What Is Your View on Babies Going to Heaven When They Die?
Question from Reader:
In chapter 35 of Heaven, you talk about being reunited with infants who die. It seems in the beginning of this section that you are defending the idea that the presence of any sin in our children (which they are born into) will mean they are not saved. Then later on, it seems you are saying that God may cover them with Christ’s blood despite the fact that they can’t confess their belief. So, I think your stance is that children who die before they can confess their Savior may be saved. But it’s not clear. Can you clarify?
Answer from Karen Coleman, Ministry Assistant:
Thanks for your good questions.
Randy believes that God has a special love for children, evidenced in many passages such as Psalm 8:2; Ezekiel 16:21; Matthew 18:2-4, 10; and Matthew 19:13-14.
Regarding David’s statement in 2 Samuel 12 about his infant son who had died, Randy says, “I think David, in his personal agony, was consoling himself with the belief that he literally would be with his son in Heaven. Therefore, I feel free to use this with people who have lost a child or are struggling with the issue.”
In the section of the book you mention, on page 355, Randy states, “I believe that God in his mercy and his special love for children covers them with Christ’s blood.” And in the resource linked above he states, “I believe that babies who die go to Heaven.” This is Randy’s bottom line. (In light of this, he is not implying he believes there are no infants in Heaven.) These are some of the things he would say if he were personally present to comfort someone who lost a beloved child.
You are also correct when you say Randy’s goal is to be Biblical. And in trying to be faithful to the Bible, he admits he cannot prove his position scripturally. Perhaps this explains why he seems not to be clear in this section, or why it would seem more straightforward, as you say, than personal or comforting. At the beginning of the referenced section of Heaven and also in the resource linked above, he makes the Biblical case that children are not innocent, and in and of themselves at not qualified for Heaven any more than any one of any age. Here is what he also says:
I think we should view Scripture as largely silent on this subject, leaving us to draw from its principles and to trust in the character of our God. Though I waver now and then, for the most part I still see children as miraculously covered by the blood of Christ—in a special expression of his grace, despite their sinfulness, unworthiness and lack of choice to receive Christ.
And in the end, he falls back once again onto the ever-trustworthy character of God:
I do take great comfort in both the mercy and justice of God, and that he is free to do things that do not fit within the obvious confines of our understanding of salvation. Certainly, our inability to square certain theological issues is no deterrent to God doing what he chooses either one way or the other. Sometimes I think he doesn’t want us to know the answers to some of these things, so we will have to come to him in faith and uncertainty rather than with full knowledge and the presumption it can foster.
It would never be Randy’s intention to be cruel to anyone, and especially not to someone working through the deep grief of losing a loved one.
I am praying for you and your family, and that God would provide His infinite comfort and peace to all of you in these difficult days. I am praying specifically 1 Peter 1:6-7: “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Karen Coleman served as a ministry assistant at Eternal Perspective Ministries for three and a half years. She spent 23 years in Cameroon, West Africa involved in Bible translation and missionary care. Before going to Africa and before EPM began, she served as Randy’s assistant when he was a pastor. In June 2018, after a battle with cancer, she went to be with Jesus.