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Standing Firm In Christ

Sometimes It's Heaven, Sometimes It's Hell

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I have read many posts over the internet concerning infants and death. People wonder where an infant goes when it dies. I do not believe all babies that die in infancy go to heaven, nor do I believe they all go to hell.

I do believe I have Scriptural support for my conclusions. I will deal first with the reality of some being born wicked.



In Psalm 58:3, we read that "The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies." In interesting verse to say the least. It shows that there are wicked born in this world.

Now, let's jump to Hosea 13:16, where we read the LORD God ordering that infants be dashed to pieces. Wow. Such wrath upon infants. But wait, you say... the children were killed because of the sins of their Samaritan parents. This cannot be the case, for the Mosaic Law states that children will not be punished for their father's sins. The only conclusion one can come to is these infants in Hosea were guilty of committing sin and had to be destroyed along with their parents who also were guilty of sin.

Very interesting indeed.

So, you might say, then all infants who are not able to make a profession of faith go to hell. Well, one could come to such a conclusion if it were not for the words of the psalmist once again. He said in Psalm 22:9,10 that God caused him to trust and that God was his God from the womb. Wow!

Apparently, God gives infants the ability to believe in Him. I believe David was revealing the fact that God does indeed save some infants at birth.

In light of Scripture, I cannot say I believe in the alleged 'age of accountability.' I believe all infants have the ability to believe as David did, for God is no respector or persons and is not willing that any should perish. He gives all the chance to believe.

A research was done a few years back in which expectant mothers were told to read the book "The Cat in the Hat" twice a day during the remainder of their pregnancy. Studies show that the newborn infant would be more calm when its mother was reading 'The Cat in the Hat" and be more aggitated if she was reading a book that it had not heard during her pregnancy. To me, this shows a level of learning.

Maybe if infants were read the Word of God, heard the Word preached in Church, in Bible Study Meetings, etc., that infant just might believe as the psalmist did in Psalm 22:9,10.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he shall not depart from it.

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Knowing that God is just, we can trust that whatever becomes of infants when they die, it is right, just and perfect.

Yes, I agree.

I have been studying this more and more, and, although it is against what most mainline Church's have taught for years, I can see no other conclusion in light of the few Scriptures I have given.

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Standing Firm,

Please explain these verses:

Rom. 7:9, “For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.”

Rom. 5:13, “For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.”

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Standing Firm,

Please explain these verses:

Rom. 7:9, “For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.”

Rom. 5:13, “For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.”

Explain God ordering the dashing infants to pieces after saying that the children would not be punished for their fathers sins.

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Explain God ordering the dashing infants to pieces after saying that the children would not be punished for their fathers sins.


Easy.

First of all, God never said or hinted, anywhere, that any babies go to Hell. These two passages you used are stretched to the point of giving Gumby a hernia, and I am repulsed and nauseated that you would dare to teach such a thing. Furthermore, you make quantum leaps in your interpretation by saying babies have the ability to put their faith in Jesus Christ for Salvation – something that’s not ever hinted at anywhere in Scripture.

Secondly, you lied when you said that God ordered the murder of infants in Hosea 13. God is good, just, fair, and right in anything and everything He does - and if He ever ordered such a thing I wouldn't dare to question it. However, in that passage, He didn't - you twisted the passage to teach this disgusting heresy you've come up with. God said the nation of Samaria did wickedly and as a result the nation would be judged and attacked. During the course of the attack children would be killed. The same thing happens to Israel several times in the Old Testament, it’s the natural consequences of sin.

Your turn.

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There's your answer, read them Cat in the Hat and they will certainly be calm, not wicked as an infant and go to heaven if they die at 1 month old.


The cat in the hat illustration was to to prove that children who hear that story are not wicked. It was to show there is some element of learning in the womb. Research has shown that in utero, there is brain activity as early as 9 weeks into the pregnancy.

An infant in the womb can learn the sins of his mother or father. Sins of the father visited upon the chlidren? Possible.

I am reminded of John the Baptist who, upon hearing Mary's salutation, leaped in Elizabeth's womb. What could have been in the salutation to make the infant leap as he did? Throughout the New Testament, when we read Salutations of the saved, they always spoke of the grace and peace of God. If Mary's salutation were the same, it is possible the infant leaped at hearing of God's grace.

Jeremiah the weeping prophet attested that God knew him while he was in his mother's belly.

Some will hear on the last day, "I never knew you."

I do believe infants, even in the womb have the ability to believe in the grace of God.

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Easy.

First of all, God never said or hinted, anywhere, that any babies go to Hell. These two passages you used are stretched to the point of giving Gumby a hernia, and I am repulsed and nauseated that you would dare to teach such a thing. Furthermore, you make quantum leaps in your interpretation by saying babies have the ability to put their faith in Jesus Christ for Salvation – something that’s not ever hinted at anywhere in Scripture.

Secondly, you lied when you said that God ordered the murder of infants in Hosea 13. God is good, just, fair, and right in anything and everything He does - and if He ever ordered such a thing I wouldn't dare to question it. However, in that passage, He didn't - you twisted the passage to teach this disgusting heresy you've come up with. God said the nation of Samaria did wickedly and as a result the nation would be judged and attacked. During the course of the attack children would be killed. The same thing happens to Israel several times in the Old Testament, it’s the natural consequences of sin.

Your turn.

I do not appreciate you calling me a liar.

I did not lie. Read the passage carefully. God said the infants would be dashed to pieces. He had pronounced His judgment against the wicked nation. He had already decreed under the law that children would not be punished for the sins of their fathers. Yet, if we are to believe that these infants were not guilty, that their father's sins brought their deaths, then this contradicts God's declaration that the children would not be punished for their father's sins.

Clearly, they were punished. There is only one conclusion. They too had sinned.

As to God not saying babies would go to hell, well, He did not use the word babies, but there is evidence that some do indeed go to hell.

As pointed out in the OP, the psalmist said:

Psalms 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

Notice the psalmist indicates that there are some that are born that are wicked at birth.

God's Word tells us,

Psalms 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

If one is born wicked and dies in that wicked condition, that one goes to hell... infant, child, teen, adult.

Scripture is clear, one must believe on Jesus Christ in order to OBtain eternal life. David showed in the Psalms that an infant is able to trust in God.

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I do not appreciate you calling me a liar.

I did not lie. Read the passage carefully. God said the infants would be dashed to pieces. He had pronounced His judgment against the wicked nation. He had already decreed under the law that children would not be punished for the sins of their fathers. Yet, if we are to believe that these infants were not guilty, that their father's sins brought their deaths, then this contradicts God's declaration that the children would not be punished for their father's sins.

Clearly, they were punished. There is only one conclusion. They too had sinned.

As to God not saying babies would go to hell, well, He did not use the word babies, but there is evidence that some do indeed go to hell.

As pointed out in the OP, the psalmist said:

Psalms 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

Notice the psalmist indicates that there are some that are born that are wicked at birth.

God's Word tells us,

Psalms 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

If one is born wicked and dies in that wicked condition, that one goes to hell... infant, child, teen, adult.

Scripture is clear, one must believe on Jesus Christ in order to OBtain eternal life. David showed in the Psalms that an infant is able to trust in God.


Do you know Thomas Cooper?

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SFIC, My post (#8) still stands; you refuted absolutely nothing in it and also added nothing more to your original thesis. You have no Scriptural evidence for your stand, I recommend you check yourself and reconsider before digging your heels in further.

Also, you never explained the two verses in Romans. I fulfilled my half, and like I said, it's your turn. Unless you would rather wisely say something to the effect of, “Ooops… maybe I was wrong and God doesn’t throw babies in hell!”

That would be the wise thing to do, everyone makes mistakes.

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Here's another scenario...from Middletown Bible Church website "Questions about the Rapture". This question about infants and the Rapture is in response to the Left Behind series written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. I'm not sure if I agree with this:


9. What will happen to infants at the time of the rapture?

The best selling book Left Behind and the film by the same title depict all infants and young children being removed and raptured from the earth, including infants and children of unsaved people. Mothers were running around in panic crying out, "Where is my baby?", etc. But does the Bible really teach this?

The rapture is when Christ comes to remove ("catch up"–1 Thess. 4:16-17) the church (all true believers) from earth. He will come to receive His bride and bring her to heaven. Thus, the rapture is for those "in Christ," those who are part of the body and bride of Christ.

Infants are not saved and they are not in Christ; nor are they part of the church. It would be wrong to point to a living infant and say, "That baby is saved and has eternal life and his sins are forgiven!" On the contrary, every baby is born in sin and every infant has a wicked sin nature (Rom. 5:12, Psalm 51:5; JOB 14:4; Psalm 58:3). Babies are not saved and they do not possess eternal life. If this were true, then does this mean that when they get older they become UN-saved and forfeit eternal life? This is Biblically absurd. It would also be absurd to say that all the unsaved children around the world growing up in Hindu and Muslim and Buddhist homes are part of the church that is in Christ.

Keep in mind that an infant that is a year old at the time of the rapture will be approximately 8 years old at the time when Christ returns to this earth to rule and reign, and thus will be certainly old enough to make a responsible decision for or against Christ at that time or even prior to that time.

Whether or not Christ takes infants that belong to saved parents is not revealed in the Scriptures, though it does seem reasonable to suppose that God would take such infants instead of leaving them parentless and defenseless. One thing we do know for sure is that God will do what is right (Gen. 18:25; Rom. 9:14). God is certainly far more concerned for every infant and young child (saved or unsaved) than we are.

What kind of concept of God does the Left Behind book and film convey to the world when unsaved mothers are going around in deep panic crying, "Where’s my baby?" It makes God look like a kidnapper! This gives Reformed men and others all the more reason to mock our "secret rapture theory" (as they call it).

It is important to realize that the issue under discussion is not what happens to infants who die. Though it is not our purpose here to defend the doctrine of infant salvation, yet we are assured, based on Scripture, that they will be SAFE IN THE ARMS OF JESUS (see the helpful book by ROBert P. Lightner entitled Heaven For Those Who Cannot Believe). The issue is this: What happens to infants that are alive at the time of the rapture? This is an entirely different question.

The book LEFT BEHIND is a fictional book based on prophecy, but it does teach doctrine. One of the very questionable doctrines it teaches is that at the time of the rapture pregnant women will suddenly become un-pregnant (that is, the unborn babies will be taken in the rapture, leaving the unsaved mother many pounds lighter!). A rapture for embryos! The following is found on pages 46-47 of the book LEFT BEHIND:

Most shocking to Rayford was a woman in labor, about to go into the delivery room, who was suddenly barren. Doctors delivered the placenta. Her husband had caught the disappearance of the fetus on tape. As he videotaped her great belly and sweaty face, he asked questions. How did she feel?

Then came the scream and the dropping of the camera, terrified voices, running nurses, and the doctor. CNN reran the footage in superslow motion, showing the woman going from very pregnant to nearly flat stomached, as if she had instantaneously delivered. "Now, watch with us again," the newsman intoned, "and keep your eyes on the left edge of your screen, where a nurse appears to be reading a printout from the fetal heart monitor. There, see?" The action stopped as the pregnant woman’s stomach deflated. "The nurse's uniform seems to still be standing as if an invisible person is wearing it. She’s gone. Half a second later, watch." The tape moved ahead and stopped. "The uniform, stockings and all, are in a pile atop her shoes." Etc.

According to this teaching, after the rapture there will be a period of nine months when no babies will be born anywhere in the world (the only exception being some babies conceived after the rapture that may be born pre-mature)! Maternity wards in hospitals will be empty for months! Later in the book there is an argument between Rayford and his flight attendant, Hattie, about Hattie's sister who is out of work because she worked at an abortion clinic and there simply aren’t any abortions to be performed. In summary, the film and book teach that at the time of the rapture all infants on earth are raptured and taken to heaven including all unborn children.

The tribulation is a period of time when God’s wrath will be put on display. It will be the most severe period of judgment the world has ever known. It will be similar to the plagues that fell on Egypt, only on a world-wide scale and more severe. It is helpful to think back through history on other occasions when God’s judgment fell in order to see what happened to infants. 2

Is it unthinkable that God should expose helpless infants to a terrible time of judgment? What about the babies in Jericho? Were they supernaturally delivered? What about the children of the kingdom of Bashan and the children of the kingdom of Heshbon (see Deut. 3:6)? In Egypt the firstborn of each household was slain from the palace of Pharoah and on down. In Bethlehem God allowed babies to be slain due to Herod’s jealous rage (Matthew 2).

Children often in Scripture and in life bear the consequences of their parents’ unbelief. Is this principle going to be overthrown at the rapture? Unsaved moms going around and saying, "Where is my baby?" eliminates one of the horrors of that time of judgment—having your children suffer with you throughout that period. It undercuts one important reason to be saved—that is, for the sake of our children and other family members (Acts 16:31; 2:39; 1Cor. 7:14 etc.). Was not one of the rich man’s worst torments in Hell (Hades) the fact that his brothers were going to join him (see Luke 16:27-31)? One of the greatest reasons to be saved is for the sake of family and friends that we may influence, that they may save themselves from this wicked generation. Cornelius is to be the example of us all, who called together his kinsman and friends to hear the gospel (Acts10:24).

Why would God deliver infants and unborn of the unsaved just prior to the first half of the tribulation, which is much milder, and have other infants suffer in the last half which is more severe (Luke 21:23)? Why would God allow pregnant women to be ripped up in other historical judgments and do extraordinary things to avoid it in this last one (2 Kings 8:12; 2 Kings 15:16; Hosea 13:16; Amos 1:13; Isa. 13:15-18)? See also Deuteronomy 28:54-56 and Lamentations 2:20 for other examples of children suffering (being literally devoured) in historical judgments.

The fact that people have experienced historical judgment does not automatically mean they have come under damnation. Moses is the classic refutation of this. He came under historical judgment which involved death, but certainly he was a saved man ( Hebrews 11: 24-26; Matt. 17:3-4). Are we to believe that all the infants that drowned in the flood are in hell because they experienced an historical judgment? Certainly not.

Those who advocate that all babies throughout the world will be raptured might reason in this way: Since infant salvation is true, then infant rapture must also be true. The rapture of infants of the unsaved is a very bold extrapolation on no Biblical grounds and seems an unwarranted sensationalist device for creating a dramatic effect in a book or film. The real horror is not babies disappearing, but remaining to grow up in those awful times. "Woe unto them with child and to them that give suck in those days" (Matthew 24:19).

Consider the message our Lord gave to the women of Jerusalem who were bewailing Him on His way to the cross. "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us [compare Hosea 10:8 and Rev. 6:16]. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" (Luke 23:28-31). If what God has done in the past is a indication of what He will do in the last great historical judgment, then this passage has great bearing. Children suffered greatly in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD which is a prototype of the last great judgment.

"But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people (Luke 21:23). This passage is significant because Luke seems to connect the sufferings in 70AD with end time events in the future at the return of Christ. The future tribulation will be a time of special suffering for those who are pregnant and for those who have small children who are nursing.

The days of Noah are parallel to the days just prior to Christ’s coming to earth (Luke 17:26; Matt. 24:36ff). Certainly the unsaved babies of Noah’s day did not escape the terrible judgment that came upon the entire world (and the fetuses did not escape either). They all drowned. I am not commenting on the eternal destiny of any of these children, but the historical judgments in this life certainly are experienced by them. Why would the judgments of the tribulation be any different than those of the past?

It seems far more in line with Biblical teaching to suggest that infants of unsaved parents at the time of the rapture will enter the tribulation along with their parents, and with their parents will face whatever those frightful days will bring. If an infant should suffer physical death during the horrors of the tribulation period, God will take care of this person based on His abundant mercy and the work of Christ on the cross. The benefits of Christ’s cross-work (justification, etc.) are applied to this person at the time of death and not before.

What will happen to infants at the time of the rapture?

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SFIC, My post (#8) still stands; you refuted absolutely nothing in it and also added nothing more to your original thesis. You have no Scriptural evidence for your stand, I recommend you check yourself and reconsider before digging your heels in further.

Also, you never explained the two verses in Romans. I fulfilled my half, and like I said, it's your turn. Unless you would rather wisely say something to the effect of, “Ooops… maybe I was wrong and God doesn’t throw babies in hell!”

That would be the wise thing to do, everyone makes mistakes.

I gave Scriptural evidence. You just rejected it. Your choice to reject it, I suppose.

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Here's another scenario...from Middletown Bible Church website "Questions about the Rapture". This question about infants and the Rapture is in response to the Left Behind series written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. I'm not sure if I agree with this:


9. What will happen to infants at the time of the rapture?

The best selling book Left Behind and the film by the same title depict...

What will happen to infants at the time of the rapture?


I agree with LaHaye on this, but that's besides the point. The subject at hand is what happens to babies at death, not the Rapture.

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I gave Scriptural evidence. You just rejected it. Your choice to reject it, I suppose.


Just like it's your choice to ignore the verses in Romans, again?

I reject your interpretation, which is at best described as a huge stretch. Yes, we're all born wicked, and we're all born sinners. But it you had looked at the verses in Romans you'd see that sin is not imputed when there is no law.

There's a difference between someone being punished and paying the death penalty because of their father's sin, and a whole nation being judged and children being killed as a result. If you take your hypothesis to its logical end you wind up just like the guys in the Gospels saying, "Who sinned so this man was born blind?" Did every single baby on earth sin and that's why God drowned them in the flood - and sent them to Hell according to your ridiculous theory? All however-million of them? Is every time a baby aborted it goes to Hell?

It's ridiculous to suggest that a baby dying as a result of God judging a nation is evidence of it going to Hell.

The textbooks on Salvation are Romans, Ephesians, and Colossians - you should be looking there. I explained your Scriptures twice, your turn to explain the verses I posted in Romans.

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I do not ignore the verses in Romans. Paul was not saying he was saved before coming to the knowledge of the law, lost, then saved again. Such a teaching is unScriptural

Scripture tells us that if one died for all, then were all dead. Well, according to the Word of God, Christ did die for all. So that must mean that all were dead... including infants.

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Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? (Genesis 18:25b)

Amen, sister.

I do not ignore the verses in Romans. Paul was not saying he was saved before coming to the knowledge of the law, lost, the saved again. Such a teaching is unScriptural


But a baby can somehow know it's a sinner in need of a Saviour, and trust Christ and be saved before it can crawl, or talk, or maybe even smile? The same baby later on somehow trusts Christ again? Was it lost in between? I have three kids under the age of five. The two oldest ones know who Jesus is an they love Him and talk about Him all the time – but when asked if they are a sinner they reply, “No, I not a sinner, I wasn’t naughty today.” They don’t get it, no matter how hard we try to explain it.

This is the New Testament teaching:

Rom. 7:9, “For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.”
Rom. 5:13, “For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.”

Paul is saying in 7:9 that there was a time when he was alive, but when the commandment came sin revived in him and he died. He was writing at the time so we know he was talking about his spirit. Before then, he wasn’t dead… so his spirit must have been alive! Big difference. Romans 5:13 shows us that sin isn’t held against someone when there is no law, or as 7:9 puts it, before “the commandment”.

A baby is not saved, a baby is not in the spiritual Body of Christ, and a baby does not have its sins forgiven. What a baby has is it's sins NOT IMPUTED to its account. It is not accountable for its sins until the commandment comes, written in the heart, and it's different for every child.

http://ricksarticles.blogspot.com/search/label/Where%20Do%20Babies%20Go%3F

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Amen, sister.



But a baby can somehow know it's a sinner in need of a Saviour, and trust Christ and be saved before it can crawl, or talk, or maybe even smile? The same baby later on somehow trusts Christ again? Was it lost in between? I have three kids under the age of five. The two oldest ones know who Jesus is an they love Him and talk about Him all the time – but when asked if they are a sinner they reply, “No, I not a sinner, I wasn’t naughty today.” They don’t get it, no matter how hard we try to explain it.

This is the New Testament teaching:

Rom. 7:9, “For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.”
Rom. 5:13, “For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.”

Paul is saying in 7:9 that there was a time when he was alive, but when the commandment came sin revived in him and he died. He was writing at the time so we know he was talking about his spirit. Before then, he wasn’t dead… so his spirit must have been alive! Big difference. Romans 5:13 shows us that sin isn’t held against someone when there is no law, or as 7:9 puts it, before “the commandment”.

A baby is not saved, a baby is not in the spiritual Body of Christ, and a baby does not have its sins forgiven. What a baby has is it's sins NOT IMPUTED to its account. It is not accountable for its sins until the commandment comes, written in the heart, and it's different for every child.


http://ricksarticles.blogspot.com/search/label/Where%20Do%20Babies%20Go%3F

David professed that God was his God from his mother's belly.

Psalms 22:9-10 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.

I have to go with Scripture here, Rick. Apparently, there is some way unbeknown to us that God reveals Himself to even the infant in the womb, giving that infant an opportunity to trust Him.

Sin not held against an infant? Wow! OBviously God must have forgotten that when He decreed all infants to be dashed to pieces in Hosea 13:16.

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Sin not held against an infant? Wow! OBviously God must have forgotten that when He decreed all infants to be dashed to pieces in Hosea 13:16.


Dying and going to Hell are two different things. When God kills a Christian for backsliding that means they're going to Hell to?

I Cor. 5:5, "To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."

I Cor. 3:17, "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are."

Like I said before, God didn't make a decree to murder infants in Hosea 13:16 because of their sins. The children dying is as a result of one nation attacking another. You're putting something there that's not.

What a terrible thing to say - that God throws babies into Hell! You sit there and say "I have to go with Scripture here, Rick..." but you have NOTHING that states that God throws babies into Hell! You have no evidence that God judges a baby personally for its own sins! You have nothing, no evidence at all. What's next - infant baptismal regeneration? You need to think seriously about what you're trying to say here.

Yes - God doesn't hold a baby's sins against it. That's what the Bible clearly says:

Rom. 7:9, “For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.”
Rom. 5:13, “For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

You've yet to expound on these verses in Romans, and it is the fourth time I've pointed that out to you.

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Here's another scenario...from Middletown Bible Church website "Questions about the Rapture". This question about infants and the Rapture is in response to the Left Behind series written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. I'm not sure if I agree with this:


9. What will happen to infants at the time of the rapture?

The best selling book Left Behind and the film by the same title depict all infants and young children being removed and raptured from the earth, including infants and children of unsaved people. Mothers were running around in panic crying out, "Where is my baby?", etc. But does the Bible really teach this?

The rapture is when Christ comes to remove ("catch up"–1 Thess. 4:16-17) the church (all true believers) from earth. He will come to receive His bride and bring her to heaven. Thus, the rapture is for those "in Christ," those who are part of the body and bride of Christ.

Infants are not saved and they are not in Christ; nor are they part of the church. It would be wrong to point to a living infant and say, "That baby is saved and has eternal life and his sins are forgiven!" On the contrary, every baby is born in sin and every infant has a wicked sin nature (Rom. 5:12, Psalm 51:5; JOB 14:4; Psalm 58:3). Babies are not saved and they do not possess eternal life. If this were true, then does this mean that when they get older they become UN-saved and forfeit eternal life? This is Biblically absurd. It would also be absurd to say that all the unsaved children around the world growing up in Hindu and Muslim and Buddhist homes are part of the church that is in Christ.

Keep in mind that an infant that is a year old at the time of the rapture will be approximately 8 years old at the time when Christ returns to this earth to rule and reign, and thus will be certainly old enough to make a responsible decision for or against Christ at that time or even prior to that time.

Whether or not Christ takes infants that belong to saved parents is not revealed in the Scriptures, though it does seem reasonable to suppose that God would take such infants instead of leaving them parentless and defenseless. One thing we do know for sure is that God will do what is right (Gen. 18:25; Rom. 9:14). God is certainly far more concerned for every infant and young child (saved or unsaved) than we are.

What kind of concept of God does the Left Behind book and film convey to the world when unsaved mothers are going around in deep panic crying, "Where’s my baby?" It makes God look like a kidnapper! This gives Reformed men and others all the more reason to mock our "secret rapture theory" (as they call it).

It is important to realize that the issue under discussion is not what happens to infants who die. Though it is not our purpose here to defend the doctrine of infant salvation, yet we are assured, based on Scripture, that they will be SAFE IN THE ARMS OF JESUS (see the helpful book by ROBert P. Lightner entitled Heaven For Those Who Cannot Believe). The issue is this: What happens to infants that are alive at the time of the rapture? This is an entirely different question.

The book LEFT BEHIND is a fictional book based on prophecy, but it does teach doctrine. One of the very questionable doctrines it teaches is that at the time of the rapture pregnant women will suddenly become un-pregnant (that is, the unborn babies will be taken in the rapture, leaving the unsaved mother many pounds lighter!). A rapture for embryos! The following is found on pages 46-47 of the book LEFT BEHIND:

Then came the scream and the dropping of the camera, terrified voices, running nurses, and the doctor. CNN reran the footage in superslow motion, showing the woman going from very pregnant to nearly flat stomached, as if she had instantaneously delivered. "Now, watch with us again," the newsman intoned, "and keep your eyes on the left edge of your screen, where a nurse appears to be reading a printout from the fetal heart monitor. There, see?" The action stopped as the pregnant woman’s stomach deflated. "The nurse's uniform seems to still be standing as if an invisible person is wearing it. She’s gone. Half a second later, watch." The tape moved ahead and stopped. "The uniform, stockings and all, are in a pile atop her shoes." Etc.

According to this teaching, after the rapture there will be a period of nine months when no babies will be born anywhere in the world (the only exception being some babies conceived after the rapture that may be born pre-mature)! Maternity wards in hospitals will be empty for months! Later in the book there is an argument between Rayford and his flight attendant, Hattie, about Hattie's sister who is out of work because she worked at an abortion clinic and there simply aren’t any abortions to be performed. In summary, the film and book teach that at the time of the rapture all infants on earth are raptured and taken to heaven including all unborn children.

The tribulation is a period of time when God’s wrath will be put on display. It will be the most severe period of judgment the world has ever known. It will be similar to the plagues that fell on Egypt, only on a world-wide scale and more severe. It is helpful to think back through history on other occasions when God’s judgment fell in order to see what happened to infants. 2

Is it unthinkable that God should expose helpless infants to a terrible time of judgment? What about the babies in Jericho? Were they supernaturally delivered? What about the children of the kingdom of Bashan and the children of the kingdom of Heshbon (see Deut. 3:6)? In Egypt the firstborn of each household was slain from the palace of Pharoah and on down. In Bethlehem God allowed babies to be slain due to Herod’s jealous rage (Matthew 2).

Children often in Scripture and in life bear the consequences of their parents’ unbelief. Is this principle going to be overthrown at the rapture? Unsaved moms going around and saying, "Where is my baby?" eliminates one of the horrors of that time of judgment—having your children suffer with you throughout that period. It undercuts one important reason to be saved—that is, for the sake of our children and other family members (Acts 16:31; 2:39; 1Cor. 7:14 etc.). Was not one of the rich man’s worst torments in Hell (Hades) the fact that his brothers were going to join him (see Luke 16:27-31)? One of the greatest reasons to be saved is for the sake of family and friends that we may influence, that they may save themselves from this wicked generation. Cornelius is to be the example of us all, who called together his kinsman and friends to hear the gospel (Acts10:24).

Why would God deliver infants and unborn of the unsaved just prior to the first half of the tribulation, which is much milder, and have other infants suffer in the last half which is more severe (Luke 21:23)? Why would God allow pregnant women to be ripped up in other historical judgments and do extraordinary things to avoid it in this last one (2 Kings 8:12; 2 Kings 15:16; Hosea 13:16; Amos 1:13; Isa. 13:15-18)? See also Deuteronomy 28:54-56 and Lamentations 2:20 for other examples of children suffering (being literally devoured) in historical judgments.

The fact that people have experienced historical judgment does not automatically mean they have come under damnation. Moses is the classic refutation of this. He came under historical judgment which involved death, but certainly he was a saved man ( Hebrews 11: 24-26; Matt. 17:3-4). Are we to believe that all the infants that drowned in the flood are in hell because they experienced an historical judgment? Certainly not.

Those who advocate that all babies throughout the world will be raptured might reason in this way: Since infant salvation is true, then infant rapture must also be true. The rapture of infants of the unsaved is a very bold extrapolation on no Biblical grounds and seems an unwarranted sensationalist device for creating a dramatic effect in a book or film. The real horror is not babies disappearing, but remaining to grow up in those awful times. "Woe unto them with child and to them that give suck in those days" (Matthew 24:19).

Consider the message our Lord gave to the women of Jerusalem who were bewailing Him on His way to the cross. "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us [compare Hosea 10:8 and Rev. 6:16]. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" (Luke 23:28-31). If what God has done in the past is a indication of what He will do in the last great historical judgment, then this passage has great bearing. Children suffered greatly in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD which is a prototype of the last great judgment.

"But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people (Luke 21:23). This passage is significant because Luke seems to connect the sufferings in 70AD with end time events in the future at the return of Christ. The future tribulation will be a time of special suffering for those who are pregnant and for those who have small children who are nursing.

The days of Noah are parallel to the days just prior to Christ’s coming to earth (Luke 17:26; Matt. 24:36ff). Certainly the unsaved babies of Noah’s day did not escape the terrible judgment that came upon the entire world (and the fetuses did not escape either). They all drowned. I am not commenting on the eternal destiny of any of these children, but the historical judgments in this life certainly are experienced by them. Why would the judgments of the tribulation be any different than those of the past?

It seems far more in line with Biblical teaching to suggest that infants of unsaved parents at the time of the rapture will enter the tribulation along with their parents, and with their parents will face whatever those frightful days will bring. If an infant should suffer physical death during the horrors of the tribulation period, God will take care of this person based on His abundant mercy and the work of Christ on the cross. The benefits of Christ’s cross-work (justification, etc.) are applied to this person at the time of death and not before.

What will happen to infants at the time of the rapture?



HIGHJACKED!

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