Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | May 19, 2016

A Question about Babies, Young Children, and Mentally Challenged Adults

Will They go to Heaven if or When They Die?

I ask my wife to proof-read my essays before they are published; she has a good eye for detail and does a lot to help me stay out of trouble with both my spelling and grammar. What’s more she asks the hard questions and sees if I can provide answers that make sense.

This time around she asked if I was ready to deal with the question of the salvation of babies or children who die before they are old enough to receive Christ as Savior. The obvious extension of that question would then apply to adults who are so mentally challenged that they too may have a child’s mentality.

This is being written in response to those potential concerns; I will keep it brief and to the point.

Does Christ’s Sacrificial Death apply to Those in Question?

I’ll reference babies with the understanding these principles apply to all babies, children, and adults who are mentally challenged. Unfortunately I cannot refer you to any single verse or group of verses that tell us that babies who die automatically go to heaven.

I believe the overall testimony of Scripture tells us they will and I am convinced that I will see my grandson, who died when he was only 10 months old, when I get to heaven. Here are the reasons for my personal convictions in this matter as they have come to my mind.

In 2 Samuel 12:22-23 it is written:

“22 David said, “While the baby was still alive, I fasted, and I cried. I thought, ‘Who knows? Maybe the Lord will feel sorry for me and let the baby live.’ 23 But now that the baby is dead, why should I fast? I can’t bring him back to life. Someday I will go to him, but he cannot come back to me.”

We know that David was a man after God’s own heart and therefore I believe David expected to see his son in heaven when he died.

In 1 John 2:1-2 it is written:

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

I believe this verse and think it means what it says, Christ died for the sins of the whole world which most certainly includes babies.

In John 3:36 we read:

36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.”

Babies cannot comprehend the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ but they have certainly not rejected the Son.

Jesus speaks lovingly of children when he refers to them in Matthew 19:14-15 where we are told:

14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.”

Again in Matthew 18:2-4 and 10 it is written:

“2 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

10 “Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father.”

I believe these verses illustrate our Lord’s loving concern for the young, don’t you? There obviously comes a time when the innocence of youth is lost and the growing young adult is faced with a decision concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m not sure anyone can say exactly when the shift from the innocence of childhood to personal responsibility may come but for a normal young adult it most surely does come at some point in their lives.

More information on these subjects is available on the internet; two possible sources are listed below from John MacArthur’s website.

Will Babies who Die go to Heaven?

The Age of Accountability


  1. All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law… But those who do not have the law, they are a law for themselves (Roman 2: 12-14).
    Hanna Awwad


  2. Beautiful. If they were not saved, the Bible would say when we were. It only mentions worldly life passages in the Jewish faith. If you cannot yet live in worldly sin?




  3. Amen! Thank you dear Lord Jesus for loving your children.


  4. What a blessing to read these scriptures and know assuredly of the Lord’s safekeeping of the little ones. Thank you!


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