The Sadducees didn't believe in the resurrection. They
asked Jesus a question that seemed to substantiate their
belief. The reasoning of the Sadducees goes like this: If
a woman had seven husbands on earth, and died after her
seventh husband died, she couldn't be married to all seven
men in the resurrection. So, there can't be a resurrection
The Sadducees made two false assumptions, in constructing
their doctrine on the resurrection.
- They didn't understand the Scriptures. Jesus quotes
from Exodus 3:6 to show that dead saints were still alive,
because of the present tense used by God who said, "I
am the God of Abraham. . . ," (Matt. 22:32; cf. Lk. 16:19-31).
- They didn't understand the power of God. In the resurrection,
we won't be like men who marry, but like angels.
The result of making these false assumptions, was the creation
of a false religious doctrine.
False Assumptions in Religion Today
Like the Sadducees, many people make assumptions to try
and justify their beliefs.
For example, some people make unsubstantiated assumptions
about the thief on the cross, trying to prove that we don't
have to be baptized to be saved. Some of the assumptions
- The thief hadn't been forgiven before his crucifixion.
- Jesus forgave the thief on the cross, rather than just
stating a fact -- that the thief would be in Paradise
- The thief hadn't been baptized.
- The terms of forgiveness for the thief, are the same
for us today.
We don't have space to explore each of the above assumptions,
but let me make a comment on one of them. People often say
something like, "Jesus didn't tell the thief to be baptized
to be saved, so we don't have to be baptized to be saved,
today." A few of my questions to them, to show that they
based a religious doctrine upon unsubstantiated assumptions
- How do you know the thief hadn't been baptized, already?
- How do you know he hadn't been baptized by John the
Baptist, and again by an apostle?
- How do you know the thief hadn't been forgiven, before
he was crucified?
- How do you know Jesus forgave the thief on the cross?
He may have been forgiven weeks before talking to Jesus.
We can make many arguments regarding the thief on the cross,
to show from God's word that his salvation has nothing to
do with our salvation.
This brings some basic lessons to mind, that all of us
need to remember:
- Never accepted a doctrine built upon an assumption.
The Bible doesn't tell us whether the thief had been baptized
or not. Therefore, we can't assume he hadn't been baptized,
and build a doctrine based on that assumption.
- Everything we say and do, must be authorized by
Jesus (Col. 3:17). If a doctrine isn't taught in God's
word, or contradicts His word, don't believe it. We must
rightly divide God's word ( 2 Tim. 2:15).
- Peter says that "baptism now saves you" (1 Pet.
3:21). A doctrine that contradicts this fact must
be false (cf. Matt. 28:18-20: Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38;