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Question and Answer

Two of my loved ones died recently. I am drawn to 1 Corinthians 15:29: “Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?” A friend suggests that I, a baptized believer, play a part in God’s plan for those who have gone before me. What do you think?

Just the opposite of your friend’s opinion: the recollected testimony of believers while they were living, but who are now dead, may very well play a part in your life. Remembering them, you and other relatives and acquaintances may believe the gospel and be baptized (see Heb. 13:7). You and they—all whose conversions were the result of your deceased loved ones—were baptized for their sake, not on their behalf. You take their place in the family of God on earth.

Scripture does not teach that dead people are helped by baptism or prayers performed by friends on earth.

BY C. Donald Cole

C. DONALD COLE hosted Moody Radio’s Open Line for 26 years before retiring in 2008. Before joining the team at the Moody Bible Institute in 1971, Pastor Cole and his wife, Naomi, served the Lord as missionaries in Angola from 1948 until 1966. Pastor Cole then served as a faculty member of Emmaus Bible College of Dubuque and as editor of Interest magazine.

Pastor Cole authored several books, and was married to his wife Naomi for 65 years before he went home to the Lord in 2012.

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