Contend Earnestly: Where Do Babies Go When They Die? Part II

Monday, April 07, 2008

Where Do Babies Go When They Die? Part II

I wanted to give some additional thoughts on the issue of where babies go when they die. I will be honest that I have not studied out these thoughts as much as I would have liked before posting, but I don't mind to put it out there and see what others think. Again, I want to say that through this, I still don't believe that we can be dogmatic about the stance of these thoughts. I would say that God gives us some great clues on what the final stance is, but not dogmatic ones. So, like most things that I teach or write, I sound very dogmatic about it because they are my convictions, but I don't want any to think that I believe that I have arrived in my theology or that I see this as a dead issue with no debate left to wrestle with. With that said, here are some further thoughts on this issue.

Reason #4 that all children go to heaven (click here for previous post to see reasons 1-3)

Jesus died for the sin of Adam.

From a historical reformed position, John 1:29 was seen by many to mean that Jesus died for the sin of Adam for all people.

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:29

Notice what Christ takes away for the world: sin. It is singular, not plural in this verse. What singular, or one, sin could John be talking about?

So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
Romans 5:18

Notice that the one act of righteousness by Christ resulted in justification of life to all men. How could this be? Well, if we are talking about the singular headship sin of Adam to all men, then we could speak of Christ removing this sin by the cross. Because the result of Adam's sin is spiritual death. This death results in men not being able to respond to God, the things of God being foolishness to them, men becoming useless because of it. This is why we need regeneration. So, Adam's sin has been taken away by the cross of Christ. So, then, babies would not go to hell based on Adam's sin.

Reason #5: People go to hell for their deeds

We have to ask, "why do people go to hell?" Is it because of Adam's sin, or the sin of the sinner? From what I have been able to study, and I am up for correction in this, we go to hell because of our sin, not because of Adam's.

Look at these two verses (there are many others):

If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;
1 Peter 1:17

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 the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:12-15

It looks like the reason that people will not be found in the book of life, besides election, is because of their evil deeds. This is why they will go to hell. It will be because of their sin, not because of God. When someone stands at the judgment seat, they cannot say that they did not sin, or that they don't believe that Adam was their head. They will be shown their actual sin that they committed and they will know it is sin because of Romans 2:15,16:
in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
Romans 2:15-16

So, ignorance cannot be a reason. One might ask, "don't children sin?" The answer is definitely, "yes", but again in my last post we also have to ask the question of "do they know their sin?" To this I would say, "no, they do not 'know' their sin" and God is merciful towards this as he was to the children of the Israelites in Deuteronomy 1 when it states,"And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad—they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it." I would also add that from what tree did Adam and Eve die from? Was it not from the tree of KNOWLEDGE of good and evil? I would like to do some more study on this thought, but it seems that the knowing of sin is of great importance to God. This knowing of your sin is from what you die eternally for, not just the sin itself. This has great implications of our children and their sin.

I know that this is not conclusive evidence, but it definitely points me to the understanding that David definitely had, namely, if one of my children dies before knowing sin, I believe that I will return to them in my death, and I will tell any mother who loses their child the very same thing, with confidence.


Jess said...

Hey, I really liked it, thanks for your study into it and for posting it!

Rob Bailey said...

i'm with you. I KNOW for sure Scripture does not give us a direct, dogmatic statement about infants who die. I KNOW God is good. So, I THINK He has some plan, not revealed to us that is good, fair, right, just, and loving; all the while maintaining His holiness and glory. Our focus, as in every other aspect of life, really should be on Him, and not on ourselves, or (as much as we love them) our children.

Reforming Baptist said...

very timely. Today I went to a funeral of a four year old boy who was the son of a pastor friend of mine. I heard some of these same things in the service.

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