What is the point of writing an article about babies dying and asking the question of do babies go to heaven if they die? Perhaps because it may be one of the single most difficult experiences for any human being to go through.
After a baby dies, where do they go? What about the unborn, the still-born, aborted fetuses, young children and even special needs children? And what about those who are severely mentally handicapped or those with serious mental diseases or disorders? Are they held responsible if they die prematurely or are those adults with severe mental incapacities held responsible since they have not accepted Jesus Christ as Savior? Are they doomed to hell since only those who accept the Lord are saved (Acts 16:30-31)? Where do these, so young and tender, go after death? Is there any hope for someone who has lost one so precious? Are there any promises in the Bible about their fate? What does the Word of God say about them? What can we tell someone who has lost one of these young ones or those who have special needs or severe mental retardation? What does the Bible says is their final destination?
Children are an extension of us and they are our future; so when someone loses an infant, or a young child or baby, this can literally break the parents’ heart. It is like part of them has died. And this is made even more tragic when it is a young one that had their whole life ahead of them. They missed out on so much love to both give and to receive. All the dashed hopes of future weddings, graduations, Christmas mornings, grandma and grandpa…all gone, forever. Or is it? I believe that the fate of these precious departed ones, so tender, and so young who die, is relevant to any parent, grandparent, custodial or foster parent, and so on. That’s the reason that I looked in the Bible for answers for God knows a thing or two about losing a Son, in fact His only One.
So, what does the Bible say about babies that die? Especially since the only way to be saved is through Christ. It is a fact that with no Savior, no one can have eternal life. So what happens to infants, fetuses, or even young children the moment they die? What about those whom are aborted, where do they go after death? God has said that all humans are born into sin, but they certainly don’t go to hell do they?
Since there is only One way to salvation, and that is through knowing Jesus Christ, how can an infant or fetus know Christ? For anyone who has ever lost a baby or know of someone who has lost one, what can we really say to them? Is there anything in the Bible that might provide us with some words of hope and comfort about their great loss of an infant? There really is nothing you can say, except “I’m so sorry” because no one but them can really understand what this is like. I will not make the mistake again of saying, “I under-stand”, because I don’t. Grieving family members don’t take well to “Hang in there” or “Keep your chin up”. The only real thing that helps is the only real thing you can do. Grieve with them, cry with them, and express your sorrow for their loss. And that’s all that anyone can really say.
Today, many Christians and non-Christians alike can carry a heavy burden of guilt and shame after an abortion, lingering throughout their entire life. Even despite the fact that God forgave someone who committed murder, conspiracy to commit murder, adultery, etc…(King David), they can not forgive themselves. But God is more than willing. The good news is that there is nothing that God can not forgive (the only real unpardonable sin is not accepting Christ as Savior). Does the Bible say anything about where babies go after death? Is it heaven? Surely it isn’t hell, is it? If we depend upon the Word of God, and it is in the Bible, then we can definitively know for certain. Not on what people think or what I personally think. And the answer is in the Bible, so we can know for certain.
It is hard to believe, but some Christians think aborted fetuses or any babies or young children who die do not go to heaven. They reason that anyone who does not accept Christ is headed straight for hell. But that is not Biblical. There is nothing anywhere in the entire Bible that indicates that. God is God and only The Almighty can say (and has many times), “I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy”. The good news is that most Christians don’t believe that babies go to hell. In fact, most theological traditions believe that those children who die in infancy are numbered among the redeemed. That is to say, we have a certain level of confidence that God will be particularly gracious toward those who have never had the opportunity to be exposed to the gospel, such as children, infants or fetuses.
Adult men and women have no excuse, for they know better (Rom. 1:19-20), but babies can not accept what they do not know, and therefore can not be held responsible.