One of the reason I love Bible study with children is because they move you places where you would not have otherwise thought. Today while speaking of the Gospel one of the teens asked the simple question “If sin is inputted on us from Adam (Romans 5:12) then where does a newborn baby go when they die?” This question was spoken under the pretense that a just God would not send an innocent child to hell. However if sin is inputted to us while still in the womb of the mother (Psalm 51:5, 58:3) than even a newborn is guilty before God. And since salvation is found in no one else other than Jesus Christ, (Acts 4:12) and a newborn is incapable of understanding the gospel and therefore cannot make a decision for Christ, That being so wouldn’t it reason that all newborn babies that die will go to hell?
My answer is unequivocally NO!
However, I am making this statement from the issues of my heart not from scripture. Fact is I want to believe that God would not send a new born baby to hell, or a person that for some reason could not make an intelligent decision for Christ. To me that just would not be fair, But then if I say no on these ground alone than I’m making a God in my image not learning of God through the scripture.
So let’s forget that I said no, and seek the knowledge of scripture to answer this most difficult question. The Gospel is the “good news” But before we can fully appreciate the “good news” we must first understand the Bad News. But what is the bad news? Well the bad news says we inherited a sinful nature because of the first man Adam (Romans 5:12, 16) that through Adam, there was condemnation to all men (Romans 5:18). The Bad News says that from the instant we leave our mother’s womb we go astray (Psalm 58:3) is says that none of desire to do right, not one of us (Romans 3:10-12) The Bad News says even when we try to do our best, , it’s like a filthy rag before God (Isaiah 64:6) But the most scary part of the Bad News says the cost for the sin that we commit is death. The Bad News paints an almost hopeless situation for all of us.
But there is Good News, The bible tells us were sin abounds grace does much more abound. This is wonderful news it says even though we are sinful in every imaginable way that God has given us a way out of eternal damnation (Grace) in the form of Jesus Christ. The Good News says the death that we rightly deserve will not come to us, because “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21). So the Good News is that there is hope. However, that hope is only for those that can comprehend the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His work at Calvary. So where does this leave babies who die in infancy, or are aborted, or are stilled birth? Where does that leave those that may not be able to comprehend the Gospel because of development issues?
Ok I know someone is going hate me for what I am about to write my only defense is test the scripture against what I write. Eat the meat and throw out the bones. Nowhere is scripture does it speak of a dispensation of accountability but there seems to be one from scripture. In this dispensation God does not whole accountable those that are not for some reason able to make an intelligent decision for Jesus Christ.
- In the Old Testament we see an example
of this dispensation of accountability whereas
because of the harden hearts of the Israelites God promises that they
would never enter into the promise land. But the children, because of their
inability to discern what was good and bad, were not held accountable for the
harden hearts of their parents. (Deuteronomy
1:34-39 )in verse 39 God Says “Moreover your
little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that
day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto
them will I give it, and they shall possess it.”
So even though there is no scripture to prove this, we can use God’s past action as a guide to His future actions (Malachi 3:6)
- Again to a lesser degree I see how God
dealing with those that willingly rebel against him is not the same as with
those that cannot discern their rebellion. In 1 Kings 14, when God
speaks to Jeroboam through the prophet Alijah he tells Jeroboam of the humiliating
deaths that his whole family will experience. Some will die in the streets of
the city and their body will be eaten by stray dogs, and others in country and
the wild birds will consume the flesh from their bones. But God makes an
exception for Jeroboam’s infant son, giving him an upright and honorable burial
before the people (1Kings
14:10-13) Now even though the child still dies, he is spared
the judicial punishment of those that willingly rebelled against God.
- In 2 Samuel 12 King David and Bathsheba have a child out of wedlock who becomes terminally ill. King David adorns himself in sackcloth and ashes fast and mourns the possibility of losing his child. When King David finds out that the child has died, he put on normal clothes and stop mourning. The prophet Nathan as why he was no longer in mourning and David replies “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the Lord may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’ But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” 2 Samuel 12:22–23 (KJV)
Now if we pay good attention to the text we see that it implies that the child went to heaven when King David says, "I will go to him, but he will not return to me” The Bible says that David was the apple of God's , so I am assuming ( I Think safely) that David did go to heaven so we have to have confidence that the infant son of David died without ever discerning what is good or bad , or making a decision for Christ is now in heaven worshiping God with all the other saints that have the inheritance through faith in Jesus Christ.
Your Brother in Christ