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View Full Version : DO Babies really go to heaven? Thoughts and questions



Dragonfighter1
Oct 18th 2008, 10:23 AM
Where in the Bible does it guarantee babies go to heaven?

I have seen many/heard many speak of all the aborted babies as being heaven bound but is that factual?

There is a verse...
I Cor 7:14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

It seems to me that the children of Christian parents that die in there youth are sanctified, but where do I find a verse that sanctifies the children of the unsaved?

The implication are multi-fold. First Sanctification in the verse above could indicated that either children are "autosaved" that is because a parent was they automatically are. Or, that there is something I shall call "temporary juvenile sanctification" meaning when they get to the age of accountability they need to confirm it for themselves. I'm not sure if there are other possibilities so dont jump on my head about this. I've been awake since 4:30AM and this is bugging me.

Other ramification is... aborted babies may not be going to heaven!! GAH!!

Now if that is a correct interpretation and we all dont get active in the antiabortion movement then nothing will ever move us to action!

Personally I don't see the Auto-saved version. The "temporary juvenile sanctification" makes sense. (temporary sanctification until the age of accountability)
Help its now 6:21AM and my brain is mushy:dunno:

P.S. Lets all agree that trusting God is always the final call. In the mean time lets dialog on this matter?

petepet
Oct 18th 2008, 10:50 AM
Where in the Bible does it guarantee babies go to heaven?

I have seen many/heard many speak of all the aborted babies as being heaven bound but is that factual?

There is a verse...
I Cor 7:14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

It seems to me that the children of Christian parents that die in there youth are sanctified, but where do I find a verse that sanctifies the children of the unsaved?

The implication are multi-fold. First Sanctification in the verse above could indicated that either children are "autosaved" that is because a parent was they automatically are. Or, that there is something I shall call "temporary juvenile sanctification" meaning when they get to the age of accountability they need to confirm it for themselves. I'm not sure if there are other possibilities so dont jump on my head about this. I've been awake since 4:30AM and this is bugging me.

Other ramification is... aborted babies may not be going to heaven!! GAH!!

Now if that is a correct interpretation and we all dont get active in the antiabortion movement then nothing will ever move us to action!

Personally I don't see the Auto-saved version. The "temporary juvenile sanctification" makes sense. (temporary sanctification until the age of accountability)
Help its now 6:21AM and my brain is mushy:dunno:

Oh dear, you have thrown the cat among the pigeons. Now we will be receiving a lot of dogmatic answers (no doubt 'divinely guided' but disagreeing) giving one view or the other.

The Scriptures nowhere give a clear answer to this question, otherwise you would not be wrestling with it. It is really best left in the hands of God. What we must do is obey the Scriptures and trust God.

I have often thought that if all babies who die in infancy go to Heaven that turns child murderers into saints. Why it would become almost my duty to go round killing babies before they could grow to the age of responsibility (whenever that is). What a dangerous idea that would be.

And how foolish we would be to base our decisons on something decided by our ignorance.

Equally foolish is the idea that such babies suffer in Hell for ever.

The RC church tried to solve it by inventing Limbo. something which they have now thankfully scrapped.

What Paul was concerned to deal with in 1 Corinthians 7 was the argument that if two people were married, one a new believer and the other an unbeliever, it was not necessary for them to separate on the grounds that the unbeliever made the home 'unsanctified'. The new 'holiness' of the saved person covered the whole household. What it did not mean was that everyone in that household was thereby saved. What it did mean was that that home would be blessed by God as 'set apart' to Him by the believer.

Dragonfighter1
Oct 18th 2008, 10:54 AM
I have often thought that if all babies who die in infancy go to Heaven that turns child murderers into saints. Why it would become almost my duty to go round killing babies before they could grow to the age of responsibility (whenever that is). What a dangerous idea that would be.


WOW!! That is a compelling point indeed! I never thought of that. It is a logical one if ALL babies are autosaved. Kudo points on there way to you.

Dragonfighter1
Oct 18th 2008, 11:00 AM
What Paul was concerned to deal with in 1 Corinthians 7 was the argument that if two people were married, one a new believer and the other an unbeliever, it was not necessary for them to separate on the grounds that the unbeliever made the home 'unsanctified'. The new 'holiness' of the saved person covered the whole household. What it did not mean was that everyone in that household was thereby saved. What it did mean was that that home would be blessed by God as 'set apart' to Him by the believer.

Not sure:dunno: I completely agree with this point. Because of the Union of husband and wife (oneness) and the definition of sanctification (Holy) the case has been proffered that the blood of Christ applies even to an unsaved spouse so long as they are married.

Lucariokid13
Oct 18th 2008, 12:56 PM
I believe babies do go to heaven, cause in the bible it says everyone has a chance to know God, thus get into heaven. And seening babies dont have a chance on earth to knoe him, God will give them another way. Cant say what but, like mum always says "just let God do whats best" :D.

Its probably not much help, but its the best i can do.

paradiseinn
Oct 18th 2008, 01:20 PM
Imo,
GOD is loving and HOLY. I don't think we need the bible to let us know if babies go to heaven or hell.
We all are sinners who have accepted Jesus and now are saved.
Babies?, I trust GOD in this situation.
I don't think we need to try to find anything in the bible to calm our thoughts about this.
just my thoughts about this
GOD bless

Dragonfighter1
Oct 18th 2008, 01:36 PM
Imo,
GOD is loving and HOLY. I don't think we need the bible to let us know if babies go to heaven or hell.
We all are sinners who have accepted Jesus and now are saved.
Babies?, I trust GOD in this situation.
I don't think we need to try to find anything in the bible to calm our thoughts about this.
just my thoughts about this
GOD bless


I sorry but I disagree. First: the O.P. was "is there a Bible Verse etc..
Second: Its fine to trust God WE ABSOLUTELY SHOULD BUT that doesnt absolve us of responsible action.
A lot of abortive mothers are superstitious, Afraid of god (that's god lower case spelling) and think "its ok the baby is going to heaven". If they thought "my baby will go to hell" how might that change the number of abortions?
I am not suggesting lying, I am not suggesting we take this course of action. This thread was never intended to about abortion per se. But about the disposition of babies eternally. Aborted or miscarried etc..

Lets all agree that trusting God is always the final call. In the mean time lets dialog on this matter?

paradiseinn
Oct 18th 2008, 02:01 PM
...oops! i'm sorry I misunderstood the op.
I'm sure we would see a huge decrease in abortions if mothers thought their babies were going to hell.
I always have assumed that babies were auto saved.
p.s. I just woke up and my brain is mushy;)

matthew94
Oct 18th 2008, 02:05 PM
Since the Bible doesn't directly answer the question of the fate of babies who pass away before reaching maturity, we are left to speculate based on our understanding of the nature of God. As a Wesleyan-Arminian, I believe in something called "prevenient grace." This grace is universal in its scope. It removes the "guilt" of Adam from all human beings. In this way, people are born with a bent toward sin, but not with individual guilt. That is why the father is responsible for his OWN sin and the son is responsible for his OWN sin. In other words, we are held guilty based only on "voluntary transgressions of a known law of God." This "prevenient grace" is, by definition, a work of God. It is not 'another way' to be saved outside of faith in Christ. It is Christ saving the not yet mature and the incompetant because of His nature of grace and justice.

Dragonfighter1
Oct 18th 2008, 02:31 PM
Since the Bible doesn't directly answer the question of the fate of babies who pass away before reaching maturity, we are left to speculate based on our understanding of the nature of God. As a Wesleyan-Arminian, I believe in something called "prevenient grace." This grace is universal in its scope. It removes the "guilt" of Adam from all human beings. In this way, people are born with a bent toward sin, but not with individual guilt. That is why the father is responsible for his OWN sin and the son is responsible for his OWN sin. In other words, we are held guilty based only on "voluntary transgressions of a known law of God." This "prevenient grace" is, by definition, a work of God. It is not 'another way' to be saved outside of faith in Christ. It is Christ saving the not yet mature and the incompetant because of His nature of grace and justice.

An interesting answer. Do you have a verse or two that the wesleyan-armenian group use to support this prevenient idea (I've never heard it but it resonates nicely with my idea of what God is like)

petepet
Oct 18th 2008, 03:46 PM
Since the Bible doesn't directly answer the question of the fate of babies who pass away before reaching maturity, we are left to speculate based on our understanding of the nature of God. As a Wesleyan-Arminian, I believe in something called "prevenient grace." This grace is universal in its scope. It removes the "guilt" of Adam from all human beings. In this way, people are born with a bent toward sin, but not with individual guilt. That is why the father is responsible for his OWN sin and the son is responsible for his OWN sin. In other words, we are held guilty based only on "voluntary transgressions of a known law of God." This "prevenient grace" is, by definition, a work of God. It is not 'another way' to be saved outside of faith in Christ. It is Christ saving the not yet mature and the incompetant because of His nature of grace and justice.


But totally without Scriptural warrant :-))) :kiss:

Perhaps if God did not answer the question He meant us not to get involved in it? It is our arrogance that makes us suggest that we have a right to know everything.

Personally I believe that babies who die simply cease to exist.

tt1106
Oct 18th 2008, 04:27 PM
Yes, Babies really do go to Heaven. Although they have been born into sin, they are not sinful, per se.

matthew94
Oct 18th 2008, 04:27 PM
But totally without Scriptural warrant :-))) :kiss:

Perhaps if God did not answer the question He meant us not to get involved in it? It is our arrogance that makes us suggest that we have a right to know everything.

Personally I believe that babies who die simply cease to exist.

Haha, I find it very interesting that you:

1) Assume I have no Scriptural warrent for Prevenient Grace
2) Say we should not get involved in speculation on this area

And then you proceed to

1) Say you think babies who die simply cease to exist
2) Fail to give any Scriptural support

petepet
Oct 18th 2008, 04:40 PM
Haha, I find it very interesting that you:

1) Assume I have no Scriptural warrent for Prevenient Grace
2) Say we should not get involved in speculation on this area

And then you proceed to

1) Say you think babies who die simply cease to exist
2) Fail to give any Scriptural support

If you had bothered to read my earlier post I made quite clear that there was no Scriptural warrant for any view. Indeed I am against theorising on the matter. Do I really have to repeat it every time? I am writing for people who have intelligence. However I am equally in doubt that all babies can so easily be transferred to Heaven. On the other hand it is not for me to dogmatise and tell God what to do.

It is quite another thing to introduce high sounding theological suppositions based on no facts at all.

I will ignore your rather ignorant and unChristian ha ha.

threebigrocks
Oct 18th 2008, 04:46 PM
Okay, deep breathe here everyone, chill a bit.

Let's see some scripture instead of our own words. Scripture can stand alone. ;)

petepet
Oct 18th 2008, 04:48 PM
Since the Bible doesn't directly answer the question of the fate of babies who pass away before reaching maturity, we are left to speculate based on our understanding of the nature of God. As a Wesleyan-Arminian, I believe in something called "prevenient grace." This grace is universal in its scope. It removes the "guilt" of Adam from all human beings. In this way, people are born with a bent toward sin, but not with individual guilt. That is why the father is responsible for his OWN sin and the son is responsible for his OWN sin. In other words, we are held guilty based only on "voluntary transgressions of a known law of God." This "prevenient grace" is, by definition, a work of God. It is not 'another way' to be saved outside of faith in Christ. It is Christ saving the not yet mature and the incompetant because of His nature of grace and justice.

You do not need a high sounding invention in order to recognise that the idea of original guilt is unscriptural. God did not need to show grace in order to accept that someone who had not committed sins was 'not guilty'. No one is born with original guilt (whatever that is). All are born with an original tendency to sin. Both positions are Scriptural and common sense. There is absolutely no reason for introducing a conception like 'prevenient grace'.

But if all babies went to Heaven God would be inexcusable in not ensuring that all babies died. The only grounds for allowing men to grow up and develop is that for them alone there was the opportunity of eternal life. And that is all that Scripture offers, eternal life to those who believe.

threebigrocks
Oct 18th 2008, 04:50 PM
3. Prevenient grace is a doctrine based on many valid theological concepts.

Okay, well then let's see some scripture.

Please take note of my previous post above.

matthew94
Oct 18th 2008, 04:54 PM
You do not need a high sounding invention in order to recognise that the idea of original guilt is unscriptural. God did not need to show grace in order to accept that someone who had not committed sins was 'not guilty'. No one is born with original guilt (whatever that is). All are born with an original tendency to sin. Both are Scriptural and common sense. There is absolutely no reason for introducing a cocneption like 'prevnient grace'.

But if all babies went to Heaven God would be inexcusable in not ensuring that all babies died. The only grounds for allowing men to grow up and develop is that for them alone there was the opportunity of eternal life.

I'm not sure why you keep saying 'prevenient grace' is 'high sounding.' It's just a phrase that means God sends His grace into people's lives before the day of their initial justification. Your argument that God did not need to respond to original sin is tentative at best.

In the end, we are basically agreeing that children are not guilty before God. You are saying they are naturally innocent. I am saying God's grace is responsible for their innocence. I feel much more comfortable relying on God than man.

Your point about God 'ensuring' that all babies die so they'll go to heaven seems so far removed from a thorough understanding of the nature of God and human existence that I'm not sure I should respond. Obviously God sees great value in mature existence. I'd like to see your biblical support for the idea that babies cease to exist upon death.

threebigrocks
Oct 18th 2008, 04:56 PM
Common folk speak please.

matthew94
Oct 18th 2008, 05:01 PM
An interesting answer. Do you have a verse or two that the wesleyan-armenian group use to support this prevenient idea (I've never heard it but it resonates nicely with my idea of what God is like)

The doctrine of prevenient grace is an explanation for the mutual truth of the following 2 doctrines

1) The biblical support for original sin & guilt
2) The biblical support for an age of responsibility

In other words, IF it is true that Adam was our federal head and, thus, we all sinned 'in Adam' AND IF it is true that God only holds us responsible for willful sin THEN God must deal with un-willful sin by His grace. Such grace would, by definition, precede initial justification and can thus be rendered 'prevenient grace.'

Veretax
Oct 18th 2008, 05:03 PM
The only place where I am certain that such was spoken is in 1st or 2nd Samuel. I don't have the passage here in front of me but essentially, After David's sin with Bathsheba and she became pregnant, David mourned that the baby would live (because it was sick). After some time the child died, and David ceased mourning and rejoiced. He was asked why he mourned before and not after and David whom I believe was speaking by the Holy spirit, said that his son shall not come to him, but he should go to him. IN essence, I've always taken that to mean that chidlren who die before the age of accountability are held blameless. However, where exactly that age is, of some dispute I think :?

matthew94
Oct 18th 2008, 05:05 PM
Okay, well then let's see some scripture.

Please take note of my previous post above.

Threebigrocks... I am happy to discuss any Scripture that argues against prevenient grace. The Bible, though, is not a book designed as a systematic theology text. We can't just go to a chapter on the topic of the different stages of grace. I think the idea of God's grace extending to non-believers to some degree is agreed upon by all Christians. Calvinists call it 'common grace' (it allows us not to cease to exist!) and Arminians call it 'prevenient grace'. Arminians mean more by this term than Calvinists do and that is what we're discussing.

petepet
Oct 18th 2008, 05:14 PM
I'm not sure why you keep saying 'prevenient grace' is 'high sounding.' It's just a phrase that means God sends His grace into people's lives before the day of their initial justification. Your argument that God did not need to respond to original sin is tentative at best.

In the end, we are basically agreeing that children are not guilty before God. You are saying they are naturally innocent. I am saying God's grace is responsible for their innocence. I feel much more comfortable relying on God than man.

Your point about God 'ensuring' that all babies die so they'll go to heaven seems so far removed from a thorough understanding of the nature of God and human existence that I'm not sure I should respond. Obviously God sees great value in mature existence. I'd like to see your biblical support for the idea that babies cease to exist upon death.

God did respond to original sin in promising the woman's seed. But He certainly did not have to respond to what would never happen (babies sinning). if they need prevenient grace they are not innocent. My view is not 'relying on men' it is simply common sense.

You want a Scripture that says what happens to those who do not receive eternal life? 'The dead know not anything' (Ecclesiastes 9.5). 'Why have you brought me forth out of the womb? I had given up the spirit and no eye had seen me. I would have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave' (Job 10.19). Compare also Job 7.9.

Dragonfighter1
Oct 18th 2008, 05:15 PM
The only place where I am certain that such was spoken is in 1st or 2nd Samuel. I don't have the passage here in front of me but essentially, After David's sin with Bathsheba and she became pregnant, David mourned that the baby would live (because it was sick). After some time the child died, and David ceased mourning and rejoiced. He was asked why he mourned before and not after and David whom I believe was speaking by the Holy spirit, said that his son shall not come to him, but he should go to him. IN essence, I've always taken that to mean that chidlren who die before the age of accountability are held blameless. However, where exactly that age is, of some dispute I think :?


Veretax: I like the answer:hmm:. Good thinking. It certainly answers that a believers baby goes to heaven (I think we can agree that David was heaven bound and therefore expected to see him again). It doesn't yet answer the other question: do the dead babies of the unsaved go to heaven? But we are now discoursing in the right area. Thanks for the post.

Dragonfighter1
Oct 18th 2008, 05:19 PM
But totally without Scriptural warrant :-))) :kiss:

Perhaps if God did not answer the question He meant us not to get involved in it? It is our arrogance that makes us suggest that we have a right to know everything.

Personally I believe that babies who die simply cease to exist.


Babies have souls! The scriptures are very plain on that. Ergo: Babies cannot cease to exist. Either the souls are transferred to another body:o, or they go to heaven/hell:hmm:.

The idea of soul transfer seems to go against any scripture I have ever seen so they must either be heaven or hell bound.

Dragonfighter1
Oct 18th 2008, 05:23 PM
The doctrine of prevenient grace is an explanation for the mutual truth of the following 2 doctrines

1) The biblical support for original sin & guilt
2) The biblical support for an age of responsibility

In other words, IF it is true that Adam was our federal head and, thus, we all sinned 'in Adam' AND IF it is true that God only holds us responsible for willful sin THEN God must deal with un-willful sin by His grace. Such grace would, by definition, precede initial justification and can thus be rendered 'prevenient grace.' Emphasis by DF1

Is it? I thought otherwise. I would like to know more about this. Could you start a separate thread on that idea and invite me. It seems something well worth understanding.:hmm:

Thanks,
DF1

petepet
Oct 18th 2008, 05:27 PM
Babies have souls! The scriptures are very plain on that. Ergo: Babies cannot cease to exist. Either the souls are transferred to another body:o, or they go to heaven/hell:hmm:.

The idea of soul transfer seems to go against any scripture I have ever seen so they must either be heaven or hell bound.


You are relying on the Platonic doctrine of the immortality of the soul. It is not taught in Scripture. To suggest that a soul is so immortal that God cannot cause it to cease to exist is little short of blasphemy. (I used to arrogantly say it once myself until I realised how foolish I was being).

petepet
Oct 18th 2008, 05:30 PM
The only place where I am certain that such was spoken is in 1st or 2nd Samuel. I don't have the passage here in front of me but essentially, After David's sin with Bathsheba and she became pregnant, David mourned that the baby would live (because it was sick). After some time the child died, and David ceased mourning and rejoiced. He was asked why he mourned before and not after and David whom I believe was speaking by the Holy spirit, said that his son shall not come to him, but he should go to him. IN essence, I've always taken that to mean that chidlren who die before the age of accountability are held blameless. However, where exactly that age is, of some dispute I think :?


All that David was saying in 2 Samuel 12.23 was that he would join the baby in the grave. That is no basis on which to posit a future life for babies.

Dragonfighter1
Oct 18th 2008, 05:47 PM
All that David was saying in 2 Samuel 12.23 was that he would join the baby in the grave. That is no basis on which to posit a future life for babies.


Hmmm not sure I follow.. David was rejoicing that he was grave bound? That doesnt make sense.

matthew94
Oct 18th 2008, 05:50 PM
Emphasis by DF1

Is it? I thought otherwise. I would like to know more about this. Could you start a separate thread on that idea and invite me. It seems something well worth understanding.:hmm:

Thanks,
DF1

Well, I'm not sure it needs it's own thread since it is a significant aspect of this discussion. There are a lot of words translated as 'sin' in the Bible. There are sins of ignorance and sins of outright rebellion. The question we are talking about is, does God hold us personally responsible for sins of ignorance. I think the Scriptures teach otherwise. There is a Proverb I like in this regard:

Proverbs 24:12
If you say, "But we knew nothing about this,"
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?

If we find out, later on, that something we did was wrong, God knows that we committed the sin in ignorance (or if we knew very well what we were doing!). He weighs the heart. He knows our limitations. He will judge us based on what we did in light of what we knew. It's the same reason why the Israelites under 20 years of age were allowed into the promised land. They were not going to be held responsible for the sins they had been trained up in unless they had personally willed to rebel against God. Ezekiel 18 is all about this. One verse says:

Ezekiel 18:4 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=33&chapter=18&verse=4&version=31&context=verse)
For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son—both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.

We are held responsible only for our own sins. And sins, as described above, are weighed by whether we were ignorant of what we were doing.

*Hope*
Oct 18th 2008, 05:56 PM
I've posted about this before so I'm just going to re-post it here:

First, I reject anything (any belief, thought, question or reason) that entices me to question God's goodness. God is good. He is infinitely good, His ways are good, His heart is good. Always. Now, sometimes His goodness may not appear good to us. For instance when my mother died of cancer, to my tender heart (and uneducated mind) I perceived it to be quite the opposite of "good". Or a year ago when someone I know lost their precious five year old daughter unexpectedly, my heart wrenched for them - grieved....and for a moment I wondered how in the world could this be God's will? But as I allowed God's truth to comfort me through the confusion, agony and even doubt....He reminded me, and demonstrated His goodness. Once again, with His glorious gift called grace. The reason I bring up this point is because I think it's highly important that we resolve in ourselves, that we will cling to God's promises (no matter what our circumstances) and when the events in our life, pain, sorrow, suffering...when anything seems to contradict the belief in God's goodness...we must conclude that it is our perception that is wrong, not God.

That being said, I've come to the belief that all infants (and those who are mentally challenged) do go to heaven. BUT, I do not believe that it is because they are "innocent", as I'll show in the following Scriptures.
We are all born sinful, stained with the sin of Adam, in need of a Savior:

"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me." ~ Psa 51:5

"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-- for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come." ~ Romans 5:12-14

The Scriptures above might lead a person to believe that all babies go to hell instead of heaven, but there's evidence that God has actively sought to save people (by His Spirit and still through His grace) while they were yet unborn. Two instances are David and John the Baptist:

"Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust {when} upon my mother's breasts. [10] Upon You I was cast from birth; You have been my God from my mother's womb." ~Psa 22:9-10 [David speaking]

"For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother's womb." ~Luke 1:15 [about John the Baptist]

Those scriptures alone give us reason to disbelieve the notion that all babies go to hell. However, there's still more evidence of God's goodness. The primary reason that I believe that all babies (and mentally challenged people) go to heaven is because of these verses:

"Since the creation of the world God's invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." ~Romans 1:20

"And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind." Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, "We are not blind too, are we?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, 'We see,' your sin remains." ~John 9:39-41

These passages seem to teach us that a person who does not possess the ability to understand, or have not had opportunity to see "God's invisible attributes" would have an excuse. It's not because they are innocent, they are as guilty as the rest of us. But it appears that because they lack the understanding, or do not have access to the revelation of God's glory..God applies His goodness in the form of grace so they are not held accountable.

matthew94
Oct 18th 2008, 06:02 PM
I think the post by Hope (above) is very good. I also think we can take the following verse quite literally

Matthew 19:14
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

petepet
Oct 18th 2008, 06:42 PM
Hmmm not sure I follow.. David was rejoicing that he was grave bound? That doesnt make sense.

Now where do you get the idea that David was rejoicing? He was griefstricken but was being brave. There is no evidence at all that Old Testament believers expected to go to Heaven.

petepet
Oct 18th 2008, 06:50 PM
The doctrine of prevenient grace is an explanation for the mutual truth of the following 2 doctrines

1) The biblical support for original sin & guilt
2) The biblical support for an age of responsibility

In other words, IF it is true that Adam was our federal head and, thus, we all sinned 'in Adam' AND IF it is true that God only holds us responsible for willful sin THEN God must deal with un-willful sin by His grace. Such grace would, by definition, precede initial justification and can thus be rendered 'prevenient grace.'

There is no Biblical support for a doctrine of original guilt. Indeed it is an immoral doctrine. Nor are there any sins that are not the result of the will. Therefore all sins are willful sins.l

matthew94
Oct 18th 2008, 06:57 PM
Petepet,

Since you seem to be a somewhat combative poster, I think it would be good if we stated some agreements that existence between you and I in this thread. After reading it carefully, I find that we are, in a large degree, in agreement on the following:

1. The Bible does not state clearly what happens to babies who die
2. Any discussion of what happens, then, is speculative in nature
3. Babies are not counted as guilty before God (though we believe this for different reasons).
4. Sin is best defined as a willful transgression of a known law of God

I also have much support for some of your other speculative positions in this thread. I just wanted to share this b/c it seemed, earlier, like we were rubbing each other the wrong way.

God bless,
matthew

petepet
Oct 18th 2008, 07:05 PM
I've posted about this before so I'm just going to re-post it here:

First, I reject anything (any belief, thought, question or reason) that entices me to question God's goodness. God is good. He is infinitely good, His ways are good, His heart is good. Always. Now, sometimes His goodness may not appear good to us. For instance when my mother died of cancer, to my tender heart (and uneducated mind) I perceived it to be quite the opposite of "good". Or a year ago when someone I know lost their precious five year old daughter unexpectedly, my heart wrenched for them - grieved....and for a moment I wondered how in the world could this be God's will? But as I allowed God's truth to comfort me through the confusion, agony and even doubt....He reminded me, and demonstrated His goodness. Once again, with His glorious gift called grace. The reason I bring up this point is because I think it's highly important that we resolve in ourselves, that we will cling to God's promises (no matter what our circumstances) and when the events in our life, pain, sorrow, suffering...when anything seems to contradict the belief in God's goodness...we must conclude that it is our perception that is wrong, not God.

We are both agreed on that.

That being said, I've come to the belief that all infants (and those who are mentally challenged) do go to heaven. BUT, I do not believe that it is because they are "innocent", as I'll show in the following Scriptures.

You may of course believe what you like. But you have no Scriptural support.

We are all born sinful, stained with the sin of Adam, in need of a Savior:

"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me." ~ Psa 51:5

"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-- for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come." ~ Romans 5:12-14

The Scriptures above might lead a person to believe that all babies go to hell instead of heaven,

But that is to accept the Platonic doctrine of the immortality of the soul. It is nowhere found in Scripture. Indeed Scriptue indicates that the lost will finally be 'destroyed'. The alternative is simply that dead babies cease to be.



but there's evidence that God has actively sought to save people (by His Spirit and still through His grace) while they were yet unborn. Two instances are David and John the Baptist:

"Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust {when} upon my mother's breasts. [10] Upon You I was cast from birth; You have been my God from my mother's womb." ~Psa 22:9-10 [David speaking]

In those days a child was on his mother's breasts until they were three or four or even older. By the time that he was four David was certainly able to trust God, but not as a baby. Of course once he was old enough to trust in God he was beyond babyhood.


"For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother's womb." ~Luke 1:15 [about John the Baptist]

This demonstrates only that he was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb. God knew perfectly well that John was not going to die as a baby.

Those scriptures alone give us reason to disbelieve the notion that all babies go to hell.

True but not that they do not cease to be.

However, there's still more evidence of God's goodness. The primary reason that I believe that all babies (and mentally challenged people) go to heaven is because of these verses:

"Since the creation of the world God's invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." ~Romans 1:20

"And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind." Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, "We are not blind too, are we?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, 'We see,' your sin remains." ~John 9:39-41

These passages seem to teach us that a person who does not possess the ability to understand, or have not had opportunity to see "God's invisible attributes" would have an excuse. It's not because they are innocent, they are as guilty as the rest of us. But it appears that because they lack the understanding, or do not have access to the revelation of God's glory..God applies His goodness in the form of grace so they are not held accountable.

Sorry. They teach no such thing. You cannnot assume a negative from a positiive. You are reading into it what you want to find. If you want to believe that babies go to Heaven by all means do. But do not misuse Scripture in order to pretend that you have proved it. No doubt those who want to agree with you will nod their heads wisely. But by your method we could prove all kinds of false doctrine.

What you have underlined does not follow. It is a non sequitur. If I say all Romans have sinned, I am not suggesting that all who are not Romans have not sinned. That would be absurd.

petepet
Oct 18th 2008, 07:29 PM
Petepet,

Since you seem to be a somewhat combative poster, I think it would be good if we stated some agreements that existence between you and I in this thread. After reading it carefully, I find that we are, in a large degree, in agreement on the following:

1. The Bible does not state clearly what happens to babies who die
2. Any discussion of what happens, then, is speculative in nature
3. Babies are not counted as guilty before God (though we believe this for different reasons).
4. Sin is best defined as a willful transgression of a known law of God

I also have much support for some of your other speculative positions in this thread. I just wanted to share this b/c it seemed, earlier, like we were rubbing each other the wrong way.

God bless,
matthew

Hi, Thank you for the above post, and I appreciate your reason for posting it..

If by combative you mean that I stand firmly for the position that we must not make the Bible say what it does not say and that I try to hold people to an honest interpretation of Scripture I will gladly agree. If you are suggesting that somehow I am communicating in anger (or even irritation) that is totally untrue.

The subject is certainly not one to get upset over, and I was expecting most people to go for the 'all dead babies go to Heaven'. position. At first sight it appears to be the position that does most credit to God, especially if they believe in the unScriptural doctrine of the immortality of the soul. But that is only from our point of view. God sees things differently, and as I have pointed out there are many great problems with that theory. It seems a little hard on those who do not die as babies.

I do however get mildly 'upset' when people use Scripture carelessly in order to justify a point, simply because in the future it is they who will lose out by it, and believe it or not, I am concerned for them. I consider that careful use of Scripture is very important.

Best wishes

The only thing that I was unhappy about in respect of your postings was your 'ha, ha'. But I accept that that was probably simply thoughtless.

matthew94
Oct 18th 2008, 07:30 PM
I meant 'combative' in the sense of passionate about your Scripture-led opinions. I share with you in this sort of combativeness.

I am surprised you were so offended by the 'haha' that you consider it, at best, simply thoughtless. Try to think of the 'haha' as intended in the same way you meant the 2 smiley faces. The 'haha' was directed at those happy critters.

Petepet, might I suggest that just like you are 'speculating' that babies cease to exist upon death, your fellow posters are 'speculating' that they go to heaven. Nobody, that I know of, is saying it's a certainty. They are just making their best case for why they hold their opinions. Just like you said earlier, if the case were a clear one, we wouldn't be discussing it. There'd be no need. There's nothing wrong with speculative theology.

RogerW
Oct 18th 2008, 07:33 PM
Babies have souls! The scriptures are very plain on that. Ergo: Babies cannot cease to exist. Either the souls are transferred to another body:o, or they go to heaven/hell:hmm:.

The idea of soul transfer seems to go against any scripture I have ever seen so they must either be heaven or hell bound.

Greetings Dragon,

There is no conclusive evidence that David was not simply saying that as the baby had died, so too would he. I find it interesting that when Scripture speaks of mankind it says "none are righteous, no not one." Without righteousness no man will enter the kingdom of God. If babies dying in infancy go immediately to heaven, you would think the verse would read there are none righteous, except for innocent babies.

Ro 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Mt 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Mt 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Ro 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

We are left with a real dilemma...can no baby become righteous and be saved? If no baby can be saved is there injustice with God? What about the man born mentally impaired...is there also no salvation for them, because they, like the tiny baby can never know the way of righteousness?

Salvation is of the Lord! It matters not whether a small baby, dying in infancy, the mentally impaired, or the one who "hears" the gospel and becomes saved...every man saved is saved by grace through faith, not of themselves, lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:8,9) Every man born of Adam is born fallen, and dead in trespasses and sins. Every man who belongs to the Lord will be saved, whether infant, mentally impaired or life long believer...because salvation is of the Lord! Salvation comes through imputation of His righteousness, apart from our works.

So what comfort can believers find if their beloved baby dies in infancy? We claim God's promise that salvation is unto us and to our children (Ac 2:39), finding great comfort in God's promises. What about the infants of unbelievers? Sadly they cannot claim such comfort. This alone should exhort us to be under the hearing of the gospel of salvation, because faith comes by hearing (Ro 10:17). We can also find comfort in the example of John the Baptist, born to believing parents, and who was indwelt by the Spirit of God from his mother's womb, showing clearly that even tiny infants can be saved...why? Because Salvation Is Of the Lord!

Many Blessings,
RW

petepet
Oct 18th 2008, 07:35 PM
I think the post by Hope (above) is very good. I also think we can take the following verse quite literally

Matthew 19:14
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."


This was, however, speaking about youngsters capable of believing. The whole point of His comment was that we should have their simplicity of belief.

petepet
Oct 18th 2008, 07:45 PM
I meant 'combative' in the sense of passionate about your Scripture-led opinions. I share with you in this sort of combativeness.

I am surprised you were so offended by the 'haha' that you consider it, at best, simply thoughtless. Try to think of the 'haha' as intended in the same way you meant the 2 smiley faces. The 'haha' was directed at those happy critters.

Petepet, might I suggest that just like you are 'speculating' that babies cease to exist upon death, your fellow posters are 'speculating' that they go to heaven. Nobody, that I know of, is saying it's a certainty. They are just making their best case for why they hold their opinions. Just like you said earlier, if the case were a clear one, we wouldn't be discussing it. There'd be no need. There's nothing wrong with speculative theology.

My smiley faces were intended to take any sting out of my comment. I was not offended. I just felt that it did not do you justice.

Speculation is one thing. Misusing Scripture in order to prove it is another :-))))

Actually I think that speculative theology is dangerous :-))

Veretax
Oct 18th 2008, 09:23 PM
Veretax: I like the answer:hmm:. Good thinking. It certainly answers that a believers baby goes to heaven (I think we can agree that David was heaven bound and therefore expected to see him again). It doesn't yet answer the other question: do the dead babies of the unsaved go to heaven? But we are now discoursing in the right area. Thanks for the post.


All that David was saying in 2 Samuel 12.23 was that he would join the baby in the grave. That is no basis on which to posit a future life for babies.


Let me post the text, and let you decide (NKJV)

2 Sam 12:16 David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17 So the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them. 18 Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead. For they said, “Indeed, while the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do some harm!”19 When David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?”
And they said, “He is dead.”20 So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this 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 And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell 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 shall not return to me.”



Now that verse alone is not where I base my belief that those who die before the age of accountability are not held as guilty. The bible makes it clear that God takes responsible for those who are born with defects... I'll see if I can find the verses that talk about that, but to me, I have to believe that those survive. It would seem contrary to the doctrines of Grace to me. Seeing as how those before that age of reason, cannot respond necessarily with faith, because they lack the capacity. This is my belief.

Dragonfighter1
Oct 19th 2008, 02:37 AM
2 Samuel 12.23 was that he would join the baby in the grave. That is no basis on which to posit a future life for babies.

My mistake. You are correct.

Veretax
Oct 19th 2008, 03:24 AM
If that is the case that he meant the grave, why did he quit morning and go to worship at that point? It makes little sense.

petepet
Oct 19th 2008, 08:23 AM
If that is the case that he meant the grave, why did he quit morning and go to worship at that point? It makes little sense.

Many people today say they they will join their children in the grave, especially if they have big mausoleums like David would have had.

That would be especailly so at that time for there was only a very vague idea of an afterlife in the Old Testament until very late on. There is no mention of it at all before the time of David.

Dragonfighter1
Oct 19th 2008, 11:24 AM
Greetings Dragon,

There is no conclusive evidence that David was not simply saying that as the baby had died, so too would he. I find it interesting that when Scripture speaks of mankind it says "none are righteous, no not one." Without righteousness no man will enter the kingdom of God. If babies dying in infancy go immediately to heaven, you would think the verse would read there are none righteous, except for innocent babies.

Ro 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Mt 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Mt 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Ro 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

We are left with a real dilemma...can no baby become righteous and be saved? If no baby can be saved is there injustice with God? What about the man born mentally impaired...is there also no salvation for them, because they, like the tiny baby can never know the way of righteousness?

Salvation is of the Lord! It matters not whether a small baby, dying in infancy, the mentally impaired, or the one who "hears" the gospel and becomes saved...every man saved is saved by grace through faith, not of themselves, lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:8,9) Every man born of Adam is born fallen, and dead in trespasses and sins. Every man who belongs to the Lord will be saved, whether infant, mentally impaired or life long believer...because salvation is of the Lord! Salvation comes through imputation of His righteousness, apart from our works.

So what comfort can believers find if their beloved baby dies in infancy? We claim God's promise that salvation is unto us and to our children (Ac 2:39), finding great comfort in God's promises. What about the infants of unbelievers? Sadly they cannot claim such comfort. This alone should exhort us to be under the hearing of the gospel of salvation, because faith comes by hearing (Ro 10:17). We can also find comfort in the example of John the Baptist, born to believing parents, and who was indwelt by the Spirit of God from his mother's womb, showing clearly that even tiny infants can be saved...why? Because Salvation Is Of the Lord!

Many Blessings,
RW

Can you all take another look at Rogers post, quoted above. It seems to be extremely well presented. Positing for the salvation of babies if the parents are Christian (assuming souls are eternal-we are not discussing that specifically), and etc..

Veretax
Oct 19th 2008, 12:05 PM
I like to read things in context so here it is from the NKJV.

Acts 2:
36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

The prescription here is to Repent, and be baptized into Christ....(Jews believes in God the Father and Spirit, but did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God). It also says the promise i to the Children.

However, I wondered what word was used for Children here and used Strongs to Find out:

(Thank you crosswalk.com)

Strong's Number: 5043 Browse Lexicon (http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/browse.cgi?number=5043&version=kjv) Original WordWord Origin tevknonfrom the base of (5098 (http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=5098&version=kjv)) Transliterated WordTDNT (http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=5043&version=kjv#Legend) Entry Teknon5:636,759 Phonetic SpellingParts of Speech tek'-non http://bible.crosswalk.com/images/audio.gif (http://bible.crosswalk.com/cgi-bin/lexicon.pl?id=5043g) Noun Neuter Definition


offspring, children

child
a male child, a son
metaph.

the name transferred to that intimate and reciprocal relationship formed between men by the bonds of love, friendship, trust, just as between parents and children
in affectionate address, such as patrons, helpers, teachers and the like employ: my child
in the NT, pupils or disciples are called children of their teachers, because the latter by their instruction nourish the minds of their pupils and mould their characters
children of God: in the OT of "the people of Israel" as especially dear to God, in the NT, in Paul's writings, all who are led by the Spirit of God and thus closely related to God
children of the devil: those who in thought and action are prompted by the devil, and so reflect his character


metaph.

of anything who depends upon it, is possessed by a desire or affection for it, is addicted to it
one who is liable to any fate 1c


thus children of a city: it citizens and inhabitants

the votaries of wisdom, those souls who have, as it were, been nurtured and moulded by wisdom
cursed children, exposed to a curse and doomed to God's wrath or penalty





King James Word Usage - Total: 99 child 77, son 21, daughter 1


Unfortunately, it doesn't clarify to me whether in this passage it means that your children if you are a believer are 'covered' if you will or not. I grew up in a Reformed church. They teach what they call Covenental Theology, that believers children are sealed and set apart from unbelievers. This is part of the justification that they use to explain why the "baptize" infants. I have come to believe that is in error, however, is there a principle that the families of believers are somehow set apart and special to God even though at some point each person must make a decision himself/herself for Christ?

RogerW
Oct 19th 2008, 12:08 PM
Can you all take another look at Rogers post, quoted above. It seems to be extremely well presented. Positing for the salvation of babies if the parents are Christian (assuming souls are eternal-we are not discussing that specifically), and etc..

Greetings Dragon,

One point of clarification. When we claim God's promises that salvation is unto us and our children, we are not saying they are automatically saved through the parents faith, but simply that we cling to the promise if they should die in infancy. The promise of salvation yes, but salvation is of the Lord, so even though the children of believers have the promise, they too must come to saving faith at some point in their lives.

And yes, I do believe that souls are eternal. The souls of believers going immediately to the Lord at physical death, and the souls of unbelievers resting silently in the grave until the fullness of time.

Many Blessings,
RW

JesusPhreak27
Oct 19th 2008, 12:09 PM
I dont know exactly where it says this (somewhere in the back of the Bible? ha ha j/k) but Im pretty sure that Christ speaks of an age of accountability.

What that means is there is a certain age (different for each person) where they are old enough to make their own decision as to whether they believe that Christ is the Messiah and that He came to earth, was beaten, crucified, died on the Cross for our sins, buried and three days later rose again.....once and for all defeating death.

Now like I said each person has a certain age and it may or may not be the same for all people. That being said.... if that is the case then that would mean that if an infant (or aborted fetus) dies then they automatically go to heaven.

To put this on a personal level I believe in that so much that my son's eternal future is on the line. My son is 6 and I have not and will not baptize him on my terms. That is a choice (much like my parents left for me) that I want him to make of his OWN accord and when he does get baptized I want it to be because HE believes that Jesus Christ is his personal Lord and Savior.

RogerW
Oct 19th 2008, 12:19 PM
I like to read things in context so here it is from the NKJV.

Acts 2:
36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

The prescription here is to Repent, and be baptized into Christ....(Jews believes in God the Father and Spirit, but did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God). It also says the promise i to the Children.

However, I wondered what word was used for Children here and used Strongs to Find out:

(Thank you crosswalk.com)


Strong's Number: 5043 Browse Lexicon (http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/browse.cgi?number=5043&version=kjv) Original WordWord Origin tevknonfrom the base of (5098 (http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=5098&version=kjv)) Transliterated WordTDNT (http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=5043&version=kjv#Legend) Entry Teknon5:636,759 Phonetic SpellingParts of Speech tek'-non http://bible.crosswalk.com/images/audio.gif (http://bible.crosswalk.com/cgi-bin/lexicon.pl?id=5043g) Noun Neuter Definition

offspring, children
child
a male child, a son
metaph.
the name transferred to that intimate and reciprocal relationship formed between men by the bonds of love, friendship, trust, just as between parents and children
in affectionate address, such as patrons, helpers, teachers and the like employ: my child
in the NT, pupils or disciples are called children of their teachers, because the latter by their instruction nourish the minds of their pupils and mould their characters
children of God: in the OT of "the people of Israel" as especially dear to God, in the NT, in Paul's writings, all who are led by the Spirit of God and thus closely related to God
children of the devil: those who in thought and action are prompted by the devil, and so reflect his character

metaph.
of anything who depends upon it, is possessed by a desire or affection for it, is addicted to it
one who is liable to any fate 1c

thus children of a city: it citizens and inhabitants
the votaries of wisdom, those souls who have, as it were, been nurtured and moulded by wisdom
cursed children, exposed to a curse and doomed to God's wrath or penalty


King James Word Usage - Total: 99 child 77, son 21, daughter 1


Unfortunately, it doesn't clarify to me whether in this passage it means that your children if you are a believer are 'covered' if you will or not. I grew up in a Reformed church. They teach what they call Covenental Theology, that believers children are sealed and set apart from unbelievers. This is part of the justification that they use to explain why the "baptize" infants. I have come to believe that is in error, however, is there a principle that the families of believers are somehow set apart and special to God even though at some point each person must make a decision himself/herself for Christ?


Greetings Veretex,

In your Reformed Church either covenant theology was not very clearly explained, or you simply misunderstood. In covenant theology infants are baptized to bring them into the covenant family. We never assume salvation of our children and infants, although we do raise them as covenant children thereby assuring they too are able to partake of the covenant blessings that God bestows upon His church. I think one of the mistakes you make is believing that baptism is an outward sign of an inward change. This is a common error, but nowhere taught in Scripture.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Oct 19th 2008, 12:21 PM
I dont know exactly where it says this (somewhere in the back of the Bible? ha ha j/k) but Im pretty sure that Christ speaks of an age of accountability.

What that means is there is a certain age (different for each person) where they are old enough to make their own decision as to whether they believe that Christ is the Messiah and that He came to earth, was beaten, crucified, died on the Cross for our sins, buried and three days later rose again.....once and for all defeating death.

Now like I said each person has a certain age and it may or may not be the same for all people. That being said.... if that is the case then that would mean that if an infant (or aborted fetus) dies then they automatically go to heaven.

To put this on a personal level I believe in that so much that my son's eternal future is on the line. My son is 6 and I have not and will not baptize him on my terms. That is a choice (much like my parents left for me) that I want him to make of his OWN accord and when he does get baptized I want it to be because HE believes that Jesus Christ is his personal Lord and Savior.

Greetings JP,

The so-called age of accountability is another man made doctrine, and cannot be found in Scripture.

Many Blessings,
RW

Veretax
Oct 19th 2008, 12:48 PM
Greetings Veretex,

In your Reformed Church either covenant theology was not very clearly explained, or you simply misunderstood. In covenant theology infants are baptized to bring them into the covenant family. We never assume salvation of our children and infants, although we do raise them as covenant children thereby assuring they too are able to partake of the covenant blessings that God bestows upon His church. I think one of the mistakes you make is believing that baptism is an outward sign of an inward change. This is a common error, but nowhere taught in Scripture.

Many Blessings,
RW

I really don't want to bring "baptism" as part of this discussion. That seems a side issue in this discussion. If you desire you can create a thread to discuss this point elsewhere, but I know what I believe concering baptism presently, and do not want to derail this discussion.

The issue is whether or not the children, the young in a family of believers are indeed looked at differently then the children of unbelievers. Or does God look at all the Children the same way regardless of parentage? Furthermore, does God hold all children accountable to the law from birth as if "born into sin"? Those are the questions I find myself asking, because I've for a long time took comfort in these verses that when we were young my wife and I had a miscarriage. It was rather early in the pregnancy, and there was nothing the doctors could do to stop it. I've often took comfort that I might see my son or daughter some day in Heaven. I'm now wondering if I'm wrong on this and that's why I ask these questions.

Dani H
Oct 19th 2008, 03:35 PM
The soul that sins shall surely die.

Do babies in the womb sin? Do small children sin against God?

divaD
Oct 19th 2008, 04:20 PM
I really don't want to bring "baptism" as part of this discussion. That seems a side issue in this discussion. If you desire you can create a thread to discuss this point elsewhere, but I know what I believe concering baptism presently, and do not want to derail this discussion.

The issue is whether or not the children, the young in a family of believers are indeed looked at differently then the children of unbelievers. Or does God look at all the Children the same way regardless of parentage? Furthermore, does God hold all children accountable to the law from birth as if "born into sin"? Those are the questions I find myself asking, because I've for a long time took comfort in these verses that when we were young my wife and I had a miscarriage. It was rather early in the pregnancy, and there was nothing the doctors could do to stop it. I've often took comfort that I might see my son or daughter some day in Heaven. I'm now wondering if I'm wrong on this and that's why I ask these questions.



Veretax, I believe one of the answers might be found in the strangest of places. But before I try to show that, my wife many years ago also lost our child to a miscarriage.


Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.



Notice how each and everyone one of these are judged. And that would be according to their works. There is no way that a child that died from a miscarriage can be judged according to his/her works. With that in mind, there is no way this type would be present at this particular judgment, which is the judgment that brings the 2nd death as final payment.

petepet
Oct 19th 2008, 04:53 PM
The soul that sins shall surely die.

Do babies in the womb sin? Do small children sin against God?


Well small children do certainly. I have seen my children sometimes behave in the most appalling way when in a temper. Maybe I am just unlucky.

The subject of this thread is one about which there is a great deal of sentimentality. We know what we would all like. But God has a habit of not alwasy doing what we would like. He is dealing with issues which surmount sentimentality.

The problem with assuming that all babies who die go to Heaven is that it makes me a monster to allow doctors to save babies when if left naturally 'in God's hands' they would die. Think how many are being robbed of Heaven by our callousness. :B

RogerW
Oct 19th 2008, 05:56 PM
I really don't want to bring "baptism" as part of this discussion. That seems a side issue in this discussion. If you desire you can create a thread to discuss this point elsewhere, but I know what I believe concering baptism presently, and do not want to derail this discussion.

The issue is whether or not the children, the young in a family of believers are indeed looked at differently then the children of unbelievers. Or does God look at all the Children the same way regardless of parentage? Furthermore, does God hold all children accountable to the law from birth as if "born into sin"? Those are the questions I find myself asking, because I've for a long time took comfort in these verses that when we were young my wife and I had a miscarriage. It was rather early in the pregnancy, and there was nothing the doctors could do to stop it. I've often took comfort that I might see my son or daughter some day in Heaven. I'm now wondering if I'm wrong on this and that's why I ask these questions.

Greetings Veretax,

Neither do I wish to bring infant baptism into this discussion. The question you pose "does God look at all the children the same way regardless of parentage" may also take this discussion into another direction. However, throughout Scripture we find much evidence that God does indeed look at the children of His people differently than He does children of the world.

God has a special regard for the children of His people. Consider the words of 1 Kings 11:11-12

So the Lord said to Solomon, "Because you have done this, and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom form you, and will give it to your servant. Nevertheless, I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son."
God treated Solomon with special regard because of his father. Covenant children are set apart before the Lord. God tells Israel that the sins of the fathers will be visited on the children:

"...for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and fourth generations of those who hate me" (Ex 20:5).
God keeps the children of the covenant in special regard. Of God's regard for the families of Israel, David wrote:

But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him and His righteousness to children's children (Ps 103:17).
But examples of God's blessing on the children because of the faith of their fathers are not confined to the OT. We see many examples in the NT as well.

Matthew 9:18-19, 23-26: The daughter of a Jewish official had just died. The official, therefore, came to Jesus and asked Him to restore her life. Jesus responded by hearling the man's daughter. Why? Because of her faith? No, becaous of her father's faith.

Matthew 17:14-18: The father of an epileptic requested that Jesus heal his son. As a result, the boy was healed.

Luke 7:11-17: A woman who had lost her husband walked beside the coffin of her only son. Wathcing the sad processin, Jesus had compassion on the woman. Thouhg she had asked Him for nothing, Jesus gave life to the young man and returned a son to his mother. Why did Jesus restore him to life? He favored the son because of his mother.

John 4:46-54: The son of an official of teh city of Capernaum was sick. His illness seemed terminal. The grieving father asked Jesus to heal his son, and Jesus did so without even going to his house. Jesus had regard for the boy because of his father.

In each case the child was restored because of the parent.

When Peter called upon the crowd at Pentecost to repent and be baptized so their sins would be forgiven, he added,

"For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, and as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:39)
Why did Peter say "for the promise is for you and your children"? He knew that God was continuing to work as He did in the OT. He would hold the children of His children in special regard. This point is made again in 1 Co 7:14:

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his believing wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy.
The unbelieving spouse is sanctified (set apart) by the believing spouse. This does not mean they are saved. The Greek word means to be set apart. Paul is saying the unbeliever is set apart - viewed in a special way by God. Why? Because the believer is one of God's people. So too the children of the believer are set apart in the sight of God. The infant stands in the believing parents faith, bearing the mark of his believing parent's faith upon him.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Oct 19th 2008, 06:09 PM
Veretax, I believe one of the answers might be found in the strangest of places. But before I try to show that, my wife many years ago also lost our child to a miscarriage.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Notice how each and everyone one of these are judged. And that would be according to their works. There is no way that a child that died from a miscarriage can be judged according to his/her works. With that in mind, there is no way this type would be present at this particular judgment, which is the judgment that brings the 2nd death as final payment.

Greetings Diva,

Note what I bolded in Rev 20:12..."I saw the dead". It is the dead who must stand before the Judgment Throne to be judged. It is not the living. "He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living" (Mr 12:27). Therefore no believer will be judged. It would appear that Judgment for "the dead" is determined according to what is found written in the books. I am very sorry to say that this passage does not let the unsaved child dying in infancy off the hook. If they have died without the Lord, then sadly they will be among death and hell delivered up for Judgment.

Many Blessings,
RW

legoman
Oct 20th 2008, 03:26 AM
Some verses make this a tricky problem.

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

John 3:3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

John 3:5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.


So are babies righteous by default? I would have to say no (Romans 3:10). Especially toddlers... some of them (at least mine) can be pretty devious :)

Likewise are they born again or born of the spirit? How could they be? A baby is not aware of such things.

John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

That would include babies, no?

It is an interesting problem, but I don't think God will be burning any babies.

Legoman

Vhayes
Oct 20th 2008, 03:49 AM
I have thought long and hard about this question because my husband and I lost a newborn infant. She only lived a few hours.

I struggled with this as well as being very angry with God for the great sense of loss I felt, but I finally came to the conclusion that God would have known the choice she would have made had she lived - either to give her life, heart and mind to Jesus or to be a child of the world.

God knows all things - that one shouldn't be hard for Him at all.

Just my thoughts -
V

GeorgeK
Oct 20th 2008, 04:34 AM
In the gospel of John, Christ states noone has gone to heaven. Hebrews states that David is dead still. Both of these were written at least 30 years after Christ died. Also in hebrews in the chapter on the faithful it states that they have not seen the promise of salvation. When Chirst comes back he will resurrect the dead saints and transform the living saints to eternal life-not before then. Billions of people never heard of Christ. About 90-95% of all people that ever lived from Adam to the end would never have had a chance to hear about Christ. That's why after the 1000 year reign all the dead who never heard of God and Christ will get there first chance at salvation. In the end of revelations the books were opened; that's the books of the bible for all to understand and they will all have a chance then at salvation. All who chose Christ will receive eternal life those few who don't want to change will be cast into the fire and burn up and die.

matthew94
Oct 20th 2008, 05:29 AM
The problem with assuming that all babies who die go to Heaven is that it makes me a monster to allow doctors to save babies when if left naturally 'in God's hands' they would die. Think how many are being robbed of Heaven by our callousness. :B

I've been really surprised to see you consistently pose this argument in this thread. It seems to miss an appreciation for the full salvation that life is all about. The Gospel isn't about getting people to heaven when they die. The Gospel is the reality that Jesus is Lord over all, including sin & death and, therefore, we can actually become mature citizens in His Kingdom.

Even if we could PROVE that all babies go to heaven upon death it STILL wouldn't, in any way, make us monsters when 'saving' their earthly lives. Our earthly lives are valuable and God can accomplish great things through them.

So while you've had a good number of solid points in this thread, this repeated argument is incredibly shallow in my opinion.

My heart's Desire
Oct 20th 2008, 05:39 AM
There is a passage of scripture which says that children will not die for the sins of their fathers, so when David's baby died, was it because of being a product of David's adultery?
But how could that be if God didn't hold the sins of the father against the children unless the children were doing the same? Did the child die because of its own sin? And why did David mourn while the child was alive but felt better after it died?
Anyway, I have no scriptural proof but I believe that babies go to heaven based on God's mercy, just as we go to heaven based on God's mercy. (through faith in the Lord Jesus etc) Babies I believe have some kind of faith. Have you noticed that when they are hungry they cry and they seem to know someone will feed them and they really don't seem to care who feeds them? They have a trust that someone will take care of their needs. Isn't that faith?
This argument could go any way. If one believes in free will and choice then one would have to believe a baby would have to be old enough to be able to chose. If one believes God predistines who will be saved then if the baby is predistined for salvation then the baby still has to have a knowledge of Jesus to become so.
I believe in people have to make a consciense choice to be saved either way one believes. I don't think a baby who can't ask to be fed has the ability to make a choice to be saved.
Again, I believe God is merciful and loving and this is where we have to trust God to make the decision about babies that only a loving merciful God can do. After all, we see a little baby, God has already seen that babies present and future.
Anyway, I trust a loving God will know just what to do when a baby dies.

David Taylor
Oct 20th 2008, 01:35 PM
In the gospel of John, Christ states noone has gone to heaven.

The context was bodily entrance into Heaven. At the time Christ was speaking in John; noone had bodily went into Heaven yet.

Christ, to this point in history; is the only person to bodily go to heaven.

Many however, in the spirit, have went to Heaven.




Hebrews states that David is dead still. Both of these were written at least 30 years after Christ died.

David's body went to the grave; and awaits the resurrection. David's spirit however, is returned to the Lord who gave it.




Also in hebrews in the chapter on the faithful it states that they have not seen the promise of salvation. When Chirst comes back he will resurrect the dead saints and transform the living saints to eternal life-not before then.

Correct. The bodily resurrection of mankind occurs at Christ's return.



Billions of people never heard of Christ. About 90-95% of all people that ever lived from Adam to the end would never have had a chance to hear about Christ.

Your number guestimate does't match the scriptures.

Romans 10:18 "Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world."

Acts 17:26 "God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us"

Titus 2:11 "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men"



That's why after the 1000 year reign all the dead who never heard of God and Christ will get there first chance at salvation. In the end of revelations the books were opened; that's the books of the bible for all to understand and they will all have a chance then at salvation.

Your hypothesis has ZERO foundation from scripture.
Nowhere does scripture teach salvation after-death.

II Corinthians 6:2 "(For Isaiah saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) "

Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator"



All who chose Christ will receive eternal life those few who don't want to change will be cast into the fire and burn up and die.

All who chose Christ during their mortal lives will receive eternal life.

Those who do not, will be cast in the fire and they will be tormented forever and ever; they will not cease to exist.
Matthew 25:31 "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Jude 1:4 "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ...giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. "

Revelation 14:10 "The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night"

Revelation 20:10, 15 "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

ananias
Oct 20th 2008, 02:26 PM
I think the post by Hope (above) is very good. I also think we can take the following verse quite literally

Matthew 19:14
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

und dey parle avec language that children verstench :pp - not with language produced in 3rd-year theological seminary classes. Comprehend vous?

Just kidding,
ananias

Friend of I AM
Oct 20th 2008, 03:07 PM
Where in the Bible does it guarantee babies go to heaven?

I have seen many/heard many speak of all the aborted babies as being heaven bound but is that factual?

There is a verse...
I Cor 7:14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

It seems to me that the children of Christian parents that die in there youth are sanctified, but where do I find a verse that sanctifies the children of the unsaved?

The implication are multi-fold. First Sanctification in the verse above could indicated that either children are "autosaved" that is because a parent was they automatically are. Or, that there is something I shall call "temporary juvenile sanctification" meaning when they get to the age of accountability they need to confirm it for themselves. I'm not sure if there are other possibilities so dont jump on my head about this. I've been awake since 4:30AM and this is bugging me.

Other ramification is... aborted babies may not be going to heaven!! GAH!!

Now if that is a correct interpretation and we all dont get active in the antiabortion movement then nothing will ever move us to action!

Personally I don't see the Auto-saved version. The "temporary juvenile sanctification" makes sense. (temporary sanctification until the age of accountability)
Help its now 6:21AM and my brain is mushy:dunno:

P.S. Lets all agree that trusting God is always the final call. In the mean time lets dialog on this matter?

They can and do. Our understanding on this is a bit limited, as no one has stood at the judgement seat at Christ and seen exactly how God utilizes his judgement in this area. My thought process is that God does indeed save all little aborted children, as he does indeed state that the kingdom "belongs" to such as these(children). I think the underlying premise of the scriptures is that we ourselves must be reborn and be like children before God, in order to fully accept his guidance and well being for our lives.

legoman
Oct 20th 2008, 03:21 PM
All who chose Christ during their mortal lives will receive eternal life.

Those who do not, will be cast in the fire and they will be tormented forever and ever; they will not cease to exist.



So you believe all babies that die will be tormented forever and ever? Including all babies that have been aborted?

David Taylor
Oct 20th 2008, 03:39 PM
So you believe all babies that die will be tormented forever and ever? Including all babies that have been aborted?

I didn't say that.

Why would you put words in my mouth?


You are making an assumption that babies cannot be saved; simply because you cannot understand how.

My point is that all whom God creates have opportunity to receive eternal life through Christ; and He leaves no-one out.

John 6:37 "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day."

All would include the eternal destinies of babies...even though we do not understand the details of how the Lord deals with them coming to Him.

We may not understand how Christ reveals Himself to babies; and how Christ deals with babies or others in situations we cannot understand; but we can know without doubt that Christ does reveal Himself to them sufficiently based on what His word says.

My point was only that the premise, "some haven't had the chance, therefore they get another chance after death" is false.

legoman
Oct 20th 2008, 04:26 PM
So you believe all babies that die will be tormented forever and ever? Including all babies that have been aborted?
I didn't say that.

Why would you put words in my mouth?


Sorry, I didn't think I had. I was just asking for clarification as your post seemed to imply that.



You are making an assumption that babies cannot be saved; simply because you cannot understand how.

My point is that all whom God creates have opportunity to receive eternal life through Christ; and He leaves no-one out.

John 6:37 "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day."

All would include the eternal destinies of babies...even though we do not understand the details of how the Lord deals with them coming to Him.
Yes agreed.



We may not understand how Christ reveals Himself to babies; and how Christ deals with babies or others in situations we cannot understand; but we can know without doubt that Christ does reveal Himself to them sufficiently based on what His word says.

My point was only that the premise, "some haven't had the chance, therefore they get another chance after death" is false.But it does beg the question, how would a baby get the chance before death? When do babies receive their salvation? Since we and the baby don't know if it will die as an infant or not, we are left with some possibilities:

1. All babies are automatically saved - no choice is needed to be made by the baby or on behalf of the baby. This goes against the scriptures you posted that says anyone who doesn't choose Christ will be tormented.

2. No babies are saved. This seems to be implied, but unusually cruel and out of character.

3. Babies are saved if their parents are saved. Again this doesn't seem to jive with the scriptures. The baby must make its own choice.

4. Each baby has already made a choice for or against Christ right now. This seems unlikely as no baby has the maturity to make that choice.

5. God can see how the baby "would have turned out in the future" and then grants salvation if applicable. Again this doesn't jive with scriptures.

6. The babies are saved after they have died. I know you asserted that no one could be saved after they have died, but this seems to be implied when you say God reveals himself in a way we could not understand. Just theorizing here: Perhaps the instant the baby dies they mature to a point where they could make a reasonable choice for themselves.


To be honest, #6 seems the most likely.

Thoughts?

Legoman

David Taylor
Oct 20th 2008, 04:57 PM
But it does beg the question, how would a baby get the chance before death? When do babies receive their salvation?


Simple answer: we cannot know.....but God knows; and however He deals with it, the result is perfect and just.





Since we and the baby don't know if it will die as an infant or not, we are left with some possibilities:

1. All babies are automatically saved - no choice is needed to be made by the baby or on behalf of the baby. This goes against the scriptures you posted that says anyone who doesn't choose Christ will be tormented.

2. No babies are saved. This seems to be implied, but unusually cruel and out of character.

3. Babies are saved if their parents are saved. Again this doesn't seem to jive with the scriptures. The baby must make its own choice.

4. Each baby has already made a choice for or against Christ right now. This seems unlikely as no baby has the maturity to make that choice.

5. God can see how the baby "would have turned out in the future" and then grants salvation if applicable. Again this doesn't jive with scriptures.

6. The babies are saved after they have died. I know you asserted that no one could be saved after they have died, but this seems to be implied when you say God reveals himself in a way we could not understand. Just theorizing here: Perhaps the instant the baby dies they mature to a point where they could make a reasonable choice for themselves.


To be honest, #6 seems the most likely.

Thoughts?

Legoman

None of those 6 are supportable with the scriptural revelation we have been given...that's why taking firmly any of them, creates heated and unproovable exchanges.

#6 is probably the worst choice, because it is purely speculative; and it contradicts other scriptures that teach there is no post-death salvation opportunity; hoping to calm emotional reactions by creating a mythical possibility that can't be possible.

The only sound choice would be #7 (which you didn't include).

7. God perfectly and justly deals with the salvation of babies. Only He can know and understand this difficult conundrum; and we will never fully understand how He makes His righteous decision.(at least this side of Heaven)

Accepting this answer, #7; prevents us from falling into the difficulties that all of the first 6 options hold in their own differing way.

Veretax
Oct 20th 2008, 05:12 PM
I don't know that anyone would get a second chance after death I mean look what it says in Romans:

Romans 1:20-21:

"20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. "

God is knowable from Creation. Thus Creation itself testifies of God. So it is my belief that Man has no excuse. Man can see God's worth and trust in him merely by seeing creation. The question then becomes, in the context of this discussion, is whether not a baby would understand these things? I honestly do not know.

lilwrangler
Oct 20th 2008, 05:33 PM
Greetings Veretex,
I think one of the mistakes you make is believing that baptism is an outward sign of an inward change. This is a common error, but nowhere taught in Scripture.

Many Blessings,
RW

::throws yellow flag on thread::

I'm gonna need some clarification on this one, please sir. Is baptism not the public profession that one has turned their life over to Christ? I may be misunderstanding your post but if it's not an outward obedience to an inward revelation then what exactly is the point of baptism in your estimation?

I don't want to derail this thread nor it's intent but this struck me as odd when I first read it.

RogerW
Oct 20th 2008, 06:56 PM
Sorry, I didn't think I had. I was just asking for clarification as your post seemed to imply that.

Yes agreed.

But it does beg the question, how would a baby get the chance before death? When do babies receive their salvation? Since we and the baby don't know if it will die as an infant or not, we are left with some possibilities:

1. All babies are automatically saved - no choice is needed to be made by the baby or on behalf of the baby. This goes against the scriptures you posted that says anyone who doesn't choose Christ will be tormented.

Greetings Legoman,

Salvation is not dependent upon our choosing Christ, but rather Him choosing us. Therefore even babies can be saved. Elect babies, predestined from the foundation of the world dying in infancy will be with Christ. Consider for example John the Baptist, who from his mother's womb was indwelt with the Holy Spirit. Did this tiny infant choose Christ while still in the womb, or did Christ choose him?



2. No babies are saved. This seems to be implied, but unusually cruel and out of character.

I agree this is cruel and out of character. John the Baptist again proves this is not true.



3. Babies are saved if their parents are saved. Again this doesn't seem to jive with the scriptures. The baby must make its own choice.

Our salvation is not dependent upon our parent's faith. But believing parents will embrace God's promise that salvation is for us and our children. Does that mean that every child of believing parents is saved? Of course not! What it does mean is that believers should cling to God's promise if their child dies in infancy. What advantage is there for children born to believing parents in covenant membership with God? Same as the Jews..."much in every way". Why? Because they have the Word of God, and the Word tells us that faith (believing) comes by hearing the Word. So the faithful believing parent will raise their covenant children under the hearing and instruction of the Word...which brings life if they believe. Believing parents will do everything necessary to train their covenant children to love the Lord. Again, we do not choose Christ, He chooses us.



4. Each baby has already made a choice for or against Christ right now. This seems unlikely as no baby has the maturity to make that choice.

If the salvation of babies depended upon them making a choice for Christ, how could John the Baptist have been saved from his mother's womb? We do not choose Christ, He chooses His elect from the foundation of the world, and writes their names in His book of life before they exist. Salvation is of the Lord!



5. God can see how the baby "would have turned out in the future" and then grants salvation if applicable. Again this doesn't jive with scriptures.

No it does not jive with Scripture. For this would mean that God chooses us because He knows we will first choose Him. This makes man sovereign in salvation rather than God.



6. The babies are saved after they have died. I know you asserted that no one could be saved after they have died, but this seems to be implied when you say God reveals himself in a way we could not understand. Just theorizing here: Perhaps the instant the baby dies they mature to a point where they could make a reasonable choice for themselves.

On this point I agree wholly with DavidTaylor.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Oct 20th 2008, 07:03 PM
The only sound choice would be #7 (which you didn't include).

7. God perfectly and justly deals with the salvation of babies. Only He can know and understand this difficult conundrum; and we will never fully understand how He makes His righteous decision.(at least this side of Heaven)

Accepting this answer, #7; prevents us from falling into the difficulties that all of the first 6 options hold in their own differing way.

Greetings David,

I agree that God does perfectly and justly deal with the salvation of babies. How? The same way He perfectly and justly deals with the salvation of all men...His predestined elect will receive eternal life whether infant or 100 year old Christian, because salvation is of the Lord! He will have mercy and compassion on whosoever He will. Those who are not among the predestined elect of God, whether infant or grown will NOT be saved.

Many Blessings.
RW

RogerW
Oct 20th 2008, 07:07 PM
::throws yellow flag on thread::

I'm gonna need some clarification on this one, please sir. Is baptism not the public profession that one has turned their life over to Christ? I may be misunderstanding your post but if it's not an outward obedience to an inward revelation then what exactly is the point of baptism in your estimation?

I don't want to derail this thread nor it's intent but this struck me as odd when I first read it.

Greetings Lilwrangler,

Welcome to the community! Rather than derail this thread I will begin a new topic "Is baptism an outward sign of an inward change"

Blessings,
RW

legoman
Oct 20th 2008, 08:02 PM
Hi Roger and David,

After rereading your posts and thinking on this a bit more, I think the answer has been staring me in the face. We have even discussed these verses in the past too Roger:

John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:65 He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him."



Roger said: Salvation is not dependent upon our choosing Christ, but rather Him choosing us. Therefore even babies can be saved. Elect babies, predestined from the foundation of the world dying in infancy will be with Christ. Consider for example John the Baptist, who from his mother's womb was indwelt with the Holy Spirit. Did this tiny infant choose Christ while still in the womb, or did Christ choose him?
Yes, agreed. As I said I must have had a temporary memory lapse :) We can't choose God until God chooses us. And then there is no reason to not choose him, so we willingly choose him.

This would work the same for babies. It even allows the possibility that God will save all babies, if he so chooses.

The hard part to understand is how this would work for babies. They would still acknowledge Christ somehow, but without words or actions. I suppose God would know their hearts & minds.

Another interesting question is what happens to babies when they enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I would expect they would grow and mature into full adults, but that is probably topic for another thread...

Cheers,
Legoman

legoman
Oct 20th 2008, 08:10 PM
Salvation is not dependent upon our choosing Christ, but rather Him choosing us. Therefore even babies can be saved. Elect babies, predestined from the foundation of the world dying in infancy will be with Christ. Consider for example John the Baptist, who from his mother's womb was indwelt with the Holy Spirit. Did this tiny infant choose Christ while still in the womb, or did Christ choose him?


Hi Roger,

Do you have a verse handy where it says John the Baptist was indwelt with the holy spirit in the womb?

Thanks,
Legoman

David Taylor
Oct 20th 2008, 08:14 PM
Do you have a verse handy where it says John the Baptist was indwelt with the holy spirit in the womb?

Thanks,
Legoman

Luke 1:13 "the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb."

legoman
Oct 20th 2008, 08:21 PM
Luke 1:13 "the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb."


Thanks David.

Not to derail the thread, but: Man, if that's not a clear case for predestination, I don't know what is :)

Legoman

Dragonfighter1
Oct 20th 2008, 08:22 PM
Luke 1:13 "the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb."

Not trying to start an arguement here... but I think being sealed by the spirit until the day of salvation, and being FILLED are two different things.I think this verse indicates that he will be spiritually active his entire life. AS oposed to becoming spiritually active later on as most of us do.

legoman
Oct 21st 2008, 02:35 AM
Greetings David,

I agree that God does perfectly and justly deal with the salvation of babies. How? The same way He perfectly and justly deals with the salvation of all men...His predestined elect will receive eternal life whether infant or 100 year old Christian, because salvation is of the Lord! He will have mercy and compassion on whosoever He will. Those who are not among the predestined elect of God, whether infant or grown will NOT be saved.

Many Blessings.
RW

But would God predestine predestine a baby to die, and then not predestine that same baby to be saved? I don't believe so.

Again, it would be unusually cruel and out of character for God. Also there would be no purpose or justice in that.

Thoughts?

Legoman

legoman
Oct 21st 2008, 02:55 AM
Just thinking on this a bit more - I'm having trouble seeing how a baby could be saved before its death.

Given this is what needs to occur for salvation:
1. God enables us to come to Jesus.
2. We confess our sins and confess he is our savior
3. We repent of those sins

How would a baby be able to confess its sins and repent of them, when it is not even aware of the concept of sin or repentance?

And if the baby could somehow communicate this, when would it happen exactly, to meet the requirement that it is done before the baby's death?

And yes, babies do sin.

matthew94
Oct 21st 2008, 05:29 PM
Just thinking on this a bit more - I'm having trouble seeing how a baby could be saved before its death.

Given this is what needs to occur for salvation:
1. God enables us to come to Jesus.
2. We confess our sins and confess he is our savior
3. We repent of those sins

How would a baby be able to confess its sins and repent of them, when it is not even aware of the concept of sin or repentance?

And if the baby could somehow communicate this, when would it happen exactly, to meet the requirement that it is done before the baby's death?

And yes, babies do sin.

Anyone who has received convicting grace from God is, then, responsible to repent. Children, until after some time, do not experience conviction. They are, therefore, not responsible because they are not response-able. It is convicting grace that makes repentance possible. God has not yet given them convicting grace and so they are not responsible.

Your position, that babies cease to exist, is possible. But your argument in, as quoted above, does nothing to discount the position that they will go to heaven upon death. The standard is Jesus Christ and those who take the position that babies go to heaven do so based on their understanding of Him.

RogerW
Oct 21st 2008, 09:20 PM
Not trying to start an arguement here... but I think being sealed by the spirit until the day of salvation, and being FILLED are two different things.I think this verse indicates that he will be spiritually active his entire life. AS oposed to becoming spiritually active later on as most of us do.

Hi DF1,

I don't believe there is a difference between being filled, and sealed with the Holy Spirit. Filled is also translated accomplish or furnish. Sealing is putting His stamp for security or preservation. One must be furnished (full, supplied) with the Holy Spirit to be kept until That Day.

Filled - pletho to "fill" (literally or figuratively (imbue, influence, supply)); specially, to fulfil (time):--accomplish, full (...come), furnish.

Sealed - sphragizo from 4973; to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation (literally or figuratively); by implication, to keep secret, to attest:--(set a, set to) seal up, stop.

2Co 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Oct 21st 2008, 09:37 PM
But would God predestine predestine a baby to die, and then not predestine that same baby to be saved? I don't believe so.

Again, it would be unusually cruel and out of character for God. Also there would be no purpose or justice in that.

Thoughts?

Legoman

Hi Legoman,

Do you believe the doctrine of predestination and election? Which is that God from the foundation of the world has predestined an elect people who would be saved, and wrote their names in the Lamb's book of life before time began?

Is it possible you are allowing your feelings about a babies innocense to cloud your judgment? We have to remember that since the fall through Adam, every human is born with a sin nature. There is no such thing as an innocent human, not even a baby. Babies are indeed born helpless, but they are not innocent. So babies too will be condemned unless God gives them eternal life in Christ. God does not have one way of salvation for the Jews, another way of salvation for babies or mentally impaired people, and yet a third way for everyone else. Salvation is of the LORD! Salvation for all people, no matter what age or mentality is by grace through faith. And since even faith is not of ourselves, but a gift of God, even a baby can be saved.

Remember Scripture tells us, "there are NONE righteous, no not one." If all babies dying in infancy are saved they would have to be righteous, therefore the Scripture would tell us "there are NONE righteous, except babies who die in infancy".

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Oct 21st 2008, 09:44 PM
Just thinking on this a bit more - I'm having trouble seeing how a baby could be saved before its death.

Given this is what needs to occur for salvation:
1. God enables us to come to Jesus.
2. We confess our sins and confess he is our savior
3. We repent of those sins

How would a baby be able to confess its sins and repent of them, when it is not even aware of the concept of sin or repentance?

And if the baby could somehow communicate this, when would it happen exactly, to meet the requirement that it is done before the baby's death?

And yes, babies do sin.

Hi Legoman,

This picture you present of salvation is dependent upon our righteous work. How can there be salvation for any infant, or mentally impaired persons, who don't understand the need to confess and repent? We have to accept that either no babies can be saved, or salvation is of the LORD ALONE!

Many Blessings,
RW

Dragonfighter1
Oct 21st 2008, 11:24 PM
Hi DF1,

I don't believe there is a difference between being filled, and sealed with the Holy Spirit. Filled is also translated accomplish or furnish. Sealing is putting His stamp for security or preservation. One must be furnished (full, supplied) with the Holy Spirit to be kept until That Day.

Filled - pletho to "fill" (literally or figuratively (imbue, influence, supply)); specially, to fulfil (time):--accomplish, full (...come), furnish.

Sealed - sphragizo from 4973; to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation (literally or figuratively); by implication, to keep secret, to attest:--(set a, set to) seal up, stop.

2Co 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

Many Blessings,
RW

I see your meaning Roger, Sumner Wemp, My Theology Prof at Liberty, used to say that the seal is permanent but the filling is flexible. He meanty that salvation couldn't be lost but that Sin can affect the power and filling of the H.S. in our lives.
That was what I was referring to.

legoman
Oct 22nd 2008, 12:00 AM
Hi Legoman,

Do you believe the doctrine of predestination and election? Which is that God from the foundation of the world has predestined an elect people who would be saved, and wrote their names in the Lamb's book of life before time began?

Is it possible you are allowing your feelings about a babies innocense to cloud your judgment? We have to remember that since the fall through Adam, every human is born with a sin nature. There is no such thing as an innocent human, not even a baby. Babies are indeed born helpless, but they are not innocent. So babies too will be condemned unless God gives them eternal life in Christ. God does not have one way of salvation for the Jews, another way of salvation for babies or mentally impaired people, and yet a third way for everyone else. Salvation is of the LORD! Salvation for all people, no matter what age or mentality is by grace through faith. And since even faith is not of ourselves, but a gift of God, even a baby can be saved.

Remember Scripture tells us, "there are NONE righteous, no not one." If all babies dying in infancy are saved they would have to be righteous, therefore the Scripture would tell us "there are NONE righteous, except babies who die in infancy".

Many Blessings,
RW

Hi Roger,

Well I would say I believe that everything is predestined, you probably already know that. This includes when we will die, and if we are to be saved before that death. I think you agree on that too correct? Job 14:5 says our death has been predestined. Likewise Romans 8:29 says we are predestined to our salvation. Please confirm if you agree so far.

In general I agree with what you are saying, perhaps I am confused on what the salvation process is. Here would be my understanding (keep in mind I'm coming from a predestination perspective):

1. God enables us to choose him
2. We choose him
3. We repent

Steps 2 and 3 are only done by the will of the Father, just like step 1. As you say, salvation is of the Lord... but we still have to repent right? I'm just saying the repenting is also of the Lord. Perhaps God enables the baby/helpless individual to repent in its own way. I just don't see how that could happen before death. Therefore no babies are saved, or babies repent immediately at or after their death. Perhaps the problem is that steps 2 and 3 are not required? This doesn't seem to jive.

Regarding a baby's innocence: I agree no one is righteous, including babies. However, look at this scenario. God predestines a person's death. And God also predestines a person salvation, before that death. So why would God predestine a baby to be born, maybe live for 1 day, then predestine him to die, and then also predestine him to NOT be saved?

That is where I don't see any sense. What would the purpose of it not being saved in that case? Granted God could do that if he wanted, but it would cruel and out of character. Now don't get me wrong, I can see that there could be a purpose to predestine a baby to only live for 1 day, but then save him. That would be fine if it served a purpose in God's plan.

So thats why I was suggesting that any babies predestined to die young, are also likely predestined to be saved.

Ditto with other helpless and handicapped individuals.

Legoman

legoman
Oct 22nd 2008, 12:08 AM
Hi Roger (and all) again.

Hm, just had another thought on where I am going wrong. (Please still respond to my post just before this if you can Roger)

RE: Salvation is of the lord

Perhaps only step 1 is required to complete the salvation process!

1. God enables us to come to him.

Then...

2. We choose him
3. We confess & repent

We do steps 2 & 3 naturally, but they aren't contingent for the salvation. Therefore babies would be saved at step 1. They may or may not be able to do steps 2 & 3 as God allows. For us, we are saved at step 1. We then do steps 2 & 3.

Hm, please forgive me if I am way off base here. I'm doing this quickly without looking up any scripture (always a risky thing to do :)). Perhaps I need to start another thread on salvation...

Legoman

RogerW
Oct 22nd 2008, 01:14 AM
Hi Roger,
Well I would say I believe that everything is predestined, you probably already know that. This includes when we will die, and if we are to be saved before that death. I think you agree on that too correct? Job 14:5 says our death has been predestined. Likewise Romans 8:29 says we are predestined to our salvation. Please confirm if you agree so far.

Hi Legoman,

I believe we are appointed a time to be born and a time to die (Ec 3:2). The length of our days is in the hands of the Lord. It may be simply semantics but I would not call our appointed time to die "predestined" and I don't think Scripture does either. Why? Because we all die physically (unless we are among those still physically alive at His Coming). But not all of us are predestined to eternal life. Unless some are predestined to receive life in Christ, we would all perish in death.



In general I agree with what you are saying, perhaps I am confused on what the salvation process is. Here would be my understanding (keep in mind I'm coming from a predestination perspective):

1. God enables us to choose him
2. We choose him
3. We repent

Steps 2 and 3 are only done by the will of the Father, just like step 1. As you say, salvation is of the Lord... but we still have to repent right? I'm just saying the repenting is also of the Lord. Perhaps God enables the baby/helpless individual to repent in its own way. I just don't see how that could happen before death. Therefore no babies are saved, or babies repent immediately at or after their death. Perhaps the problem is that steps 2 and 3 are not required? This doesn't seem to jive.

Once God enables us to choose Him, we will turn to Christ for life in repentance and faith. Do we do this because it is required for salvation, or do we do this because we have been saved? Since I believe Scripture teaches that salvation from beginning to the end is of the Lord, I do not believe our salvation is dependent upon anything we do. There are some things we willingly do because we have been saved, but they are not required for salvation. In this way even babies can be saved.



Regarding a baby's innocence: I agree no one is righteous, including babies. However, look at this scenario. God predestines a person's death. And God also predestines a person salvation, before that death. So why would God predestine a baby to be born, maybe live for 1 day, then predestine him to die, and then also predestine him to NOT be saved?

It is a fact that many babies are appointed to die after only one day or even less, of having received physical life. If God has predestined that baby to eternal life, then at the moment of death he/she will be with the Lord. All things are for God's glory. We don't know how God is glorified through the death of an infant, but we have to have faith because God tells us "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Ro 8:28). How is death worked for our good, and God's glory? One thing we do know is that death entered into creation because of sin. Somehow even death works for good to them that love God.



That is where I don't see any sense. What would the purpose of it not being saved in that case? Granted God could do that if he wanted, but it would cruel and out of character. Now don't get me wrong, I can see that there could be a purpose to predestine a baby to only live for 1 day, but then save him. That would be fine if it served a purpose in God's plan.

So thats why I was suggesting that any babies predestined to die young, are also likely predestined to be saved.

Ditto with other helpless and handicapped individuals.

Legoman

You seem to be looking at this from human emotion. I think most believers are so appalled at the death of a helpless infant that we cringe at the notion that this tiny babe may not be among God's predestined elect. It's such a hard concept to accept. Which is why we want to re-write Scripture to suit our emotional need. Why does God permit abortion to continue unchecked? I don't know the answer, but I do know that somehow it does serve a purpose in God's plan. The same question could be asked of why God does not predestine every human born to receive eternal life? These are things we have no right to ask, but we stand on faith knowing that God's will...will be accomplished, and if it means that babies must die in infancy, and that not all of humanity is predestined elect unto eternal life...then so be it. Simply praise our Awesome, Almighty, Sovereign God that He saves any man, because every man deserves His justice rather than His mercy and grace!

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Oct 22nd 2008, 01:19 AM
Hi Roger (and all) again.

Hm, just had another thought on where I am going wrong. (Please still respond to my post just before this if you can Roger)

RE: Salvation is of the lord

Perhaps only step 1 is required to complete the salvation process!

1. God enables us to come to him.

Then...

2. We choose him
3. We confess & repent

We do steps 2 & 3 naturally, but they aren't contingent for the salvation. Therefore babies would be saved at step 1. They may or may not be able to do steps 2 & 3 as God allows. For us, we are saved at step 1. We then do steps 2 & 3.

Hm, please forgive me if I am way off base here. I'm doing this quickly without looking up any scripture (always a risky thing to do :)). Perhaps I need to start another thread on salvation...

Legoman

It seems you have answered your questions for yourself :pp.

Many Blessings,
RW

PrtCannon
Oct 30th 2008, 10:37 PM
Hi, all--

Someone may have already mentioned this, but check out Matthew 18:14:

"In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost."

It was great to find a thread on this topic, as I've recently been looking into it. Previously, I thought that since man is sinful from birth, that babies who die go to hell. I know that sounds a little harsh, but God would be completely justified in that decision (given the actions of Adam and Eve).

What other scripture do you guys have?

Dragonfighter1
Oct 30th 2008, 11:00 PM
Hi, all--

Someone may have already mentioned this, but check out Matthew 18:14:

"In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost."

It was great to find a thread on this topic, as I've recently been looking into it. Previously, I thought that since man is sinful from birth, that babies who die go to hell. I know that sounds a little harsh, but God would be completely justified in that decision (given the actions of Adam and Eve).

What other scripture do you guys have?
With all respect, I must point out the verse does not promise anything with respect to their final destination...let me reword it to show the meaning I see... (I know I am rewording it so dont jump me on that.. I just want you to see where I came from..)

He isnt willing, doesnt want it to happen, but it can.

Its not his will, and it wasnt his will that Adam sin either, and we know Adam did.

Its not God's will that babies go to hell but....


Matthew 18:14:

"In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost." It can happen if we don't evangelise the world though. If the parents are christian perhaps they are sanctified, but if the parents aren't then maybe the babies aren't protected from the effects of Adams sin..
Since we can't know... lets share the Gospel better...