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What happens to Infants and Children Who Die? Do Babies Go To Heaven?

 
Rich Deem
User ID: 29375905
United States
12/08/2012 09:46 PM
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What happens to Infants and Children Who Die? Do Babies Go To Heaven?
What happens to Infants and Children Who Die? Do Babies Go To Heaven?
by Rich Deem

Introduction

Do all babies who die go to heaven? Or has God predestined some for heaven, while the rest go to hell? Does the Bible address this issue at all or do we just hope that they go to heaven to comfort ourselves?

Judgment for all

First we must note that the Bible says God will judge all people,1 so this must include babies and young children. How does God judge between one baby and another? Does He judge by how much they cry or spit up? Since God is omniscient (all knowing),2 does He judge on the basis of what they would have done had they lived an entire life? This would seem to be a perplexing problem and the Bible does not describe anywhere how God would judge a baby. Or does it?

Babies are sinners

Making matters worse, is the fact that the Bible says all people are sinners.3 In fact, the Bible specifically states that people are sinners from their birth,4 so this obviously includes babies. The Bible also indicates that those who sin and don't accept Jesus as their Savior are judged5 and sentenced to death6 - the so-called "second death," which is hell.7 So, do all babies and children who haven't accepted Jesus as Savior go to hell?

Babies are innocent

The Bible makes it clear that people are condemned to hell on the basis of their sins8 and their rejection of Jesus Christ9 as the remedy for their sinful condition. However, infants and young children are incapable of fully understanding either their spiritual condition or God's requirements for salvation. Can God judge them even though they don't understand the basis of that judgment? The Bible does indicate that children are innocent, for example, when describing how some of the Israelites in the Valley of Benhinnom had become corrupt so as to sacrifice their own (innocent) children:

"Because they have forsaken Me and have made this an alien place and have burned sacrifices in it to other gods, that neither they nor their forefathers nor the kings of Judah had ever known, and because they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind; (Jeremiah 19:4-5)

The Bible also indicates that children are regarded as being innocent because of their lack of ability to discern between good and evil:

Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it. (Deuteronomy 1:39)

Other verses also indicate that young children are not fully capable of making moral choices.10 So, the Bible says that babies and children are innocent, based upon their inability to fully understand the difference between good and evil.

Do babies go to heaven?

So, since babies and children are considered innocent, one would assume that they would be excluded from judgment and get a pass to heaven. However, does the Bible explicitly state what happens to them? A verse from Job says that they enter into rest:

"Or like a miscarriage which is discarded, I would not be, As infants that never saw light. There the wicked cease from raging, And there the weary are at rest. (Job 3:16-17)

Likewise, another verse suggests that a person who is not satisfied with their life is worse off than one who is miscarried.11 Although it does not explicitly state what happens to the miscarried, the implication would be that they went to heaven.

Children belong to God

Both the Old and New Testaments indicate that God has a special relationship with children. In the book of Ezekiel, God was very upset with His people as they were sacrificing their children to idols. However, God calls them "My children":

"Moreover, you took your sons and daughters whom you had borne to Me and sacrificed them to idols to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter? You slaughtered My children and offered them up to idols by causing them to pass through the fire." (Ezekiel 16:20-21)

Jesus indicated that people who enter heaven are like children, implying that children go to heaven.
•And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:2-3)
•Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:13-14)

So, the Bible indicates quite clearly that children who die go to heaven. However, the question remains at what age an individual ceases to be a child.

Age of accountability?

So, we know that babies and children go to heaven when they die. However, we don't know what the cutoff is for those who die young. Is it 5, or 8,or 12 years old? The Bible makes no mention of any kind of "age of accountability." So, it is quite likely that there is no specific age at which an individual become accountable. Our three sons all accepted Jesus as their Savior around five years old. However, they had been exposed to the gospel message since birth, and had gone to Sunday School, Bible studies, vacation Bible schools, and Awana in their early years. We never asked them if they wanted to be Christians, but allowed them to ask the question on their own. Five years old is probably not the average age at which children are capable of understanding the gospel and responding to it. Having taught vacation Bible school and Sunday school for many years, I recognize that the average first grader is not taking in the information and processing it for how it applies to him. However, when the time comes, one can see the light come on. In one of the vacation Bible school assemblies, I recall a group of boys (probably around 10 years old) who were in attendance as a gospel presentation was being made. One of the boys suddenly said to the others, "Did you hear what she said?," in an excited voice. An alter call had been made, and he dashed up to the front. His friends were left sitting in the pew. So, I have seen many children at many different levels of spiritual and physical development, which must be the basis by which God determines if they are accountable. For those with mental disabilities, it is possible that they never become morally accountable. However, we can be assured that God judges all people, including children, fairly.12

Does it matter if they're baptized?

Some denominations baptize their infants in the belief that such baptism prevents them from going to hell should they die before coming to faith in Christ. However, what about babies who are miscarried or die during childbirth? Are they condemned to hell? That is what the doctrine of infant baptism would imply. So, the doctrine of infant baptism changes salvation from one of grace to one of works, since infant baptism is a work of the parent, and not a work of God. As such, the practice of infant baptism displays a lack in trust of God as the bearer of salvation, so must be rejected as being an efficacious act. So, being baptized as an infant saves neither an infant nor an adult. Salvation is still a gift13 of God based upon the grace of God.14 Biblical baptism is the public confession of faith by an accountable individual.15 So, we reject infant baptism as being required for the salvation of babies and young children who die.

Conclusion

Babies and young children who die go the heaven through the grace and righteous judgment of God. The Bible is clear that those who are not fully capable of making moral choices are declared to be innocent, and, therefore, worthy of heaven. The Bible does not mention any kind of "age of accountability," but bases accountability on the basis of the ability to make moral choices. Infant baptism, although it shows a commitment from the parent, is neither required nor efficacious in obtaining salvation for little ones. The salvation of babies and children is a gift of God, based upon His grace, and cannot be purchased through a work of a parent. If you have lost an infant or child, we pray that the Lord would comfort you with His grace, and that you would desire to join your child in heaven through a confession of faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. May God bless you.

-------------------------------------------------------------​-------------------

Related Pages
•What Will Heaven be Like?
•It Isn't Fair That God Judges People Who are Born Into Buddhist, Hindu or Other Non-Christian Homes
•What will happen to the people who have never heard of Jesus Christ?
•All Religions Lead to God? Can One Discern the True Religion?
•100% Convinced vs. 100% Committed
•Why Would God Create a Person Who Would be Destined for Hell?
•Did Jesus Command Baptism in Order to be Saved? A commentary on John 3:5-7

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References
1.And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity. (Psalm 9:8)
Before the LORD; for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness, And the peoples with equity. (Psalm 98:9)
But, O LORD of hosts, who judges righteously, Who tries the feelings and the heart, Let me see Thy vengeance on them, For to Thee have I committed my cause. (Jeremiah 11:20)
But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; (Romans 2:5-7)
see also Genesis 18:25, 1 Kings 8:32, 2 Chronicles 6:23, Psalm 7:8, Psalm 7:11, Psalm 9:4, Psalm 9:8, Psalm 19:9, Psalm 96:10, Psalm 96:13, Psalm 98:9, Isaiah 11:4, Jeremiah 11:20, Acts 17:31, Romans 2:1-29, 10:12-14, James 2:12, Revelation 16:7
2.then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know, for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men, (1 Kings 8:39)
'But I know your sitting down, And your going out and your coming in, And your raging against Me. (2 Kings 19:27)
then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men, (2 Chronicles 6:30)
"For He looks to the ends of the earth And sees everything under the heavens. (Job 28:24)
Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart. (Psalms 44:21)
"I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is Mine. (Psalms 50:11)
The LORD knows the thoughts of man, That they are a mere breath. (Psalms 94:11)
Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. (Psalms 139:4)
"For I know their works and their thoughts; the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and see My glory. (Isaiah 66:18)
Then the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and He said to me, "Say, 'Thus says the LORD, "So you think, house of Israel, for I know your thoughts. (Ezekiel 11:5)
We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him (1 John 3:19) in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. (1 John 3:20)
"Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God." (John 16:30)
He *said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus *said to him, "Tend My sheep. (John 21:17)
And they prayed and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen (Acts 1:24)
3."When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) and You are angry with them and deliver them to an enemy, so that they take them away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near; (1 Kings 8:46)
For the choir director. A Psalm of David. The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good. (Psalms 14:1)
For the choir director; according to Mahalath. A Maskil of David. The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God," They are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice; There is no one who does good. God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there is anyone who understands, Who seeks after God. Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one. (Psalms 53:1-3)
Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. (Ecclesiastes 7:20)
All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. (Isaiah 53:6)
For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. (Isaiah 64:6)
"Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him. (Daniel 9:11)
as it is written, "There is none righteous, not even one;" (Romans 3:10)
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-- (Romans 5:12)
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8)
4.Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. (Psalms 51:5)
The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth. (Psalms 58:3)
The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, "I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. (Genesis 8:21)
"You have not heard, you have not known. Even from long ago your ear has not been open, Because I knew that you would deal very treacherously; And you have been called a rebel from birth. (Isaiah 48:8)
5."He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36)
"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. (John 5:24)
"For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:40)
Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. (1 Timothy 1:16)
He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. (1 John 5:12)
6.but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die." (Genesis 2:17)
"Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die. (Ezekiel 18:4)
"The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son's iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself. (Ezekiel 18:20)
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-- (Romans 5:12)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. (James 1:15)
7."But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8)
8.And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds... And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-12, 15)
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
"But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8)
9.Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." (John 3:36)
There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. (John 12:48)
10."Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken." (Isaiah 7:14-16)
11.If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, however many they be, but his soul is not satisfied with good things and he does not even have a proper burial, then I say, "Better the miscarriage than he, for it comes in futility and goes into obscurity; and its name is covered in obscurity. It never sees the sun and it never knows anything; it is better off than he. Even if the other man lives a thousand years twice and does not enjoy good things--do not all go to one place?" (Ecclesiastes 6:3-6)
12.And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity. (Psalm 9:8)
Before the LORD; for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness, And the peoples with equity. (Psalm 98:9)
But, O LORD of hosts, who judges righteously, Who tries the feelings and the heart, Let me see Thy vengeance on them, For to Thee have I committed my cause. (Jeremiah 11:20)
But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; (Romans 2:5-7)
see also Genesis 18:25, 1 Kings 8:32, 2 Chronicles 6:23, Psalm 7:8, Psalm 7:11, Psalm 9:4, Psalm 9:8, Psalm 19:9, Psalm 96:10, Psalm 96:13, Psalm 98:9, Isaiah 11:4, Jeremiah 11:20, Acts 17:31, Romans 2, 10:12-14, James 2:12, Revelation 16:7
13.Salvation is a gift of God:◦for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; (Romans 3:23-24)
◦But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. (Romans 5:15)
◦For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
◦For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; (Ephesians 2:8)

14.The grace of God:◦"But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are." (Acts 15:11)
◦"But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24)
◦being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; (Romans 3:24)
◦But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. (Romans 5:15)
◦For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17)
◦And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, (Romans 5:20)
◦that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:21)
◦But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. (Romans 11:6)
◦I thank my God always concerning you, for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, (1 Corinthians 1:4)
◦But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)
◦And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
◦"I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly." (Galatians 2:21)
◦You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:4)
◦In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, (Ephesians 1:7)
◦even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), (Ephesians 2:5)
◦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, that no one should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
◦But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. (Ephesians 4:7)
◦and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 1:14)
◦Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me His prisoner; but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, (2 Timothy 1:8-9)
◦He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, (Titus 3:5-6)
◦As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful search and inquiry, (1 Peter 1:10)
◦that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:7)
◦But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." (James 4:6)
◦Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:13)
◦You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. (1 Peter 5:5)
◦And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10)
◦Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it! (1 Peter 5:12)
◦Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; (2 Peter 1:2)
◦but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)

15.See Did Jesus Command Baptism in Order to be Saved? A commentary on John 3:5-7

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Alufiend
User ID: 29349120
United States
12/08/2012 09:57 PM
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Re: What happens to Infants and Children Who Die? Do Babies Go To Heaven?
i thought they went to purgatory because their soul is in balance. original sin = innocence.

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