He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36)
The Great Commission Of John The Baptist
Following the resurrection, Jesus remained with His disciples forty days teaching and preparing them for the work of spreading the gospel. The gospel writer Mark concludes his book with a commission of Jesus to the eleven to preach the gospel to every creature. This message would be a simple plan that whosoever believes and is baptized would be saved and those who did not believe would be condemned. Through the centuries man has denied the essentiality of baptism teaching the commission of Jesus did not include baptism. In the wisdom of man, salvation comes through faith alone. John the Baptist testified early in the ministry of Jesus the essential character of obedience in the same pattern Jesus would command the eleven.
Everlasting life comes from believing in the Son of God. John’s testimony comes on the heels of Nicodemus coming to Jesus by night and the Lord showing the Jewish ruler obedience comes from the new birth. The message of Jesus was birth by the water and the spirit. To deny baptism as essential for salvation denies the words of the Son of God to Nicodemus and the testimony of John the Baptist. When a man believes in the word of God he is willing to do everything commanded of him by the Lord. Nicodemus understood this and became a disciple of Christ. John the Baptist declared everlasting life came from believing in the Son and this would come from obedience to the word of God. Jesus completed this circle of teaching by telling the eleven that belief and baptism was the will of the Father.
Having an attitude of disbelief does not lend itself to following the word of God. Those who reject baptism as necessary for salvation do not believe in the Son. Believing in Jesus as the Christ demands complete obedience. John the Baptist emphasized the message Jesus would leave as a commission to the eleven that believing in the word of God required baptism. The wrath of God is waiting for those who refuse to obey His word. To disbelieve in the will of God is to ignore baptism as necessary. Disregarding the command to be buried in water is to not believe the Son. Those who are not baptized will not see life and will find the wrath of God abides in them. Not only did Jesus affirm this in His commission to the eleven but John the Baptist laid the foundation in his teaching the disciples. The unity of the message is the Holy Spirit confirmed the will of God through the words of John the Baptist in John 3 and the words of Jesus in Mark 16. One Spirit and one word from one Father.