Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Where do infants go when they die?

UPDATE April 2012: Non-believers: You should be able to read this post and ignore the terms you may not understand. I will write a post explaining the debate of Arminianism and Calvinism, but it is too large to put here. Wikipedia should be able to answer most questions. 

This question [where do infants go when they die] is so huge. I did not realize how big it is until now. I have made doctrinal mistakes. I have recanted.

People may think that because I believe in God's sovereign choice that I would think at least some babies go to hell. Only if you are elect you can get to heaven, right? Calvinists, like me, are seen as cold hearted doctrine beating cowboys.

The fact is, Calvinism is the call to utter humility. Think about it: I am so depraved that I could not even find God by reading a Bible 30cm away from my nose. How pitiful must I be? What, in myself, do I have to boast about? And what has my theology to do with dead infants?

EVERYTHING! Can you imagine a baby waking up into eternal damnation? "That's what Calvinists preach!" someone may cry. Nope, that is what Arminians preach! John MacArthur did a series on this, so I do not want to go into the whole sermon, but I want to give the theological crux:

Babies are born sinners. There is nothing you can say to defeat that. People are not born innocent, that is Pelagianism and even the Roman Catholics do not agree with that (They are semi-Pelagians). We are conceived in sin and born in iniquity. So the only just place to send a child is, as with every other human being, hell.

"If infants were not sinful, if they were morally neutral, there would be then no basis for them to die because it is the wages of sin that is death and it is their inherited sin nature that plants in them the seeds of death." 1

However, due to God's grace, we are saved. There is nothing in us meriting His grace. This is where rubber hits the road. MacArthur says it beautifully:

"But how were you saved? By law? What do you want? Law for babies and grace for you? You had no more to do with your salvation than a helpless infant." 2

So by grace we saved. By works we are damned. But wait: the child has no works to damn it! Furthermore, John states:
"...anybody who has an Arminian system has in that system some contribution to salvation made by the individual, that it's partly God and partly us" 2

This manner of salvation would insist that children who die go to hell, since the child has no chance of taking the 'gift' of salvation. If I have to bring something in order to be saved, people who die without the mental capacity to realize their sin and repent go to hell. All are sinners, not to say that all have sinned. It is our nature to sin, from the womb.

But God by His fantastic grace came and made a way for them to be saved. He even made a way for those who are accountable to be saved. Praise Him forever! Salvation belongs to the Lord our God!

"The salvation of those souls, then, is absolutely consistent with the salvation of adults, which is also based on sovereign grace apart from anything that they can do." 1

The logical conclusion, if you read the sermons, is that all children go to heaven. Part 1 deals with the theological basis, part 2 the scriptural one. This really is good news. I am so glad God is a consistent God that is so amazing. I am at a loss for words beyond: Christ is amazing!

1John MacArthur, THE SALVATION OF BABIES WHO DIE Part 2, accessed 14 August 2007

2 John MacArthur, THE SALVATION OF BABIES WHO DIE Part 1, accessed 14 August 2007

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