Infants in Heaven

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by webdog, Nov 25, 2013.

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  1. webdog

    webdog
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    I was right in the middle of replying to a comment by Skandelon when the thread was closed. I ask for this one to stay on subject and refrain from the customary accusations and sabre rattling. I'm trying very hard to keep my posts and responses civil...don't be my stumbling block :D. The question posed was a good one and needs to be fleshed out more both scripturally and reasonably.

    This is a false dichotomy, Skan...and question begging :)

    People are in Heaven and hell due to guilt. Christ died that every stain and remnant of sin AND the curse be lifted. An infant is still a human and stained with sin as they are under the curse. Having never personally sinned does not mean they are in heaven apart from Christ. If anything you have the problem of an infant in heaven apart from faith and due solely to the atonement, which strips man of responsibility, an extra biblical special dispensation if salvation. Nobody is in heaven due to deserving it, the antithesis of grace.
     
  2. quantumfaith

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    WD,

    Admittedly I do not know how to "frame it" but I certainly am convinced that infants are not consigned to separation from God should they die as infants. Not sure if that is what you are suggesting. I will admit, without chagrin, that I "intend" to hold this position until the day I draw my last breath. If I am taking the conversation in a direction that you did not intend, please accept my apology and I will just enjoy the ensuing discussion.

    Blessings
     
  3. pinoybaptist

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    Rev. 20:12-14
    These people were judged according to their WORKS, not according to their nature. babies may have the sin nature, but what WORKS arising from that sin nature have they done by which they can be righteously judged by a righteously offended God, even if one grants (which I don't) that their repentance is essential to their getting redeemed, saved, and heaven-bound?
     
  4. webdog

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    We agree on God's design for infants. I think most believers do with the exception of some hyper types that believe in both elect and non elect infants. The disagreement amongst many believers stems from the adherence of Augustinianism. The only options are...
    1. Infants are sinners (guilty) and go to hell apart from grace alone through faith alone in the completed work of Christ as every other human does.
    2. Infants are sinners (guilty) and go to Heaven in the same way every other human does, by grace alone through faith alone in the completed work of Christ.
    3. Infants are sinners (guilty) and go to Heaven by grace alone apart from faith as they are incapable of faith as faith comes by hearing, a special dispensation of salvation granted.
    4. Infants are not sinners (not guilty) due to not having transgressed Gods law. As with all creation, Christ's blood reverses the curse of Adam's sin allowing an infant to be in the presence of God apart from the cursed flesh.
     
  5. pinoybaptist

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    hypers....Augustinian......lol...oh, well, so much for the apologies and the trying to be civil...
    ok, webbie, I gave you SCRIPTURE that says at the Great White Throne, which by the way is the LAST JUDGMENT, men are judged for their WORKS, not their sin nature and asked you where are the works that babies can be judged for ?
    are they committing sin because they wail for attention and food when they soiled themselves and are hungry ? because believe it or not, I've read that argument somewhere, not necessarily on BB.
     
  6. webdog

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    Those are uncivil terms...how? Is being called an augustinian any more uncivil than being called an arminian, pelagin, Calvinist, amyraldian, etc.? Are you deliberately trying to be that stumbling block...because its not going to work ;)
    Since I don't believe in a works based salvation I cannot answer that question.
    I read that same thing and agree its ridiculous to call that sin.
     
    #6 webdog, Nov 25, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2013
  7. Inspector Javert

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    I agree that Skan's use of the word "deserve" was problematic. My view is simply that infants don't "deserve" anything in particular....either "salvation" (because that assumes guilt) nor damnation (again, because it assumes guilt).

    Mosquitoes "deserve" no particular treatment in reference to eternal fate.......ditto an infant. I believe the Scriptures give us no options aside from two possibilities:

    1.) They are all in hell sheerly due to their guilt in Adam's sin
    2.) They are all in heaven because they have not sinned

    I don't think any Biblically-based Theology can suggest any special treatment for them. They operate under the same rules as everyone else:

    1.) You are under condemnation for your sins except ye repent

    Infants cannot and do not repent and believe....they are non-theists. They also have never transgressed God's law. So also that stupid rabbit my wife talked me into buying for the kids [​IMG]
     
  8. Earth Wind and Fire

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    OK.....my prospective. All human beings are tainted with the sin of Adam.....Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:. However Christ has addressed through his atonement & yes his blood washes away the Adam Sin.

    Lets take a look at some scripture to try to resolve this conundrum. Numbers 15:27-29 points this out.

    Quote:
    27 ‘And if a person sins unintentionally, then he shall bring a female goat in its first year as a sin offering. 28 So the priest shall make atonement for the person who sins unintentionally, when he sins unintentionally before the LORD, to make atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him. 29 You shall have one law for him who sins unintentionally, for him who is native-born among the children of Israel and for the stranger who dwells among them.

    Notice the subject, unintentional sin.
    Notice the guilt, atonement needed.
    Notice the sacrifice, blood offering, ie the Cross.
    Notice the GRACE, forgiven him.
    Notice to whom this "law" or principle applies, native-born and stranger.

    Infants are unintentional sinners.
    Unintentional sin needs an atonement.
    The atonement is in Jesus Christ alone.
    God chooses and extends Grace unto these infants who die.

    Thus there is a provision & I believe this scripture addresses it.
     
  9. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    I will take this opportunity to respond to Amy G., whom I was replying to as well when the thread closed.

    This is a ridiculous statement. First, I didn't say people aren't born with a sin nature. I can't speak for anyone else, as it's a long thread, but I've not read anything to that effect.

    Secondly, being born with a sin nature does not negate an "age of accountability" which is what Winman and I are talking about. As with other doctrines like the Doctrine of the Trinity, which is not specifically spelled out, there is an age of accountability that, though not specifically spelled out, is established in biblical writings.

    People are accountable for their response to the witness of God in creation -- as Paul's excellent treatise in Romans 1:18-32 establishes -- and also to the witness of God in the Bible and in the person of Christ.

    Acts 17, NASB
    30 "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,
    31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."​

    But second, since that response is based on one’s ability to comprehend and respond to the message, a person becomes personally accountable when he or she reaches a point where they have the spiritual and mental faculty to grasp the issues. This does not mean they are not sinful, it does not mean they do not have a sin nature with which they were born. It only means that they have not reached a place where they can understand.

    Children reach an age of knowing right from wrong much earlier than they learn and can conceive of the need for a Savior who is Christ the Lord. Around four, five, or six years of age, children know what behaviors are expected of them and what behaviors will get them in trouble with mom, dad, grandparents, brothers, sisters, sitters, teachers, etc. Knowing there is no hope for them to escape the inherent nature within them without Christ is still years away.

    My own kids committed to Christ at the age of eight. I know of children who made that decision even earlier, though I'm not convinced anyone younger than nine or ten, frankly, is fully capable of comprehending the need for Jesus Christ in their lives, and I believe more are much older. The Jewish age of accountability -- when a boy becomes a man and a girl a woman -- is 13. Like the biblical age of leadership being established at 30 years, I believe that "age of accountability" as traditionally held by the Hebrews is very accurate, though maturity comes still later in life. There has to be a level of understanding, an ability to be convicted of sin, before one can make a decision for Christ. So this "age of accountability" has a two-fold aspect: Knowing right from wrong, and knowing there is nothing we can do about it.

    While having the first without knowledge of the second may not make one accountable, it does make one feel guilty. That is when the search begins for righteousness, though of course no one that young understands that word. But it is, nonetheless, what they are looking for, and will continue to seek. When they realize there is something specific to be seeking, that is when they have become accountable.
     
    #9 thisnumbersdisconnected, Nov 25, 2013
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  10. webdog

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    Thanks. The problem I have with that understanding is the passage is dealing with accountable persons committing unintentional sin. This implies knowledge of Gods law as a whole without understanding a particular aspect of it. I don't think this applies to an infant who has no knowledge of law, right and wrong, and are unable to commit sin by definition. Guilt is personal. We are never guilty in someone else's transgression. Account - ability.
     
  11. Tom Butler

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    I appreciate the discussion so far. Let me throw this passage into the mix.

    II Samuel 12:22-23
    If David understood that when he died he would go to where the child is, where is that?
     
  12. Inspector Javert

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    Two options are Biblically permissible IMO:

    1.) in Heaven (I don't doubt that David trusted in his salvation)
    2.) To my knowledge....it may be permissible Scripturally to say that he would simply go to "the grave" (i.e. die).

    Someone more knowledgeable may be able to argue one position over the other better than I....but, I tend to assume he meant heaven.
     
  13. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Yes well I believe it is applicable to infants as well.

    And......In Genesis 18:25 Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
    All children who die in infancy are counted among the elect. It is the Just Nature of God.
    This I believe totally.
     
    #13 Earth Wind and Fire, Nov 25, 2013
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  14. Allan

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    Pretty spot on here .. but I will add one more point that needs to be noted too.

    God is Holy and therefore only that which is holy can be with Him/and in Him. All mankind is born with a sin nature, a nature that is bent toward sin and thus is the reason no person alive will be sinless in heart, thoughts, nor actions as they grow.

    This nature (Adam's nature) is corrupted, it is not perfect, it therefore is not Holy. Christ's death was for these children as well to provide perfection where there was none, though it had not evidenced itself yet.

    The sinless state, as some call it, is really, what I call, a gracious state, because though they have a sin nature we find that even Jesus states not knowing sin, you cannot be held responsible for it, ie.. under judgement. In speaking with the Pharisees:
    and..
    Thus I agree with Pinoy and others on this, that children while having a sin nature are not damned because of their sin natures but their works.. and these works are judged because they understand sin. And yet the sin nature, that which is corrupt (bent toward sin though it has not yet sinned), also must be made whole in order that the child might dwell in and with God. Therefore the work of Christ extends its new creation work toward them, in that faith is unnessary for salvation because they are not judged by the judgment of works.. and due to this the work of Christ Jesus toward them whom judgment is not held against will purify and make new that which corrupt and make it Holy unto the Lord.

    AND for those who wish to state.. then we aught to just kill the all the children so everyone goes to Heaven. :D Try it, I would love to document both here and at the Great Judgement, what comes out of it.
     
    #14 Allan, Nov 25, 2013
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  15. Inspector Javert

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    Then one would have to demonstrate which particular "sins" an infant is even capable of committing:

    Theft?
    Pride?
    Disobedience to Parents?
    Refusal to believe in Christ?
    Lust?
    Adultery?
    Failure to acknowledge the Sabbath?
    Wanton violence?
    Lying?
    Sloth?
    Rape?
    Murder?
    Drunkenness?
    Insider Trading?
    Speeding?
    Diaper-pooping?

    Precisely which particular law have they broken?
     
  16. quantumfaith

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    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:

    Thanks
     
  17. webdog

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    We both believe God will do what is right. We just differ on whether it is just for God to judge an infant's guilt on an act they didn't commit.
     
  18. OldRegular

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    First there is the declaration of King David on the death of his first child with Bathsheba!

    2 Samuel 12:23. But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

    King David, called a man after God's own heart, obviously was among the redeemed. His child died after seven days. David indicates that he and the child will be together after death.

    *************************

    Following are remarks by Albert Mohler on the death of infanta.

     
  19. Allan

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    An interesting point to the sacrifice of 'unintentional sin', is that one has to realize they sinned, albeit - unintentionally - to bring a sacrifice. Therefore, they now do know what 'was done' was sinful and are accountable for that action.

    Let me qualify something here however, unintentional sin means that you have 'commited' a sinful act thus there is a cognative aspect to this action that infants cannot do.
     
  20. quantumfaith

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    Where does the idea that any "sin" or anything "sinful" must emphatically never be in the presence of God come from?

    I am aware of Habakkuk 1:13

    Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
    you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
    Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
    Why are you silent while the wicked
    swallow up those more righteous than themselves?

    Are there others that teach this doctrine more clearly?
     
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