Do unborn babies go to heaven? What does the Bible say about this?
Conceived in Sin
The psalmist isn’t necessary blaming Adam and Eve for our sinful nature, although we inherited this “sin gene” at birth, but he does write, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5), so according to the Bible, we’re all born into a sinful state. Since babies and young children are part of the family of man, they too are “brought forth in iniquity,” but does this mean that babies, infants, toddlers, and young children will face God’s wrath if they die prematurely? Not so, because we are commanded to repent and believe, and how can a baby even know what sin is in order to repent of it? The truth is, they cannot repent of something that they don’t even understand. When Paul was writing to the church at Rome, He said that men are without excuse who reject Jesus Christ (Rom 1:20) because they know that God exists…they simply suppress or hold down this knowledge in their conscience (Rom 1:18) and Job asked a rhetorical question; “What is man, that he can be pure? Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous” (Job 15:14)? Those of us old enough to know the truth are accountable but for those who don’t know what it means to trust in Christ, like babies and young children, the Bible indicates that they are not responsible.
Age of Accountability
The Bible doesn’t give a specific age where we are told someone is accountable for knowing the truth. There is an age of accountability when a person becomes responsible for knowing God and knowing right from wrong, but we don’t know what that age is. For some, they are able to understand the gospel at a very young age and can see that they need Christ as their Savior, but then there are others who are much older and are not yet responsible for or not yet aware of their sinful state. The most important thing is that God knows, so are young children responsible or accountable to God, and if so, at what age? Just before the nation of Israel was to cross over into the Promised Land, the refused to go because of the bad report they heard from 10 of the 12 spies, so Moses wrote “And as for your little ones, who you said would become a prey, and your children, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there. And to them I will give it, and they shall possess it” (Deut 1:39). The adult Israelites lived in disobedience and refused to cross over into the Promised Land when God told them to, so they were not allowed to cross over, “But your little ones, who you said would become a prey, I will bring in, and they shall know the land that you have rejected” (Num 14:31). Deuteronomy 1:39 and Numbers 14:31 both tell us that they were not at the age of knowing “good or evil” and because of that, weren’t held responsible for their parent’s disbelief.
Babies to Young Children
When David and Bathsheba lost their baby, they grieved as did any parent would, but David held out hope of seeing the child again, and when the king’s attendants asked David why he wasn’t fasting now that the child was dead, David said “now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me” (2nd Sam 12:23). Job understood that there is more to life than this present existence, as he said “I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25), and asked, “If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my service I would wait, till my renewal should come” (Job 14:14), so we know that there is life after death and we only be in one of two places, but can babies, infants, toddlers, and young children know this? Most cannot and so they are not accountable for what they don’t know, so children who die before they’re able to understand the gospel, called the age of accountability, it is understood that they are covered by the grace of God until such a time that they can repent and trust in Him.
In the same way that young children don’t know good from evil, and thus cannot know that they need to repent and trust in Christ, so too would a stillborn or the unborn not know how to repent, so we can conclude that they are obviously not at the age of accountability and would be received by Christ under God’s grace. If someone believes that a child who’s not yet born is not a viable human being, they are clearly misinformed because the Bible speaks about us as a person, even before we were conceived (Eph 1). The psalmist wrote “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13), and when God is speaking to Jeremiah the Prophet, He tells him “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jer 1:5), so Jeremiah was declared a person by God before he was even formed in the womb.
I truly believe, and the Bible seems to support this, that unborn babies will be in the presence of the Lord, and I believe this means babies that were still born and those who have been aborted. Children who never had the chance to grow up will have the chance to know Christ. The tragedy is that over 63 million babies have been murdered in their mother’s womb since Roe V Wade in 1973, and our politicians are responsible, and more specifically, the Supreme Court who made this ruling has blood on their hands, and God will require it of them. Let us hope they repented and asked God for forgiveness, or their fate is too terrible to describe by words (Rev 21:8). What used to be the safest places on earth for babies has now become the most dangerous place on earth. God have mercy on us and on our nation.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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