Infant Salvation.
 

What do you believe about children going to heaven?
The scriptures tell us that all of us are sinners and deserve the punishment of death.


Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


There are religions that teach that when a child is baptised as an infant, that the child becomes part of the church. That it is passed from darkness into light.
Yet the Bible teaches that baptism is for those that repent of their sins. Baptism is an outward sign of inward grace. A dying to self and a rising to newness of life.


Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

The scripture teaches that baptism in itself cannot save anyone, that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone.
Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by Me”.

So, if a child dies in infancy and has not repented of its sin, what happens to its soul?
The scriptures say, “the soul that sinneth, it shall die”.


Ezekiel 18:20-24 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
 

Whilst we have inherited a sinful nature from Adam, we have not inherited Adam’s actual sin.

So, first we must examine if a child has committed any sin.
We know that the scriptures teach that we are all under sin. That we were conceived in sin.


Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

We are all sons and daughters of Adam and the Bible tells us that in Adam all die.

1 Cor 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

It is true that we all are born with a sinful nature and our natural bias is towards sin. However, until we actually enter into sin we are guilty only of having a sinful nature but when we act upon our sinful nature we stand in condemnation of that sin.
 

Rom 5:12  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 


There comes a time in everyone’s life where we fall to temptation and succumb to it.
It is then that we need to confess and repent of that sin.

If an infant dies before the knowledge of sin has entered the heart, then that child will go to be with the Lord.
However, when a child commits sin and knows that its sin, then that child is answerable for that sin and needs forgiveness.


James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Can that argument be substantiated by scripture?
I believe that there are scriptures in particular that would back that thought.


Matt 19:14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matt 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Mark 10:15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

This is how I understand these scriptures.

If little children are like the Kingdom of heaven and we must become like them to enter and we need to be converted to become like a little child, then it follows that a little child is without wilful sin.

 

Matthew 18:14 where Jesus says, “Your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” People go to hell because they choose in willful rebellion and unbelief to reject God and His grace. Children are incapable of this kind of conscious rejection of God.
Where such rebellion and wilful disobedience is absent, God is gracious to receive.

 

King David was convinced that he would see his dead child again.
 

2 Sam 12:15 -23 And the LORD afflicted the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and he became sick. 
16 David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night 
on the ground. 
17 And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. 
18 On the seventh day the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm.” 
19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “He is dead.” 
20 Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he 
went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, 
they set food before him, and he ate. 
21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” 
22 He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, “Who knows whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ 
23 But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”

 

R.  A. Webb states:

[If a deceased infant] were sent to hell on no other account than that of original sin, there would be a good reason to the divine mind for the judgment, but the child’s mind would be a perfect blank as to the reason of its suffering. Under such circumstances, it would know suffering, but it would have no understanding of the reason for its suffering. It could not tell its neighbour—it could not tell itself—why it was so awfully smitten; and consequently the whole meaning and significance of its sufferings, being to it a conscious enigma, the very essence of penalty would be absent, and justice would be disappointed of its vindication. Such an infant could feel that it was in hell, but it could not explain, to its own conscience, why it was there.
 

John Calvin affirmed the certain election of some infants to salvation and was open to the possibility that all infants who die are saved. He said, “Christ receives not only those who, moved by holy desire and faith, freely approach unto Him, but those who are not yet of age to know how much they need His grace.”

Zwingli, B.B. Warfield and Charles Hodge all taught that God saves all who die in infancy. This perspective has basically become the dominant view of the Church in the 20th century.

 

James 4:17, the Bible says, “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”

The Bible is clear that we are all born with a sin nature as a result of being in Adam (Roman 5:12).

This is what is called the doctrine of original sin. However, the Scriptures make a distinction between original sin and actual sins. While all are guilty of original sin, moral responsibility and understanding is necessary for our being accountable for actual sins.

 

Deu 1:39  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. 
 

Isa 7:16  For before the child shall know to refuse the evil,
 

 It is to the one who knows to do right and does not do it that sin is reckoned. Infants are incapable of such decisions.

In talking about the salvation of infants and unborn babies, we must accept that all need to be saved in the same way.
Because of our sinful nature, each must be regenerated by the Holy Spirit.
Salvation is by grace alone, it is by the mercy of God that we are saved.
The scriptures tell us that we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world.
That our names are written in the Lambs book of life before the world began.

No matter when or where we are regenerated, the act is of God.
John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb.


Luke 1:15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.
 

No one can be filled with the Holy Spirit without regeneration.
 

Spurgeon affirmed that God saved little ones without limitation and without exception. He, then, as was his manner, turned to conclude the message with an evangelistic appeal to parents who might be lost. Listen to his plea: “Many of you are parents who have children in heaven. Is it not a desirable thing that you should go there too? And yet, have I not in these galleries and in this area some, perhaps many, who have no hope hereafter”? . .
 

I think it is quite clear from scripture, that all children who die in the womb or die in infancy must be included in the elect of God. They are saved by the grace and mercy of God because such is the kingdom of heaven and we must become like them by conversion.

Matt 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.


God, speaking of the Promised Land, said.

Deu 1:39  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. 
 

In the same way, children who do not have knowledge of good and evil, will enter eternal life but because of the grace and mercy of God.

Salvation will be applied to them by the Holy Spirit.

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