Do babies and others incapable of professing faith in Christ automatically go to heaven?
People often wonder about the eternal destiny of the unborn, babies, and those unable to intellectually understand the gospel. That question is a difficult one. Unfortunately, the Bible offers us no explicit answer. However, based on several passages, as well as an understanding of God’s character and His dealings with men, we can develop a good idea of how He works in such situations.
Second Samuel 12:23 is one of the passages often quoted to imply that babies go to heaven. Though the verse doesn’t explicitly say that, David clearly does expect to one day be reunited with his departed child. Since we know David is a believer whose destiny was heaven, we can infer that his hope of reunion means he expected his child to be in heaven. Thus, 2 Samuel 12:23 suggests strong evidence for a heavenly destiny of the unborn and children who die young.
If this were all we had to support our position, it would be admittedly less than stalwart. However, there are other evidences that point us to the same conclusion. First, the Bible clearly teaches that God cares deeply for children. Passages like Matthew 18:1-6 and 19:13-15 affirm the Lord’s love for them. Those verses don’t state that children go to heaven, but they do show God’s heart toward children. He created and cares for children, and beyond that, He always accomplishes His perfect will in every circumstance. [full source by GTY]
For a tender and encouraging treatment of this sensitive subject, see John’s book Safe in the Arms of God.
Question: “Do the souls of aborted babies go to heaven?”
Answer: Abortion as we know it today was not practiced in biblical times, and the Bible never specifically mentions the issue of abortion. It is clear from the Scriptures that an unborn baby is known by the Lord, even from the time of conception (Psalm 139:13-16). Although the Bible does not mention abortion or aborted babies, we do have two keys to help us unlock the answer to the question of whether the souls of aborted babies go to heaven.
The first key is from the only passage in the Bible where something specific is said about the death of infants. In 2 Samuel 12 we learn of David’s affair with Bathsheba, another man’s wife. David was informed by the prophet Nathan that the child produced by that union would die. David then began to fast and pray, asking the Lord to not carry out His judgment. When the child did die, David got up from praying and fasting and ate something…. more