I received this question twice after the "Q&A Weekend" at the end of our Mythbusted series. Here they are:
- "Hey Pastor Tim. We were at church last night and heard the discussion about the "unreached". My question is how does that apply to kids? If you have to have "heard the name of Jesus" and "believe he died and rose again" how would that work with a 1 year old (or 3/5/etc)? Or if Christians believe life begins at conception, what if a Mom is pregnant (even only a few months) and then dies in an accident, what happens to the baby? Assuming the Mom is a believer, would she go to Heaven and the baby Hell? Thanks!"
- "I have a question: If we are all born with a sinful nature, then do babies go to heaven if they pass away in infancy, or at an age when they're too young to make a decision? I didn't get it asked in time. I can barely have the courage to ask now."
This is an excellent question and a very important one with high stakes. The quick answer is "Yes they do." The key passage is Romans 7:7-12. Check out the video below where I reference the following verses:
- Yes, people need to believe to be saved: John 3:16, Acts 4:12, Romans 10:9-14
- And yes, babies who have not yet believed will go to heaven: 2 Samuel 12:23, 1 Kings 14:13, Luke 18:16, Revelation 1-3, Matthew 18:10
- Because children are alive spiritually until they have an understanding of good vs. evil which kills them spiritually (Romans 7:7-12, Genesis 2:17, 3:1-11, Deuteronomy 1:39, Romans 4:15)