WHAT HAPPENS TO THE BABY WHEN THE BABY DIES IN THE WOMB?
Charles E. Whisnant
It’s true that children are born sinners -- their death does prove that. But never being able to understand the truth; and therefore, consciously reject it and choose rebellion, they have no record against them in the books of God. Thus constitutes a marvelous and vast opportunity for sovereign grace to operate, apart from any works at all.
- All children who die before they reach the condition of accountability (footnotes)
- The Book of Life records everyone from conception on. This book indicates that all men are potentially able to go to heaven from the point of conception unless they reach the capacity of understanding and rejecting the gospel of faith alone in Christ alone.
- SINS ARE NOT TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT UNLESS THERE IS A CONSCIOUSNESS OF COMMITTING SINS
- SCRIPTURE INDICATES THAT CHILDREN AND OTHERS BEFORE THE AGE OR WITHOUT THE CAPACITY OF ACCOUNTABILITY DO GO TO HEAVEN
- THOSE THAT DO NOT HAVE THE CAPACITY TO BELIEVE IN OR REJECT CHRIST AS SAVIOR CANNOT BE CONDEMNED BUT MUST BE SAVED UNTO ETERNAL LIFE
There is "life" in the womb. From day one to birth there is life placed there by God.
When that child dies at any point before birth and anytime before that child comes to the condition whereby they understand their sin and corruption.
Whereby these children are in my thinking (through a careful study of Scripture and studying those who are 100% more knowledgeable of the Word than I am, such as John MacArthur, BB Warfield, Al Mohler, etc. and the Internet for sites on the scientific data) graciously saved eternally by God through the work of Jesus Christ, being elect by sovereign choice, innocent of willful sin, rebellion, and unbelief, by which works they would be justly condemned to eternal punishment. Thus I believe Scripture teaches when an infant dies, is elected to eternal salvation and eternal heaven.
- "His (Servetus’) third point is, That all who believe not in the Son remain in death, the wrath of God abideth on them (John 3:36); and, therefore, infants who are unable to believe lie under condemnation. I (Calvin) answer, that Christ does not there speak of the general guilt in which all the posterity of Adam are involved, but only threatens the despisers of the gospel, who proudly and contumaciously spurn the grace which is offered to them. But this has nothing to do with infants. At the same time, I meet him with the opposite argument. Every one whom Christ blesses is exempted from the curse of Adam, and the wrath of God. Therefore, seeing it is certain that infants are blessed by him, it follows that they are freed from death." ~ Calvin, Institutes, Bk 4
NOTE: The original quote appearing at the top of this article has been replaced because I could not independently verify it’’s authenticity. My copy of Calvin’’s Institutes does not contain it. In place of it is a quote I have verified is in Calvin’s work. I must add though, Calvin does not appear consistent in his view concerning the state of all infants, and should be used carefully when being used as a reference. Thank you.
Calvin seems to assert something of the same Scriptural logic I’ve been trying to convey in my original post on infant election. Namely, that the Lord condemns and punishes actual sin, not our original sin state. I heartily affirm the doctrine of Original Sin. We are radically corrupt, totally depraved and completely helpless towards our salvation without the monergistic work of God regenerating our souls. And nothing I believe about the salvation of infants contradicts this blessed truth. Infants are saved by the grace of God. The saving work of Christ is applied to them and they are "counted" as righteous based solely upon the finished work of Jesus Christ, just like anyone else who is ever redeemed.
Over and over again the precepts of the Word tell us God graciously reserves His wrath for those who commit actual, willful sin. Calvin, in the quote above, contrasts those able to commit "actual sin" with infants who, though fallen by nature, aren’t willingly and knowingly committing sinful acts. This is the testimony of Scripture as well.
Rev. 20:12-13, And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."
"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." I Jn 3:4
No transgression - no guilt of sin. So infants dying in infancy, have yet to act upon their sinful wills in a sinful manner, transgressing the law and thus bringing upon themselves condemnation. R. A. Webb said this concerning the damnation of infants;
- "If a dead 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 because sin is a reality, 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 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 the penalty would be absent, and justice would be disappointed, cheated of its validation."
Comments from this article next time