What Happens to Children in the Rapture?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Darrell C, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Obviously this is a question for those of us that embrace the teaching in Scripture that the Church will be raptured, so, Pre, Mid, and Post views aside (or are they?), what happens to children in the Rapture.

    And I will expand the question to include unborn babies.


    God bless.
     
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  2. Carnold23

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    My personal belief is that in the rapture all innocent souls will be taken to heaven. That includes children and babies.
    I know some people will not agree with me, but that is my personal belief. I have trouble believing God would leave innocents on this earth to suffer.
     
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  3. Darrell C

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    But would we apply a term of "innocent" to anyone? Even babies in the womb?

    Certainly unborn babies, babies, and small children might be viewed as innocent, however, that is not all we consider in regards sin in relation to the Rapture, which involves the glorification and catching away of the Church only.

    All babies are conceived separated from God, and according to Christ the only means for man to have life is to trust in His death (John 6). In order for one to be a member of the group that is Raptured they must be born again believers.

    Babies are not born regenerated, that is an event that follows faith in Christ.

    While the baby may have not committed sin, neither do they have relationship with God from an eternal perspective, they are, like all men born into this world, in need of being born again, or, born of God.

    But thanks for the reply, Carnold, and welcome to the forum. I hope your time here will be blessed and that you in turn will be a blessing to those here.


    God bless.
     
  4. heisrisen

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    I've always wondered this. I'm so glad you posed this question on this thread. It's a very interesting topic. I have always believed only the children of saved parent(s) will go in the rapture. The bible says along the lines, but now are your children holy because one or more parent is saved. (1 Corinth. 7:14). But the age of accountability must come in. If a child is old enough to make a decision for themselves but have not, they will be left. (That's what I've always believed anyway because the parents failed them and they are not in the truth.) And you make an excellent point when you say we are not born into this world born again. We must become born again. But when David's baby died, he said "He will not return to me, but I will go to him." (2 Samuel 12:23). So he made it seem pretty obvious that his baby went to be with the Lord and he would see him again. Therefore if a baby dies, they're considered innocent because they don't know the gospel yet. So does this same case apply to those living on the earth when the rapture happens? I really don't know and I wish the bible told us if all children will go or stay behind. I think we can know though if we really study scripture and rightly divide the word.
     
  5. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    In regards to David's child, I don't take the view that the child, or David, went to Heaven. In that economy and all eras prior to the Cross, I believe men went to sheol, which the Story of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16 suggests divides the just and the unjust. That story can be seen to be under Law and in that Age because Abraham does not tell the rich man his brothers can be spared torment through Christ, but that they can hear the Law and the Prophets (Hebrew names for the first five books of the Bible and the Prophets (the Hebrew Bible is divided in three parts, The Law, Prophets, and Psalms by Christ in Luke 24)).

    Hebrews 9 and 10 make this same implication, but, I have to get going, so that can be discussed in further detail if you like.

    I will just say the Bible does tell us that babies, children, and those mentally impaired will fall under the provision of God's grace, even as all Old Testament Saints did. They still had to have their transgressions redeemed when they died, and since we see God's judgment is just and that despite the fact David died not having his sin atoned for, yet was not faced with eternal separation, it would be unreasonable to think this would happen to babies and children either. They never committed murder and adultery as David did.


    God bless.
     
  6. DHK

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    Genesis 18:25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
     
  7. Darrell C

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    We know He will. That includes the deaths of children in the Flood, right?

    There was grace and mercy in that judgment, for according to what we are given, God viewed all of mankind corrupt, and did not spare the children in hopes they would grow up not to follow in the footsteps of their fathers. Because they died they were not culpable for the sins we assume (and it's a pretty good assumption based on God's judgment) they would have committed in growing up in such a corrupt society.

    So I am not sure if you are saying children will be raptured or not, DHK, could you be a little more specific?

    God bless.
     
  8. Darrell C

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    Welcome to the forum, cheryllei9h, I hope your time here will be blessed and that you in turn will be a blessing to those here.

    I am a firm believer that physical life begins at conception, and that should children die, whether in the womb or after birth, they are going to be judged according to the same pattern we see in regards to judgment throughout Scripture, which is a direct accountability for the revelation God has provided to every man and woman. So when it comes to babies and children, and even those mentally incapacitated, God's grace is seen in His righteous judgment.

    We know that babies in the womb do not sin, that is simply something that is an impossibility. And while popular belief would teach Sin as a disease passed down from parent to child, that is not the case. Sin is a consequence of Man's condition, which is one of not having the spiritual life that only comes from God. So while the babe in the womb has not sinned, that babe is still separated from God, and this is where we see the Grace of God throughout the Scriptures: God bestowed grace to the Old Testament Saints in the same manner He bestows grace to those babies.

    Men like Noah, Abraham, and David...all died still in need of the eternal redemption Christ accomplished for us (both Old and New Testament Saint) on the Cross. When those men died, the last offering for sin would have been the sacrifice of an animal, who vicariously died in the place of the sinner, that the penalty for sin not be exacted on the sinner themselves. This atonement was temporary and temporal, and not to be equated with the Sacrifice of Christ, for we are told those sacrifices could not take away sins:

    Hebrews 10:1-4

    King James Version (KJV)

    10 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

    2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

    3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

    4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.



    So we see a pattern of righteous judgment, and judgment according to the obedience, or disobedience, to the known will of God, revealed to man with the specific intent of establishing relationship with man.

    So in regards to children, it is my belief we can draw a conclusion concerning the fate of children who die prior to a point in their lives where they could be held accountable for their response to the three primary methods of revelation (the internal witness, the testimony of Creation, and direct revelation (God speaking directly, through Prophets, and through His Word)), and that is...they receive the same grace bestowed to all Old Testament Saints.

    From a general perspective it is necessary to discuss where men went when they died, and whether that has changed in this Age. Did men go to Heaven when they died then, or were they assigned a place in sheol/hades. All of these could be topics in themselves, and when we begin to put the collective teachings together, I think we can draw conclusions in regards to the fate of children in the Rapture. My view is that only the Church is raptured, so children who have not been saved at this time will remain in the world. The babes of unbelieving mothers will remain in the womb, and the babes of believing mothers will be raptured. Just as in the flood, God's mercy extends even to those who die due to the consequences of sin, and the judgment we see in the Tribulation is definitely a consequence of sin.

    It might sound harsh, but that is my view. I do not view the death of children in the Flood, for example, cruel to those children, but rather mercy which spared them the likely result of growing up to reject the will of God, as the rest of the earth had done.


    God bless.
     
  9. steaver

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    What do you think of those who have not heard the gospel? They also will probably remain with the opportunity to hear and be saved through the Tribulation.
     
  10. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    I am out of time but will quickly say we see a general principle concerning revelation and accountability to revelation. There are several passages which outline this principle but due to time I will give just one to try to illustrate it:


    Romans 2:11-16

    King James Version (KJV)

    11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

    12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

    13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

    15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another)

    16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.



    In other words, there is an internal witness that even Gentiles (the equivalent of those who in this Age do not hear the Gospel) can respond to and be found just before God. So for all men who have not heard the Gospel, they are still without excuse, and will be judged according to their response to the revelation provided them.

    To answer the question more directly having expressed my view of this principle...


    ...those who have not heard the Gospel will be left behind, and some of them will be saved, because everyone who enters the Tribulation will have been unbelievers up to that point.

    The Rapture involves only the Church, those dead in Christ and those who remain (are physically alive). While we might generate compassion for babies, children, the mentally incapacitated, and even the just among those who have never heard the Gospel but are in obedience to the revelation provided them, we cannot be dogmatic about their being raptured, nor do I see Scripture unclear about who is.


    God bless.
     
  11. heisrisen

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    All great points! Thanks for that response. It helps me and changed my view on this topic.
     
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  12. DHK

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    Well, of course, you want my specific opinion.
    In reality, we leave the death of all children, aborted infants, the mentally challenged, etc., in God's hands. We know that He is full of mercy and grace, and we count on him. "Shall not he do that which is right"?
    I personally don't see God condemning any of these who cannot possibly understand the gospel, but I am one who cannot speak for God where God is silent. When God is silent we also must be silent.
    The only consolation I give to grieving mothers is the example of David who lost his child.
    David was adamant that he would meet his child in the after-life, in eternity. I believe that the technicalities of "sheol" are irrelevant here. He would spend eternity with that infant. That is the truth behind that event.

    Perhaps a better question to ponder upon is what do you envision when you see David spending eternity with that child or infant. Is that child going to be a child throughout eternity? Will he grow as a child? Or what will happen when the resurrection occurs (my real question)? What kind of body will he receive? A child's body? Or one of perhaps 30 years old as if he would have grown to that age. Surely he would not remain throughout eternity as an infant.
     
  13. Darrell C

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    I would agree in part concerning the "technicalities of sheol," though not to the extent that these are not relevant (to the discussion at all), particularly when considering David's infant. There is a distinct difference between those who believe men have always gone to Heaven and those who do not, but view that as an accomplishment of the Cross. MacArthur believes men did, but I think we overlook some distinctions between the former Ages and this one.

    While Scripture is silent about this in specific detail, I think that the infant will be the essence of the person. Meaning, we won't be old or young, but perhaps in appearance to at least our prime, except glorified. Christ is the only example we have, and it appears that His appearance was similar to that when He died, which I would note would have been a prime age in this life.

    So children and babes will be, I believe, instantly transformed into that person they always were, which now means our spirit, but then our spirit made physical in everlasting form. I don't really see a growth process in the physical concerning glorified bodies, but, again, Scripture is silent on that.

    When one dies now their spirit goes to Heaven. The body is left behind, and as in the example of Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration, those spirits are recognizably human. Doubtful Moses appeared at the age he was, or the condition he was in, because his last physical appearance on earth was just before death, which one could assume was not in the best of shape.

    And regardless of whether David went to sheol or Heaven, we do know that he was confident that he would go to the child. And we have no reason to doubt that, which, as you point out, illustrates a good reason to view babies and children going to Heaven when they die.

    But, we still consider the OP, which has a focus on what happens to them in the Rapture. For believers glorification doesn't require death, but, can we make a good case for those outside of the Church being raptured as well? I don't think so, and think that the Flood is a good example of why it is unlikely. We are dealing with a different Age, so I would not be overly dogmatic that it isn't a possibility.


    God bless.
     
  14. Amy13

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    I agree Carnold here. I feel that children and unborn babies are inherently innocent and thus will be taken up with those who believe during the Rapture.
     
  15. Darrell C

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    Hello Amy, and welcome to the forum (and the thread), I hope your time here will be blessed and that you in turn will be a blessing to those here.

    One question for you: does this...


    Romans 3:9-10

    King James Version (KJV)

    9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

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



    ...not establish that there is none righteous?

    Do you believe that people are innocent, and worthy of Heaven until they commit their first sin, at which point they are then excluded from an event such as the Rapture (which has only those who are in Christ in view)?

    And I know, that actually makes two questions, but who's counting? lol

    Again, welcome to the Forum, and the thread.


    God bless.
     
  16. BobRyan

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    "For of such is the kingdom of heaven".

    The rapture happens at the end of the Trib - and is at the same time as the first resurrection in Rev 20:4-5. Small children raised and taken to heaven for Christ "is the atoning sacrifice for OUR sins and not for our sins only but for the sins of the whole WORLD" 1 John 2:2 --

    small children need a Savior - and they have one.

    Otherwise we would all be practicing the unbiblical practice of infant baptism.
     

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