The death of a child is one of the most tragic events in the life of a family. The infant mortality rate still stands at several million babies per year. The grief experienced by every family is almost unbearable. Many take consolation that the child has been taken to Heaven.
The death of children poses a difficult question that touches on many core teachings of the Christian faith. What happens to children after death? Do they go to Heaven or to Hell? I believe that those who die as infants and early childhood (as well as those who are mentally impaired) go to Heaven when they die.
Does the Bible teach that babies go to Heaven when they die?
To answer this, we must find an example in Scripture. The only example of the death of an infant in which his eternal destiny is stated is King David’s newborn son. In his grief, David commented, “… Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:23).
We have David’s eternal destiny recorded in Psalm 23:6: “…I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” So, the eternal destiny of his baby boy was “the house of the Lord.”
David looked forward to the time he would see his son again in Heaven. That is the hope of every parent who has lost a child in death. There is absolutely nothing in this text, nor the rest of the Bible, that gives any indication that Hell is the final destination for any baby or child.
If you have lost a child in death, may you take comfort, as did David, in their eternal destination in Heaven. Also, may you prepare yourself to meet them again.
But if babies are born sinners, how can they go to Heaven without a personal faith in Jesus? And what about the supposed ‘age of accountability’? I will tackle these issues in an upcoming post….