Do all infants who die go to Heaven?
Here is something I read on Facebook.
Do all infants who die go to Heaven?
by Joshua Arnold
I would like to prove that it is absolutely biblical to say that every human that dies in infancy goes to Heaven. Not only infants, but mentally handicapped people that are unable to grasp the reality of sin, and good and evil, but that’s not what I’m going to be discussing in this post. The post will be a quite long, and so it may not be very shareable, but God willing it will be informative, and worth the read. I don’t expect many people to read it all, but It should bring clarity and give rest to those confused or concerned with the matter. I answer a few common objections at the end.
Without a doubt in my mind, every single baby, unborn, stillborn, or born but dies before they are able to comprehend good and evil, goes straight to Heaven.
In fact, I believe that there is no greater display of God’s sovereign grace than a helpless baby, who has no personal, religious, or moral merits, inheriting the kingdom of Heaven by pure grace.
There are a couple things that must be understood about babies.
1. They have been created by God, and their days have been specifically numbered. If they die in the womb or as an infant or toddler, it is because God ordained it. They were specifically ordained to die before they could become morally culpable.
2. They are children of wrath by nature, having been born with a corrupt, unclean sinful nature, and therefore they need the Savior just like any adult does. This means that the baby must be elected in eternity past. And so if a person does not affirm divine election, then they cannot justify their claim that all babies go to Heaven.
Those two truths are crucial to understand.
Many things from the scriptures must be considered:
1. Whenever the scriptures speaks of those who are damned, it is always because of works. Never does God ever mention the damnation of anyone because of anything, but their deeds. People are saved by grace, and damned by their works.
1 Cor 6:9-10 “wrongdoers”, Galatians 5:19-21 appeals to sinful deeds, Eph 5:5 speaks of idolaters, and people who are sexually immoral and impure. Colossians 3:5-6 says the wrath of God is coming because of sexual immorality, evil desires, greed, and idolatry, all of which a baby cannot willfully commit. Revelation 21:8 says the Lake or Fire belongs to murderers, idolaters, sexually immoral, and the faithless (not having faith in God, which requires some sort of knowledge of God. Babies cannot be guilty of this).
2. In Romans 1, the word of God says that people are without excuse. What is the reason they are without excuse? Because it is plain to them that God exists, that good and evil exists, and that they are worthy of death in their unrighteousness. This cannot be so for babies. They do not understand good and evil, or that an anything they do is worthy of death. “your children, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there.” (Deuteronomy 1:39).
It also says that the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of those who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Children cannot suppress a truth that they are unable to grasp.
3. In Revelation 7:9 it says that people from every single tribe, tongue, and nation are clothed in white robes stand before the throne and the Lamb. There is no doubt that there are people of some tribes and tongues that have never heard the Gospel before, and neither have any of their ancestors. Indigenous tribes that have never had any contact with anyone in the modern world.
The only possible way that God’s word that people from every single tribe, language, and nation can be true is if the babies that die go to Heaven. The adults have no excuse, but the babies do.
4. In Jeremiah 19:4-7, the children are referred to as “innocent”. This innocence does not have to do with being guilty of having an unclean nature. This innocence has to do with willfully committing sinful deeds. This passage shows God particular care for babies.
5. When dealing with Jonah’s anger over Nineveh being saved, God, when expressing His mercy toward Nineveh, appealed to the fact that there were 120,000 people that didn’t know their left from their right (Jonah 4:11). Adults know their left from their right. Babies have no idea what their left or right is. They cannot comprehend anything like that. This verse shows God particular mercy and love He has for children, just as we saw in Deuteronomy 1:39, when the children from that generation would be allowed into the promised despite all the adults, with only the exception of some, being denied.
6. In 2 Samuel 12:23, David speaks of his child that died, saying that he will go to His child. He does not say he will go visit the grave of his child, but to his actual child. David believed in eternal life (Psalm 23:6), and this truth about his child was enough to make him go from weeping terribly and fasting, to being up and joyful, eating and going on his day, totally comforted.
Being able to visit the grave of a child does not do this to a person. It does not turn a weeping man into a man totally comforted.
When David’s son Absalom died, he wept bitterly over his son’s death. He did not find the same consolation as he did with his baby’s death. It was a tremendous grief to David, because Absalom was a wicked man. David knew where his son Absalom went to, and so he found no relief in his death like he did with his baby’s.
7. When Jesus Christ spoke of the children in Luke 18, He said not to hinder the children from coming to Him to be touched. Why? Verse 16 says “to such”, not “like such”, but “to such”, as in “to children” belongs the kingdom of God. This verse can be taken as of the kingdom of Heaven is made up of children for the most part. To children belong the kingdom of God, and that is the reason why being told that we must be like children makes any sense at all. If it wasn’t true that Heaven belongs to children, it would not make sense to be told to be like them.
8. In 1 Kings 14:12-13, Jeroboam’s house is cut off, and they are killed without given a proper burial, which was very despicable in those times. But God says that the little boy, though he will die too, will be the only one who receives a proper burial. Why? “because in him there is found some good thing toward the Lord God”. It is not said what that good thing is, but we know that God looks upon the child, just like all children in all the scriptures, with favor. It is obvious that the Lord is particularly merciful and gracious toward children.
9. Romans 5:19 says that by one man’s disobedience, many were made sinners, and by one man’s obedience, many are made righteous. We know that Matthew 7:13-14 makes a clear distinction between those who find the narrow gate, and those who don’t. Only a few find the gate. Of course this doesn’t make sense if many are made righteous just like the many made sinners unless the many in Romans 5:19 includes infants, and the few that Matthew 7:13-14 speaks of are only adults that are morally culpable.
Coming to an end (I could go on longer, but it’s already so long), I would like to clear up some objections.
Objection 1: God hated Esau before Esau was born, and therefore God does not have favor on all babies.
Answer: Esau cannot be used as an example for infants who die, because Esau was not ordained to die as an infant. God determined that Esau would grow to an age of moral culpability.
Objection 2: If all babies go to Heaven, then why don’t we just kill them, we’d be doing them a favor.
Answer: why don’t you just kill every Christian? Don’t they go to the same place? Wouldn’t that be a favor?
Thou shalt not murder. That is your duty. Your duty is not to accomplish God’s secret will, or to determine who goes where. You may kill many babies and send them to Heaven, but you shouldn’t plan on seeing them when you die, because that’s not where you’re going if that’s your unrepentant attitude toward it.
Objection 3: Children are saved if their parents are believers.
Answer: God does not save anyone based on any merits. It is all sovereign grace, according to His purpose and good pleasure. To those who think baptism saves their children, they make salvation contingent upon a work.
The clearest and greatest display of God’s sovereign grace in salvation is in the salvation of babies. There can be no better example of election and sovereign grace.
— so it is not that children are saved simply because they are children. Instead, God decreed them to die as children as a mercy toward His elect. A mercy, because they would not have to grow up and struggle with sin and all the wickedness of the world.
There is no greater display of mercy than God ordaining so many of His elect to die as babies.