Last week I posted 7 thoughts about abortion. In that post I mentioned that I believe that babies who die go to heaven. There is some debate on the issue. The main reason for the debate is that there is no flat-out clear statement of Scripture. In other words, there is no verse that says “all babies who die go to heaven.”
Therefore, since the Bible does not directly state the case one way or another, a person needs to analyze the whole counsel of God and make a theory. My theory is that babies who die go to heaven. Here are 7 points on the subject.
- David’s dead baby
I think this is the closest the Bible gets to saying dead babies go to heaven. David fasts and prays while his son is dying. Once the baby dies, David says, “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” David expects to see his kid again. This isn’t just wishful thinking recorded in Scripture, I don’t think. There is no counterpoint given in the Bible to disprove David’s statement, so I’d go with it.
- Original Sin
Most of this debate circles around the issue of Original Sin. The Calvinist concept of Original Sin is that all humans are guilty by fault of being a human. All humans are guilty because of Adam’s sin, not because of personal sin, according to this view. Consistent Calvinists (of which there are few, thank God) believe only elect babies go to heaven, just as they believe only elect anybodies go to heaven. If you believe that simply being conceived places you under God’s judgment, you should deny that babies go to heaven. I don’t agree with the Calvinist notion of Original Sin. I believe babies are born morally innocent.
- Age of Accountability
Based on verses like Isaiah 7:16, “For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good,” there is a testimony of Scripture that talks about a time of moral ignorance. Whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Faith comes by hearing God’s Word. Babies can’t hear God’s Word in any true sense of biblical hearing. Therefore, I do not see how they could be guilty of sin.
- Babies are innocent
According to Ecclesiastes 7:29, “God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.” We hear all the time that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” as well as told we are “made in the image of God.” Yet many inconsistent people will, at the same time, believe we are born sinners, guilty and deserving of hell. Therefore, we are not made upright nor wonderfully, nor in the image of God! Unless you believe God is a sinner who thinks being born sinful is wonderful.
- Kids enter the Kingdom
Jesus once said, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus had many fine things to say about small kids. It seems hard to believe He would use small kids as an example for entering the Kingdom if small kids didn’t actually enter the Kingdom. “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.“
- God is just
Based on the revelation of God’s character as revealed to us in the Bible, I don’t see how the God of the Bible would throw babies into hell. This is based on hours of reading God’s Word, not just some hopeful, sentimental feeling within me. It does not fit God’s revealed character. God is love. Yes, there are reasons why God sends people to hell. Being a dead baby is never on that list.
- God’s outrage at infant sacrifice
Part of some of the wicked idolatry around Israel involved sacrificing babies. These worshipers would “burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind.” Killing babies is not even a concept that entered God’s mind. I can’t imagine then that He would throw dead babies into hell-fire.
The main reason people even bother to ask whether dead babies go to heaven is due to Calvinist philosophy. If you just stick with the Bible, I think a pretty good case is made for believing dead babies go to heaven.