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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by RightFromWrong, Sep 7, 2005.
Again another point brought up in another discussion but not talked much.
I say they do.
I think so, too. Ronald Nash has a book on this. I think it's called _When A Child Dies_ or something like that.
I don't think the infants who died in the Flood went to heaven. Neither do I think the infants in Sodom and Gomorrah went to heaven. I can't say the Babylonian infants did, Ps. 137:9.
We have to understand that God does not look at infants as we see infants. The spirits of infants are not infantile. They are intelligent, cognizant and able to understand what is happening and why. And just as the body of my Great Grandmother who died at the age of 93 will not be raised in the Resurrection a decrepit, wrinkled, gray-headed old body, neither will the bodies of infants be raised as tiny, undeveloped bodies.
Where do you get this?
We do not know that an underage child, upon death, stands before God as an underage child. We do not know a lot of things.
It does seem inconceivable that God would cast a soul into perdition who had done neither good nor bad, other than being descended from Adam. We don't get that picture of God from the Bible generally. "The son shall not die for the sin of the father..." etc.
What comfort can a biblical Christian offer a grieving parent? "Oh, I dunno, baby Sue-sue is probably burning in Hell right now because y'all still haven't walked the aisle and gotten saved, so she died unsanctified according to 1 Cor. 7."
Just seems wrong to me.
Ive always thought that David's prayer to God about his young child that died was an indication that those who do not understand mentally about how to be saved will be taken to Heaven.....
the topic asks:
I do. So do those who are born mentally challenged, and incapable of ascertaining right from wrong.
[ September 07, 2005, 04:16 PM: Message edited by: DHK ]
the Bible says that it is not whether they understand mentally how to be saved, but it is by their works that they will be judged at the Great White Throne, plus the fact that their names were not found in the Lamb's Book of Life, which means they had no Savior who stands between them, and the wrath of God.
David spoke of hsi dead infant in 2 Samuel 12:23. He said that he would go to his son because his son could not return to him.
Obviously, the child could not have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ at that age. I believe this indicates that babies are covered by the grace of God and if they die, they will go to heaven. David knew he would see his child again and the only place to do that would be heaven.
First, please understand, if this topic gets too hard for me to deal with I will disappear.....it will not be because I can't handle being disagreed with, but because I have lost 3 children from miscarriage. I will do my best to not react from an emotional standpoint, though....
pinoy, but isn't that Great White Throne judgment referring to those who are actually lost? If there really is an "age of accountability" than wouldn't those not be included in that GWT judgement?
pinoy, I missed your first post, but they seem to be contradicting each other. What are you saying in your second post? The one I quoted?
My condolences on your losses.
The Great White Throne judgement is a judgement for the lost, while the judgement seat of Christ is only for the saved. The Great White Throne is a judgement of the works a man does while the Judgement Seat of Christ is a judgement of rewards, not of salvation.
Thank you Brother Ian, I appreciate that.
The only problem point on this subject is that we don't know where the line is drawn for every person.
Unborn babies and babies and persons who cannot understand words, and therefore could not have the opportunity to respond to the Gospel? Straight to the arms of Jesus, not doubt.
Teenagers and adults who can understand the Gospel? They are accountable, no doubt.
The iffy place is in between. In explaining the sin nature to children, I raise the question, "Do you have to teach a child to be bad?" The answer is, of course, "No. You have to teach them to be good." I personally understood the Gospel and was saved, praise God, at the age of seven.
Since everyone's abilities are different, I can only assume that the so-called "age of accountability" is different for everyone. The only answer to it we have is to teach them early and well, and pray that each precious child will be drawn to the Savior.
I think God showed us where to draw the line when the children of Israel were in the desert. When they persisted in rebellion, God told them, in effect, "Enough is enough. You will die here and your children will enter the Promised Land." The age given by the Lord was twenty years old.
That may seem strange to us, but the brain does not finish developing for two decades. Both children and teens basically do what they do in response to parent and peer pressure, or teacher pressure. Not because something is right for the sake of right or wrong for the sake of wrong.
In addition, the Lord told us quite plainly the children are His. Yes, all of us are born with a sin nature, but that means our tendency to sin is always there, not that we are always guilty of knowingly sinning! Unknown sins, which would be the most children can be guilty of, if they can be held guilty of actually sinning at all, were paid for by Christ on the cross, as He is the one Sacrifice for all sin for all time.
In Romans 7, Paul says that sin did not come to life in him until he knew the law. It was only when he disobeyed what he knew to be God's law that he could be charged with sin, for it is the law that shows us what sin is. Now, a teenager may have intellectual 'knowledge' of 'you should' and 'you are forbidden to...', but these are simply authority-imposed pressures to which he or she is responding. It is not until the late teens and the early twenties that a person actually begins 'wrestling' with God him or herself.
I am convinced that EVERYONE's name is initially written in the Book of Life. All children go to heaven. It is not until you know the law and sin springs to life that you die spiritually (get separated from God spiritually) -- exactly in accord with what Paul explains in Romans 7.
Calvinists/Reformed hate this idea, thinking they must have been specially chosen from before time began to be saved and the rest to be junked by God. But that is entirely contrary to Scripture and a black smear on God's name and character. He IS Love, and love always wants what is best for another. All children are His. It is not until a person knowingly and purposefully rebels against God by purposefully disobeying that he or she dies spiritually. And, again, spiritual death is NOT spiritual unconsciousness, or hell would have no meaning at all! It is separation from God in the same way that physical death is separation from the body.
Pharaoh hardened his own heart a number of times before God finished the job for him. However, God knew what would happen from the beginning and so told Moses that is what would happen.
The writer to the Hebrews pleads with them not to harden their own hearts.
Paul, in Romans 1 refers to those who knowingly suppress the truth they are aware of, preferring a lie.
These are pleas to adults. The children belong to Him. There is no doubt anywhere in the Bible about that!
I believe children go to Heaven. We are saved by grace, through faith. Faith comes by hearing (understanding). Infants cannot understand, so this is where God's grace is sufficient. By David, the apple of God's eye, saying he would go to his infant son, should be a good indication of where infants go.
Helen, excellent post
bapmom, my sincerest condolences to you. I lost my sister 2 years ago, and watching my mother go through what she has, breaks my heart.
Thank you webdog.
and my condolences to you on your own loss as well.
Thank you Helen, I appreciated your post. It will make me think more about this issue.
Well, ma'am, here's the Scripture:
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.
The context is judgment before the Great White Throne. 'small and great' do not refer to physical stature, but to social stature, or maybe even spiritual stature. the book of life is opened along with other books, which judged by the statement, is a book of deeds. After they were judged according to their works, apparently a search was made in the Book of Life, because verse 15 says:
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Babies and little children, while born with a fallen nature inherited from Adam, are considered innocent even by the Lord Jesus Christ, and this is apparent when he said 'for of such is the kingdom of heaven' (matthew 19:14;Mark 10:14; Luke 18:16).
The Bible also says that 'known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world'(Acts 15:18) and this means there is nothing hid from Him among all His creation. If He knows the very numbers of hairs in his child's head, and knows when the sparrow falls, he knows then what physical or mental limitations any of his creation will have at birth, or whether this child will live to adulthood, or even be born.
According to this foreknowledge, and because He is a God of great mercy and justice, He already chose them IN CHRIST unto salvation from the foundation of the world.
Consider again another characteristic of the Book of Life:
The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world , when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
It says here that the names of those who are God's own people were written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world.
Their names are not written when they 'accept' Christ as Savior, nor when they by some conscious action 'repent' of their sins. They were chosen, named, and written down before the foundation of the world.
All babies who will not be born and die in birth, or killed in the womb, are safe in Christ, and covered by the blood and faith of Christ. These also includes those little children who will not go on into adulthood.
All .. who are unable to distinghuish right from wrong are safe IN Christ and covered by the blood and faith of Christ.
The rest of humanity not covered by these special circumstances are either elect or unelect.
The elect, like the above, are all chosen in Christ, safe in Christ, and accepted in the beloved. Christ is their covering, their Savior, their stronghold, against the wrath of God, which He took in their behalf.
The unelect, have no Savior to stand between them and a righeous and just God.
I do not know if there is such a thing as an age of accountability. The root of that teaching seems to be from Roman Catholicism.
[ September 07, 2005, 04:12 PM: Message edited by: DHK ]
If this be so, then I shall try to be more charitable toward those who disagree with me on the Baptist Board.
[ September 07, 2005, 04:13 PM: Message edited by: DHK ]
I did a study on 'the elect' some time ago because I had gotten quite embroiled in the Calvinism section below. I was curious just who the elect were. After I had checked every single time that word was used, I came to a rather different conclusion than what Calvinists are claiming it refers to. My conclusions and what led me there were put by my husband on his website, here:
There is another study that came up with almost the same conclusions as yours, that elect pertains primarily to the Jews.
However, that same study shows that God elects certain individuals for certain tasks, certain nations for certain tasks, and certain people for eternal salvation. And, though I do not recall the scholar, I do remember he certainly was not an electionist.