Friday, May 18, 2012

The salvation of infants who die, now with added scripture

A few years ago, I made a post that gave my heart exceeding joy. Not because of the manner in which it was written, but because it uses a very simple logic to show a small spec of the magnificent goodness of God. [REF]

However, you will notice the argument is based on biblical logic, which I believe is correct, but I did not list the scripture which supports this argument. Now I write this blog for one reason: to remember the lion and the bear, in David's words. And it seems that most Calvinist's "I am not going to touch that one" attitude towards infant death makes me want to get my bible ducks in a row.

My issue is: How do we council the grieving mother? What do you tell her? Is there good news? Because if there isn't, well, there isn't. But if there IS good news, and you do not tell her, then shame on you!

Everyone dies. Of that, there is no question. It cannot be deemed unfair that people die, since even God subjected Himself to it (Even though He did not have to. He is the potter, you are the clay. Do you ask your pottery permission to behave as you would? [REF]). What is of more importance is where they are going. And eternity is FAR more important than the here and now.

There are many verses which indicate that God does not punish the children for the sins of the father:
"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]

"Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?" [Jonah 4:11]

"11 Why did I not die at birth,
Come forth from the womb and expire?
12 Why did the knees receive me,
And why the breasts, that I should suck?
13 For now I would have lain down and been quiet;
I would have slept then, I would have been at rest,
14 With kings and with counselors of the earth,
Who rebuilt ruins for themselves;
15 Or with princes who had gold,
Who were filling their houses with silver.
16 Or like a miscarriage which is [b]discarded, I would not be,
As infants that never saw light.
17 There the wicked cease from raging,
And there the [c]weary are at rest.
18 The prisoners are at ease together;
They do not hear the voice of the taskmaster.
19 The small and the great are there,
And the slave is free from his master." [Job 3:11-19]

"22 He said, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who knows, the Lord may be gracious to me, that the child may live.' 23 But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."" [2 Samuel 12:22-23, emphasis added]

"12 Now you, arise, go to your house. When your feet enter the city the child will die. 13 All Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he alone of Jeroboam’s family will come to the grave[NOTE: the rest of the family will be dead in the streets for the dogs], because in him something good was found toward the Lord God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam." [1 Kings 14:12-13, Emphasis and notes added]

"So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish." [Matthew 18:14]

The 'counter-verses', or verses that show damnation, serve to prove that infant who die cannot fall into this category:
"18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them." [Romans 1:18-19]

"And they *sang a new song, saying, Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation." [Revelation 5:9]

Some people may argue that when Jesus speaks of children, He is making an analogy of all belivers. John MacArthur says, it's a perfect analogy:
A child can do nothing for himself to be saved. A child can earn no salvation. A child can offer no accomplishment, no merit, no achievement, totally dependent on sovereign grace. That's the way we come. The Kingdom is full of people just like them, saved purely on the basis of sovereign grace. [SOURCE]

So what do we say then? We say that God is righteous, and the matters of life and death sit fairly in His hands. That He gives and takes according to His righteousness. But what a wonderful thing to know that He is not fair or just, He is gracious!

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