1. He who believes and is baptized “will not” be saved. Those who hold this view are the religious systems of atheism, Judaism, Muslims, and other religious groups who believe Christianity is false.
2. He who “does not believe” and “is not baptized” will be saved. This would be a belief held by Universalists who believe that God will eventually save everyone regardless of their beliefs and practices.
3. He who “does not believe” and “is baptized” will be saved. This is believed by those who baptize infants and believe that these infants receive some kind of forgiveness, such as Roman Catholics and Lutherans.
4. He who believes and “is not baptized” will be saved. This is believed by the majority of protestant denominations and many protestant “non-denominational” churches.
When we compare these first for popular views of baptism to what Jesus actually says in Mark 16:16, we see that all four of them fall short of what the Son of God actually says.
5. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved…” (Mark 16:16). This view takes the words of Jesus at face value. This is the only view of the five that quotes the passage “as-is.”
The other four views of Mark 16:16 bring the very truth of the words of Jesus into question, denying what Jesus actually said. For instance, view number three, which is held by Catholics, denies the need for faith which Jesus does give as a condition of receiving salvation.
The fourth view denies the need for baptism by trying to make the second part of the verse (” …but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”) contradict the first part of the verse. They say that “Jesus didn’t say ‘whoever doesn’t get baptized will be condemned.'” But this treatment of the verse does contradict the first part of the verse where Jesus plainly states that both belief and baptism are conditions to receive salvation. Let me use an illustration to prove this point. I believe the words of Jesus would be on par with saying, “He that eats and digests his food will live, but he who does not eat will die.” What we see in this statement is that the natural thing which happens to the person that eats is that they will digest their food and live, and it is the case if they do not eat they will die. But nowhere in this statement does it say “whomever does not digest their food will die.” So does this mean that I don’t have to digest my food to live? Of course not. But the person who uses the second part of Mark 16:16 to negate the first would have to say ‘yes’ to be consistent. There is a reason why Jesus did not say, “‘whoever doesn’t get baptized will be condemned.” It is assumed that the natural thing that the person with faith will do is get baptized, and thus receive the salvation promised in the passage by faith at baptism. There is no need to negate baptism in the second part of the passage because those who “do not believe” will not get baptized, just as it is the case that there is no reason in our illustration to say “whomever does not digest their food will die,” because those who do not eat their food will not have food to digest. Do you see the point?
The third view rejects the instruction of Jesus that those who are baptized must believe. Once again, Jesus says that belief + baptism = saved. Those who believe one does not have to believe (infants) have created a manmade tradition that contradicts this passage. Also, most forms of infant "baptism" also contradict the command given to be baptized because the word itself means to be immersed, not sprinkled. In the greek, Jesus is saying here, "He who believes and is immersed will be saved..."
Which of the five views do you believe? Did Jesus speak the truth when He said “He who believes and is baptized will be saved”?