Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Safe... (Do All Babies Go to Heaven?) Part II

Why Do Babies Die?
Part Two

During my conversation with my friend this past Friday she made the definite statement that babies, especially those yet in the womb have not had the opportunity to sin. She readily agrees that the “sin nature” comes into play, but how and when she is not sure. She is sure that she does not want to attribute sin to a baby in the womb or out of the womb.

First, let me say that the overwhelming majority of people, whether Christians or not hold the position that all babies go to heaven.  Regardless of their view on sin, original sin, or death, they believe that babies are “innocent” and won’t be held accountable by God.

I am well aware of the fact that almost all of the reformers hold to the position that somehow by God’s infinite grace and wisdom that He has made a provision for infants and imbeciles. I am aware of the fact that one of my heroes of the faith, Charles H. Spurgeon believed and taught that all babies who die go to heaven by a gracious provision of God.

Dr. John F. MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church of Sun Valley, CA has written a little book called, Safe in the Arms of God. It is Pastor MacArthur’s position that all babies who die go to heaven.

As a matter of fact, in his book, Pastor MacArthur was very adamant about the fact that we not only can know the answer to this question but that pastor’s must have an answer to this question;

“Several years ago I was asked to participate on a panel at a large conference. Three other pastors joined me on this question and answer panel. One of the questions came from the audience was, ‘What happens to babies when they died?’ The answer of the other three pastors was, essentially, ‘I don’t know.’ I was dismayed. How can a person be a pastor and not have an answer to that question? How can a pastor even offer counsel or encouragement to those who experience the loss of a child unless he or she has answers to the concerns of a grieving heart? When my turn came to reply I said, ‘they go to heaven.’” [1]

Second, there is a very entrenched thought or belief that human beings are born without sin. This “doctrine” or teaching was condemned as heresy some sixteen hundred (1600) years ago, but it still lingers. The underlying foundation of this heresy is that each and every soul that is born is born as a “clean slate.” As a person develops and begins to “sin” by engaging in willful acts of sin, they become sinners. The belief that results from this heresy is that infants and children are “innocent” and have not yet had the opportunity to sin. It is thought that infants and babies cannot make a willful choice to sin. Therefore, a “sinless” or “innocent” child will to go to heaven.

This doctrine was declared to be heretical and was condemned by every council that met to review the doctrine against the Scriptures. The problem is that this thinking has never gone away. People still think it is true today.

When you lasted visited a maternity ward or a family which had just delivered a brand new baby what did you hear? Did you hear someone exclaim, “Oh look at the desperately wicked and deceitful depraved little sinner!” No, in all most every case someone said, “Oh look at the beautiful little baby. Doesn’t he or she look so innocent?” Or, “Doesn’t she look so peaceful and innocent laying there asleep?”

Now, most bible scholars and those trained in biblical doctrine would admit that all human beings including infants are born as sinners from conception. All most all would say that the principle of sin is embedded in the heart or soul of every living being. Most would say that all that are born have a bent toward sin. Even Dr. MacArthur wrote,

Any notion that a child is born morally neutral, or that a baby is born without a predisposition to sin, is contrary to Scripture.” Dr. MacArthur goes on to say, “If infants were not sinful or morally corrupt, they would not die at all! If babies were born totally without sin or depravity, there could be no reason for their death.” [2]

There is great truth to what MacArthur says. However, there is a great problem with what he has written. We will pick this up in our next post, (Thursday, May 23, 2013) Lord willing.

[1] Safe in the Arms of God, John MacArthur, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2003), p. 13
[2] Ibid, p. 69


Anonymous said...

O often wondered what happened to the three I lost whilst still inside the womb, Life is a great mystery to me.


Steve Finnell said...


Are infants proper candidates for baptism? Do babies meet the requirements to be baptized? The short answer is no.

Acts 8:26-40 ....36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized? 37 [And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."]

Unlike the Ethiopian eunuch; babies cannot believe with all their heart. Infants cannot make the confession, that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of God. Babies do meet the requirements for water baptism.


Acts 2:22-37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?"

There were no infants baptized on the Day of Pentecost. Why not?

1. They could not believe in Jesus the Nazarene.
2. Infants could not believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
3. Babies could not realize that God made Jesus both Lord and Christ.
4. Infants could not be pierced to the heart, nor could they ask, " Brethren, what shall we do?"

Acts 2:38 Peter said to them,"Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Infants do not need to repent; because they have no sin to repent from. Repentance means to turn from sin and turn toward God. Infants are not candidates for water baptism.

Acts 2:41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.

There were no infants added to the church that day. Why not? Because babies could not receive Peter's word. Infants are not capable of understanding the gospel. Infants are not qualified to be baptized in water.


Acts 16:31-34 They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.....33.....and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. 34 ....having believed in God with his whole household.

The jailer and his whole household believed before they were baptized. There were no babies baptized. Infants are not capable of believing. Infants are not qualified to be baptized.