Do Infants Go to Hell? (2 of 3)


(Image: stjohn.org)

This 3 part series is in response to a question that came up with our youth at Effingham Presbyterian. Thanks to John MacArthur for his in depth study of this topic.


Why Infants Do Not Go to Hell:

So, do I think that unborn babies and young children go to hell when they die? No.

when David’s son died at a very young age, David had confidence that he would see the child again in heaven: “...now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” 2 Samuel 12:23. Remember, it was David himself (under God’s authority) who said we’re all sinners, even in the womb, yet here he reveals that his young son is in heaven.


David also writes, “Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother's breast.” Psalm 22:9. John Macarthur, focusing on this passage writes, “No death occurs apart from the purpose of God. No life occurs apart from the purpose of God.” It’s comforting when we lose a grandparent or loved one to think that “it was their time” or that “God called them home.” Yet when children die, it seems barbaric to imagine that their death was in God’s control. But to believe that God gives life is also to believe that He takes life. Death is how we’re reconciled to sin.


Here’s a quick rundown of why I believe infants go to heaven:

  1. Job says that infants who die in birth don’t have to face the harshness of life, they find “rest.” Job 3:16-17 This idea is also found in Ecclesiastes 6:3-5.
  2. David says that God knows us even in our “unformed body” and that He ordains all our days. The implication here is that if He values us before we’re born, He will value us after we’re born.
  3. We’re born with a sin nature, imperfect and with the drive to sin. But the Bible twice mentions young children who do not yet know right from wrong: Deuteronomy 1:39 and Isaiah 7:16.

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