Sunday, March 9, 2014

Does God Send Babies to Hell?



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's mercy would not send a new born baby to hell. My hope is that  a person that for some reason could not make an intelligent  decision for Christ, would have the comfort of a loving God. To me that just would not be fair, But then if I say no on the grounds of my feeling alone than I’m making a God in my image, not allowing the word of God be my guidance.

The Bad News
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.

The Grace of God in Christ Jesus  
But there is Good News, The bible tells us where sin abounds grace does much more abound. This is wonderful news in that 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?

A Dispensation of Accountability
OK, I know someone is going hate me for what I am about to write, and  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. As a matter of fact I have never even heard the two words used together before I just wrote it.  So where do I get off writing (or proclaiming) this thing? Simply, scripture alludes to the possibility of there being such a thing. In this dispensation God does not whole accountable those that are, for some reason unable to make an intelligent decision for Jesus Christ.  Let's look at some scripture and see if this is real.

  1. In the Old Testament we see an example of this dispensation of accountability [1] whereas because of the harden hearts of the Israelite God promises that they [2] 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.
  2. This puts a major damper in the concept of generational curses, or the doctrine of parental covering. However, that is for another blog. Let’s stay focused.  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) especially as it concerns how He handles the life of His creation. 

    • 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.
       
    • Psalm 22:9 Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts. This powerful psalm, though it is surely messianic in nature, may have much more to tell us.  Albert Barnes commentary on Psalm 22:9 suggest that it could very well be attributed to child who was unable to make a decision for Christ.  So, that children who from the conception are under the Fall of Adam, God is able to make them believe and trust in him.

    • 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 ask 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.

    What really frighten me about much of the teaching in the modern church is that when confronted with difficult statements they do not rely on scripture but on their own sometimes heartless interpretations.
    For much of my childhood I struggled with a God that I called Just, Righteous, and God that went out of his way for the Christian, but was lazy in meeting the needs of the poor, homeless, and infants, and those that just could not make an intelligent decision for Christ. Some of the most caring churches today ascribe to this most horrible doctrine of hell for infants when the die. Due to error teaching of many church fathers like John Calvin many people are taught that sin of the parents are passed from one generation to the next.  Somehow honest loving Christians believe that Children inherit the sins of their parents.  Yet the Bible is very clear that this is just not true! One more time in case you missed this “The Bible is very clear that this is just not true!”
    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(NASB)

    The big problem those that teach God send infants to hell is that they overlook who God is, and more important the fact the only thing God can’t do is stop being God.  
    God is that he is Just.
    The Bible teaches a number of time that God punishment is on the guilty but nowhere is scripture does it say God wrath is on the guiltless or innocent. It is God’s Justice that save Lot and his family. God would not destroy the whole city of Sodom if there was even one innocent. Because God is Just he will not destroy the wicked for the sake of the innocent. Yet we are to believe that God will send an innocent child to and infinite damnation because he was not able to make a decision for Christ?

    God’s Grace abounds (Romans 5:20)
    this is the truth of the Gospel, God’s Grace much more abound sin. But to say that God sends infants to hell is saying, that the very same God that devised this plan to step out of eternity, and become the sacrifice for us that we could in no way provide for ourselves, who while we were still in our sin, was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: and took the chastisement of our peace upon himself;  Hung on a cross lay in the earth dead for three days and rose up again so that He could reconcile us no good sinners back to Himself. This God that devised this great plan could not, or did not want to show his Grace on innocent children?










Your Brother in Christ
Troy "FireSpeaks" Pearsall




[1] There is no such thing as dispensation of accountability, but for lack of another term I have called it that in this example. funny thing is that after much study I found there is something called the Age of accountability which is very much like what I called the dispensation of accountability ( though I do not agree on all points)
[2] Except for Celeb and Joshua.

2 comments:

  1. Do we not serve an ultimately just God? Some would say, “Yes, which is the reason why those who haven’t heard the Gospel would spend eternity separated from Him”. I completely disagree. Regardless of whether or not our sinful nature is imputed to us prior to our birth, the answer to the question is simply based on the nature of God. God is never looking for an excuse to keep us out of His eternal presence; His goal from the beginning has been to provide a way of RESTORING our eternal fellowship with Him. Of course we are all born with a sinful nature, and because of that, out of His goodness, He’s chosen to provide a way of redemption for us all through Jesus Christ. Does God allow eternal separation from Him on a technicality, resulting in eternal damnation for those who have not yet heard the good news, whether they be new born babies, children that haven't yet reached the age of accountability, or those born in other countries who've gone through their entire lives without ever having had the opportunity of hearing and accepting the salvation that has been offered them though Christ?
    As finite human beings, we can and never will be able to comprehend the goodness of our God. Our limited minds may tell us that because the scripture states that if you haven't yet believed, that you're banished to everlasting damnation. But this interpretation is based on our limited understanding, not on God's reality. Personally, I could never believe that those who haven't yet had that opportunity to "believe" are eternally separated from God. In my mind (and that is all it is, my mind, my opinion, based on my understanding), God knows the hearts of us all, regardless of our “outward” confession of belief.
    Our eternal state isn't based on ignorance, it's based on rejection. When we reach the age of accountability and understanding, and we continue to deliberately reject God's offer of eternal salvation (the only unpardonable sin), this is when we become ultimately accountable for our deliberate disbelief.
    Not only would newborn babies fall into this category, but consider those who’s final state of unbelief through ignorance is a result of something other than dying as a baby, something completely beyond their control, such as an elderly person suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, or a person suffering from severe Paranoid Schizophrenia which would result in their permanent inability to demonstrate a rational belief in a saving God, a person who has experienced a severe accident resulting in a traumatic brain injury, or someone suffering from Down’s Syndrome, or other type of serious mental disability, just to name a few. Does a loving God banish these people to eternal damnation because of their inability to express their faith? There are far too many scenarios that could cause us with our finite minds to attempt to determine who is acceptable in God’s eyes. With the understanding that we’ve been given, it really is none of our business to attempt to determine who will or who will not be accepted by God in the afterlife. It’s His decision to make, and His alone.
    I’ve posted a link to a sound clip by a well-known author and teacher covering this very topic. To hear the sound clip, click on the link below:
    http://www.wavsurfer.com/babies.mp3

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    1. Thank you my brother for this insightful and well thought out response. We are all blessed by it. Troy.

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