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    A question about the salvation of Infant who die

    What is your typical response to a parent whose young child (Lets say 0-3 years old) dies? Do you give assurance that their child is saved and in heaven? If so, what basis do you have to give this assurance? Would your response be different if the parents were believers verses unbelievers? Please give some verses you would use to help the parent and support your views.



    I am interested in hearing your responses on this subject. I know there will be different responses from those who hold to covenant theology verse those who hold to another system. I am interested in those differences and how they are defended.

    Thanks,

    Forester

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    Re: A question about the salvation of Infant who die

    I have always been of the opinion that Scripture is largely silent on this matter. My response though, would be to simply say that all is in the hands of God. I know that would not be comforting, but it's about all we know for certain.

    For instance, we know that there were some Biblical examples of infants who were regenerated.
    1. John the Baptist

    Luk 1:13-16 But the angel said to him: Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard: and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son. And thou shalt call his name John. (14) And thou shalt have joy and gladness: and many shall rejoice in his nativity. (15) For he shall be great before the Lord and shall drink no wine nor strong drink: and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. (16) And he shall convert many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.

    verse 15 clearly shows that John the Baptist was filled with the Spirit while still in the womb.

    2. Jeremiah

    Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and made thee a prophet unto the nations.

    the verse above is God talking to Jeremiah.


    On the other hand though, we also see that many are damned from birth:

    Psa 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.




    So, whether the parents are believers or not, makes no difference because we know in the end that God will do as he pleases with whom he pleases.



    Furthermore, while considering this topic in the past, a thought has occured to me. Why do we as humans seek to assign our vision of innocence (newborn) to what God would see as innocent. Should we really think that God would differentiate between an infant and an old man? We have every assurance in the Scriptures that all who are meant to be saved, will indeed be saved. Whom God chooses to save is up to God.

    If we differentiate between a newborn and an adult, then we imply that man has some sort of choice in the matter and that the newborn effectively never had that opportunity. This is flatly false.

    Joh 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
    Joh 1:13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

    Rom 9:15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
    Rom 9:16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.




    I know that my answer would not be of comfort to many, but again, Scripture is largely silent on this matter, so I do not see how assurance can be given.

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    Re: A question about the salvation of Infant who die

    This surely is an interesting subject to ponder, but one that is basically impossible to be dogmatic about.

    The interesting thing to me is that Arminians are in a worse position here than Calvinists. According to free will, the sinner must make a decision for Christ. A newborn can obviously not do this. If one agrees with salvation through the sovereign work of God alone, one can conclude that even a fetus (as exampled by John the Baptist) may be saved at any time according to our Lord's pleasure.

    My wife and I have had two miscarriages - I like to think that the Lord saves abortions, miscarriages, and the like, but who am I to question the Lord's doing? Imagine if God's Word stated dogmatically that all children under some age were automatically heaven bound. How many more murdered children would we have on our hands?

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    Re: A question about the salvation of Infant who die

    We find throughout Scripture that God does not just save individuals, he saves families and the Damascus road experience of the Apostle Paul is not the common one. It is common for those raised outside of the church to have some type of conversion experience but for those within the church it is more common for God to save His people in infancy. There are certainly exceptions. However, although I was raised in generically evangelical environment and said the sinner's prayer when I was 5 because I was told that is what I should do, I cannot remember a time when I did not know the Lord and know a number of other people with the same experience. It is still the normal practice of God to save His people out of the line of generations (notice I did not say that He always does or even that most children born to believing parents are elect).

    Genesis 17:7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.

    Acts 2:39 "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

    We do read in Scripture that when godly parents bring their children to Jesus to be blessed that of such is the kingdom of God.

    Luke 18:15-16 Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them to Him and said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.

    We also read that the children of a godly parent are holy:

    1 Corinthians 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.

    Psalm 22:9 But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother's breasts.

    There is certainly always the carnal element within the covenant line so a person cannot declare dogmatically that all the children of believers who die in infancy are elect children of God. We can comfort godly people however and tell them that it is the normal practice of God to save His people out of the line of generations. When they get to heaven and don't see their children there, they will have a perfect understanding and glorify God.

    There is no precedence in Scripture for God saving the children of the ungodly.

    I find it interesting that so many otherwise soundly Calvinistic Baptists have such a hard time with the idea of God regenerating infants. They are so scard of getting anywhere close to anything that resembles infant baptism that they place a condition of cognitive ability upon salvation and make salvation a work.

    Most of the Arminian persuasion have downplayed original sin and teach the mythical age of accountability. If they were serious, the most effective evangelistic crusade they could go on would be to go around killing as many infants as they could. As a minister pointed out in a sermon I recently heard on regeneration the very fact that infants die shows that they are sinful and in need of regeneration like everyone else. If infants were truly without sin they would not die.
    For whatever strength of arm he may have who swims in the open sea, yet in time he is carried away and sunk, mastered by the greatness of its waves. Need then there is that we be in the ship, that is, that we be carried in the wood, that we may be able to cross this sea. Now this Wood in which our weakness is carried is the Cross of the Lord, by which we are signed, and delivered from the dangerous tempests of this world.--St. Augustine

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    Re: A question about the salvation of Infant who die

    Quote Originally Posted by wildboar
    I find it interesting that so many otherwise soundly Calvinistic Baptists have such a hard time with the idea of God regenerating infants. They are so scard of getting anywhere close to anything that resembles infant baptism that they place a condition of cognitive ability upon salvation and make salvation a work.
    My position on this issue concerning infants is that it is completely up to God. God can and does save infants. I would agree that we can't know if a infant who dies is saved or not. It is God's good pleasure and will to save whomever he chooses. I think it is unbibilical to say all infants no matter what who die in infancy are saved. However, I would also say that the only way we can know if anyone is save is by seeing the outward expression of faith the a regenerate person demonstrates. This means that if God chooses to save a person in infancy we as the church can not know this person is truly saved until they grow up and demonstrate and Faith in God. I don't have a problem with infant baptism or what baptist do (Baby Dedications), because salvation is up to God and nothing the man performs (infant baptism or baby dedications) can influence or affect this in either way. I think paedobaptist and credobaptist are on two oppisite sides and both taking there view to the extreme. For the Paedobaptist they want to emphasis the coventant community and show how families are the covenant unit and how God saves familes (Which he does). So infant baptism is the sign and seal of being part of the visable church and covenant communtiy. Credobaptist on the other hand are emphasising the fact that we can't know if someone is truely saved until faith is demonstrated in that person (whether there parents are believers or not). So there is some type of evidence needed for baptism. Thus why baptism is for believers alone.

    I have been wondering about something for some time now. In all these arguements about baptism there is always reference to what the early church did and how there not any record of a debate or schism about baptism. I wonder if it wasn't a issue with the early church about when baptism occured. Scripture clearly teaches that salvation is up to God and His mercy. Maybe it wasn't a issue then at all. Maybe the early church didn't care is someone was baptisted as a infant or later, just as long as they were baptized. What if it wasn't until much later that people started taking it to extreames of the paedobaptist and credobaptist positions. Just a thought.

    Forester.

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    Re: A question about the salvation of Infant who die

    Quote Originally Posted by Forester07
    My position on this issue concerning infants is that it is completely up to God. God can and does save infants. I would agree that we can't know if a infant who dies is saved or not. It is God's good pleasure and will to save whomever he chooses. I think it is unbibilical to say all infants no matter what who die in infancy are saved. However, I would also say that the only way we can know if anyone is save is by seeing the outward expression of faith the a regenerate person demonstrates. This means that if God chooses to save a person in infancy we as the church can not know this person is truly saved until they grow up and demonstrate and Faith in God. I don't have a problem with infant baptism or what baptist do (Baby Dedications), because salvation is up to God and nothing the man performs (infant baptism or baby dedications) can influence or affect this in either way. I think paedobaptist and credobaptist are on two oppisite sides and both taking there view to the extreme. For the Paedobaptist they want to emphasis the coventant community and show how families are the covenant unit and how God saves familes (Which he does). So infant baptism is the sign and seal of being part of the visable church and covenant communtiy. Credobaptist on the other hand are emphasising the fact that we can't know if someone is truely saved until faith is demonstrated in that person (whether there parents are believers or not). So there is some type of evidence needed for baptism. Thus why baptism is for believers alone.

    I have been wondering about something for some time now. In all these arguements about baptism there is always reference to what the early church did and how there not any record of a debate or schism about baptism. I wonder if it wasn't a issue with the early church about when baptism occured. Scripture clearly teaches that salvation is up to God and His mercy. Maybe it wasn't a issue then at all. Maybe the early church didn't care is someone was baptisted as a infant or later, just as long as they were baptized. What if it wasn't until much later that people started taking it to extreames of the paedobaptist and credobaptist positions. Just a thought.

    Forester.
    This discussion is much different than when confessing reformed individuals discuss this. It usually revolves around this Canons of Dort confessional statement:

    Article 17. Since we are to judge of the will of God from his Word, which testifies that the children of believers are holy, not by nature, but in virtue of the covenant of grace, in which they, together with the parents, are comprehended, godly parents have no reason to doubt of the election and salvation of their children, whom it pleaseth God to call out of this life in their infancy.

    Most folks who confess this statement would not make the statements presented here. They would say that God saves each child. But that is not what the article states. This article is included in the same head that defines and confesses double predestination. It is a very presumptious statement to declare all children of believing parents who die in infancy are elect.

    Parents have no reason to doubt, because they infact are not the Creator and cannot make that predestinating judgment. God does. This is advocated here and I am happy it is, since it is Biblical truth.

    Baptising a child God blesses you with is serious business. It ought not be done out of superstition. Sadly this is the case. You only see folks in church to have the child baptised, that's it. The rest of the time they do not darken the door of the church. Utter blasphemy and hypocrisy.

    In the early church history I remember reading that Constantine put off baptism till his death bed, the thinking was that in doing this...... sins after baptism would not cancel out the baptism itself which is what he was frightened of. St. Augustin and the Roman church advocated absolute necessity of baptism or the unbaptised child is doomed to hell. The usual form of baptism in the early church was immersion. Sprinkling was done in the early church to those who were sick or dying. Limiting the Holy Spirit to the amount of water used is doctrinal bankruptcy.Tertullian advised delay of baptism as a measure of prudence, lest the baptised by sinning again might forever forfeit the benefit of this ordinance, but he does not deny the apostolic origin or right of early baptism.

    Every infant child my wife and I presented before God and the visible church for baptism was done out of a love for God. That is what baptism is , replacing circumcision as a sign of visible church membership. A love that means I obey what He commands me to do. That also meant for my wife and I that we would do our utmost to raise these children to His honor and glory. Never did I think "there , they are baptised, they are going to heaven now, let us sin that grace may abound" God forbid.

    I have always thought of credo baptism to be the same as confession of faith within reformed churches.
    Infant baptism is a sign that the child is part of the visible church. God commanded circumcision in the OT, replaced now with the command of baptism. Baptism does not mean that each child is predestined to eternal salvation each and every time. Credo baptists have to confess this as well(re: Simon Magnus). That the seal and promise of salvation is indeed given to the predestined elect child. That seal and promise of salvation is NOT given to the predestined reprobate child.
    The parents responsibility remains the same. To raise them all in the fear and admonishment of Jehovah God.

    I think that is crystal clear when blessed directly with a child to raise.
    Greetings and salutations, el rana

    21There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

    Proverbs chapter 19

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