A Christian friend of mine recently shared with me how they lost their first born child through a miscarriage and it’s distressing emotional impact on the family. As I pondered on this he threw at me the one question I had hoped he would not ask. Do you think babies go to heaven when they die? I said yes. But to try to explain, and reconcile total depravity with infant salvation, I thought I would end up sounding universalist. That night I decided I would search the scriptures and see what comfort God’s word offers in this delicate area. This article by Jeff Spry has been the biggest eye opener and may it lead you to understand the Sovereignty of God and also his grace in salvation of Adam’s helpless race….
Tragedy surrounds us. We hear of it every day on the evening news. We read about it in the newspaper and the internet. We witness it in the lives around us. Many, if not all of us, have experienced tragedy in our own lives. However, there is one tragedy that is profoundly heartbreaking – the death of an infant or young child. Ever since Adam and Eve found the limp body of their son Abel, this must be the greatest grief known to man.
For those who have not had to face this situation personally, many have been called upon to offer support for others. Perhaps you sat quietly with a grieving mother, who suddenly asked, “Is my baby in heaven?” What would you say? If you have been in that situation, you may have struggled for the right words to say. You probably declared that the infant was now in the presence of the Lord. Were you later plagued by the thought, “Is what I said true? How do I know that babies go to heaven when they die?”
How many of us have said what is “sentimentally necessary” only to later wonder about the truthfulness of our words? We have no right to establish doctrine based on what we hope may be true. Instead, we must draw our answers from what the Bible actually reveals to be true. Our words may be what the grieving mother wanted to hear but are they what God wanted said?
To be sure, the grieving mother and father desire (and many would say deserve) an answer from God on the subject. However, the Bible does not provide a single, declarative statement on the subject. The matter is a natural and virtually unavoidable subject. The magnitude of the situation calls for our most careful and faithful study of God’s Word to discern what He has revealed.
To honor the Scripture and to comfort the anguish of a parent’s heart, we must avoid pat sentimentality and search the Scriptures for truth. It is the Scripture and the truth they contain that where we find our true comfort. A multitude of women (and men) in our immediate vicinity who have lost children through abortion, miscarriage, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, accident or physical tragedy. They are waiting for an answer.
Our answer from Scripture begins with some simple but very important presuppositions:
1. Life begins at conception.
2. Every life conceived is a person, not a fetus or a blob of tissue. (See Psalm 139)
3. Every person has a soul.
4. Therefore, any death that occurs after the very moment of conception is the death of a person.
[However common answers usually range from: Age of Accountability, Sinlessness of Infants, Salvation by God’s Omni benevolence, Universalism, Post mortem Salvation, Infant Salvation through Infant Baptism, Roman Catholic Limbo, Salvation by Believing Parents, Infants are Saved (if they are elect)]
So which position is correct?
The correct position on infant salvation must be established on the basis of the following:
1. No theory of infant salvation can be biblically sound if it ignores the way original sin leaves all humans (including infants and the mentally incapable) both guilty and totally (radically) depraved. Any theory that refuses to take original sin and total depravity into account is wrong. All people are conceived and born as sinners and in desperate need of salvation. While we may say that infants are “innocent,” we do not mean they are not tainted by the fallenness or guilt that we all inherit from Adam (Romans 5:1-19).
2. If deceased infants and the mentally incapable are to be saved, their salvation can only be because of the sovereign grace of God. The Bible clearly teaches that the Father chooses persons to salvation from eternity past and that salvation is solely based upon His grace alone. MacArthur says there is no better illustration of salvation by grace alone than the salvation of a deceased infant.
3. If deceased infants and the mentally incapable are to be saved, their salvation must be on the basis of the perfect atonement of Christ on the cross. The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is the only way anyone is ever saved.
4. If deceased infants and the mentally incapable are to be saved, their salvation must occur before death.
The single view that takes all these factors into account in a satisfactory fashion is the view that all those who die in infancy are among God’s elect. For some, the simple statement, “Your baby is in heaven” is sufficient. For others, an explanation of the “why” is needed. The belief that all babies go to heaven upon death must be based on more than speculation and a hope that it is true. Does the Bible give evidence for this teaching? Jeff Spry rightly thinks it does. Continue here –>[Death Of Infants]<–