Tuesday, October 21, 2008

YOUR WEEKLY DOSE OF GOSPEL
...when babies die, do they all go to heaven?



The Three Stages of Grace

We've died once to the penalty of sin:
Titus 2:11 ¶ For the grace of God has appeared, with salvationa for all people,
Saved by grace.

All of man's estate from birth hopelessly marred in the fathomless effects of sin. By nature we are all children of wrath, sons of disobedience, slaves to sin; with the only merits of our righteousness compared to the riches of dirty, filthy rags. From the moment of our conception in the womb-- we are completely sinful. The wages of sin is death; all who sin die. That is why even infants die; they are sinful, sinners, and worthy of eternal perdition (Roms. 5:12-19).

What about infants who die; the mentally handicapped; or those who are ignorant of and have never heard the gospel? Are they given an exemption from the effects of sin, eternal judgment and punishment, and the righteous justice of a holy God? Are they somehow insulated from eternal wrath because of their age, mental capacity, and ignorance and that salvation is granted to them due to their "state of being" and not due to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ?
Those that assert that all babies who die receive instant heaven, do so to sooth the aching hearts of grieving parents (which we all understand). But our hope beloved in the tragic death of an infant is not in the destiny of the child, but in the character of God. A baby's perceived "innocence" affording them instant heaven is only an accommodation afforded by the sentimental whims of man. "In sin my mother conceived me" (Psalm 51:5). We are all sinners (including children) not because we commit acts of sin; but because we are sinful to the core of our being - by nature. There is not a God-sized hole within us that needs filling by divine intervention. Our entire being is corrupt--and it is the same for our children.

Someone's age is not that which insulate one against God's holy divine judgment anymore than someone's mental cognation or ignorance from not hearing the good news of the gospel. Something are still a mystery to us beloved and we must leave them in the just hands of a righteous God. It would be wrong for any of us to be inflexibly dogmatic on the guaranteed eternal salvation of all infants, all who are mentally handicapped, and all those who die in the ignorance of never hearing the gospel. Those that do, IMHO, out of good motives, are promising false hope. And that promise is not up to us, but only up to God Himself.

We need to be born again. Paul leaves no doubt in the bankrupt abilities of man and the greatness of the grace of our God in salvation: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9). "The grace of God has appeared bringing salvation..." and without grace, there is no hope of eternal life.

Grace is "hard" to live by; for grace robs man of his glory, of all boasting in his own abilities to be made acceptable to God, and dashes his religious pride to the ground. Grace strips us self-confidence, perfectionism, and our own goodness. Grace crushes our arrogance and exalts Christ; lifts holiness and dashes human morality

We die daily to the power of sin:
Titus 2:12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age,
Sanctified by grace.

No man through human effort can perfect himself. "Having begun in the Spirit are you trying to perfect yourself in the flesh?" (Gal. 3:3). It is a temptation for any of us once we have tasted of the fount of God's grace in salvation, to then revert back to a life of works in our sanctification. Paul says here in Titus that grace is our teacher; "instructing us to deny..." We are new creations in Christ, but yet we are incarcerated in unredeemed flesh (Romans 7). The things we want to do, we don't do; and the things we don't want to do, we do. "O wretched man am I" Paul says in the midst of this struggle.

Sanctification, though different from justification, is inextricably linked to justification and flow out of genuine regeneration. But we must remember beloved, it is all of grace - in that we are never acting independent from God and we are not passive in ourselves. For with all that is within us (heart, soul, mind, strength, will, emotion, etc.) we are to pursue holiness and Christlikeness with a relentless obedience in the power of the Holy Spirit every day. IOW, in salvation we do not cooperate with the Lord; but in sanctification, as new creations (2 Cor. 5:17) we do.

One day we will be free from the presence of sin:
Titus 2:13 while we wait for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Titus 2:14 He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a special people, eager to do good works.
Glorified by grace.

Grace will see us through til the end. "Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen." (Jude 1: 24-25)

36 comments:

Kristi said...

A question of clarification: in the first section, are you saying that infants who die go to hades?

donsands said...

The Scripture is silent in regards to children.

I would like to think all the children that die are God's elect.

I agree with Steve's point that all children are born in sin, and are under God's wrath.

SJ Camp said...

Kristi:
I have added a few clarifying words to try and be more clear in response to your question.

Let me know your thoughts after you reread the first section again.

I am not saying that all babies who die go to Hades. I am saying we cannot promise anyone that all babies who die do go to heaven. Why? Scripture does not say.

Don:
Your statement: "I would like to think..." is the correct sentiment here. We would like to think that God would give "exemption clauses" for those that are infants so that they may all receive instant heaven when they die.

But that is our human understanding and sentiment--not necessarily God's mercy. We see babies as innocent, guiltless, and untainted by the curse of sin. But in reality, the reason that babies do dies is because of sin. Babies are sinners too. A difficult concept for us to grasp, but still true. And not because they have committed acts of sin; but because by nature they are sinful; children of wrath; depraved; and conceived in sin.

Because Scripture is silent on this, we must leave their eternal destiny in the hands of a righteous, holy, just and loving God.

ann_in_grace said...

When I finally understood GRACE, I received true and everlasting Faith. It was not easy, but it was worth everything.

BTW - You are nominated now :)

Kristi said...

Thanks for clarifying. I guess there is something within me that cringes to think of infants suffering under the wrath of God - but you're right, the Bible doesn't tell us. So, As you say, I need to trust God to do what is right in the things I don't understand. :-)

Only Look said...

Very encouraging post. You are correct in that we must leave this choice to God in regards to infants, yet we do have a clue that God can regenerate an infant if he so chooses as in the case of John the Baptist in the womb as the infant kicked in the womb recognizing his redeemer and Saviour.

What a delight it will be to be freed from the presence of this horrible flesh.

Wm Mallory said...

Very good discussion on this most sensitive issue... In the end it is up to God's Mercy and Grace. And with that understanding and knowing that scripture is silent on this issue we must revert back to the fact that God is Sovereign, He is working in all things and we must trust that He knows best on this issue... That it is God's call and not ours.

Even though I may not fully understand (if in the event I had an infant that was taken from me)the whys? the how comes?

We must always go back to the fact that God is Sovereign. It is their that we can find our peace.

Melissa said...

I believe in the Sovereignty of God, yes. What about David and Bathsheba's child? David fasted until the child died and then said, "While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?' 23 But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." 2 Samuel 12:22-23

What does it mean that David would "go to him, but he shall not return to me?"

Thanks,
Melissa

donsands said...

Melissa,
That's a good passage of Scripture for us to consider.


Not sure if this proves all children who die are God's elect, but it certainly says this child did.
How did David know he would go to be with this child?
I don't think there's a definitive answer.

Wm Mallory said...

Yes great question Melissa.... For many years I thought that "2 Samuel 12:22-23" was referring to
David going to heaven to be with his Baby one day.

But upon further study I found that it was really referring to the "place of the dead" basically the grave. There are other verses that note this: 1 Sam 28:19, 1 Sam 31:2-4 and Genesis 37:35. It is important to read the whole chapters along with all these verses, so there is clear understanding of what is going on in the verses (Who,What,Where,When and Why?) some study in the Hebrew dictionary and Jewish culture would help. Have fun with it and please don't take my word for it, really take the time and check it out. :)

Melissa said...

Thank you! I will definitely check it out!

LivingDust said...

I guess we will all know the answer to this question when we are gathered together in heaven. Because God is merciful, one would tend to think that newborns and infants, while very much members of a fallen, sinful race of being, will receive grace. However, because the wrath and fury of God is reserved for rebels, whether they be angelic or human beings, we should fear Him and the possibility that even newborns and infants are subject to it.

donsands said...

One of my favorite passages of our Lord's words of truth: "And they brought young children to Him, that He should touch them: and the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
But when Jesus saw it, He was moved with indignation, and said to them, "Allow the little children to come to Me, and do not forbid them: for of such is the kingdom of God.
...
And He took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them." Mk. 10:13-16

Now that's a genuine and true blessing. The Son of God blessing these children before His Father in heaven.
And Jesus still blesses the little children. Through us, His Church.

Wm Mallory said...

livingdust: Amen

donsands: Amen

ajlin said...

For the alternate view, click HERE.

Sam said...

Very well written Steve. Thank you for showing sensitivity those who have lost children while at the same time pointing us toward the character and nature of our great God rather than towards sentimentalism.

Hayden said...

Steve,

I cannot believe that I saw the day that you disagreed with your mentor John MacArthur ;) [This is sarcasm, take no offense my brother]

Truthfully, there are many who are divided on this issue and I remember when John MacArthur preaches this at Grace Church. He made his sermons into a book called 'Safe in the Arms of God' which does a good job in my opinion of talking about this issue.

May we all search the Scriptures and let Scripture speak and mold our 'impressions'.

Chris Tolbert said...

Well, my first comment didn't make it for whatever reason so I'll try again.

First, Brother Steve, I commend you for a great post on a sensative subject. I know you probably anticipated the lashing you are bound to receive for your stance, but I'm thankful for men who are committed to the truth and not concerned with being man-pleasers.

The greatest obstacle I had to overcome when God showed me that He was sovereign was the realization that if my children die and go to Hell, they deserve the wrath of God and He is just in dealing with them that way. My hope for their salvation however, is the fact that God is good, merciful, gracious, long-suffering and able to save to the uttermost. I trust that as I continue to strive to bring up my children in the nuture and admonition of the Lord, that He will reveal to them the mystery of the Gospel and save them.

In 2001, my wife had a miscarriage. I often wonder if I will see my first child again in Heaven. I honestly don't know the answer, but I have complete peace knowing that my God is altogether perfect and wonderful and whether or not I see my child, God will be glorified for He alone is worthy.

Soli Deo Gloria!

SJ Camp said...

Hayden
This is one of the rare things that John and I do disagree about. I thought his book was not up to par with his other excellent tomes.

We cannot be dogmatic where Scripture is not dogmatic. Are there babies in heaven? I assume so under God's providence and grace. But to say ALL babies go to heaven dogmatically IMHO goes beyond the bounds of Scripture.

If we hold to Sola Scriptura, we must therefore offer comfort and security to those who have suffered the loss of a dear young child, in the character of God that He is just and merciful and loving and full of compassion. But I think to draw a dogmatic theological principle from say David's agony over the loss of his child due to his sin with Bethsheba goes too far.

What do you think?
Campi

SJ Camp said...

chris
Thank you for your words of encouragement.

I trust that as I continue to strive to bring up my children in the nuture and admonition of the Lord, that He will reveal to them the mystery of the Gospel and save them.

Amen! That is all we can do... As a father of five I appreciate those words.

Thank you,
Steve

dbarth said...

First let me say that I agree that Adam's sin is imputed to all men without exception. We are all children of wrath at conception. However, I would introduce another consideration. Although Scripture does not directly address the matter, we can still learn from other texts.

Consider these arguments made by John Piper. This article can be found at: http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/2006/1622_What_happens_to_infants_who_die/

Jesus says in John 9:41 to those who were offended at his teaching and asked if he thought they were blind-he said, "If you were blind, you would not have had sin; but since you say, 'We see,' your sin remains."

In other words, if a person lacks the natural capacity to see the revelation of God's will or God's glory then that person's sin would not remain-God would not bring the person into final judgment for not believing what he had no natural capacity to see.

The other text is Romans 1:20 where Paul is dealing with persons who have not heard the gospel and have no access to it, but who do have access to the revelation of God's glory in nature:

Romans 1:20 "Since the creation of the world God's invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

In other words: if a person did not have access to the revelation of God's glory - did not have the natural capacity to see it and understand it, then Paul implies they would have an excuse at the judgment.

The point for us is that even though we human beings are under the penalty of everlasting judgment and death because of the fall of our race into sin and the sinful nature that we all have, nevertheless God only executes this judgment on those who have the natural capacity to see his glory and understand his will, and refuse to embrace it as their treasure.

Infants, I believe, do not yet have that capacity; and therefore, in God's inscrutable way, he brings them under the forgiving blood of his Son.

God in his justice will find a way to absolve infants who die of their depravity. It will surely be through Christ. But beyond that we would be guessing. It seems to me that the most natural guess would be that babies will grow up in the kingdom (either immediately, or over time) and will by God's grace come to faith so that their justification is by faith alone just like ours.


I understand this may present more questions and raise the topic of "the age of accountability", but it's worthy of consideration. What are some thoughts?

Chris Tolbert said...

dbarth,

I see the line of reasoning there, but I wonder if it safe to assume these things when it is not the same issue Jesus and Paul were dealing with. I think the context of those passages will not allow for that interpretation. Of course, that's just my humble opinion. I am very capable of being wrong. ;-)

Soli Deo Gloria!

SJ Camp said...

dbarth
Some good thoughts and questions here.

Romans 1:20 "Since the creation of the world God's invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."

In other words: if a person did not have access to the revelation of God's glory - did not have the natural capacity to see it and understand it, then Paul implies they would have an excuse at the judgment.


Romans 1 renders man accountable for "suppressing the truth in unrighteousness..." because God has made Himself known through general revelation. Yes. But the law of God is written on the hearts of all people; and therefore disobedience to His law is sin and the wages of sin is death (cp, Roms. 5:12-18).

But on this issue, ignorance is not sufficient to avoid eternal punishment. That would be called inclusivism. IOW, why send missionaries to countries where the gospel has not been preached? Why not let people die in their ignorance - their state of spiritual a coma - and avoid eternal judgment? Some evangelical leaders actually believe that. They also affirm that mental incapacitation gives some an out too. If you are a baby, mentally retarded, or have never heard the gospel before and therefore are either not able to disbelieve the gospel, you are given a special grace because of age, mental cognition or ignorance and still inherent heaven.

I know that is not what you are suggesting, but that is the slippery slope this kind of thing leads to.

Lastly, Romans 9 really settles this for me:

"11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, u “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills."

God has determined His own before we were born. Have we just thanked Him today for saving us, choosing us, electing us - not because of anything we have done - but only according to His sovereign will and mercy?

I don't deserve salvation - I deserve damnation. But praise be to God - He saved me and gave me eternal life through Jesus Christ the Lord!

I hope this helps a bit more in this discussion.

Thanks for your questions and comments.

Steve

Alice said...

I hope to try and write this as sensitively as I can. I do understand the Scripture is quite silent on this issue. I do trust that God is a righteous judge; He will do everything right--I have perfect confidence in that.

However, I don't think I would classify believing that if a baby or young child dies, he or she will go to heaven as a false hope. I would classify it as hope. If one of my little ones were to die, of course my deepest hope would be that they were immediately taken to Jesus. This hope is what helps me to cope with the absolutely hideous things I see and read each day in the news about little children.

I don't think anyone is going to round on you angrily in heaven and demand why you gave them false hope. We all see through a glass darkly now, but we will see clearly when we get there.

I think it's easier to discuss it in this forum than it is when confronted with a mother who has lost her baby--we probably shouldn't say, "Well, maybe, maybe not, your baby was a sinner but fortunately we can trust God to judge rightly whether or not they should be in heaven." What words would you use to comfort a grieving parent--when this particular issue comes up?

(I hope that didn't sound sarcastic or confrontational.)

josephmcbee said...

I don't pretend to know all the ins and outs of this debate nor all of the arguements surrounding the issue. I think in times when we have questions like these we surely must dilligently seek truth in Scripture but we must also stand on one thing, which I have thankfully seen again and again in these comments:

God is good, perfect and just. Therefore whatever He does is good perfect and just whether I can comprehend it or not.

There have been many times that I have not fully understood God's ways, and have clung to His perfect character.

SJ Camp said...

Alice
What words would you use to comfort a grieving parent--when this particular issue comes up?

Great question: I take them to the Psalms and the Gospels and encourage them on Who He is - His character - that He is just, loving, good, Sovereign, merciful, gracious, and full of compassion. The parents hope is not with the destiny of their child; it is in the Lord of all Creation.

Though Scripture is not clear on this issue.. but we can be certain of this, we can comfort them and bring hope to them in the God of all hope!

Psalm 37
Steve

Strong Tower said...

Hey Andrew (ajlin), that link is to a different Strangebaptistfire. That one is a commercial link. Yours is: Strage Baptistfire, for those who care. I do! You always have good stuff.
I never saw this article at your site. That is a sick title, bro!

I guess there is something within me that cringes to think of infants suffering under the wrath of God

This is what SJ alluded to with the emotional response to the idea. What babies? Where does Scripture talk of babies in heaven or hell? Whatever the form of the body in either place, I think we can be assured that it is a conscious sentient existence, or to put it another way, a matured reality. Babies won't suffer in hell for the same reason that babies won't worship in heaven. But, as is typical we project our concepts of existence into areas where the Scripture doesn't explicate. Many parents, as SJ said, have a strong emotional aversion to this idea. Shouldn't that be our response to any who might go to Hell? Whether our infant children or our adult parents, siblings, neighbors, what's the difference? In the eyes of God, they are all of equal status, no more or less deserving of grieving than any other.
I have to commend the writers of the SLBCF and the WCF, for they left it within the sovereignty of God simply saying that the elect infants/handicapped are regenerated. That is the most we can say. We know this, that when we see them they will be like Him, and we also, though it does not appear yet what that is, we know that he was a matured man and is now in that body that he was resurrected in. That we can only humbly accept in amazement.

It seems to me that the most natural guess would be that babies will grow up in the kingdom (either immediately, or ) and will by God's grace come to faith so that their justification is by faith alone just like ours.


This over time sounds like a "baby purgatory". Pay attention to what G.M. Bridges says about: Does God have the same line for those who die in infancy in some possible world, but not the actual world?.

This begs another question: Why are we opposed to abortion? For indeed, those who abort perform an act of virtue by ensuring the salvation of infants if all infants go to heaven and the same is true of the mercy killing of the handicapped. Or, as SJ mentioned; the non-evangelized would be put at a disadvantage by the proclamation of the Gospel. Wouldn't it be far more righteous to prevent the "age of accountability" or any accountability so that no one is subjected to the "abilility" to comprehend the Gospel and chance the condemnation of the rejection thereof?

If you follow the link to Andrew's article and read more, I think you will come to realize why the writers of the Confessions left the question purposely vague. To approach what the Scripture is silent on with human definition can lead to heresy, eventually. It is best to remain circumspect rather than engage what Paul has said is vain speculations that should be avoided.

Knight said...

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?"
(Gen 18:25b ESV)

This is about all we have to go on in this issue. God will do what is just as is fitting His Holy character. I can understand first hand the desire to see infants safe in heaven. I lost two brothers when I was just a small boy and I hope to see them on the other side of glory. They were only minutes old when they died. However, I do not presume upon the grace of God.

As you said, Steve. Grace is a hard thing to live by.

vaughn said...

I do think there is a certain irony at work that no one seems willing to deal with, and that is the willingness on the part of some to eagerly hold on to virtually any kind of profession of faith by an older child as proof of salvation, even in the absence of authenticating works. I have known some who do so (even some who have been members of churches I have pastored), even as they insistently point out to others that the eternal estate of infants who die is unknowable.

I would like to read something on this incongruent reality. Also, I do think that going to the ordo salutis question and its relevance to this discussion, other hard questions must be raised. If you take the view that infants who die are not necessarily elect, are you willing to say that none of them are, since they will be incapable of repentance and acquiescing to God-given faith? Just wondering.

VDoyle

founderandperfecter said...

While the Bible directly address the status of infants and salvation, I think there are a few Biblical inferances that can give grieving parents hope without denying the doctrine of original sin.

Romans 5
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.

While Adam's sinful nature has been imputed to us, death spread because men sin, as is fitting with their nature. Keep in mind while David in Psalm 51 testifies, "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me," he is explaining why he commits sin, not making the statement that having a birth that brought him forth sin caused him death.

Now I would base most of my thoughts here from verse 13 of Romans 5, where Paul says that sin is not counted where there is no law. To be sure, I don't believe that this law is the Torah, but rather the conscience that we received upon eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and therefore all men have the law written on their hearts (Romans 2:14). So, the question would become, "Is the law present in an infant?" I don't think it is. I will go on to show why.

Romans 7
7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.

Now this is some interesting talk. Again, Paul mentions that apart from the law sin lies dead, but what really strikes me is verse 9 where Paul firmly asserts that he actually was alive at one point, until the law came and produced death. So how was Paul alive at one point if, like David, he was conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity? I would suggest it is because the law comes to a human as they gain a conscience. Thus is seems fitting that the infants and some of the mentally handicapped, though born with original sin, have not died because they have no law.

founderandperfecter said...

my first sentance should read:
While the Bible does not directly address the status of infants and salvation...

chinasbest2 said...

My 6 year old responded in horror with the story of Noah and the flood yesterday saying, "You mean even babies and kids were drowned?" I had never thought of it before, but it is true. God's judgement came upon everyone not on the ark and that had to include people of all ages. It's hard to think how an infants heart could be only evil continually... how did Noah's family escape? Because he believed God. The children of the people who were destroyed perished along with their nonbelieving parents. A mystery I can only leave to faith in the character of God... but how do I communicate this to my children?

~Jacque

mamaseth said...

from Al Mohler:
ohn Newton, the great minister who wrote the hymn Amazing Grace was certain of this truth. He wrote to close friends who had lost a young child: "I hope you are both well reconciled to the death of your child. I cannot be sorry for the death of infants. How many storms do they escape! Nor can I doubt, in my private judgment, that they are included in the election of grace."(6) The great Princeton theologians Charles Hodge and B. B. Warfield held the same position.

One of the most eloquent and powerful expressions of this understanding of infant salvation came from the heart of Charles Spurgeon. Preaching to his own congregation, Spurgeon consoled grieving parents: "Now, let every mother and father here present know assuredly that it is well with the child, if God hath taken it away from you in its infant days."(7) Spurgeon turned this conviction into an evangelistic call. "Many of you are parents who have children in heaven. Is it not a desirable thing that you should go there, too? He continued: "Mother, unconverted mother, from the battlements of heaven your child beckons you to Paradise. Father, ungodly, impenitent father, the little eyes that once looked joyously on you, look down upon you now, and the lips which scarcely learned to call you father, ere they were sealed by the silence of death, may be heard as with a still small voice, saying to you this morning, ‘Father, must we be forever divided by the great gulf which no man can pass?’ Doth not nature itself put a sort of longing in your soul that you may be bound in the bundle of life with your own children?"

Jesus instructed his disciples that they should "Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these."(8) We believe that our Lord graciously and freely received all those who die in infancy – not on the basis of their innocence or worthiness – but by his grace, made theirs through the atonement He purchased on the cross.

When we look into the grave of one of these little ones, we do not place our hope and trust in the false promises of an unbiblical theology, in the instability of sentimentalism, in the cold analysis of human logic, nor in the cowardly refuge of ambiguity.

We place our faith in Christ, and trust Him to be faithful to his Word. We claim the promises of the Scriptures and the assurance of the grace of our Lord. We know that heaven will be filled with those who never grew to maturity on earth, but in heaven will greet us completed in Christ. Let us resolve by grace to meet them there.

Mary said...

"And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech, which I commanded them not, neither came it into My mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin. " Jeremiah 32:35

Is scripture silent on babies and hell? What is the picture in this passage? Babies literally being thrown into a fire. If such a thought never entered God's mind, how can He possibly toss them into the lake of fire Himself?

Are babies sinners? Are they under God's wrath? Yes. But it seems clear that if they die before they know enough to choose the right and reject the wrong (Is. 7:16), the blood of Christ is applied to them.

samaroo96 said...

Jesus said to His disciple let children come to me because Kingdom of God is such for the and in Mathew 5 He said blessed are those who are poor in spirit Kingdom of God is for them. This is very clear picture how God will judge children and meek people. God is righteous we should aspect a divine judgement from God. John wrote in his letter there are some sin which punishment is not eternal death. So I think we can believe that children can not do such sin which punishment is eternal death.

SJ Camp said...

samsroo96
I appreciate your comment. Here is something to consider though: we are not sinners because we commit acts of sin. We are sinners because we are born with a sinful nature (Eph. .2:1-3; Roms. 3:10-18; Psalm 51:5).

All babies are born completely depraved and in sin and are not innocent at any age. God is just and the salvation of any baby is known only to Him.

Please read Romans 9:5-23 and notice what Paul says about the twins Jacob and Esau.

Grace and peace,
Campi