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To: Craftmore

See my question in post 9. I asked it knowing the answer. And you confirmed it.

So. Unless an infant is baptized - they go to Hell if they die.

Got it.

13 posted on 12/18/2012 3:31:27 PM PST by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: Responsibility2nd; Craftmore; Truth2012

Being a protestant, I’ve always believed children, below the age of “accountability” DO go to Heaven. I think it’s silly to believe otherwise. But that’s just me.

That said, I found the following to back that up...

The Bible makes it clear that people are condemned to hell on the basis of their sins and their rejection of Jesus Christ as the remedy for their sinful condition. However, infants and young children are incapable of fully understanding either their spiritual condition or God’s requirements for salvation. Can God judge them even though they don’t understand the basis of that judgment? The Bible does indicate that children are innocent, for example, when describing how some of the Israelites in the Valley of Benhinnom had become corrupt so as to sacrifice their own (innocent) children:

“Because they have forsaken Me and have made this an alien place and have burned sacrifices in it to other gods, that neither they nor their forefathers nor the kings of Judah had ever known, and because they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind; (Jeremiah 19:4-5)

The Bible also indicates that children are regarded as being innocent because of their lack of ability to discern between good and evil:

Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it. (Deuteronomy 1:39)

Other verses also indicate that young children are not fully capable of making moral choices.10 So, the Bible says that babies and children are innocent, based upon their inability to fully understand the difference between good and evil.
Do babies go to heaven?

So, since babies and children are considered innocent, one would assume that they would be excluded from judgment and get a pass to heaven. However, does the Bible explicitly state what happens to them? A verse from Job says that they enter into rest:

“Or like a miscarriage which is discarded, I would not be, As infants that never saw light. There the wicked cease from raging, And there the weary are at rest. (Job 3:16-17)

Likewise, another verse suggests that a person who is not satisfied with their life is worse off than one who is miscarried.11 Although it does not explicitly state what happens to the miscarried, the implication would be that they went to heaven.
Children belong to God

Both the Old and New Testaments indicate that God has a special relationship with children. In the book of Ezekiel, God was very upset with His people as they were sacrificing their children to idols. However, God calls them “My children”:

“Moreover, you took your sons and daughters whom you had borne to Me and sacrificed them to idols to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter? You slaughtered My children and offered them up to idols by causing them to pass through the fire.” (Ezekiel 16:20-21)

Jesus indicated that people who enter heaven are like children, implying that children go to heaven.

And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:2-3)
Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:13-14)

So, the Bible indicates quite clearly that children who die go to heaven. However, the question remains at what age an individual ceases to be a child.
Age of accountability?

So, we know that babies and children go to heaven when they die. However, we don’t know what the cutoff is for those who die young. Is it 5, or 8,or 12 years old? The Bible makes no mention of any kind of “age of accountability.” So, it is quite likely that there is no specific age at which an individual become accountable. Our three sons all accepted Jesus as their Savior around five years old. However, they had been exposed to the gospel message since birth, and had gone to Sunday School, Bible studies, vacation Bible schools, and Awana in their early years. We never asked them if they wanted to be Christians, but allowed them to ask the question on their own. Five years old is probably not the average age at which children are capable of understanding the gospel and responding to it. Having taught vacation Bible school and Sunday school for many years, I recognize that the average first grader is not taking in the information and processing it for how it applies to him. However, when the time comes, one can see the light come on. In one of the vacation Bible school assemblies, I recall a group of boys (probably around 10 years old) who were in attendance as a gospel presentation was being made. One of the boys suddenly said to the others, “Did you hear what she said?,” in an excited voice. An alter call had been made, and he dashed up to the front. His friends were left sitting in the pew. So, I have seen many children at many different levels of spiritual and physical development, which must be the basis by which God determines if they are accountable. For those with mental disabilities, it is possible that they never become morally accountable. However, we can be assured that God judges all people, including children, fairly.12
Does it matter if they’re baptized?

Some denominations baptize their infants in the belief that such baptism prevents them from going to hell should they die before coming to faith in Christ. However, what about babies who are miscarried or die during childbirth? Are they condemned to hell? That is what the doctrine of infant baptism would imply. So, the doctrine of infant baptism changes salvation from one of grace to one of works, since infant baptism is a work of the parent, and not a work of God. As such, the practice of infant baptism displays a lack in trust of God as the bearer of salvation, so must be rejected as being an efficacious act. So, being baptized as an infant saves neither an infant nor an adult. Salvation is still a gift13 of God based upon the grace of God.14 Biblical baptism is the public confession of faith by an accountable individual.15 So, we reject infant baptism as being required for the salvation of babies and young children who die.
Conclusion Top of page

Babies and young children who die go the heaven through the grace and righteous judgment of God. The Bible is clear that those who are not fully capable of making moral choices are declared to be innocent, and, therefore, worthy of heaven. The Bible does not mention any kind of “age of accountability,” but bases accountability on the basis of the ability to make moral choices. Infant baptism, although it shows a commitment from the parent, is neither required nor efficacious in obtaining salvation for little ones. The salvation of babies and children is a gift of God, based upon His grace, and cannot be purchased through a work of a parent. If you have lost an infant or child, we pray that the Lord would comfort you with His grace, and that you would desire to join your child in heaven through a confession of faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. May God bless you.

17 posted on 12/18/2012 3:43:07 PM PST by Lucky9teen (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading.~Thomas Jeffer)
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