Quotes about Salvation-Babies
If children are saved (and I believe they shall be), it can only be because God credits their sin to Christ; and because they are too young to believe, the requirement of personal faith is waived. We do not know at what age they are held personally accountable. It is impossible to suggest an age, since that may vary, depending on the child’s capacity and mental development.
My prayer last evening was that God would support by dear wife under the trial. Two hours later, the little one went home to be with the Lord. I fully realize that the dear infant is much better off with the Lord Jesus than with us, and when I weep, I weep for joy.
[If a deceased infant] were sent to hell on no other account than that of original sin, there would be a good reason to the divine mind for the judgment, but the child’s mind would be a perfect blank as to the reason of its suffering. Under such circumstances, it would know suffering, but it would have no understanding of the reason for its suffering. It could not tell its neighbor – it could not tell itself – why it was so awfully smitten; and consequently the whole meaning and significance of its sufferings, being to it a conscious enigma, the very essence of penalty would be absent, and justice would be disappointed of its vindication. Such an infant could feel that it was in hell, but it could not explain, to its own conscience, why it was there (R.A. Webb).
All those dying in infancy, as well as those so mentally incapacitated that they are incapable of making an informed choice, are among the elect of God chosen by Him for salvation before the world began. The evidence for this view is scant, but significant.
1. In Romans 1:20 Paul describes people who are recipients of general revelation as being, “without excuse.” Does this imply that those who are not recipients of general revelation (i.e., infants) are therefore not accountable to God or subject to wrath? In other words, those who die in infancy have an “;excuse” in that they neither receive general revelation nor have the capacity to respond to it.
2. There are texts which appear to assert or imply that infants do not know good or evil and hence lack the capacity to make morally informed and thus responsible choices. According to Deuteronomy 1:39 they are said to “have no knowledge of good or evil.”
3. The story of David’s son in 2 Samuel 12:15-23 (esp. v. 23)… What does it mean when David says “I shall go to him?” If this is merely a reference to the grave or death, in the sense that David, too, shall one day die and be buried, one wonders why he would say something so patently obvious! Also, it appears that David draws some measure of comfort from knowing that he will “go to him.” It is the reason why David resumes the normal routine of life. It appears to be the reason David ceases from the outward display of grief. It appears to be a truth from which David derives comfort and encouragement. How could any of this be true if David will simply die like his son? It would, therefore, appear that David believed he would be reunited with his deceased infant.
4. There is consistent testimony of Scripture that people are judged on the basis of sins voluntary and consciously committed in the body. See 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Revelation 20:11-12. In other words, eternal judgment is always based on conscious rejection of divine revelation (whether in creation, conscience, or Christ) and willful disobedience. Are infants capable of either? There is no explicit account in Scripture of any other judgment based on any other grounds. Thus, those dying in infancy are saved because they do not (cannot) satisfy the conditions for divine judgment.
5. We have what would appear to be clear biblical evidence that at least some infants are regenerate in the womb, such that if they had died in their infancy they would be saved. This at least provides a theoretical basis for considering whether the same may be true of all who die in infancy. These texts include Jeremiah 1:5; Luke 1:15.
6. Some have appealed to Matthew 19:13-15 (Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15-17) where Jesus declares, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Is Jesus simply saying that if one wishes to be saved he/she must be as trusting as children, i.e., devoid of skepticism and arrogance? In other words, is Jesus merely describing the kind of people who enter the kingdom? Or is he saying that these very children were recipients of saving grace?
7. Given our understanding of the character of God as presented in Scripture, does He appear as the kind of God who would eternally condemn infants on no other ground than that of Adam’s transgression? Admittedly, this is a subjective (and perhaps sentimental) question. But it deserves an answer, nonetheless.
I do believe in the salvation of those dying in infancy. I affirm their salvation, however, neither because they are innocent nor because they have merited God’s forgiveness but solely because God has sovereignly chosen them for eternal life, regenerated their souls, and applied the saving benefits of the blood of Christ to them apart from conscious faith.