Do Babies go to Heaven?
What Jesus Taught
The words of the Lord Jesus leave us in no doubt as to the destiny of babies that die. When He was asked by His disciples, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He responded as follows:
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea (Matthew 18:1-6).
A little later when children were brought to Jesus, we read:
Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:13-14).
After David’s child was born to Bathsheba it was very sick and in a short time died. Here was a child born as the result of David’s sin, yet we read:
Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me (2 Samuel 12:19-23).
We know that David is in heaven and will one day reign over the nation of Israel in the millennial kingdom of Christ, so we must conclude that the child is in heaven.
The Babies in Nineveh
When the people of Nineveh repented Jonah complained to God because God would spare them from the judgment which Jonah had preached. God said:
“And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?” (Jonah 4:11).
There were more than one hundred and twenty thousand children, too young to know their left or right hand, so why shouldn’t God be merciful even for their sakes! Had the king of Nineveh and his not repented these children would have perished physically, but they were obviously innocents who in themselves did not deserve to die but were caught up in the judgment occasioned by the wickedness of their parents. “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself” (Romans 14:7). The consequences of the sins of parents may be passed on to the children “unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:5-6).
The fact that these young innocent children would have perished does not mean that they would have gone to hell. The judgment of Nineveh’s wickedness would have brought about their physical death and for that the wicked men of Nineveh would have been responsible; otherwise God could not judge any society that rebels against Him, including the world of Noah’s day and Sodom and Gomorrah. The fact is that the innocents in all these acts of physical judgment are objects of God’s eternal mercy.
The Lamb’s Book of Life
The final decision as to who goes to the lake of fire will be based on the Lamb’s Book of Life. John wrote:
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).
Nowhere in Scripture do we read that our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life when we believe. Nor do we read that only the elect have their names written in the Book of Life. We do read, however, that names may be blotted out of the Book of Life.
From these three simple facts we can only conclude that everybody’s name was written there, in the foreknowledge of God, and that those who finally refuse the offer of salvation have their names blotted out. The Lord said to the Church at Sardis:
He that overcometh (the saved),…I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and be- fore his angels (Revelation 3:5).
When Moses asked God to blot his name out of God’s book, God replied:
Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book (Exodus 32:33).
Names are blotted out of God’s book based on the response man gives to God. If he repents and believes, then he is saved by the merits of the atoning blood and substitutionary death of Jesus Christ at Calvary. Little children who die before the age of understanding have their names in the book of life and are therefore eternally secure.
On what grounds, then, does God save the innocents? Is there another way of salvation other than the sacrifice of Christ? Certainly not! Every deceased little one is a trophy of the grace of God and will enjoy the blessedness of heaven because of Christ’s death, but they were not able to choose and therefore their names are not erased.
This fact is true for children of saved and unsaved parents. There is absolutely no Biblical grounds for suggesting that babies of saved parents have any greater assurance of heaven than those of unsaved parents when they die in innocency. The millions of aborted babies from an adulterous generation, the fruits of prostitution, and drug addiction etc, are spared the godless upbringing that they would otherwise be afflicted with and in the mercy of God will be around the throne.
When the unsaved stand before the Great White Throne at the second resurrection, the Lamb’s Book of Life will be opened as testimony to the fact that their eternal damnation is the result of their own rejection of God’s salvation; God put their name there, but they, through their wilfulness, had it blotted out. Every responsible person who has reached the age of understanding can choose.
How old does a child need to be before it becomes responsible? The Bible doesn’t say. It may be variable for different children, and some retarded children may never reach that age of responsibility. Only God in His infinite knowledge knows. If the hairs on our head are numbered, and He has given every one of the billions of stars in the universe a name, we may rest assured that He will make no mistakes.
How different from the Biblical way is the apostate system of Christendom. For centuries Rome would told her adherents that babies could only be assured of heaven if they were baptized by a priest, at which time the child has “origin sin” removed, received a supernatural birth into God’s family, and is incorporated into the Church outside of which there is no salvation. According to this false teaching an unbaptized child went to “limbo” (“on the border of hell”) if it dies at a tender age, and therefore does not go to heaven. Such doctrine has no Biblical foundation and makes baptism by the Romish priestly system the means of salvation for all mankind. It is a device, based on human tradition, to gain power over the hearts and souls of men. In 2007 the Pope revoked this teaching and has agreed that babies go to heaven after all.
Jesus said, “Suffer little children… to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven”, long before there was ever a popish priest to splash little babies!