Do Babies Go To Heaven?
- Monday, April 05, 2004
Do babies go to heaven when they die?
Six-year-old Kelly thinks it's simple: "Babies go to heaven because that's where they belong." Kelly, does this include babies who cry a lot? Oh, I almost forgot. Scripture says God will wipe away every tear in the New Jerusalem.
Elizabeth, age 9, agrees, but for a different reason. "God will take them to heaven even if they haven't reached the age of accountability." Does this mean they're too young to pass the CPA exam? What is this age of accountability?
Let's get some help from Molly, 12, who says babies go to heaven at death "because they are not old enough to understand sin, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit." Jesus said the Holy Spirit would convict the world of sin, righteousness and the judgment to come.
According to Molly's reasoning, people must be capable of being convicted of their sins by the Holy Spirit before they can accept Jesus' solution. Therefore, children who are too young to understand sin and their need for Jesus Christ through the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit have not reached the age of accountability.
In other words, there's a point in normal people's lives when they are held responsible for their decisions and actions. Exactly when this is varies from person to person.
King David had a child by Bathsheba who became very ill. David fasted and prayed to God all night for his baby son's life, but the baby died. Afterward, David made this statement about his baby boy: "I will go to him, but he will not return to me" (II Samuel 12:23).
The following short story was written by a 9-year-old girl named Hillary, who lost her baby cousin, Martha Caroline:
"Hillary, the baby is about to be born,'' my mother said. "Your aunt is in labor right now! She is at the hospital, and so far everything is going fine."
I thought back nine months ago when I heard the news that my aunt was pregnant. I was so excited! We had felt her stomach and talked to the baby for months! Now was the time for it to be born. I would have a new baby cousin!
My father told me the baby would be born by morning. I went to bed that night excited about what the next day would bring.
When I woke up, I leaped out of bed, dashed down the stairs and pounded in my dad's study. The sad look on his face told me something went wrong. It was then that I heard the terrible news that the baby, whose name was Martha Caroline, was a Down syndrome child. I found out that her lungs were not fully developed so she could not breathe properly. The doctors were doing their best to keep her alive. My mom and dad immediately went to the hospital, and I stayed with a baby sitter.
Her death was very hard on my sister. My brother was a little bit too young to understand. I just have to trust the Lord and let His will be done.
God was faithful and helped us get through the hard time. Without God's help, my aunt would have been left depressed and sad, but God's presence made it easier.
When I think back on this moment, I realize it brought my family closer together. My aunt is no longer shy, and now my cousin will never be teased. She won't have any pain or sadness, and now she won't ever get sick. Also, she will get to see God every day, and just think about the wonderful toys she'll get to play with. Even though I'm sad, I know Martha Caroline is the sweetest little angel in heaven.
Inspire your children by reading this column with them and visiting the Kids Talk About God website at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. Bible quotations are from the New King James Version.
COPYRIGHT 2004 CAREY KINSOLVING
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