Is Baptism absolutely necessary for salvation?

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Our Lord Christ does not say: He who does not believe and who has not been baptized will be damned, but only “He who does not believe”. Thus, He indicates, that unbelief alone damns and that saving faith can exist without Baptism, just as long as Baptism is not despised and rejected. Situations like this may occur on the mission fields. On the same basis, in accordance with Luther’s illustration, those parents, whose child has died before it has been baptized, have been comforted (Gen. 17:7). Not the lack of Baptism, but the despisal of Baptism, damns.