Tuesday, November 22, 2005some Scripture...
As promised, here are some Bible passages that have convinced me that infants who die are definitely taken into the Kingdom of God:
"And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." (2 Samuel 12:22-23)
Now to get the whole picture, I encourage you all to read 2 Samuel 11:1 to 12:23. What we have here is David's sin with Bath-sheba and the consequence of that fornication; that is, the death of David and Bath-sheba's baby boy.
Pay close attention to David's actions before and after the death of the child. When the baby got sick, David layed on the ground and besought the Lord for mercy. He did this all night long. He refused to eat, he spent all his time praying and begging God. When the baby died, does David go into a great depression because he knows his baby is in Hell? Does he refuse to eat, being too overcomed with grief? No, and no. Actually the exact opposite happens. He rises and eats, being comforted that one day, he will be reunited with his son.
And where will David be reunited with his son? In Hell? Uh... no. David today is in the presence of the Lord, and his son is there with him.
"Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone. Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the LORD hath spoken it. Arise thou therefore, get thee to thine own house: and when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die. And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam." (1 Kings 14:10-13)
Jeroboam was the first king of the northern kingdom of Israel. He was an exceedingly wicked king who moved his people to idolatry. For his great sin, the Lord cursed Jeroboam and every male child of his house; they were all cursed to destruction.
Not only were all the men of Jeroboam's house cursed to die, their bodies were NOT to be buried. Their bodies were cursed to be eaten by dogs and the birds of the air, EXCEPT ONE MAN, or rather, one baby boy. Yep, Jeroboam's baby boy was spared part of the curse because "in the child was found some good thing toward the Lord God of Israel".
So what was this "good thing"? We've seen in part II of this series that infants are born sinners. What, did the baby repent and believe on the Lord? I don't think so. The "good thing", dear readers, is I-N-N-O-C-E-N-C-E. The baby did not sin willfully, and for this reason, the Lord had mercy.
"But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19:14)
In this passage, we have parents bringing their children forward to have the Lord Jesus pray for them. This, for some reason, bothered the disciples to the point that they rebuked the children. The verse above is the Lord Jesus Christ's response.
Tell me, dear readers, if infants/young children are destined to the Lake of Fire if they do not profess faith, how does "of such is the kingdom of God" fit?
"And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." (Revelation 5:9)
You may wonder how this passage fits in our study. Read Matthew 19:14 again, and ask yourself: "how will a Mayan (or any other group of people who have lived and died without any knowledge of our God) be represented in the "every kindred, tongue, and people, and nation"?
The Greek word for "every" in Revelation 5:9 is "pas" and it literally means "individually", or collectively (as in one of each type). Every individual nation/tongue/kindred/people will be represented in Heaven either by faith in the Living God, or by the gracious salvation of their infants who have died.
Alright... we'll leave it at that for this post. Hope you are finding all this convincing, or at least, interesting. There is more to come in Part IV, so again, stay tuned.