Are Infants Going to Heaven
and in the Rapture?
A lot of parents have questioned whether their infants and small children will qualify for Heaven, if they die young, or for the Rapture, whichever comes first. This study will try to answer that question.
The Bible as a "whole" teaches that:
God is just. Therefore, how can he condemn someone who has no knowledge of right or wrong (infant/small child) or who has not even been born yet (fetus)? God is Just because he "wants" to exercise mercy.
Jesus said: "Whoever believes in him [God's son] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." (John 3:18).
However, since Christ paid for the sins of the world, and salvation is by faith, a child under the age of accountability is not under condemnation until they are old enough to trust/reject Christ. Christ offered the ultimate payment for all sin, including original sin. This is obtained by faith. Obviously those who have no capacity to believe or exercise faith are extended grace based upon the death of Christ.
David and Bathsheba's child had just died and his servants asked him why he was no longer grieving. He answered, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, Who knows, the Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live but now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me" (2 Sam 12:33).
David was obviously not headed for hell. Therefore he believed that his child was in heaven--waiting for him.
Many verses in the Bible indicate that each person will stand alone before God on Judgment day before a merciful, just and Holy God. There are enough scriptures to show that fetuces, infants and small children below the age of accountability have a special place in His heart because of their inabiltiy to make ethical decisions. Irrespective of their inabilty to make decisions for good or bad, there are also verses that indicate that infants have been given a very special gift.
The chief priests and teachers of the law (educated biblical scholars) came to Jesus and complained about the children in the temple shouting "Hosanna to the Son of David." Jesus said to them, "Yes, have you never read, 'From the lips of children and ***infants*** you have ordained praise.'" (Matt 21:16b).
At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wide and learned, and revealed them to little children" (Matt 11:25).
Therefore, God has ordained that even infants have the ability to recognize who he is and also to praise Him.
I checked over 500 verses in the Bible that mention the words child/children and not one of them indicated that any child was ever condemned to hell, Israelite, Christian, or Pagan, although they may have been killed.
What the Bible says about children who die is at best very sketchy but based upon what Christ did on the cross it is not beyond reason to assume that no child is sent to hell who did not make a choice against Christ.
If you know of other scriptures that should be included in this study please let me know.
© October 30, 2000 - updated 7-17-16
Other Bible studies on this topic:
Will All Children be Raptured?