They won’t look down on others, but be filled with love and compassion. They will forgive because they have been forgiven, and they will be gracious to others because God has been gracious to them.

            Immature believers will miss many of the blessings that God has offered them…however, they will still go to Heaven.

          • Chris says:

            Can i have a Private Baptism at Home in my pool with a Pastor where its only with some Relatives and Friends.

          • Tony says:


            You could certainly get wet in home, in a private ceremony. The idea of baptism, however, is that it is a public ceremony…where you show the community of faith that you intend to join them. To a first-century Israeli mind, a private baptism is an oxymoron…two things that can’t go together. A baptism is public in nature, and you can’t have a ceremony that’s both private and public.

            That’s not to say that you can’t be baptized at home, of course. You could be baptized anywhere. I was baptized in a horse trough. Some are baptized in a river, or a pool…even a kiddie pool will do. The point is that the ceremony is done in front of your faith community. There’s no limitation on the number involved, but because it’s an important step for a believer, we should make an effort to do it well.

  32. Clint says:

    Thanks Tony for taking the time to answer so many questions over the years. The heart of the baptism conversation and inquiry to me is “why are so many so-called Christians living lives that are not remotely reflecting Christ?” Divorce, unforgiveness and disunity are just as rampant in the church as outside the church.

    Jesus’s plan was for his disciples to make disciples who make disciples who all follow Him! This is the plan to expand the reign of the kingdom of God. (Matthew 28:18-20) According VERSE 19, this passage says a disciple is made, baptized and taught all under the authority of Christ.

    Many people are “taught” to be Christians without having much of an idea about faith or repentance. I ask, are they really being taught if Christ’s life and teachings are not the central lesson.

    Faith in Christ is the agent that makes the baptism in Matthew 28:19 life changing according to Colossians 2:12, “buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God…” and Galatians 3:26-27, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith in Christ for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Baptism now saves us due to faith in Christ (1 Peter 3:21-22). The first century church and all the apostles were very clear of the power of baptism which has been diluted greatly over the almost 2,000 years since the church started. What they were not as clear on was God’s plan to reach Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). God’s plan was to save jews and gentiles so he used the outpouring (separate from the indwelling) of the Holy Spirit to convince all of His divine plan. The subtle but significant difference between the indwelling and outpouring of the Holy Spirit which can cause confusion as to what is happening at water baptism which now gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit.
    See article for more on outpouring versus indwelling:

    Romans 6:3-14 nails down the importance of why Jesus included baptism in Matthew 28:19 as he prepared to leave his disciples under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is our participation in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Yes, Jesus paid the penalty for all mankind but all mankind has the choice to accept what Jesus did through faith, baptism and following Jesus and his word. Verse 7 of Romans 6 says, “…anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” Amen for freedom! Christ died once and we will only have one true baptism once we understand its power and its call to alive to God in Christ. Many are baptized multiple times because they aren’t taught accurately about conversion, at least that is the case for those I have ministered to.

    Paul is the same author for the passage in 2 Corinthians 5 that you mentioned in your original post, as well as Colossians 2 and Galatians 3 in my response. Combining all of Paul’s writings about conversion we see that because of God’s establishment of a new covenant through Jesus’s death and resurrection, we can die to our life and live for Him. This isn’t possible without Christ. Imagine if EVERY Christian lived out Matthew 28:19 and taught other would-be Christians this truth as we walked with each other in life. We could truly expand God’s kingdom on earth more effectively than we are in currently are. Our churches would be vibrant, godly and convincing the world that we are His disciples (John 13:34-35).

    • Tony says:

      >> Thanks Tony for taking the time to answer so many questions over the years.

      You’re very kind, Clint. I appreciate it.

  33. chris says:

    Im stuck with a dilemma where i read something in an article, ive been water baptized, but no hands were laid on me to receive the Holy Spirit.

    So must i be baptized again for hands to be laid upon me to receive the Holy Spirit, because it seems im just baptized for repentance of my Sins.

    • Tony says:


      I’ll reply here, too, since some might need to know the same thing. Your original question (on Facebook) included an article from the United Church of God. I wouldn’t rely on the UCG for any of my doctrine. They deny the trinity, the existence of hell, promote the so-called British Israel doctrine, claim that Christians should be Torah-observant (but only in the ways they think are best), teach that Jesus’ kingdom IS of this world (despite His direct statement to the contrary), believe there will be three resurrections of the dead, and so on.

      You might take a look at Acts 10. Peter is called to Cornelius’ house, and is given a vision that tells him that Gentiles can be Christians too. He goes to Cornelius, preaches the gospel, and…well, here it is:

      While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

      This passage makes a couple of things clear. One is that they received the Holy Spirit – just as the Jewish Christians had – before they were baptized. Unless one believes that non-Christians can receive the Spirit, this should settle the issue on whether one must be baptized to be saved. Another thing, relevant to your message, is that nobody laid hands on them to receive the Spirit, and it didn’t happen when they were baptized.

      When someone tells you something like “you must be baptized to become a Christian” or “you were baptized wrong,” check with the Scriptures. Christianity isn’t about saying exactly the right words, or performing rituals exactly right…that’s magical thinking. It’s about hearing the gospel and believing God.

      As always, let me know if I’ve created more questions.

  34. Cindy says:

    You can be privately baptized it never says in the bible that you cannot be privately baptized.

    • Tony says:


      You’re right…the Bible never says that you can’t be privately baptized. It also doesn’t say to not be baptized in the blood of an anteater, or that you should (or shouldn’t) have your pets baptized. When we’re discussing something that Christians throughout history have considered a direct command, it’s not enough to point to what the Bible doesn’t say. We should also pay close attention to what it does say.

      Christian baptism isn’t uniquely Christian. If it were, the New Testament would explain – in detail – what it is, why it’s done, and how to do it. Instead, baptism isn’t really explained at all. There’s a very simple reason for that: everybody involved already knew what baptism was, why they did it, and how to do it. You can read a bit about that in another article on GodWords, Do you have to be baptized to go to Heaven?.

      The main point here, in response to your comment, is that baptism was always a public ceremony. The whole point of baptism is to let the community of faith know that you are joining them. A private baptism – that is, where one is baptized without the presence of one’s faith community – doesn’t accomplish what baptism is designed to accomplish.

  35. Ted Smith says:

    Hi, I’m a college grad and I recently felt my faith slipping. I grew up in the church and at one point I was having a hard time in middle school and I asked God to come into my life and being in control, because I didn’t want to be any more. But I’m confused if I fully understood what that meant at the time. I do know, but I don’t know if I want that or have the will to do that. I know it would mean making Jesus the Lord of my life and believing that he died for my sins. But I still feel held back from getting baptized I feel like I don’t know enough if this is the best religion for me yet. I mean I grew up in this religion. It basically was chosen for me by my parents. I want to get to a point where I believe this religion and I chose this religion for myself. But I need help getting to that point. I still consider myself a Christian, because I believe in Jesus and what he’s done for me and I’m trying to follow what God wants for my life by following the 10 commandments and things like the Beattitudes, but I can’t quite become baptized. I still have some doubts. I’m unsure how we can believe in the Bible and believe it wasn’t faked. Also how can we believe in Miracles?

    • Tony says:

      Thanks for writing, Ted! I’m sorry for the delay in replying…my mother recently passed away, so I’ve been pretty busy.

      I appreciate your honesty. There’s nothing wrong with having doubts and asking questions. It’s not a good idea to believe things just because your friends or relatives do. You need to examine the evidence for yourself, and come to your own conclusions. I have a few thoughts about this.

      You wrote “I don’t know enough if this is the best religion for me yet.” Let me strongly suggest that you examine this idea. When buying shoes, it’s important to get the right size. Your feet should be comfortable. You might also look for shoes that match your existing wardrobe. These are very personal decisions. Your words tell me that you might consider what you should believe to be a personal decision as well. It’s not. The only decision to make here is whether to look for, and live by, the truth. If what Jesus said is true, you should believe it and live by it.

      Because of this, it seems what you need is more information about whether Christianity is true. Fortunately, there’s an entire field of study for this! It’s called apologetics. The word means “to make a case” as a lawyer would…to provide the evidence that something is true. One can be an apologist for anything…making a case for something isn’t a religious endeavor. Those who make the case that Christianity is true are Christian apologists. I’m a Christian apologist. I spend a lot of time explaining why believing in Jesus is a rational, reasonable, and good thing to do. You can find TONS of information on the interwebs about Christian apologetics. I’ve followed a bunch of Christian apologists for many years. Some of the better-known are folks like Stand to Reason, CARM (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry), Frank Turek, William Lane Craig, Ravi Zacharias, J. Warner Wallace, Tim Keller, and many more. Christianity is an intellectually rigorous pursuit of the truth, and these folks care about explaining the truth in ways that make sense. I would recommend them, and many others. In fact, your comment has inspired me to create an article listing my favorite Christian apologists. There are a bunch I haven’t mentioned. Regardless of your personality or field of study, there’s probably an apologetics ministry that’s a good fit for you.

      You’ve mentioned two specific questions: whether we can believe the Bible, and whether it’s reasonable to believe in miracles. After many years of study, I have no doubts about the Bible’s reliability…including the parts about miracles. After all: if God can create the universe, there’s no reason to believe He can’t heal the blind. Frank Turek has a full evening session on miracles. Here’s the video:

      Daniel Wallace, one of the foremost experts on the Bible, has a full session on the reliability of the Bible. Here’s the video:

      I would be very happy to help you with this, Ted. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with more questions, or if you need to talk, or would like to learn more about apologetics.

  36. Dezijay says:

    im Dezi what if your saved but your still scared about whats gonna happen and when it happens…

    • Tony says:


      Thanks for writing. Fear is something most of us live with, but we don’t have to. What are you scared about?

  37. Hera says:

    How can u be reconciled with God??

    • Tony says:


      Being reconciled with God is simple, but it’s not always easy. All it takes is surrender.

      When we decide to turn our lives over to God and trust Him with the results, we are reconciled. Here’s what Paul wrote about that in 2 Corinthians 5:14-6:1:

      For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says,

      “In the time of my favor I heard you,
      and in the day of salvation I helped you.”

      I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

      Did you catch that? Do not receive God’s grace in vain. Jesus died to reconcile you to God…He’s done all of the work, and the only thing left for us to do is to accept this fact and trust God with our lives.

      Will you do that right now? He wants to heal your broken heart, Hera. Let me know (here, or in an email) if there’s any way I can help.

  38. Tim says:

    I am torn. Many years ago, when I was 7 years old, I went to the altar and asked God to save me, I do not remember how long after that that I began to have doubts about whether or not I was truly saved.
    In the course of my childhood through early teen years I must have made 4 professions and been baptized as many times, but still doubt remained.
    In highschool I discovered pornography and this soon progressed to homosexual porn. I remember crying thinking, if I’m having problems with this, I can’t be saved. I prayed to God many times to heal me of this sin, but I lived with it for many years.
    Lately I’ve dedicated more of my life to God, destroyed my computer and tablet and spend more time in the word and prayer and my faith is growing. And God is helping me.
    My dilemma is, I’m not sure if I was truly saved when I was young, and just backslid, or if my sin proved that I was lost and am only now truly receiving Christ now that I am dedicating more of my life to him and trusting him more.
    I’m not certain if I should get baptized again or not. I don’t want to be disobedient to Christ, but I also don’t want to get baptized a 5th time if it’s not needed. Thanks for letting me vent.

    • Tony says:


      First, thanks for sharing your story. You’re not alone…many have the same questions. There are two sides to answering whether you were saved before. I personally know many (many, many) who thought for years that they were saved, only to find later that they had never really understood the gospel at all. Some were involved in churches that didn’t teach them well, and they later understood that they were missing something. It’s clear that some people who think they are saved aren’t actually saved. On the other hand, one might suggest that any person who seeks God sincerely is, at the very least, being saved. I can’t see into your heart, and I can’t see into God’s mind. It sounds to me like you were probably saved, or at least that you were ‘in process.’ Honestly, I wouldn’t spend a lot of time debating the idea with anyone, including myself.

      As for being baptized, I’d like to settle your dilemma. Baptism isn’t just a Christian thing. The ancient Israelites baptized converts to Judaism. It was a public ceremony, where a person expressed their faith to the community, saying that they wanted to be part of the community. Christian baptism is exactly the same thing: a convert telling the community of faith that they have been saved, and that they wish to join that community. If you’ve already been baptized, there’s nothing wrong with getting wet again…especially in a new community. There’s no spiritual reason that I know of to do it more than once, though. It’s something that new believers should do, which is why “repent” and “be baptized” are so closely connected in Scripture. We have no record of believers being re-baptized when they moved to a new community.

      I’m very happy to hear that you’ve taken control with regard to porn and your thoughts. If you don’t mind me asking, how are you doing in dealing with same-sex attraction? Was that a temporary thing, or a longer-term thing? It’s important to surround yourself with people who will help you grow, and be with you during tough times. If there’s some way I can help, I will help.

      • Tim says:

        For me, it’s been a long term problem. So far the only solution I’ve found is cutting out all of my triggers for lust. For me this includes my computer, and tv. And replacing these activities with bible reading and prayer, and moving my hobbies to outdoor activities or working to improve a skill like piano or foreign language.
        This is still very much a work in progress for me and I take it day by day, but I’m confident that God will help me overcome it, where once I was not confident at all.
        Thank you for your response. I appreciate it.

        • Tony says:


          It’s GOOD that you’re taking action! I’m with you: confident that God will help you. There were many years where I didn’t have that confidence as well. Keep in touch!

  39. Carol says:

    Hello Tony,

    I was saved about 6 months ago. I believe that God commanded me and directed to one specific group of believers (Church), my focus was mostly on baptism knowing that this is the next step after being saved. However, just before I was going to be baptise I started feeling really anxious in my spirit (not because of the baptism but of becoming member of that church), so the elders of the Church and myself decided that I can do it on the next occasion. I kind of felt and still feel that I had no choice really, because of the pressure of becoming member of the Church. Please tell me is that me, or the enemy trying to stop me from being baptise or just the church may be wrong. Im very confused. Thank you in advance.

    • Tony says:


      Thanks for your comment…and welcome to the family! I’m happy to hear that you’re my sister in Christ. I applaud you for choosing to be baptized, of course.

      I certainly can’t say with certainty what happened to you, but I have a suspicion. My guess is that you’re in the wrong church. I could be wrong, but you should trust yourself. We have been instructed, by Jesus Himself, to be baptized. The idea is that we are making a public declaration of our faith, and that we want to join the community of faith…so we’re baptized in their presence. It could be that this is a commitment that the Holy Spirit does not want you to make with this particular congregation. I do not believe that this is our enemy, trying to stop you. It’s not that the devil won’t try to mess with your head, of course. It’s that the Holy Spirit dwells in you, and it’s much more likely that you were being warned than that you were being tricked.

      I would, of course, pray about the situation if you haven’t already. Take the time to visit another church or two, to see how they “feel” to you. We shouldn’t be directly by our feelings alone, but asking God to help you will pay off. It could be that going to another (good) church for a week or two will give you the insight you need to better judge whether this original church is where you belong. Don’t let anyone pressure you into doing something you feel wrong about, Karolina. You’re already a member of the church, like every other Christian in history. You don’t need to become a formal member of a local congregation unless you want to play a part in things like voting on leaders. If someone is pressuring you, it may be time to leave. Let God do the pressuring. Read His Word, pray often, and listen for Him as He leads you.

      And, of course, let me know if there’s more I can do for you. If you’d like a hand picking a few local churches to visit, I can help. Have a great day!

  40. Pa Cawi says:

    Hi Tony, I read some of your answer. I really respect you. I can tell God give you a wisdom.

  41. Carry Hardy Cray says:

    I’m so thankful that I found your article. I’m a teenage girl from North Carolina. My grandparents are very religious and conservative. I see them a lot and I am thankful that I get to see them and have a good relationship with them. But whenever they are around I can’t play my music around them. Even if I have earphones on, they would want to hear what I’m listening to. And they would say stuff like “I hope your not listening to that demon music!” Or “that’s the devils music!” But I only listen to k-pop (BTS) and lofi (which usually is instrumental and or samples some parts of songs, movie scenes, etc. I know none of the stuff is demonic because they (BTS) spreads messages about self-love and self acceptance. Which is something I struggle with. And lofi barely has any words in it. I respect my grandparents very much. But I sometimes find it hypocritical that I’m not allowed to listen to BTS and lofi when they listen to the Temptations and Micheal Jackson. Which is fairly more secular compared to what I listen to. So I have 2 questions: Should Christians listen to secular or non-christian music? And what would be considered satanic or demonic music? I keep getting mixed answers but I believe that you would solidify the answer.

    • Tony says:


      Thank you for your kind words. I’m happy to have been even a little bit helpful. I enjoy a bit of k-pop myself, by the way.

      You show wisdom here, and it’s nice to see it. You want to respect your grandparents, but also want to challenge them. I would probably feel the same. I don’t know you, or them, or your relationship…so I’ll try to simply share my thoughts, and what I might do.


      What makes something like music good, or bad? Music is a combination of sounds and words, sung to a rhythm. The words can be good or bad, for sure…depending on what the words are promoting. The sounds (notes) can’t be good or bad. They’re just notes. The same notes are used in “good” music and “bad.” The rhythm can’t be good or bad, either. Rhythm is just the speed at which we do things. You know how sometimes you’re walking along, and the pace you’re at makes you think of a song, out of nowhere? That’s rhythm. Older generations have sometimes tried to argue that certain rhythms or beats are ‘the devil’s music.’ This is nothing new, but it’s always been ridiculous. Gospel singer Leon Patillo was performing in a church many years ago, and started playing the intro to a song, when a woman stood up and moved toward him, pointing her finger and shouting. She claimed that THAT BEAT was the devil’s beat, and that he should never play it. He stopped playing everything but the beat and asked her, “This beat?”. She said yes…that was the devil’s beat. He laughed and explained that the rhythm was actually a human heartbeat. He asked her, “Who made your heart?”. She got the point. Music can only be good or bad based on the message it sends.

      In Matthew 15, Jesus explains that it isn’t what goes into a person that ‘defiles’ them. It’s what comes out of their mouths. He was explaining the difference between following human traditions, which focus on external things, and following God, who looks at our hearts to see the truth.

      A Confrontational Approach

      Nobody likes hypocrisy. If you feel that your relationship with your grandparents is strong enough for a bit of push-back, here’s what I might do. I would find songs that they like, and look closely at the lyrics. When I found one of ‘their songs’ that sends a message that a Christian shouldn’t promote, I would save it to play when I’m with them. When they asked me what I was listening to, I could say this: “I was listening to one of the songs you like, and wondered about these lyrics. Do you think I should be listening to it?”

      Now, that’s a risky move. It could backfire and hurt your relationship, rather than make anything better. It may be better to take another tack:

      A Non-Confrontational Approach

      It’s not your job, or mine, to correct your grandparents. Our job is to do what we think God asks us to do, even if others don’t get it. Now, it’s possible that your grandparents have a valid point to make, even if they’re off-base about the specific music you like. You may be better off if you try to figure out what that point might be. Rather than criticizing them for criticizing you, I would suggest another way. Ask questions. Listen carefully. Don’t argue…seek to understand. It’s okay for you and your grandparents to come to different conclusions, but it’s helpful to understand them.

      Let’s say they’re right. Let’s say they have a really good point. Wouldn’t you want to learn from their wisdom? I would.

      Let’s say they’re wrong, and they’re being hypocritical and silly. You’re probably not going to change that by telling them that, are you? I wouldn’t think so. Get the wisdom they offer, ignore the silliness, and continue asking good questions about what God wants. I think they’re being silly, and – given the right opportunity – I might actually tell them so. I am not, however, their granddaughter. They don’t love me. They love you, or they wouldn’t be concerned about the messages your music might be sending you. Right?

      I would recommend the non-confrontational approach. It’s safe, and wise, and mature. If you prefer the confrontational approach, that’s okay. I love confrontation, if there’s a good chance it will make things better. Maybe you should just avoid playing your music while you’re with them. Maybe you should start a grown-up conversation with them about what kinds of things you, and they, should listen to. I can’t make that call for you.

      I love music. I love most kinds of music. Rock, rap, blues, easy listening…you name it. What I don’t like is music that makes me feel bad, and some songs do that to me. They describe things that aren’t the way they should be, and I’d rather take the Apostle Paul’s suggestion: to think about things that are true, noble, pure, and lovely. That doesn’t mean everything has to be all puppies and rainbows all the time, of course. It means that I try to feed my heart and mind things that keep it healthy. Some songs by BTS are really great. Some by Michael Jackson aren’t. That’s life. He wasn’t a Christian, by the way…He was a Jehovah’s Witness, which is an offshoot of Christianity that denies that Jesus is God. Food for thought.

      On a related note, you might enjoy another website of mine. I created it with my son, who’s now 20. It’s all Christian music, and you can use AutoPlay and Shuffle to listen to the whole website. Let me know what you think about Awesome Christian Music, would you? Let me know if there’s more I can do for you. Have a great day!

  42. Audry says:

    Will I go to heaven if I have committed a lot of sins and haven’t gotten baptized?

    • Tony says:


      Thanks for asking!

      The way you phrased your question tells me that you’ve misunderstood the nature of Christianity. I hope to make it clearer for you.

      The number of sins you’ve committed has absolutely nothing to do with whether you go to Heaven. I know that’s probably the opposite of what you’ve heard, but it’s true. God doesn’t judge us based on whether we’ve been more good than bad. That would mean we could earn our way to Heaven by being good. That’s not how it works at all. If it worked that way, Jesus would have simply taught us to be good… right? Be good, go to Heaven. Be bad, go to Hell.

      That’s not at all what Jesus taught. Here’s what Jesus said to a religious scholar named Nicodemus: No one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again John 3:3. That didn’t make sense to Nicodemus, because it was different than what he had been taught. Jesus explains to all of us that He came to give us LIFE. One of Jesus’ best students, John, explained it this way: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

      You see, Audry: our problem is not that we’re bad, and need to be good. Our problem is that we’re spiritually dead, and need to be made alive. Heaven isn’t a place you earn the right to live in. It’s simply where God is… and we who have eternal life will live with God forever, being where He is.

      As for baptism, that’s basically just getting wet. Baptism is important, but it doesn’t give us life. It doesn’t make us better people. It’s simply a public ceremony where we tell people who follow Jesus that you’ve chosen to follow Jesus too. Baptizing a dead person just gets them wet. Baptizing an alive person just gets them wet. There’s no magic involved.

      Who goes to Heaven? People who have said YES to God. When we decide to trust Him with our lives, and choose to do the things He wants us to do, He makes us spiritually alive. We’re actually changed. We become different. Here’s something Paul of Tarsus wrote:

      As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:1-10

      Does that make sense? I was dead, and then God made me alive. I belong to Him, and THAT is why I’m going to Heaven… not because I sin less than I used to, or because I was baptized. It’s because I said YES to God. I choose to live His way, which – by the way – is the best way I’ve ever found.

      Have you chosen to turn your life over to God, and to trust that He knows best how you should live? Have you crossed over from death to life? Do you belong to Him? If not, I would – of course – tell you that you should make that choice. I don’t say that to ‘get you on my team,’ but because I care about you. You’re important to God. He loves you enough to die for you, and He proved His love by actually dying on the cross. You can trust Him.

      If you’re already a follower Jesus – that is, if you’ve already been born again – I recommend that you find some people in your area who follow Jesus closely, and be baptized. Hang out with them. Learn with them. Find out what Jesus taught about how we should live… it’s awesome. If there’s any way I can be helpful to you, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

      Have a great day!

  43. John says:

    Hello, I was wondering if I would make it to heaven. I know you can’t really answer that but I think I’m not in the right path or it’s not good enough. I am a teenager who has been in the church in the past but haven’t been in any in years and I do believe in Jesus and that he died for our sins. But I never been baptized and never really had the chance to. I don’t pray a lot but I do believe in him.

    • John says:

      I haven’t been baptized not because I didn’t reject it it’s because I never had the opportunity. And where I’m at everything is closed because the virus.

    • Tony says:


      Thanks for asking such an important question! I can tell you whether you’ll make it to Heaven. Seriously. It’s not that difficult. I can tell whether anyone will make it to Heaven… not because I’m special, but simply because I know what it takes to go to Heaven. When I’m done explaining it to you, you too will know whether you, or anyone else, will make it to Heaven. First, let’s clear up a couple of things.

      What will NOT get you into Heaven?

      • Being good.
      • Being good enough.
      • Being mostly good.
      • Being more good than bad.
      • Sinning less.
      • Going to church.
      • Reading the Bible.
      • Praying.
      • Anything else YOU do to earn going to Heaven.

      You see, nobody has what it takes to get to Heaven on their own. Nobody ever has, and nobody ever will. That’s not how it works. If it did, we could just make a checklist of things to do, and things to not do, that would make sure we get to Heaven. There is no checklist. So:

      What does it take to go to Heaven?


      That’s it. Seriously. That’s all. Of course, that raises a few questions. Trust what? Trust who?

      Trust God. In the Bible, over and over again, we see the word “believe.” The Greek word that was originally used is better than just “believe.” It’s PISTEUO, and it means ‘to be persuaded,’ and ‘to commit.’ We can’t just believe in God and go to Heaven. We have to TRUST God. We have to be persuaded that God exists, and that He’s trustworthy… and then we have to commit to trusting Him.

      Think of it like a chair. If you see a chair, you know that it’s something used for sitting. That’s knowledge, not trust. If you’re confident that the chair will support your weight, that’s belief, not trust. The only way to actually trust the chair is to sit on it. Until you sit on the chair, you’re not actually trusting it to hold you up.

      Believing in God is just like that. We can learn all kinds of things about Him, but that’s only knowledge. We can say that we believe He’s trustworthy, but that’s not the same as trusting Him. When we tell God that we DO believe He’s trustworthy, and we surrender our lives to Him, we’re saying that we’re going to do things His way instead of our way. It’s not enough to know about God, or even to believe He’s awesome. To go to Heaven, we have to sit. Like on the chair. We have to actually trust God to guide us through life.

      When we do that, God does something in us. In John 3, Jesus called it being ‘born again.’ The apostle Paul said that if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here. The Holy Spirit – who is God Himself – comes and lives in us. He guides us, helps us, trains us, and corrects us. It’s pretty awesome, I must say. Living God’s way has made my life so much better than living life my own way! I have a tendency to mess things up, but He doesn’t. He knows better than I do.

      What happens after we’re born again? Well, that’s only the beginning of the awesomeness! God will change you from the inside out to be the person you were always meant to be. Some of the things you don’t like will change. Sometimes, the things we do like will change, too… if they’re not good for us. That doesn’t sound like fun, but you can trust God’s decisions. He’s always right.

      That’s God’s part. He remakes us. What is our part? Well, remember PISTEUO. The word suggests some level of commitment, like deciding to actually SIT in the chair. Our part in God’s plan is that we trust Him, and we follow His lead. The Holy Spirit will do a lot of that on the inside of us, and you should always listen to Him. That’s not all, though. God has already given us some helpful information on how to live well. It’s in the New Testament. I would suggest that you take some time to regularly – daily, if possible – read what God says in the New Testament. We all need help and encouragement from time to time, too… so I recommend looking around for some people in your area who already trust God, and build good relationships with them. You need them, and they need you. Let me know if you need a hand finding some of these folks. I’d be happy to help. God also puts us to work, helping other people learn to trust Him. For me, that’s one of the best parts of following Jesus.

      You may have noticed that I didn’t mention baptism. There’s a very good reason for that: baptism has nothing to do with going to Heaven. New believers are baptized to show other Christians that they’ve decided to trust God with their lives. It’s not a spiritual thing, it’s a social thing. You should be baptized, but you wouldn’t go to Hell if you died first. It’s a ritual that tells your community of faith that you’ve joined them.

      There you have it. Does that make sense? You and I can both know whether we’ll make it to Heaven. All we have to do is trust God with our lives. Reading the Bible will help you trust God better, since you’ll understand Him and His plan better. Spending quality time with other people who follow Jesus will help you trust God better. I can also recommend some websites and radio programs that you can learn from, for free… they can help you trust God better, too. They’ve definitely helped me.

      What do you think? Do you trust God? Have you been born again? If not, or if you’re not sure, just do it now. Tell God that you want to trust Him completely, and that you’ve decided to accept His invitation to become a citizen of His Kingdom. I’d love to hear that you’ve done that, so I can call you my brother.

      If you need help, I will help you. Feel free to email me, too. Have a great day, my friend!

      • Reita says:

        Can saying the prayer of repentance take a person to heaven without being baptised?

        • Tony says:


          I appreciate your question. The answer is that it depends.

          You see, nobody goes to Heaven because they recited some words. In John 3, Jesus told Nicodemus that we must be born again to go to Heaven. That has nothing to do with reciting a particular prayer, or with being baptized. There will be plenty of people in Hell who recited prayers without being changed, and plenty who were baptized.

          How can we born again? Nicodemus didn’t understand. You’re asking me, so I’ll tell you what the Bible says. In that same passage, Jesus told Nicodemus that He would die for us, so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. It’s not a prayer, it’s belief. That kind of belief isn’t just agreeing with an idea. It’s trusting God:

          Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. Romans 4:3

          I’m very excited about your question, Reita. It tells me that you want to go to Heaven, and that you’re willing to find out how. I’ll tell you how: trust God with your life. In the Bible, God says that He loves us. You should believe Him. In the Bible, God says that Jesus died to pay the price for your sins (and mine). You should believe Him. In the Bible, God says that if you seek Him, you will find Him. You should believe Him, and seek Him. In the Bible, God says that we’re not saved by our own works, but by what Jesus did for us. You should believe Him.

          For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16-17

          I’m praying for you right now, Reita. I hope that you’ve already trusted God with your life, and that we are already brother and sister in Christ. If you haven’t already, I hope that you’ll make the decision to place your full faith and confidence in Him right now. Please let me know. Thanks!

  44. Douglas Moore says:

    My Parents are not Cristian, and I am pretty sure they would not want to be there if I were to get baptized. Is it possible for an 18 year old (me) to get baptized without my parents?

    • Tony says:


      You’ve asked a good question. I have a few things for you to consider.

      First, don’t be afraid to ask them to see you get baptized. You may think you know their answer, but God may be working in their hearts in ways you can’t see. My mom prayed for my dad’s salvation for 15 years, with no change. Our neighbors had a Bible study in their home, and the lady suggested that my mom ask my dad if he wanted to come. She said, “I already asked him last year, and we talk about church sometimes. He won’t come.” The lady said to ask anyway, and my dad answered instantly that he would go. While there, he trusted in Jesus and became a Christian. You never know, so give it a shot.

      Second, baptism is something you do 1) after you trust God with your life, 2) in a public ceremony, 3) to show the community of faith that you believe like they do and want to join them. If you’ve been born again and want to tell a local community of Christians that you intend to be part of that community, then baptism seems like a good idea.

      Third, HOWEVER. If you’re living at home, and are basically subject to your parents’ authority in almost everything, you should probably discuss the situation with them. Show respect. Explain your faith, and your decision to be baptized, and tell them how important it is to you. You are free to be baptized if you wish, but it could mean a lot to not be baptized against their wishes, or behind their backs. While I usually recommend that Christians are baptized as soon as they know they want to join a community of believers, I don’t recommend that children or young adults rush into it if their parents aren’t behind them. If your parents are somehow distressed or disapproving, I would suggest that you explain your decision to be baptized as soon as you’re on your own. Baptism is important, but so is your witness to your parents. Telling them that you will abide by their wishes while you’re under their roof is wise, and acting rebellious and independent to be baptized seems unwise.

      Does that make sense? It may be that how you handle this situation goes a long way toward your parents being able to see the value in seeking Jesus. If there’s more I can do for you, please let me know. Also, if you’re able, I’d love to hear how the conversation goes!

  45. Marietjie says:

    Hi Tony
    I came upon your website by chance. As I was reading through some comments, I want to ask a question. You say that nobody is in Heaven right now. Where is Elijah and Enoch and Moses etc then? When you die as a Reborn Christian, where does your spirit go then? It is only your body that is in the ground not your spirit, Correct me if I am wrong please. Blessings

    • Tony says:


      You ask good questions! There’s a lot we don’t know about what happens after we die, as the Bible isn’t really very clear about it. Thousands of books have been written about this one subject. I’m not going to pretend to know something that other people don’t. The reason I say that nobody is in Heaven or Hell right now is that the Bible speaks of judgment as an end-time event. As my previous comment says, Matthew 25 says that God will separate the godly from the ungodly at the end. It is at that point that the unrighteous will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

      Revelation 20:12-15 also gives us some important information. After the battle of Armageddon, after Jesus’ 1000-year reign, after the great tribulation:

      I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

      It seems clear that nobody will be sent to Heaven or Hell, under normal circumstances, until the end of time. That means that nobody is there now. However: I say “under normal circumstances” for a reason, and you’ve caught it. The Bible seems to indicate that a few notable people have already been ushered into God’s presence. The first would be Enoch, another Elijah, and so on. In Matthew 17 we see Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus on a mountaintop, in front of Peter, James, and John. One would presume that they were sent there by the Father, rather than being free to wander about on their own. These strange circumstances seem to indicate that there are exceptions to the ‘end-times’ timing of judgment. Certainly God already knows how He will judge each of us, but we can’t ignore any part of Scripture. The judgment will be at the end, but there seem to be some irregularities with regard to certain people.

      Does that make sense?

      As for our bodies and spirits, again: we don’t know much. This is an area I’ve been looking forward to studying in greater detail, to be sure of what the Bible does and doesn’t say. Here’s how I currently understand it… I may be wrong, of course.

      In Genesis, God created Adam by forming his body from the earth. He then breathed into Adam’s body the ‘breath of life,’ and Adam became a living being. Adam, as with you and I, was a combination of physical and spiritual life. Without that ‘breath,’ Adam would not have been alive. When we die, it seems that the ‘breath of life’ leaves us, turning us back into – basically – earth. We don’t know if that ‘breath of life’ is personal or impersonal… that is, we don’t know whether it’s part of God, or whether it’s the same for each person, or whether that breath is each of our individual personalities. At the resurrection, we will rise bodily from the grave, just as Jesus did. The general presumption among most commentators is that our spirits will be reunited with our bodies. I don’t know that Scripture backs that up exactly, but I’m not going to argue against it at this point.

      I’m sorry that I can’t give you a better answer today, Marietjie. Let me know if my explanations have created more questions for you. Thanks!

      • Marietjie says:

        Hi Tony
        Thank you for your response. Yes, I do agree with you on certain aspects. Many of my friends believe that when we die our spirit leaves our body and is with Jesus. Just like the thief on the cross. Our bodies will be transformed at the coming of Jesus. Yes I do agree many still do not agree with each other on what happens to your your spirit when you die, which I accept, we will only know the day we die, that is how I feel. If Jesus said to the thief on the cross that he will be with Him in paradise, then surely that says something to us who will die as reborn Christians, not so? But that is debatable as well, which many scholars does. I personally believe what Jesus said to the thief on the cross. My spirit will be with Jesus and only my body will be in the ground until the coming of Jesus. If I am wrong, then I will know the day God stops breathing in me. I do not know if you heard of Amir from BEHOLD ISRAEL, he gives good teaching on many subjects. No, I am not a Messianic Jew but there is a lot of their teachings which is very informative. Thank you that you help many who has questions, keep up the good work and may God use you mightily. Blessings

        • Tony says:

          I’m with you, Marietjie. We don’t really know with certainty what happens, how it happens, or exactly when. It’s okay to speculate. As long as we don’t pretend that our wishes are the truth, and tell others that they should believe as we do, I think we’re safe. Thank you for your kind words. Have a great day!

          • Matt says:

            Are you saying there’s no need for us to repent, and turn from our sinful ways?

          • Tony says:


            Thanks for asking. No, that is most definitely NOT what I’m saying. Sin is bad. Sin is wrong. We shouldn’t sin. The New Testament has a whole bunch of verses that tell us that we are able to not sin, that we should not sin, that we should avoid temptation, and so on.

            Here’s what I am saying: the eternal penalty for sin has already been paid. Jesus died on the cross to pay that price. 2 Corinthians 5:14 tells us that when Jesus died, it’s as if we all died. The wages of sin ARE death, and Jesus died in our place. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. There are certainly earthly consequences for sinning – addiction, disease, depression, broken relationships, imprisonment, and so on – but going to Hell isn’t one of those consequences.

            Everyone should repent of their sins and turn from their sinful ways… but failing to do that isn’t what sends people to Hell. It’s refusing to be reconciled to God.

            Does that make sense?

  46. Ayden says:

    Is it bad that i am scared for judgment day, not because im scared of going to hell but because I have always wanted to live a full life here and have kids and die naturally- im 15

    • Tony says:


      Thanks for writing. It’s nice to meet you!

      It’s not bad to be afraid of things that are dangerous. It’s actually pretty wise. I have a couple of thoughts. They’re not just for you, but for anyone who reads your comment. I hope you don’t mind.

      First, “a full life.” We don’t know when Jesus is coming back. It could be today, it could be tomorrow, it could be 1000 years from now. For exactly that reason, the New Testament tells us to be ready. We don’t want to be surprised by His return. At the same time – while we’re ready and waiting – we don’t stop living. Make plans for a full life, knowing that you’re not in control of the universe. Trust God’s plan. He’ll come back at exactly the right time… not a moment early, not a moment late.

      Second, “judgment day.” The New Testament explains that, at the end of time, everyone will be gathered together. You can read about it in Matthew 25:31-46. When I read it, it seems pretty scary. I want to make sure you’re on the sheep side, and not the goats side. Have you trusted God with your life? If you have, you’ve been born again… and your eternal life has already begun. If you belong to God, judgment day will be pretty cool. He’ll say to you and me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” If you’re not born again, judgment day will be pretty scary.

      This part is for you, Ayden. Let me repeat what you wrote back to you in my own words, so you can hear what I hear: “When I think about living on earth vs living in Heaven, earth looks pretty good. I don’t want to miss out on the good things in life, like having kids and living a long time and enjoying this world.”

      I get it. This world is pretty awesome. Heaven, by comparison, seems far away and kinda boring. It sounds like being in Heaven will be less awesome than being here, doesn’t it? That’s because we know what this life is like, but we don’t know a lot about what the next life will be like. We do have some clues about our next life, though.

      1. Heaven is where God is. That’s pretty much the technical definition of Heaven. We usually picture it with clouds, and robes, and a throne room where God sits and waits for us to worship Him. That’s not really very accurate, but it’ll do for the moment. We’re told that it will be amazing, but we’ll only be in that place for a little while.
      2. A new Heaven and a new Earth. Think about the awesomeness of what God has already made. Mountains covered with snow. Beaches with sand and starfish and sunshine. Forests filled with flowers and animals. Now picture all of that with no pollution, no death, no suffering, no sadness, no mourning. The New Testament tells us that we will have new bodies, just like our first ones, but better. In the same way, God will recreate the earth better than before. Famous author JRR Tolkien (who wrote The Lord of the Rings) described it as “all the sad things coming untrue.” That sounds pretty good to me. We’ll be back on a perfect earth, and God will come and live here with us.

      The point is that I understand your desire to stay here. I feel the same way. Still, I’m pretty old, and have suffered maybe a bit more… so I hope you understand my desire to go home and be with God, and with my loved ones who loved Him. This life IS good, and you should work hard to enjoy all that God has made. Get married, and you can see what true love can be like. Have children, and you can learn how much God loves us. Find meaningful work, and you can learn how valuable you are to the people around you. Serve God in all you do, and you can learn what you were created for. When it’s time to go, remember this: what we have now is a pale reflection of what we will have then. For now, what we have isn’t quite what it should be. We eat, but we get hungry again. We love people, but still get lonely. We feel satisfied, but still feel incomplete. When all is set right, we will know true and complete satisfaction.

      I hope you’ll join me there. You and I may not meet here, but we will meet there… if you belong to God. Do you?

  47. Gray says:

    I’m so very confused and worried. I have believed in Jesus all my life. But only recently understood how I have not really lived for him. Im working to change that. I read and watch different articles and videos on the gospel and each one contradicts the other. Im not baptised so I cant be saved! I have faith so I can. I won’t be raptured, I will be raptured. I have to die to show my faith! God will answer my prayers, God will only answer if it’s in his plan. I just seem to be living a life if pressure, guilt and fear that I’m letting my Lord down in every way. I keep praying for guidance but I cant hear anything. So many keep saying his the Lord spoke to them, how they had a dream, a sign. What do I do as it’s getting too much to carry?

    • Tony says:


      First, thank you for writing. I appreciate hearing from you.

      What you describe is actually pretty common. I’ve felt the same way. I have good news, though: it doesn’t have to be this way! There’s a cure for what you’re going through.

      • First, read your Bible. Focus on the New Testament, since Christians are to live by what Jesus did and said.
      • One of the things He said was to not worry about tomorrow… that today has enough trouble. Don’t even worry about tomorrow, let alone worry about the rapture.
      • If you spend time with a community of Christians in your area, be baptized with them. If you don’t have a community, find one. I can help.
      • Let God decide which prayers to answer, and trust that He knows best.
      • It’s God’s job to transform you. Let Him do it. Your job is to cooperate with Him, not to do the work yourself.
      • If you’re guilty, you should feel guilt. Bring your guilt to God and ask Him to help you turn from the things that you should avoid. Then, like magic, you won’t be guilty. You may feel false guilt from time to time, but that’s just a matter of reminding yourself that Jesus died to pay for your sins. Let Him bear that burden. Your job is to cooperate with Him.
      • I was angry with God for 5 years before I learned that I didn’t really need to hear from Him personally. I prayed for guidance, and heard nothing… and things didn’t seem to go well. Turns out that was one of the most beneficial periods of my life, where my faith grew strong. God has already spoken in His Word, and that’s enough. If He says more to you, good. If not, you’re not missing out. I thought I needed to hear from Him. Turns out my faith was strong enough to not need Him holding my hand all day, like I thought.
      • Be careful about who you listen to. There’s a lot of garbage out there with Jesus’ name attached to it. Be skeptical. Compare everything with what you see in the New Testament. Ask trusted friends (or strangers like myself) for feedback, but always do your own homework.
      • Be patient with yourself. You will grow. You will mature. God will do what He does best, and turn you into someone who looks more and more like Jesus. Your job is to cooperate with Him.

      Jesus said that He came to give you and me abundant life. That’s not necessarily money and material things, but peace and joy and purpose. If life is getting tough to manage, you’re probably doing it wrong. Take a deep breath, ask God for help, trade some of the less-important things in your week for some more important things, like finding biblical answers to your questions, like singing songs that inspire you and help you grow, like finding someone else who needs your help and friendship, and spending one-on-one time with God.

      If you’re looking for some music, I can recommend Awesome Christian Music. It’s another of my websites, and it helps me. Make sure you use Autoplay to listen while you do other things.

      If you’re looking for information about Christianity – which will help you grow quickly – I can recommend ministries like Stand to Reason, Cross Examined, Cold Case Christianity, and Reasonable Faith. There are plenty of other good places to learn more about God and how He wants us to live, but those will give you a great head-start.

      If there’s ANYTHING that I can do to help you, please don’t hesitate to let me know. We live far apart, but the web can connect us at any time. I’m praying for you, my brother. Have a great day!

  48. LaAsia says:

    I have a question.. I’m 15, and I haven’t got baptized. Will god still love me? I believe in him with all my heart.

    • Tony says:


      Welcome! =)

      God will love you whether you love Him or not, whether you’re baptized or not, whether you believe in Him or not, and whether you spend your life running from Him or not. God IS love, and all that He does is done in love. He loves perfectly. His love is unconditional.

      That doesn’t mean that He likes everything, obviously. He doesn’t like it when we hurt each other. He doesn’t like it when people put other things ahead of Him, since that isn’t what’s best for us. If you’ve decided to trust God with your life, you should be baptized if you can. Being 15, you may not be in complete control over whether you’re baptized. Baptism tells your community of faith that you’ve decided to dedicate your life to following Jesus. That’s a big encouragement for others, and a wise thing to do. It’s also something that God said we should do, so we should do it if we can. If you can’t – or if you currently don’t have a local community of Jesus-followers that you spend time with – then it’s okay to wait until you CAN be baptized.

      He loves you, LaAsia. I love you too. Let me know if there’s more I can do for you.

  49. Ruperto says:

    I don’t like going to church and don’t want to go but I still believe in Christianity. Will god be able to forgive me?

    • Tony says:


      Thanks for writing!

      CAN God forgive you? Of course He can. I’ve been in your shoes, my friend. There were times when church was the last place I wanted to be… and I was a pastor! Church can be the best place in the world, or it can be one of the worst. It’s a common complaint from a lot of people.

      Of course, there are questions behind your question.

      • Why don’t you like going to church?
      • Why don’t you want to go?
      • Why do you want to do things for which you’ll need forgiveness?

      Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not putting all of this on you. I’m just asking the questions. Do you not want to go to church because you’d rather stay home and watch Netflix? Do you only have one church near you, and want to avoid that one for personal reasons? Is it the music? Do you feel like people are judging you? Is it boring? You see, there are a LOT of reasons people don’t want to go to church, but they’re not all the same.

      Let me try to encourage you a bit. There are several things I’d like to suggest. First, “going to church” is probably the wrong way to look at it. The church isn’t a building. It’s Christians. I’m a Christian. If you’ve been born again like Jesus says in John 3, then you and I are the church. The church is all Christians, all over the world, throughout history. If you and I lived near each other, I’d buy you lunch. We would hang out a bit, get to know each other, maybe become good friends. THAT IS CHURCH. You might not like congregating with certain people in certain places, but that’s not the same as not liking church. I’m the church. You’re the church.

      Followers of Jesus need each other. Life gets hard sometimes, and we need encouragement and help from each other. We need to see other people following Jesus well, to see how it’s done. Other people need to see US, too. Being together is a primary way we grow and become better followers of Jesus. The Bible teaches Christians to not ‘forsake’ meeting together. That doesn’t mean you have to go to church every time the doors open… it means don’t give up. I didn’t go to church this morning because I’ve been exposed to sick people. I didn’t ‘forsake’ going. I just didn’t go today.

      You CAN find a church you enjoy. You just haven’t yet. I want to encourage you to look around for Christians in your area that you find encouraging, and helpful. Meet with them regularly. See if there are any men’s Bible small group Bible studies going on. You might try an Alpha course… it’s a really low-key study that lasts a couple of months. You watch a video about Christianity, then discuss the video with a handful of other folks. It’s a low-pressure way to check out a group of local Christians you might become friends with. It’s also a good way to check out what their congregation does, to see if that’s a better fit for you than where you’ve been.

      The plain and simple truth is that finding even ONE PERSON you enjoy meeting with will change how you feel about ‘going to church.’ I’m guessing the main problem is that you don’t really know anybody at a church that you look forward to seeing. Find someone. If you lived near Denver, it could be me… but, since you don’t, it needs to be somebody. You need other Christians. Believe it or not, other Christians need you.

      Does that make sense?

      • Ruperto says:

        Well I want to do me and do my own thing instead. Will that affect my relationship with god? Also, I told my parents that I don’t want to go to “church” and that I want to do my thing but they don’t understand. I feel like I am tricking people that church is for me when I go to church but really I don’t feel like that. In all I want to be me and do my own Christian thing as well spreading the word of christ.

        • Tony says:


          First, I appreciate you being honest with me. You didn’t have to.

          What – exactly – is “your own thing”? What do you mean when you say “do my own Christian thing”? Do you feel like the church your parents take you to is as waste of time, and that you’d rather be serving God more seriously than they are? If so, that’s good. I’ve been there.

          Let me caution you, though: there’s no such thing as ‘doing my own Christian thing.’ The Bible describes the church (that is, all Christians everywhere) as the Body of Christ. It says that Jesus is the head. We’re told to not stop meeting together. One songwriter put it this way, and I believe it’s true: “If you love me, you will love the church.” All through the Gospels, Jesus refers to Himself as the Bridegroom, and to us as the Bride. That’s a pretty big deal.

          Don’t get me wrong: you won’t stop being a Christian just because you stop going to a particular congregation’s meetings. However: if you want to be EFFECTIVE in spreading the word of Christ, you’re not going to do it without the church. Maybe YOUR church sucks. I don’t know. I’ve been to a bunch that were just DEAD. It’s sad, and frustrating. However, Paul gave this advice to Timothy: Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Don’t think you have to wait until you’re able to leave THAT church before you can get started doing what God wants. Start now, where you are. As you grow, you’ll begin to see that what you thought was a frustrating situation you couldn’t wait to get out of was actually God, doing His thing, growing you and using you.

          Take JOY in the place you find yourself. Sometimes you have to wait for things to change, but you never have to wait to be faithful to God. My advice: don’t stop going to church. Get MORE involved, but do it in a 100% positive way. Read your Bible. Be super kind. Don’t be critical, but be encouraging. You have a LOT to learn from the folks who attend the church you want to leave. Maybe God has you there so you’ll be ready for better service later. If I were you, I would go to church for as long as your parents would take you. When you’re free to explore and find your own church home, you’ll be better for it.

          Let me know what you think, my brother.

  50. Mer says:

    Hi Tony, I was baptized as a young adult however I am very unsure if I was truly saved at that time. I had just begun reading the bible and I did believe in Jesus however I am not certain if I fully grasped the meaning of salvation and the trinity. As my knowledge was limited and I didn’t have a community, I was also not aware of all my sins, so I didn’t really change my lifestyle. The years after my baptism I unfortunately drifted away from Jesus, however recently I came back to Christ and repented my sins. Do you think in my case it would make sense to be baptized again? Thank you, Mer.

    • Tony says:


      Thanks for writing!

      Your story is one that many can tell: baptism, followed by a life not so pleasing to God, then a return. Nobody really grasps the full meaning of salvation at the beginning, of course. If that were the only criteria, I would have been baptized a hundred times, as I keep learning more and more.

      Baptism is a public declaration of faith. I do believe it would be meaningful for you to be baptized in front of your community of faith, to express to them your desire to join them in working to build God’s Kingdom, and to make clear your commitment to following Jesus closely. If you don’t have a group of Jesus-followers in your area that you meet with regularly to learn, be challenged, and be encouraged, find one. Those are the people who should witness your baptism. The entire point is a public declaration that you believe as they do, that Jesus is God in flesh, that you can’t be saved without Him, and that you desire to serve Him with your whole heart for the rest of your life.

      That’s a beautiful thing, Mer! Let me know how it goes.

  51. Herve says:

    Well am sort of confused!
    Act 2: 38 says that to repent and baptize for the forgiveness of our sins. Doesn’t it imply that before our sins can be forgiven we must first baptize.

    • Tony says:


      Your confusion is absolutely natural, of course. Any 21st-century person would likely read Acts 2:38 in the way you have. The trouble is that most people WILL read Acts 2:38 like a 21st-century person. We have to read all of the Bible with eyes from when it was written… otherwise we’ll misunderstand a TON. That’s called “context.” When we read Scripture out of context, it can be confusing and misleading. When we read it in context, it makes sense.

      In ancient Israel, baptism was a public ceremony where a person was dunked in a MIKVEH. It’s a ritual bath where utensils are cleansed, new priests were dunked to begin their ministry, and so on. In the first century, everybody understood what baptism meant… the New Testament events pretty much all happen in Jewish territory. A Mikveh was so important to social life in Israel that it was the first thing built in a new community. If they needed money, they would even sell Torah scrolls to pay for it!

      Repentance and baptism went hand in hand. Old Testament prophets (and John the Baptist, among others) would call the people to turn their hearts toward God. A baptism of repentance was often part of the process, where people would acknowledge they had strayed from God’s intentions, and that they were turning back to Him. That’s the context of John’s baptism… if you repented, you were baptized in a public ceremony to tell everyone your intentions. You wouldn’t usually repent and NOT be baptized.

      When we say that the forgiveness of sins in Acts 2:38 has two parts – first repentance, then baptism – we’re reading the passage outside its original context. The repentance was the thing, of course… we see that throughout both Old Testament and New Testament. Baptism is the response to repentance, not part of it. If baptism were needed for forgiveness of sins, there would be a whole bunch of other New Testament passages that make no sense. Jesus forgave sins without baptizing people. Cornelius’ family was filled with the Holy Spirit before they were baptized in water. The thief on the cross wasn’t baptized. I could go on and on.

      Does that make sense?

  52. Prabha says:

    Bible says, If we didnt get the holyspirit annointing, we cant go heaven. But some thinking salvation is enough. No need to baptised by the holyspirit.
    Is it right?? Is their any possible to go heaven without holyspirit annointing???

    • Tony says:


      Thanks for asking! I’m sure you agree: we should be careful to say what the Bible says, and not say what the Bible doesn’t say. It’s possible that our words can be confusing. I’ll try to simplify, if possible.

      In John 3 Jesus told Nicodemus that we must be born again, and that no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. This “second birth” is called the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

      Why do we call it that? Because of what John the Baptist said:

      I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

      Nobody can go to Heaven unless they’re born of the Spirit… that is, unless they’re baptized in the Holy Spirit. Everyone who is baptized in the Holy Spirit is saved, and on their way to Heaven.

      What about the ‘anointing’? That’s something different. Being anointed simply means that the Holy Spirit makes you able to do the things God wants you to do. This is something that happens to people who are already saved. Jesus told His disciples you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
      That power came from the Holy Spirit. They were able to speak in tongues at Pentecost because the Holy Spirit enabled them to do it. They couldn’t do it without His help, and they needed to do it to do what God wanted.

      So there is a difference between being baptized in the Holy Spirit and having the Holy Spirit anoint you for a specific work. Being baptized in the Holy Spirit is being born again. Being anointed by the Holy Spirit is being made able to serve when there’s a need. Does that make sense?

      • Prabha says:

        Thanks for clarify me the difference of annointing and holyspirit.
        So without holyspirit we cant go heaven correct?

        • Tony says:


          I’m answering carefully to avoid confusion. A lot of people will read this, and I don’t want my words to make understanding more difficult.

          Being filled with the Spirit is often called the anointing, and has nothing to do with salvation.

          Water baptism is a public ceremony where you declare your faith to your religious community, and has nothing to do with salvation.

          Holy Spirit baptism is something Jesus does. Everyone who has been baptized by Jesus is saved, and can go to Heaven. Everyone who has not been baptized by Jesus is NOT saved, and will not go to Heaven.

          Is that clear? Thanks for asking!

  53. Prabha says:

    Thanks.Yeah. Iam born again christian. I took water baptism in church and i baptised by holyspirit also and used to fill in annointing when iam praying personally by the grace of god.
    I got doubt, because
    Many saying only salvation enough for going heaven, not beliving holyspirit to go heaven. Tats why asked to clarify myself. Thanks u so much.

  54. Spencer says:

    I feel so bless to be connected to your site, it is a great help to the Christian community. please help answer my question. Does God know all those that will God to heaven?

    • Tony says:


      First, thank you for your kind words. I’m happy to play a small part in so many lives!

      The Bible is clear, over and over: God knows everything. That would include everybody who will go to Heaven. It’s an interesting question. Would you mind sharing the story about why you wanted to ask it?

  55. Nidel says:

    I have a question. What does it mean to be reconciled by God like it says in the article?

    • Tony says:


      That’s a good question! It’s really pretty simple. It means to fix a broken relationship. When we’re children, we often disobey our parents. That makes our relationship with them more difficult… strained, rather than peaceful and harmonious. To fix it, the parents and the child have to come together and make things right. A lot of that happens when the child recognizes that, for this time in their life, they need to submit to their parents. Sometimes the parents need to apologize, or to explain their decisions, but it’s mostly the child seeing that they ARE a child, and that they should accept instruction and correction from their parents.

      Reconciling with God is like that. There are two sides: God’s and ours. God has taken the first step toward His rebellious children, right? While we were sinners – even enemies of God – He died for us. He came more than halfway in our direction, forgiving our sins and making it really easy for our relationship to be restored. All we have to do is to recognize that He is God, and we are not. He is the King of the universe, and we are His subjects. He is the perfect, loving Father, and we are the little children who think we can do things on our own.

      Does that make sense? Reconciliation is just making things right in a relationship. God has done His part, but we have to do ours. We simply trust that He really DOES care for us, and that His way is FAR better than our way, and our relationship can go from being estranged to being at peace. We can read about God’s love for us in the three parables in Luke 15 which, not surprisingly, express that we are valuable and cherished by God. For some – like myself – whose relationships with our earthly fathers wasn’t so great, it’s good to keep in mind that God is not like that.

      Does that make sense? Reconciliation is something that happens all the time, between people. God wants us to be reconciled to Him, and He’s done His part. Have you done yours? Have you looked in the mirror and admitted that living life your way simply isn’t going to work out like it should? Following Jesus doesn’t mean that life will always be easy… far from it. It is, however, better than living our own way.

      Have you decided to follow Jesus? I mean to really, really commit your whole self to Him?

  56. Shannon says:

    Hi i was searching and came across your site, i feel guilty because i am not baptized, i believe in God but i dont feel i havent an honest relationship with him, i get told so many things like what religion to join and if i dont do things a certain way i wont be saved, it starts to get really confusing and im not sure where to go or where to start

    • Tony says:


      I hear you. You’re not alone. I’d like to help! Here are a few things you need to know:

      First, you need to read the New Testament for a while. Why? Because: following Jesus means that we know what He taught, and we do it. You know, things like loving your neighbor and being forgiving and so on… but more. When you’ve decided to actually FOLLOW Jesus, that’s when you should be baptized. Baptism is simply a public ceremony where you tell some of the Christians where you live that you’ve decided to follow Jesus.

      Second, following Jesus is not joining a religion. A whole bunch of people call themselves Christians without having a clue about what that means. Many churches are full of people who have never read the New Testament and learned what they say they believe. Christians are simply people who have decided to trust God with their lives. That means they learn what Jesus said and did, and that is how they choose to live. Christianity is following a person. A real person, who is God become human. God became a man for several reasons, but a main one was to show us how to live right. When we decide to trust God with our lives, we are born again. He makes us new, frees us from slavery to sin, and begins changing us from the inside out to be more like Him. That has nothing to do with joining a religion, or attending a church, or reading a specific translation of the Bible, or wearing a necklace with a cross on it. Any local congregation of people can SAY they’re Christian, but Christians are simply all of the people, throughout history, who have been born again.

      Third, doing things a certain way won’t save you. That’s backwards! When we decide to follow Jesus, we decide to do what He taught. THAT is obedience. Jesus said that if you love Him, you will do what He commanded… and that you would have abundant life as a result. Not like being healthy and rich, but like being joyful and satisfied and turning into the person you were created to become. Christians ARE obedient – not perfectly, but purposefully – but it’s not obedience that MAKES us Christians. Almost every religion teaches how one should act to make the gods not smite you, or to reward you for your good works. That’s the opposite of Christianity! I’ll explain:

      As you can see by looking around, humans are kind of messed up. We’re a complex mix of awesomeness and awfulness. We’re capable of amazing things, and terrible things. The Bible explains this: we share some of God’s character, which is why we can be so incredible… but we often choose to do things our own way, on our own, for selfish reasons. That’s why we can be so incredibly terrible. A typical religious response would be “stop being bad, and God will be pleased with you.” That’s not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that if we trust God to guide us, He will help us become what we should be. We don’t take the first step of cleaning ourselves up to be acceptable to God. Instead, God took the first step. He came to earth as a human, taught us to love unselfishly, to sacrifice for others, to be honest and fair and humble and kind. Then He died to show us how much He loves us:

      You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

      I’ve got good news for you, Shannon: you’re already acceptable to God! If you weren’t, you would have to work incredibly hard to get on His good side. Instead, God worked incredibly hard to let you know how much you mean to Him. Yes, obedience is important… but we don’t start out being obedient. We end up being obedient because we’re grateful, and because He helps us grow into the people we should be. All of this is unbelievably, incredibly, totally awesome. Really! Life with God is good.

      Here’s where you should start: with God. Talk to Him. He already knows what you’re thinking, but talk to Him anyway. Tell Him how you feel. Tell Him that you want your life to be good, and happy, and meaningful, and useful… and then tell Him that you want His help. He’s waiting for you. He’s been there all along, gently nudging you in His direction. You can trust Him. When you do, He will adopt you as His daughter. You will become part of God’s family!

      Then what? Well, then you’ll want to learn what this amazing life looks like. Jesus is our example, so you should take some time to learn about Him. See how He lived, so you can begin to be like that. Learn what He taught, so you can do it. The easiest way is to read the New Testament. If you don’t have a Bible, you can definitely find one online. I would start by reading the Gospel of Luke.

      Then what? Life can be tough sometimes, right? We need friends and family around us. You’ll want to find some other people near you who follow Jesus closely. They will encourage you, support you, and help you when you need it. You might want to reread that. I’m not saying, “go to church.” I’m saying that when you decide to follow Jesus, you ARE the church… you and me and everyone else who follows Jesus. Yes, you’ll find some of us Jesus-followers in many of your local churches. The point is NOT to attend a church, but to BE the church. That means being there when your brothers and sisters need you, and letting them be there for you. It’s usually easiest to find people like that in local congregations, so start there… but you found me, right? We won’t go to church together, but we can support each other all the time. When you decide to trust God with your whole life, and when you find those people near you, THEN you should be baptized. They will want to see that you’ve joined them as their sister in Christ, and to celebrate that decision with you.

      Does that make sense? I’m here for you, Jen. I’ll do whatever I can do to help… all you have to do is reach out.

  57. Jen says:

    What I know so far is God is vengeful, full of wrath and anger and will punish if disobeyed. Going on the Bible, from the beginning of time God has severely punished us for disobedience he is not forgiving, he threw us from the garden of eden naked and afraid and continued with his wrath against disobedience on people up until Noah. God then flooded the world and all that was left was Noah and his Ark. My fears are that God made the creation and all that is in it and all that resides in it so we are disobedient because we are flawed we were made that way with flaws. those of us who came later and inherited this world were born into sin and our heritage is the unforgiven disobedience and sins of our ancestors. The most sacred heart of gods only son created before all time came to earth as man and we are told by the witnessed he endured the most brutal of atrocities ever been done to the son of man for all our sins and disobedience. “Most sacred heart, save us from the wrath of god”. He was mocked, beaten profusely and crucified. He had asked his father to remove the cup from him if it was possible and God refused, Jesus was the only son with whom God was well pleased and he was refused his request. The son is of God and The holy ghost was created before all time and all creation. so God was aware of the part his son would play as God knows all and created all. so why did God create this flaw and be so unforgiving of that very first disobedience.he knew it would happen and that Jesus was the remedy. Eating from that tree and apple when told not to has resulted in being thrown from the garden and people enduring Gods wrath throughout history. An earthly father forgives his children for greater and numerous amounts of
    disobedience and yet spiritual leaders and teachers say that God is forgiving. Are we reading from the same book because if read as it is written my interpretation is that god does not forgive, Jesus forgives and holy ghost guides but God is wrathful angry destructive and demands perfection from an imperfect subject made by his own hands. I believe in God but i am terrorised and terrified of his almighty power. fear is not Love. Jesus says no one comes to the father except through me, my problem is I would rather rest with Jesus most sacred heart any day than be with a wrathful angry God.I ask Jesus to protect me and hind me in his most sacred wounds and his precious heart from gods wrath, anger, ultimate power, destruction and vengeance.My secret is out I do not want to be with God I want to be with Gods gentle, loving, kind, peaceful and only begotten son. ” make me a channel of your peace”
    I was taught we must be baptised by water for the holy ghost to come upon us to teach us and free us from sin.

    • Tony says:


      Wow… thank you SO MUCH for sharing your thoughts. This is going to be a bit long, so thanks ahead of time for your patience.

      The first thing I want to say is that you’re not alone. A lot of people feel the same way. You’re just braver than most, to say what you think. I’m grateful for your courage!

      The second thing I want to say is that you clearly don’t understand the Scriptures. I don’t say this to put you down, of course. I say it to encourage you, because you CAN know the Scriptures! What you’ve written gives me clues to some of those misunderstandings. I hope you’ll do a bit of homework to make sure that what I’m saying matches what we see in the Bible. Don’t take MY word for anything… I’m just going to point you to the Bible so you can understand God a little better. Isn’t that what we all should do? I welcome your feedback, of course.

      You’re Right:

      • God IS vengeful, full of wrath and anger, and WILL punish if disobeyed.
      • God DID throw us out of the garden.
      • God DID flood the world.
      • We WERE born into sin.
      • Jesus DID endure a horrible beating and death on our behalf.
      • Jesus DID ask His Father to remove the cup from Him.
      • God DOES know all.
      • Fear is NOT of love.
      • No one comes to the Father except through Jesus.

      That’s not the whole story. Each of those could be a separate comment on their own, but I’ll try to address the big idea first.

      The main confusion that I see is that you’re not convinced that the Father and Son and Spirit are all ONE GOD. That’s what the Bible teaches. They’re not separate, like you and I are. They’re one. You’ve probably heard of the “trinity” before, but it seems clear you don’t understand that this is what Scripture teaches.

      ONE GOD
      Throughout the whole Bible, we see this kind of thing… in the Old Testament there is no God except me and in the New Testament there is one God. Both Jews and Christians are monotheists… that is, we believe in ONE God, not two or three or four hundred.

      This one is pretty easy. Jesus refers to the Father as God all the time.

      Jesus said I and the Father are one. Thomas (the disciple) called Jesus My Lord and My God. The Jews wanted to kill Jesus because He claimed to be God. In Hebrews, we even see God calling the Son “God” not once, but twice! Some are confused, not understanding that the Son is God, because… well, He’s the Son. To the ancients, however, a son was the same kind of person as the father. Cats have kittens, dogs have puppies, and God’s Son is God. This is why Muslims have always denied that Jesus is the Son of God, because – to them – there is no one like Allah, and claiming that Allah has a son would be like saying there’s another one just like Allah. The Bible is clear, though: Jesus – the Son – is the same kind of being as the Father. He is God.

      A lot of people, not understanding the trinity, have a hard time understanding the Holy Spirit. They think He’s not a person, but a force… or that He’s just the soul of Jesus or the soul of God. He’s not that at all. First, He’s a person. He has a mind and emotions and gives us gifts and fellowships with us, for example. All three were present at Jesus’ baptism, and Jesus mentioned both the Father and Spirit, separately, at the Last Supper.

      Yes, the idea that God is three persons in one is weird. It’s hard to even imagine what He’s like, since we have nothing on earth we can compare it to. There’s nothing that’s three things in one. However: the Bible is clear about this. There is one God, and the Father is God, and the Son is God, and the Spirit is God… but they are not each other. The Father sent the Son. The Son (as a human) obeyed the Father, just as we should. The Father sent the Holy Spirit when the Son went to be with the Father.

      So: how does this information address what you wrote? It’s pretty simple.

      • All three are God.
      • All three have always existed, eternally. None of them were created.
      • God is love. God is just. God is righteous. God knows all things. God is compassionate. God is wrathful. God is compassionate.
      • Because of this, there is no disagreement between them. They have perfect unity. They love equally. They are all involved in the judgment of evil. They all agree on salvation, forgiveness, and grace. They were all involved in the creation, in the flood, in the exodus… everything.

      It’s easy to see God’s “negative side” in the Old Testament, with things like the flood, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the ground swallowing up a bunch of Israelites. What people miss – not knowing the Scriptures – is that the Old Testament is chock full of God’s “other side.” They only have one side of the story! Isaiah wrote that God would wipe away the tears from all faces. We see that God is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness… not once, but in Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Nehemiah, Psalms, and Joel! There’s a TON in the Old Testament about God’s goodness.

      On the other hand, some also have only half of the story on Jesus. Yes, He’s meek and mild and compassionate and loving. However: spend a little time in Revelation and see that Jesus is just as fearsome, for those who will be judged, as the Father ever was in the Old Testament. Jesus’ eyes are described as looking like a fiery flame. He will be dressed in clothing dipped in blood. He will rule with an iron rod. Don’t forget about Jesus condemning the Pharisees, making a whip, and flipping tables!

      We don’t often appreciate the fact that God – that is, Father and Son and Spirit – share all of the same attributes. The only difference is that Jesus has a body because He became human.

      You see, the Father is just like Jesus, and Jesus is just like the Father. That’s why Jesus said I and the Father are one… because they are. You’ve probably heard John 3:16 before. Are you as familiar with verse 17 as well?

      For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

      Did you catch that? God – the Father – loved the world and gave His only Son to save us. He doesn’t want to condemn us for being disobedient, but to save us from sin. Not only that, but He did it while we were against Him!

      You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

      There it is. Jesus died for us because God loves us. He didn’t just love the obedient, Jen… He loved the whole world, even while we turned our backs on Him. Jesus didn’t just die to save us, though. Look above: Jesus also died to demonstrate how much God loves us. You may have a hard time thinking of God as loving and caring and perfect, but Jesus didn’t. Jesus knew the Father, obeyed the Father, and died to show us how much God truly loves you and me. Jesus didn’t fear the Father because He KNOWS exactly what the Father is like!

      Oh, there will be judgment. Let’s not pretend that there’s nothing to be afraid of! The Bible is abundantly clear that the wicked will be punished. However: they won’t be punished for their sins. Yeah, you may have never heard that part before. Think about it, though: Jesus died to pay for our sins. We should have died for our disobedience, but He died in our place:

      For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

      Nobody will go to Hell for sinning. That would mean that Jesus did NOT take the punishment for our sins on Himself. But: if all sins are forgiven, why will anybody go to Hell? Simple: because they refuse to be reconciled to God. The only people who will be judged are those who insist that they want nothing to do with Him. If you read 2 Corinthians 5 you can see that reconciliation is what we need. Christians aren’t to run around pointing out how other people are messing up… we’re to run around and tell people that God has removed every obstacle that has kept them from Him. We’re to BEG people, if necessary, to be reconciled to God. Reconciliation with God is just like reconciliation with another person. It’s another way to say that we trust God with our lives, which leads to being born again.

      There’s no need for you to be afraid of God. If you trust Jesus, you should also trust Him to be RIGHT about the Father. To see that your view of God is skewed, you only need to read the New Testament. God’s love and grace and mercy is all over the place. It’s available to everyone, at any time. The only people who need to worry about judgment are those who turn their backs on Him. Did you know that JESUS will be judging us? Here’s what Jesus said:

      For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

      It’s GOOD that you understand how awesome Jesus is. That’s part of why He came to earth as a man! Here’s what John 1:18 says:

      No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

      God became flesh, and dwelt among us. That’s Jesus… who is God. Not some other person than God. God. He’s not the Father, but He’s just like the Father, and they’re one. Like a lot of people, I didn’t have a good relationship with my own father. I found it difficult at times to trust God, because I was afraid of my own father. It took some time for me to grow into the realization that God is everything my father could have been, but wasn’t… and more. Maybe you’re in a similar situation. Is it possible that you could trust that the Father really IS good because Jesus really IS good? I think so.

      I have a question for you, Jen. Are you born again? Jesus talked about that in John 3. He said that nobody would see the kingdom of God unless they’re born again. THAT is the baptism of the Spirit, by the way. Being born again requires that we trust God. Baptism is what we do AFTER we believe… not to have our sins forgiven, but to demonstrate to the community of faith that we have joined them by trusting God. Christianity isn’t church membership, or simply avoiding sin, or anything other than trusting God and letting Him make you new. I’ve found that many who struggle with questions about God struggle because they’re simply not born again. When we’re born again, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in each of us. THAT makes all the difference! Have you been born again? If so, I’m happy to call you my sister!

      Let me know what you think. I’m here to help, no matter what.


    Wow, what an awesome eye opener

  59. Knighter moses says:

    I don’t think if a person doesn’t baptized will go to heaven. Jesus already told us that no one goes to the father except through me JOHN 14:6 He is the way the truth and the life. If we follow His teachings than we will become His children. And so one of His teachings is about baptism. Jesus told us that in order to receive the holy spirit is through baptism. And the bible also says that if we broke one commandment then we broke all.

    So if you haven’t being baptized yet, my encouragement to you is you must get baptize.

    • Tony says:

      Knighter moses:

      What you say makes some sense, but let me encourage you to think a bit more clearly about it. It sounds like you’re saying that being disobedient – sinning – will send a Christian to Hell. It sounds like you’re saying that only people who perfectly follow His teachings will go to Heaven. Is that what you mean? If so, then nobody could go to Heaven.

      If that’s not what you mean, will you explain a bit more? Thanks!

  60. Jennette says:

    Hi Tony. I accepted Christ over 40 years ago and I’ve never been baptized. For personal reasons. I just want to point one thing out to people who think salvation is based on being baptized…Jesus told the two gentlemen being crucified next to him (after they professed their faith) “today you will be with me in paradise”. His only requirement was their faith and acceptance. If He will accept them without baptism, He will accept you and me.

  61. Phillip says:

    The New Testament had not come into effect until Christ had died, (0ld testament vs New Testament) that is why the thief was saved but under the new law or New Testament your baptized to get into the death and blood of Christ. Your added to the lords church just like it says in Acts, baptism is for the forgiveness of sins. Read Mark 16: 15-16. The Bible is like any other book when reading, you can’t just pick out certain versus such as believe and you will be saved, you have to read it all and it comes together.God will help you. . Find a good Bible church and study.

    • Tony says:


      Welcome! When we try to learn what God thinks about a specific idea, it’s best to look at ALL that He’s said. I’m sure you would agree that (in an extreme example) reading only ONE verse about something as important as salvation would be a really, really bad idea. I’m not saying you’re only reading one verse… but I am saying that there are a bunch of verses that you may not be considering here.

      Here are a few verses worthy of consideration:

      • It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Hebrews 10:4
      • I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! Galatians 2:21
      • Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. Acts 13:38-39
      • Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. Romans 3:20

        The thief wasn’t saved under the Mosaic law, because keeping the law could not save. Also, we don’t even know whether he was a Jew… let alone whether he kept the law at all. One might suggest that, being guilty of a capital crime, the odds are that he wasn’t a faithful, observant Jew. If the thief was saved – and I’m pretty sure we agree that he was – then it wasn’t because he kept the law.

        When it comes to how one is saved in the new covenant, again you’re right: we can’t just pick out certain verses. While there are certainly some verses – like the ones you mention – that seem to say that we must be baptized to be saved, there’s a very important thing to consider before settling on that doctrinal interpretation. I’ll use another passage to illustrate:

        If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.Romans 10:9-10

        Please think through this carefully: if baptism is required for salvation, then Romans 10:9-10 simply cannot be true. This passage would be an incomplete explanation of how one can be saved.


        This passage says nothing about baptism. Therefore, if you’re right, the apostle Paul did the people in Rome a very serious disservice by not actually telling them what they must do to be saved. He left out a crucial point, right? No, he obviously didn’t. If baptism is required for salvation, then every explanation of salvation that does not mention baptism is at best incomplete, certainly insufficient, and possibly a lie from Satan himself.

        I don’t believe that you believe that. If you do a study of ALL of the verses in the New Testament about how one can be saved – something I heartily recommend – you will see that some mention baptism and some do not. The only logical explanations are either that the Bible is unreliable, or that all of the New Testament explanations about being saved are independently sufficient for salvation.

        What do you think is the best explanation?

  62. Bryson Miller says:

    Is the gift of salvation not something you must receive? For it is by grace you have been saved through faith. you’re saved if you believe. If you accept. Jesus paid for all the sins of the world, but u have to accept his payment. He doesn’t force it upon anyone.

    I’m not sure I agree with your opinion in this article either. Mark 16:16 says “whoever believes AND is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. “To be saved you must believe and be baptized. Belief is all that affects condemnation though. That appears to say that if you don’t believe you are condemned to death or hell. If you believe it sounds like you may go to different places if you’ve been baptized or not. You must believe and be baptized to be saved, but John 3:16 says whosoever believes in me shall not perish but have everlasting life. There must be a difference between being saved and just having everlasting life.

  63. Andreas says:

    I realize that this might be an old thread but after reading through all of these answers and your post there was something that struck me.
    If what most of the people state is true about this particular situation. Does this also apply to other situations?
    If it’s not sin that keeps one out of heaven. And that it’s God’s job to punish those sins. And that person is baptized and is a firm believer in god… the. Being Gay is not a problem for getting into heaven?
    If I change out the word “baptism” to the words “being Gay” in all these answers. Then it looks like the sin of being Gay is for God to punish. Not for humans to punish. And suddenly it doesn’t seem like it’s a showstopper for going into heaven either.
    This is not an activist thing, I just realized this while reading through it all. So I had to ask. Do the rules change about sin or have we gotten the whole Gay and Christian thing wrong?

    • Tony says:


      >> Do the rules change about sin or have we gotten the whole Gay and Christian thing wrong?

      That’s not a bad question. A good answer must start with a definition of sin. Here’s a pretty good one: sin is purposely disobeying a known law of God by a morally responsible person. So, when asking whether something is a sin, we need to look at the command to do, or not do, that thing. It’s important to get the command right, or our assessment is likely to be off. Here’s an example:

      God: “Hey, you guys. Don’t eat pork.”

      When people get this command wrong, they get the assessment wrong. In this case, God told Noah that he could eat anything. Much later, He told the Israelites to not eat pork… and a bunch of other stuff. Later still, Jesus declared all foods clean. You can read about the details here, if you like. Anyway, some people aren’t careful about the command, and assume that God was telling everyone, for all time, to not eat pork. That’s clearly not the case. God told the ancient Israelites to not eat pork, and there was a reason for it. It obviously had nothing to do with pork itself, as God’s people ate pork before that, and after that. So, those who say that Christians who eat pork violate God’s command are simply wrong.

      So: what about being gay? Well… first we must distinguish between “being gay” and engaging in sinful behavior. Same-sex attraction isn’t, by itself, sinful. It’s just wanting something. The question is whether God has commanded people to limit their sexual behavior to their spouse, who would be of the opposite sex. The answer is yes, that is what He commanded. Homosexual behavior, like every other kind of sexual behavior that’s not between a married man and woman, is condemned by God. It’s not contextual or conditional, as with not eating pork. It has nothing to do with the old covenant God made with the ancient Israelites, as this behavior is also condemned in the New Testament under the new covenant.

      Here’s the bottom line: Jesus died to pay the penalty for all sin, for all people, for all time. There are no sins that He did not pay the price for, including Israelites eating pork and including sexual sins of every kind. That doesn’t mean that God’s standards have changed. It means that the person who would pay the penalty for sins has changed, from you and me to Jesus.

      Now that all sins have been paid for, will everybody go to Heaven? No, of course not. Jesus talked a whole bunch about Hell, and Revelation describes the fate of the wicked very clearly. So if everybody has sinned (we all have), and if all sins are already forgiven (they are), why does anybody go to Hell?

      Because they refuse to surrender and be reconciled to God.

      That’s it. People who persist in sin and refuse to repent are, quite simply, saying NO to God’s offer of salvation. He’s already paid the penalty for our sins, so the only thing keeping us from being reconciled to God is our stubborn and prideful insistence on going it alone. Can homosexuals go to Heaven? Absolutely, if they’re born again. Does that mean homosexual behavior is okay with God? Not according to Scripture. Those who surrender to God go to Heaven, warts and all. Those who continue to rebel do not go to Heaven, in spite of all that Jesus has done to pave the way for us.

      Does that make sense? Let me know if it raises more questions than it answers. Have a great day!

  64. Andreas says:

    Hi Tony, thank you for your answer.
    This is a reply to your answer starting with:

    “>> Do the rules change about sin or have we gotten the whole Gay and Christian thing wrong?

    That’s not a bad question. A good answer must start with a definition of sin. Here’s a pretty good one: sin is purposely disobeying a known law of God by a morally responsible person…”

    And yes, it did create some more questions. The analogy between eating pork and being gay boggled me a bit. One is something you choose to do, the other is an involuntary emotional attraction. I mean, I don’t know if one day I’ll suddenly fall in love with a man. I won’t be able to help that, it might just happen. It could happen to all of us. Eating pork I can prevent easilly. Can we really condemn someone for something they can’t control? I mean, sure, they can control weather or not they should engage in the sexual act. But it seems to me now after taking in the comments of this thread and your answer, that gays have only two options to go to heaven on these premise. First is to never have sex, the other is to force themselves only to have sex with the gender they aren’t attracted to. I mean, I could never bring myself to do that with another man. It just wouldn’t work for me. And I clearly would never want to go through life without sex. So what option do a gay guy have? I don’t feel like I can condemn a gay person for acting in sin so to speak, when not doing so has that high of a personal price tag. And is it even up to me to condemn anyone for that or is that God’s job? I feel that there are so many christians hammering gays over the head with the bible, but what are we really doing to them? It doesn’t seem like I’m helping them by doing that. I mean, do we really need them to go to heaven that badly?
    I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know.
    Sorry for hijacking the baptize thread. But this is really bugging me now.

    • Tony says:


      With respect, ‘falling in love’ isn’t really a thing. We’re attracted to others, but love isn’t an attraction or a feeling, and one can’t fall INTO or OUT OF love. Love, instead, is a decision to act for the benefit of others, even if it costs you. The Bible says that “God is love.” Do you believe that God ‘just happened’ to love us? No, of course not. You may or may not be able to control what (or who) you’re attracted to. Attractions are not sin, nor are they things we are forced to respond to. I really enjoy being snarky and sarcastic… and I always have. It’s usually my first, internal, response. I don’t find it good or useful most of the time, so I control myself and work to not give in to that desire. The same happens with sexual attraction and romantic feelings. I’ve been attracted to people I wasn’t married to. Do you think I should have acted on those feelings? If not, why would you believe that anyone should act contrary to what the Bible teaches?

      Homosexuals and heterosexuals alike have the same two options: to obey God, or to do whatever we want to do. Nobody would suggest that anyone have sex with someone they don’t want to have sex with… but lots of people suggest that sex is very, very important. In the minds of most in our culture, sex is virtually as important as having shared values. This is not a wise position to take. The Bible describes marriage as optional, and that definitely meant abstaining from sex. The apostle Paul said that that would be preferable, actually. Why? So people could devote themselves more fully to God. Sex, in Scripture, is less important than our relationship with God.

      As for condemning anyone, that’s not my job or yours. When people ask me – and they do – I’m not free to tell them whatever I want to. My responsibility is to help them learn what the Bible says, and to try to help them understand it. I wouldn’t expect non-Christians to be obedient to God, nor would I run around telling strangers how to live. My responsibility is to help everyone – gay or straight or whatever – understand the gospel. If they decide to trust God with their life, the Holy Spirit will help them be obedient. My goal isn’t the behavior modification of the lost, but the spiritual transformation of the lost into the found.

      As for whether we really need gays and lesbians to go to heaven that badly, I’m puzzled by your question. Do you really think that it doesn’t matter whether people go to Heaven or Hell? Yes, there are good ways and worse ways to try to help people understand the gospel… but it really matters. Do you think the prophets in the Old Testament, and John the Baptist and Jesus, were too harsh when warning people about judgment?

      You’re welcome to continue the conversation, Andreas. That’s why GodWords is here. You’re not hijacking anything, and I’m here to try to help.

  65. Robert A says:

    I know my mother was baptized at least twice. However, it was in a United Methodist Church and The Salvation Army. I know she wasn’t immersed underwater. I am scared to death she will not make it.

    • Tony says:


      Don’t be scared. We are saved by grace through faith, and not of works. As we see in the New Testament, people are saved and THEN they’re baptized. If your mother places her trust in Jesus, she has been born again.

      Baptism was originally a Jewish practice: they dunked converts to Judaism in a public ceremony, so the whole community would know they had converted. That’s what Christian baptism is as well. The first Christians were all Jewish, and they simply continued the tradition. There are sometimes medical reasons that people can’t be immersed. For example, anyone with an external pacemaker would have serious problems if they were immersed. Do you think God would send someone to Hell because they couldn’t be immersed? Of course not… that’s not how God works. In the New Testament we read about people who were clearly saved without being baptized, and that tells us that baptism comes AFTER salvation.

      The question isn’t whether your mother has been immersed. The question is whether she has been born again. That happens when Jesus baptizes us with the Spirit and with fire. If she hasn’t been born again, baptism will only get her wet. Do you understand?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Go to top