WHAT HAPPENS TO LITTLE CHILDREN WHO DIE?
Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2007
This is a serious problem for parents who believe what the Bible teaches about human sinfulness, salvation, heaven and hell. If a person must personally believe in Jesus Christ to be saved, what happens to babies and little children who die before they are old enough to personally express faith in Jesus Christ?
The Bible does not give us a straight answer, but it does tell us many basic facts about God that encourage us to trust him with the eternal destiny of our precious little ones. Some of these facts are listed below:
1. God does what is right.
- ‘Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?’ [Gen 18:25]
This gives us confidence that whatever happens to babies and little children who die before they are old enough to respond to Christ, it will be what is right.
2. God is holy.
- ‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways ... As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ [Is 55:8,9].
In our humanness it is difficult for us to hold all of the truth together at the one time; our minds see all sorts of problems with different aspects of the truth that seem to conflict with each other. God, the holy God, is different: his thoughts are way beyond ours; he knows how each part of truth stands together with each other part. Where we cannot understand or reconcile facts, he can. He is so much bigger than us that we can trust him.
3. God is merciful.
- ‘The Lord your God ... is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love...’ [Joel 2:13].
He is love [1 John 4:8], as he has demonstrated so clearly in the death of his Son. Once more, we are encouraged to trust him.
4. Children are special.
- ‘Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.’ [Mark 9:37 ]
- ‘… their angels in heaven always see the face of my father in heaven’ [Matthew 18:10 ].
We cannot give a direct answer quoting a Bible verse, but we can say that these little ones are in the hands of the God who revealed himself to us when he walked among us, and said to us ‘Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father’ [John 14:9]. It is this God, this Jesus Christ, in whose hands the eternal destiny of our little ones rests.