What will be my fate if I die without being baptized? Paul says in Acts 16:31 believe in Lord Jesus you and your household and you will be saved. But if we die without being baptized despite believing in Jesus will we not enter heaven? Jesus came down to die for our sins and he gave his blood as a sin offering. But if we don’t get baptized despite our belief in that then what’s the use of Christ shedding his blood on the cross? Is Baptism more important than that?
To some extent this is a moot question. To anyone asking the question, I say “Well, just go out and obey the Bible and get baptized.” It is a bit like asking what will happen if I do not get vaccinated against Covid-19? I say, just go get vaccinated so that question is a moot point.
But about your question, this is what I would say. The Bible clearly tells us that we come into Christ when we are baptized (Romans 6:2-7). So, what about a person who has not been baptized? The answer is that they are not in Christ. They are not saved by the means given to us in the New Testament. The Bible is not ambiguous about this, as the only thing connected to coming into Christ in the Scripture is baptism. Again, I say the solution is not to debate the doctrine, but to obey the Scripture. End of story.
But, still, there will be the person who wants to answer the question that does not apply to them, as they can simply obey the Bible. What about a person who is not in Christ when they die, because they have not been baptized?
My answer is that they have not been forgiven of their sins and have not received the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38, Galatians 3:26, 1 Peter 3:21-23). Does this mean that, for sure, 100%, that they will go to hell? I will do what I always do about such questions and say that I leave this up to God. God is the judge. That is not my job. Perhaps God will make an exception our of his abundant grace. My job is to teach what the Bible teaches and call people to obey that. After doing this, the judging belongs to God. However, I definitely do not want anyone to come before God on Judgment Day not having been baptized into Christ. The solution is simple. Repent and be baptized.
You ask about the jailer’s family in Acts 16. The answer is that they were all (ie all those old enough to believe) baptized that night. Again, this is a moot point. They were saved and came into Christ, not at the moment they believed the message or the moment they were cut to the heart, but at the moment they were baptized into Christ. This is a clear and unambiguous teaching in the Bible. All of this happened on the same night.
You ask “But if we don’t get baptized despite our belief, then what’s the use of Christ shedding his blood on the cross? I say ask God. God sets the criterion, not you or me. Again, the commandment is out there. Anyone who believes in Christ will be baptized, unless they do not really believe in Christ, because those who believe also obey (Hebrews 3:16-19). You are describing a category of people that does not exist–the category of people who truly believe in Christ and have chosen not to be baptized.* There are no people in this category.
* Actually, technically, such people do exist. When a person believes, repents and confesses, but has not yet been baptized, they would be in this category. What if a person was driving to his or her baptism and was killed in a car accident? What about that? I say that this is still up to God–it is still in his hands. I am very confident that God would have grace on such a person, but, still, I leave that to God, not to my own opinion.