With this passage from the book of Mark comes Mark’s summary of the “Great Commission”.
The book of Mark starts out with the arrival of Jesus and what he is doing here, his message. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”Mark 1:15
Mark ends with Jesus passing this mission on to us: He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15
Mark continues the message from Jesus: Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:16 Peoples New Testament: He that believeth. – Believeth the gospel message; believes in Christ as his Savior. And is baptized. – These are the conditions of pardon; faith in Christ and obedience to his command.
If any one has not faith enough in Christ to obey him he has not faith enough to be saved. He that believeth not. – Remains in a state of unbelief. Such have no promise.
Others would say you don’t understand this, it really means something else: “And is baptized (kai baptistheis). The omission of baptized with “disbelieveth” would seem to show that Jesus does not make baptism essential to salvation. Condemnation rests on disbelief, not on baptism. So salvation rests on belief. Baptism is merely the picture of the new life not the means of securing it. ” Robertson’s Word Pictures I would say this is arguing from the negative not positive.
It is sort of like saying “to start a car you must put the key in the ignition and turn the key but if you don’t put the key in the ignition the car won’t start.” and then saying “see you don’t need to turn the key to start the car just put the key in the ignition.” I think we can see how this makes no since when put in this context, yet this is what some do with scripture. A great view of this passage comes fromFive Views Of Salvation (Mark 16:15-16) Executable Outlines by Mark A. Copeland Here is part of his conclusion:
1. Which one of the five views of salvation do you hold to…?
a. He who believes and is baptized “will not” be saved?
b. He who “does not believe” and “is not baptized” will be saved?
c. He who “does not believe” and “is baptized” will be saved?
d. He who believes and “is not baptized” will be saved?
e. He who believes and is baptized will be saved?
— It should be clear there is only view which is in harmony with Jesus’ words