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Salvation of babies


Could you lead me to scriptures about children or babies going to
heaven when they die, before the age of accountability? Thanks for
any help you have.


You are raising a question that has long been the subject of debate,
the reason being that there really is no definitive scripture from
which to derive a clear theological or doctrinal premise.  I have my 
own surmises, and can give you the reasons for those 
conclusions--which are as follows:

One important consideration is that God is "not willing that any 
should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (see I Peter 
3:9).  That is a basic starting point, in my opinion.  "God so 
*loved* the world", and the sacrifice of His Son was certainly vastly 
more than enough to include all persons born on our planet.  "For the 
love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has 
died for all; therefore all have died."  (II Cor. 5:14)  It seems to 
me that the forgiveness made available to all in His death clearly 
indicates the all-embracing love of God for His creatures, all of 
them fallen and helpless to save themselves.  What remains, then, is 
our choosing to receive what God has provided for us.  Certainly God 
never makes unjust requirements--He never expects or requires 
response from anyone who lacks the capacity to do so.  This I see as 
the case of children who die in infancy or mentally incapacitated 
persons who lack the ability to make choices.  The "age of 
accountability" often becomes an issue at this point, and that has 
more difficulties than I can untangle.  Some have simply assigned an 
arbitrary age for a child to be considered spiritually accountable, 
but that does not satisfy me personally.

There is an interesting incident recorded in II Sam. 12, where David 
is mourning the death of the child conceived in his adulterous 
relations with Bathsheba.  David had been fasting and praying during 
the child's illness, but when he was told of the child's death he 
"arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed 
his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord, and worshiped; 
he then went to his own house; and when he asked, they set food 
before him, and he ate.  Then his servants said to him, 'What is this 
thing that you have done?  You fasted and wept for the child while it 
was alive but when the child died, you arose and ate food.'  He said, 
'While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who 
knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may 
live?' But now he is dead; why should I fast?  Can I bring him back 
again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me."  Again, one 
certainly cannot build a doctrinal case on this incident, but I think 
it worth consideration.

And then there is our Lord's obvious and particular love for 
children.  The beautiful passages in Luke 18:15-17, Matthew 19:14 
certainly bear out the theme of Psa. 127:3 "Sons (children) are a 
heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb (some versions say His) 
a reward."

The case rests with the Father whose all-encompassing heart is 
unwilling that any should perish, and whose heart cries out "Let the 
children come to Me".  We can trust that Love which is far greater 
than our human, finite wishes.

I will pass your request along to our team, and hopefully they 
will be more helpful than I. Our very finiteness leaves us with much 
mystery, and we are left to trust ruthlessly in the total Good of 
God's character, the splendor of His infinite Love.

Amazing grace for your journey,