Do Infants That Die Go To Heaven?
For further considerations of the nature and character of God, of His love for children and that of mankind in general, consider listening to or watching the following sermons as exposited by Dr. Caldwell:
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Do Infants That Die Go To Heaven?
This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and host Dr. Josh Philpot discuss the difficult, painful, and emotional topic of the death of babies, infants, and little children. Many wonder and ask what happens to those little ones who die before and after birth. What happens to little ones when they die? Where do they go? Do all children go to heaven when they die? Does the Bible teach that there is an age of accountability for children, or are they considered innocent when they die? Dr. Caldwell and Dr. Philpot seek to help us think biblically about to best answer these questions.
Dr. Caldwell states that he believes that all little ones who die either before or at some point after birth do go to heaven. He tells us that we will not find a verse of Scripture in the Bible that says that because the Bible does not tell us that. What we have to do is take everything that the Bible teaches about children and then reason through the Scriptures, from both the Old and New Testaments. Because there is no direct Scripture that confirms this, we have to think through this theologically. Dr. Caldwell believes a good place we can start is to ask ourselves what does the Bible have to say about children as a whole. Does the Bible speak positively or negatively about children? He says it’s positive.
The Death Of King David's Son
Dr. Caldwell shares the situation and circumstances surrounding the death of King David's son from 2 Samuel 12. From verse 23 of this same chapter, he shares the expectation David expresses of seeing this son again. He speaks of the many in Nineveh who could not tell their right hand from their left in Jonah 4. He shares the Lord’s attitude towards children that we read about in the gospels. While these are only a handful of examples, He reminds us that every attitude that we see from the Lord toward children in both the Old and New Testaments is positive.
Although he sees these little ones as safe in the presence of God, we need to be clear, this is still a matter of grace. Every person's sin and guilt is tied to Adam’s sin, so Dr. Caldwell is not saying that children are innocent and guiltless. Romans teaches that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and there is none without excuse. There is much that can be said about this, but ultimately it is a matter of God’s compassion, mercy, and grace. Dr. Caldwell and Dr. Philpot discuss these things in a way that helps us to think about the character of God as revealed in the pages of the Bible and the responsibility that man has to seek Him out.
An Infant Does Not Sin By Personal Choice
An infant, a little child, does not have that ability. An infant does not sin by personal choice. An infant cannot sin and reject God through the natural revelation of nature, and they are unable to reject Jesus as the Savior that God has sent. Infants and little children have not reached an age or level where they are able to process these kinds of things. They do not have this capacity and cannot make these kinds of informed choices. What that age or level may be, is determined by our sovereign Lord.
Dr. Philpot reminds us of a discussion that Abraham takes up with God over the coming destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen.18). Abraham says to God, "Will not the God of all the earth do what is right.?" Abraham here appeals to what he knows about the character of God. He knows that God is good and that He is just; this is God’s nature to be merciful and gracious. Dr. Caldwell affirms this, reminding us that God takes no pleasure in the death of men. He revealed Himself to Moses as, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.” He reveals who He is by emphasizing His mercy and His compassion. That is His character, and that is the nature of our God.
So, while the Bible isn’t specific and doesn't give us a definitive answer on this subject, we can rely on the truthfulness of our God, as He reveals Himself there. We can trust His character and His nature. We can trust that the God of all the earth does what is right.
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The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
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