Everyday there is a knock on the Chaplain’s door, a nurse pokes her head in to tell us that another baby has died. The head chaplain shakes her head with sadness and gets up to deliver the bad news. I follow the head Chaplain into the nursery to inform a new mom that she will no longer be able to hold her precious baby. This scenario plays itself out several times
Friends becoming pregnant and losing the baby has caused me to ask, “What happens to infants who die?” “What happens to babies who die in the womb?” “What happens to invalids who may be old, but have the mind of a five year old?” “Are they saved?”
Thesis: The Bible provides hope that babies who die in the womb, infants and invalids know neither good nor evil, therefore, they are incapable of committing sins in the body and die safe and secure in the arms of Jesus Christ because of His death on the cross.
Before I seek to answer these questions I must explain four points which I affirm which help to shape my answer:
AFFIRMATIONS:The Bible is my sole-source of authority on this and every issue. I cannot establish my answer to this question on the basis of emotions, rather, I must make sure I answer the question how the Bible does.
Everyone who is born is born with a sin nature or a bent towards sin. Psalm 51:5, “I was guilty when I was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me”; Romans 5:12, “Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Adam was humanities representative in the Garden, (we elect a representative to the house/senate to represent NC) when he sinned, we all sinned. Consequently, we have inherited a sin nature or a bent towards sin.
Everyone needs a Savior. Jesus Christ is called the Second Adam in Romans 5:17, “since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ Everyone who confesses with their mouth and believes in their heart will be saved. If anyone is in Heaven it is because of Christ’s death on the cross, NOT someone’s innocence or good deeds.
When everyone dies they will go to one of two places: either Heaven or Hell. All those who have followed Christ will awake in Heaven to everlasting pleasure and all those who have rejected Christ will awake in Hell to everlasting, conscious pain.
My thesis for this sermon is that individuals who die in the womb, infancy, and invalids die safe and secure in the Father’s arms. We are about to jump into the deep end of theological waters and at times may think this is too deep but don’t worry, I will help to navigate us through.
I will outline three Biblical texts which build a theological answer to our question and than I will provide two examples from the Biblical texts where these truths played out.
The first text we will look at is Romans 5:12. “Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Everyone is born with a sin nature or a bent towards sin. Adam’s sin makes it impossible for anyone to choose Christ without the inward working of the Holy Spirit. Christ’s work on the cross is the ONLY way to God. Romans 5:18, “So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is life-giving justification for everyone.” Christ’s death and resurrection justifies everyone who trust in Him. If infants, babies in the womb, and invalids are to be safe in the Father’s arm it’s only possible because of Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection.
Is Christ God? (Yes)
Does God know everything? (Yes)
Not a drop of Christ’s blood was wasted. Christ shed his blood for all those who would trust in Him and He shed His blood for all those infants, babies and invalids who would die before reaching an age where they could hear and understand the Gospel.
Second text, 2 Corinthians 5:10 states: “For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be judged for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 teaches that individuals are NOT held responsible for Adam’s sin, rather; individuals are held responsible for “deeds committed in the body” or their “own deeds.” We are not held responsible for Adam’s sin, only our own. Adam’s sin creates in all of us a bent towards sin which we act out. Due to our sin nature we need the inward working of the Holy Spirit to regenerate us to trust in Christ but we are not held responsible for Adam’s sin only our own.
There is a sense in which an infant or invalid can stand before God and honestly say they haven’t done anything wrong. While they have a sin nature or a bent towards sin they have never acted on their nature; therefore, I believe the Bible teaches that when they die they are safe and secure in the Father's arms.
Third text, Romans 1:18-20: “For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.” Individuals will be held accountable based on the revelation he/she has received. Everyone sees creation and creation should lead to worship but it doesn't individuals suppress the truth and do not worship God.
Infants and invalids, however; cannot notice creation and worship God. They do not have the mental capacity, ability, or knowledge to be held accountable, therefore; they are safe.
Two Examples from Biblical Texts Where Above Truths Played Out:
Same principle can be applied to babies in the womb, infants or invalids they do not know right from wrong nor can they understand/comprehend the Gospel message; therefore in the graciousness of God He keeps them safe and secure in His arms.
Second example: 2 Samuel 12:23, “But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.” David has faith and hope that he will be reunited with his dead son in paradise.
My prayer tonight is that many of you hearing this sermon would claim 2 Samuel 12:23. You would cling to the precious truth found in this verse. You would say like David, “my child can’t come back to e but one day I will see him again.” What a glorious day that will be in Heaven! Child, take you by the hand and lead you along the streets of gold. The time you missed on this Earth with your children will be given back to you and multiplied a hundredfold.
These passages help to answer the question, “What happens to infants, babies in the womb and invalids who die?” These passages provide hope that babies who die in the womb, infants, and invalids know neither good nor evil, therefore; they are incapable of committing sins in the body and die safe and secure in the arms of Christ because of His sacrifice on the cross. Our Lord graciously and freely receives all those who die in infancy-not on the basis of innocence or worth-but by His grace made available to them on the cross.
Have you lost a child? Have you felt the pain of losing a baby in the womb or delivering a stillborn? If so, take heart that your child is safe and secure in the arms of Christ. When your child closed his/her eyes on this Earth, when they opened them they were looking into the face of Christ. For some, Christ's face was the first face they ever beheld and it was glorious. Beloved, take heart, your child is in Heaven.
If you desire to see him/her again please trust in Christ. Run to Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Admit that you are a sinner. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Confess your sins and you will be saved and reunited with your child in Heaven.
In conclusion, the Bible provides hope that babies who die in the womb, infants and invalids know neither good nor evil, therefore, they are incapable of committing sins in the body and die safe and secure in the arms of Jesus Christ because of His death on the cross.