Christianity.com: What happens to infants when they die?-Mark Dever

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COMMENTS(26)

  • 2012-06-04T21:04:02

remember when davids first child with bathsheba died. he told his servants---the child shall not return to me, but I shall go to him. did david go to be with christ? I'm sure he did. God is good, all the time!

  • 2012-05-23T14:21:32

Without going into a long discussion, note what Mr. Dever pointed out in this video. Even though God has not said anything in the Bible about this in direct fashion, follow God's Self-Revelation in what He has said and done. True, there were exceptions---the executions of families during the trip to Canaan, the execution of families under Joshua once in Canaan. But God has always stressed throughout: "The soul that sins shall die". "The sins of the fathers shall not be visited upon the children". Undeveloped infants and toddlers can not choose consciously, rather like adults with severe mental underdevelopment. Following what God has shown Himself to be like in the Bible, He has shown that he will no more damn them automatically because they have not confessed verbally than he would accept infant baptism as a form of salvation. He is Just, but in the truest sense, just as He is Mercifull fully and truly. The children are surely in His Presence and under His Eternal Care. That is how He has revealed Himself, and He can never do anything that is self-contradicting.

  • 2012-05-23T01:49:59

In order not to bore everyone I sent you an e-mail with my response. :)

  • 2012-05-21T20:22:54

Voilet, You are correct, David under the inspriation of God the Holy Spirit wrote in 2nd Samuel when his child died, I shall go to him, But he will not return to me. My question to those who disagree, Do you believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God.

  • 2012-05-21T19:19:50

to Steve - I think the Ezekiel passages you mention and the 1 John passages are compatible with the idea of original sin. Original sin, of course, is not a biblical term, though it is a term to summarize what the Bible teaches about how Adam's sin has affected all who proceed from him. Psalm 51 speaks of being sinful from conception. But it is poetry, so it might be using hyperbole. So we look to parts of the Bible where non-poetic truth is being communicated, to try and see what this might be. Consider Romans 5.18-19, "18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous." Now I have not read exhaustively on the topic (so I am open to new info), but I haven't found anything in the literature on this debate that was able to explain this text in a more satisfying way than those who hold to original sin. Also, and in a more theologically tangential direction is this question: why would Jesus need to be born of a virgin if it wasn't to avoid the inheritance of the first Adam's sin? to Christian - The Romans 1 passage is important, but notice the purpose for which Paul uses this argument. He is trying to show that all know what God is like ("his invisible attributes") based on how He has revealed himself through creation. But this revelation of God in creation serves as evidence that condemns those who do not believe in the true God. But this question is not unrelated to your Dad's comments, because it speaks about how though "they claimed to be wise, they became fools" and they "exchanged the truth for a lie". This seems to imply that they had natural consciences, as you put it, yet they "suppressed the truth in unrighteousness". So what is this impulse in mankind that, apart from the gracious intervention of the Triune God, would cause all of us to be condemned... an impulse that causes us to actively pursue those things that condemn us?

  • 2012-05-19T05:44:39

This might be changing the subject a bit, but as for the question of people never ever hearing the Gospel - I can't say either way for sure. But I know of "common" or "natural" morality. Does not Romans 1 (maybe 2) say that all people are aware of God in some way? That's not to cheapen Christianity or the Gospel. But what about people that never heard about Christ EVER? I think their natural consciences would still guide them, because even atheists that have no interest in God whatsoever still have morals. And did not Jesus say "If you were unaware you would have no sin, but now that you know, your sin remains?" I might have not used the correct wording but I think I got the gist across. :P

  • 2012-05-19T01:52:46

Greetings Kirk! I wish to share my view on the subject of the “inherited sin”, also known as the “original sin” with some other religious groups. It is our individual sin that separates us from God. Sin does not transfer from person to person. Calvin may have had such notions and so his followers may need to accept it as well. Consider Ezekiel 18:4 “For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son . . . The soul who sins is the one who will die.” When Adam sinned, his son was not condemned to die because of it. Adam was. If you continue reading the same chapter you will find in verse 20 that “The son will not share in the guilt of the father.” 1John 3:4 says that “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact sin is lawlessness.” In my view until a child can break the law there is no sin in in him or her and therefore their souls belong to God. Pastor Dever, be he Baptist, Presbyterian or atheist has a point when he speaks about the nature of God.

  • 2012-05-17T18:45:10

Who can know the mind of God and who are we O man to tell God what He should think or do. We like to think we know God's will in every matter but the truth is that His ways are much higher than our ways. I'm not so sure about original sin. I think we were born into grace first. Adam did not know what sine was until the law was put into effect. He was not born with the law on his heart, God had to make him aware of it. But I have a hard time with understanding that anyone of us even from birth are innocent. There are too many stories where God told the Israelite's to wipe out whole towns, every person, animal and thing because they were evil in God's sight. There are too many scriptures that bend both ways. All I'm saying is that God is God and we are not. We are the clay and He is the Potter and there is just no way we can put God in a box. We do know His character but not His specific will in every case. My hope is that this doesn't sound argumentative but honing, like iron.

  • 2012-05-17T17:34:23

For christians who may be struggling with the question; WHY God?

  • 2012-05-17T16:59:58

Age of accountability?

  • 2012-05-17T16:43:26

David may have gotten an assurance from the Holy Spirit about his baby son. But this story does not set up definitive doctrine on this issue. Where is there anything in the Bible on the so-called age of accountability as it relates to salvation? If you assume that all the babies that die in infancy were to grow to adulthood, how many of them would be saved? Obviously, a great percentage would not be. Then it would be an advantage to die as an infant if you got an immediate ticket to eternal life, no? From a human standpoint, isn't every death a sorrow to someone, no matter what the age of the deceased? Why the sentimental translation straight into heaven of babies....because they are sweet and humanly helpless? The Bible is clear that God has mercy on whom He desires to have mercy. We cannot dictate to Him that this includes all infants. All we can say is that the Lord of all will do justly.

  • 2012-05-17T16:32:57

Please read my reply to Leo Lenschow! Thank You! GOD Bleass all of you as he did me! I learned so much listening to THE ARNOLD FAMILY, FROM THE SHEPHERDS CHAPEL. I have followed the Arnold Family for many years. Amazing People. They use to be on TV but now are on line.

  • 2012-05-17T14:41:48

"age of accountability"... "innocent children"... neither concept is found in the scripture, especially in relation to the inherited sinful nature (see Rom 5) that all are born with. I find Pastor Dever's efforts to be a good attempt at bringing comfort to grieving parents from his baptist perspective. But, as a father who has lost two little ones, a merciful God who will "do the right thing" falls flat on two accounts. One, a merciful God who does the right thing might see fit to send the guilty to hell, and we are sinful from our mother's womb (see Ps 51). Two, he doesn't deal with all the data the scripture has about covenant children (like the 2 Samuel passage referenced by another commenter) and the promises that belong to them by right of their birth to Christian parents.

  • 2011-12-09T08:17:25

we are all created by GOD because we all we recieve victory atlast those that believe in Jesus Revelation 20:12.

  • 2011-11-18T16:16:40

I like your thoughts. Jesus definately loved children; however, Jesus was speaking about believing without doubt in this passage. Can children be evil? Consider this: "When a group of children from Bethel taunted the prophet for his baldness, Elisha cursed them in the name of God and two female bears came out of the forest and mauled 42 of them - 2 Kings 2:23–25."

  • 2011-11-18T16:10:30

Although I would agree with you on the principle of God's mercy, consider the origional sin of Adam. Even an infant needs the sacrafice of Christ. So, how is it that one can have the gift of grace through faith without being able to understand? This is answered in the bible. Many of us rely upon our feelings and our own reasoning when we should study scripture because our hearts do not come filled with truth. "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?" - Jeremiah 17:9.

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