Have you ever been baptized for your dead relatives?
A Christian can’t answer this question because baptism for the dead is not something that is practiced within the churches of Christianity, but in over 150 Mormon temples worldwide, faithful Mormons are being baptized vicariously for their dead relatives in the hopes of increasing their chances of salvation in the next life. But is Baptism for the Dead a Biblical practice? What about 1 Corinthians 15:29 where the Apostle Paul says, “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead…?”
If the Bible teaches this doctrine, why did the Apostle Paul exclude himself and the people he was writing to when he said, “what shall THEY do…” instead of “what shall WE do”? History shows that no Jew or Christian was ever baptized for the dead in the Biblical Temple. In fact, the writings of an early Church father, Clement of Alexandria, even attributed Baptism for the Dead to a heretical practice of a Gnostic sect. (See: Clement of Alexandria, Saint, ca. AD 153 to 217; Referenced in “Ancient Gnostic Heretics and Baptism for the Dead” at: http://mit.irr.org/ancient-gnostic-heretics-and-baptism-dead)
But what about redeeming our dead relatives? Does the Bible teach that people who did not accept the Gospel prior to death will have a second chance to get saved after they die? No! The Bible Says at Hebrews 9:27: “… it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Even the Book of Mormon teaches at Alma 35: “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God…. For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his.” (Verses 32, 35) By teaching Baptism for the Dead, Mormonism distorts the Gospel of Christ and cannot be considered Christian.
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