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theophilus

Do children who die in infancy go to Heaven?

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theophilus

In this thread, https://www.christforums.org/main/debate/theological-debate/56422-is-belief-in-reincarnation-possible-as-a-christian, William made this statement: "Given both examples, David's son and Jeroboam's son I think one can make a case that a "covenant child" that dies in infancy is in the hands of the Lord. I still see no evidence that non-covenant children receive the same privilege as covenant children." Since the thread is locked I can't respond there so I am starting a new thread.

 

As far as I know these two children are the only ones that the Bible teaches are in Heaven although they died as infants. The son of Jeroboam was not a covenant child. After Jeroboam was established as king of Israel he feared that if his people went to Jerusalem to worship God their loyalty might turn back to Judah, so he set up two golden calves and required that they be worshiped. In taking this step he rejected his part of the covenant with God. The fact that his and David's son experienced the same fate shows that the fate of child who dies is not dependent on whether or not his parents are worshipers of God.

 

The fact that both of these children went to be with God and there is nothing in the Bible showing that a child who dies is lost shows that all children who die as babies are saved. We do all inherit guilt from Adam but the result of that guilt is that our bodies die. It has no bearing on the fate of our souls.

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areader

Romans 9:10-14

'And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac, (for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.'

 

Is there really any room for discussion?

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Innerfire89

It seems pretty clear that when Christ said, "For the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these (children)" that it means just that. Just my opinion.

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areader

Shouldn't Christians be all for abortion if children are unblemished? Donating to planned parenthood must be all the rage here.

 

And exactly at which age do we become corrupt?

Looks like children are time bombs; a loving father should let them take advantage of their privilege before it's too late and send them straight to the Kingdom.

 

 

That which is born of flesh is flesh and flesh lusts against the spirit. Even in the womb.

Total depravity. Sola gratia.

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Fastfredy0

Do children who die in infancy go to Heaven?

The bias to answer in the affirmative. It is not good for church membership to answer otherwise.

 

My opinion: the jury is still out

 

I've heard 3 verses for the affirmative:

1) David's dead baby 2 Samuel 12:23

2) Suffer the little children to come unto me for such is the Kingdom of God

3) People from all tribes and nations will be in heaven... thus, since some tribes never heard the gospel and are now extinct, it must be the babies that went to heaven

4) Non-biblical answer: Babies have never sinned and therefore make the cut

 

Negative side (this is not popular position so no one wants to give reasons. I've only heard

1) Without faith it is impossible to please God. Babies don't have faith (unless Spirit regenerates them I suppose)

2) Non-biblical - it is never preached (to my knowledge) that there are two ways to heaven: faith or death before age of consent

 

Scholars I read side on affirmative side (pessimistic view: good for book sales) or say NOT ENOUGH INFO TO KNOW. I don't know one that takes negative view.

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Sue D.
Romans 9:10-14

'And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac, (for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.'

 

Is there really any room for discussion?

 

 

 

As we're seeing 'here', there's Always room for discussion. And there are Lots of things we won't have real answers to until we in eternity. Once we're in eternity -- it won't matter anymore. No one is going to get to heaven 'by mistake'.

 

As far as abortion is concerned, a natural abortion -- miscarriage -- is in God's hands. Man-induced abortions are Never right. Purposely killing unborn is never okay. Once that baby is born -- if /when God chooses to take that child to heaven, it's His timing. Every person needs to be able to understand their own sinfulness and understand what Jesus Christ has done for them on the cross and His rising from the dead after 3 days.

 

Even born-again parents can only do so much -- they can read God's Word to their children from early on. They can pray with them , for them. But that child, young person has to make that decision Themselves. Parent's Can't do it for them. There was a family some years ago at the church we were attending. The couple had three daughters. Two of them had made their personal commitment to Christ -- their younger daughter hadn't as yet. We were all at a S. S. class party and the husband / wife asked pastor privately if he could talk to their younger daughter and lead her to the Lord -- they wanted to be a united family spiritually. I was around the corner and they didn't see me -- I wasn't purposely evesdropping -- but was on my way back through the house and had to go past them to get where I needed to be. Pastor was letting them know that all he could do was talk with her sometime if they wanted him to -- but She had to be the one ready to accept Christ. She wasn't a 'bad' young lady. She simply hadn't come to the place of realizing her own person need For salvation.

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Innerfire89
Shouldn't Christians be all for abortion if children are unblemished? Donating to planned parenthood must be all the rage here.

 

And exactly at which age do we become corrupt?

Looks like children are time bombs; a loving father should let them take advantage of their privilege before it's too late and send them straight to the Kingdom.

 

 

That which is born of flesh is flesh and flesh lusts against the spirit. Even in the womb.

Total depravity. Sola gratia.

 

What a immature, ugly thing to say. Let's say for the sake of argument that without a doubt children go to heaven, now if murdering them is good because it sends them to heaven, then why not kill Christian adults? You're saved, right? So can I cut off your arms and legs, rip apart your torso, and crush your scull? It's for your own good. I want to send you heaven, bro!

 

A better question would be at what age do children have enough mental capability to understand the Gospel? That would depend on the individual.

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Dutch

This is a question that has been debated for well over a millennia. It is not likely any of us have the definitive answer. Great men of God have been on different sides of the issue. As our sister said there are some things we won't know for sure until eternity.

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areader

 

What a immature, ugly thing to say. Let's say for the sake of argument that without a doubt children go to heaven, now if murdering them is good because it sends them to heaven, then why not kill Christian adults? You're saved, right? So can I cut off your arms and legs, rip apart your torso, and crush your scull? It's for your own good. I want to send you heaven, bro!

 

A better question would be at what age do children have enough mental capability to understand the Gospel? That would depend on the individual.

 

I'm sorry, I fail to see what are you arguing here. It looks like you missed the point of my post, which was to show the inconsistency of a belief bordering Pelagian heresy.

I saw people getting incredibly emotional when @William posted some basic truths in the other thread and I felt the need to weight in so it doesn't end up like the other; it's too soon to assess the development of this thread but it doesn't look too bright right now either.

 

God's choice is unconditional, so no matter how long or short a life is, some are born to redemption and some, well, there's only one alternative... Whether one fate or the other befalls upon a singular child, only God in his secret will knows. Infering the existence of a law by which all children (again, at which age are we setting the bar and why?) who die are saved out of a particular case in the Bible doesn't hold against the Word of God, which time after time states the perversity of all mankind. All. No one is good.

 

I apologise if my previous post offended some sensibilities, but I thought a bold way was best to expose the problems implied by such theory of an Universal Immaculate Conception -not to talk about the absolute lack of biblical support, but that we all knew already. Dead kids going straight to hell is an abhorrent thought for us, but God is right and our limited understanding cannot be an excuse to build up soteriology out of thin air just to please our consciences -we are to reject the carnal mind.

 

Maranatha.

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Fastfredy0
What a immature, ugly thing to say. Let's say for the sake of argument that without a doubt children go to heaven, now if murdering them is good because it sends them to heaven, then why not kill Christian adults? You're saved, right?

Well, call me "immature and ugly" for I have had the same thought; the thought that aborted babies go to heaven. The thought may be distasteful but so is the subject.

Murder is never good and I do not advocate it in this post; but sending 100% of babies to heaven for entity definitely has advantages to sending 95% (my guess) to hell for eternity by my measurement system. It's academic for me since I believe God choses the elect. But, if I was a "free will" proponent then I would definitely understand the advantage of abortion.

 

P.S. Yes, I believe I am saved. I believe I am often wrong; maybe I am immature and ugly also (though my mommy thought I was a cute child) :RpS_smile:

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Innerfire89

 

I'm sorry, I fail to see what are you arguing here. It looks like you missed the point of my post, which was to show the inconsistency of a belief bordering Pelagian heresy.

I saw people getting incredibly emotional when @William posted some basic truths in the other thread and I felt the need to weight in so it doesn't end up like the other; it's too soon to assess the development of this thread but it doesn't look too bright right now either.

 

God's choice is unconditional, so no matter how long or short a life is, some are born to redemption and some, well, there's only one alternative... Whether one fate or the other befalls upon a singular child, only God in his secret will knows. Infering the existence of a law by which all children (again, at which age are we setting the bar and why?) who die are saved out of a particular case in the Bible doesn't hold against the Word of God, which time after time states the perversity of all mankind. All. No one is good.

 

I apologise if my previous post offended some sensibilities, but I thought a bold way was best to expose the problems implied by such theory of an Universal Immaculate Conception -not to talk about the absolute lack of biblical support, but that we all knew already. Dead kids going straight to hell is an abhorrent thought for us, but God is right and our limited understanding cannot be an excuse to build up soteriology out of thin air just to please our consciences -we are to reject the carnal mind.

 

Maranatha.

 

That's was obviously offensive, and it probably was meant to be.

 

My question to you is, how is murdering infants a good thing if they they go to heaven? Is not the act in itself evil? That's far from a logical conclusion.

 

Then you mention that people were emotional in the last topic, but decided to take a "bold" approach, for what? To intimidate? To strike down others?

 

I'm not arguing against God's will in election, but looking at the possibility that infants who God controls their time of death might be elect.

 

 

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Innerfire89

Well, call me "immature and ugly" for I have had the same thought; the thought that aborted babies go to heaven. The thought may be distasteful but so is the subject.

Murder is never good and I do not advocate it in this post; but sending 100% of babies to heaven for entity definitely has advantages to sending 95% (my guess) to hell for eternity by my measurement system. It's academic for me since I believe God choses the elect. But, if I was a "free will" proponent then I would definitely understand the advantage of abortion.

 

P.S. Yes, I believe I am saved. I believe I am often wrong; maybe I am immature and ugly also (though my mommy thought I was a cute child) :RpS_smile:

 

That wasn't what was called ugly. To say that those who aborted infants must also support it as it would logically conclude that abortion is good because it sends infant to heaven is an immature, mean spirited, ugly thing to say.

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Innerfire89

 

I don't think so, I think it logically consistent with strapping on a suicide vest in order to secure a place in heaven. Obviously, people are stating that aborted children are blessed because it secures their eternal status. I wouldn't put it past some sick demented people that would actually make that a real life example.

 

But, lemme get this straight brother, you believe all infants go to heaven because:

 

1) God has elected all children without exception (therefore children lose their election when they can choose to reject salvation at an age of accountability which means that God does lose some in the future).

2) He makes exception for children despite not being elected?

 

I think both are theologically inconsistent. Someone please articulate your theology on this without erring on the side of Pelagianism.

 

The foundation of Pelagianism is the belief that we do not inherit Adam's sinful condition. We are born morally neutral, capable of choosing which way we will turn.

 

God bless,

William

 

What I believe is that the time of death is appointed for these children and that they are all elect, the ones that die as infants. Not that all children are elect.

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areader
That's was obviously offensive, and it probably was meant to be.

 

My question to you is, how is murdering infants a good thing if they they go to heaven? Is not the act in itself evil? That's far from a logical conclusion.

Supposing all children who die are saved, imagine what a paragon of virtues would be someone executing them, risking the most precious thing, his own salvation, to grant that of others; such love would be something amazing to see, even the angels would beg for his pardon! It would be rather coward and selfish not to follow that example.

Stupid, right. But then I cannot understand why someone would hate this consecuence while agreeing with the belief that causes it.

 

Then you mention that people were emotional in the last topic, but decided to take a "bold" approach, for what? To intimidate? To strike down others?

To show how dangerous and contrary to Scriptures such idea is. I'm genuinely surprised that my words are more shameful to you than the unscriptural, carnally minded teaching I was mocking.

I assume you have readed (and ejoyed doing so) Luther, so you know he wrote truth in astonishingly harsh ways, making my playful thought experiment pale in comparison. I don't think we should be as weak as to be offended by somehting like that.

 

I'm not arguing against God's will in election, but looking at the possibility that infants who God controls their time of death might be elect.

Then I wonder again what are we arguing, since this I hold true too, that some infants are elect. As some adults are.

 

What I believe is that the time of death is appointed for these children and that they are all elect, the ones that die as infants. Not that all children are elect.

Oh... but that's a different thing altogether!

Where do you find support for such assumption? And then again, where do you set the limit between children and adult? Has it always been the same, even when people lived for centuries?

And, finally, how does such proposition (i.e. that all who die young are saved -presuming we all agree on when a child stops being a child) deny that logical follow-up that annoys you so much?

 

Please, do avoid labelling my words as scandalous again were you as kind as to reply, since that would add nothing to the discussion and distract from its goal.

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theophilus
Just curious, when God sent the angel of death over the Egyptians and killed all first born male children did He take them up to heaven? And what about when God commanded the death of all Canaanites including children, were they taken up to heaven?

God says nothing about the state of the souls of these children, only what would happen to their bodies.

 

What I believe is that the time of death is appointed for these children and that they are all elect, the ones that die as infants. Not that all children are elect.

I agree with this statement 100%. It shows there is no contradiction between believing in God's election and believing in an age of accountability.

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atpollard

Damnation is about the Justice of a Holy God.

Is the damnation of an infant "just"? (not by human standards, by God's standards) Ezekiel 18:19-22

 

Ezekiel 18:23 NASB “Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign LORD. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live."

 

(While God has the right to damn everyone ... all are born God Haters ... I have trouble seeing how God is Glorified in eternally damning an infant for the Sins of Adam? Even the "Holy justice" of it seems weak.)

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Sue D.

Not attempting to derail -- but -- the concept of Covenant families and their children.-- since being part of a Covenant family seems to protect their children's salvation. Apparently two Covenant children get together and are considered to be Covenant marriage? But if people get married and are Equally yoked together as believers -- then wouldn't that be a mute subject? It would only come into the picture if one of the couple is a believer and the non-believer chooses to stay in the marriage. And it would also suggest that the children of Non-believers are doomed for eternity?! How would anyone know that Their children aren't part of the elect?!

 

We're All born with the Propensity for sin. We're capable Of.

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Just Mike

I think all this was said in a different post heading. This is an emotionally charges subject, and there are a number of solid Theologians that take different positions. I have already stated what I think Scripture takes.

 

. Perhaps nothing is more cruel that to tell a parent who lost an infant son or daughter, that their infant went to hell. This child was incapable of even thinking, say nothing of accepting Jesus Christ. I find any suggestion of God sending an innocent infant to hell, as wrong, Where is the Mercy and Grace in the Theology of this. Think of the many in ministry that wee born to parents who were unbelievers.

 

 

I won't say anything further as this subject is no longer something I can dialogue about.

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atpollard
Not attempting to derail -- but -- the concept of Covenant families and their children.-- since being part of a Covenant family seems to protect their children's salvation.

I don't think anything "protects" anyone's salvation except the will of God. What we have are specific verses that say what they say:

 

1 Corinthians 7:14 NASB 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.

 

Romans 9:10-16 NASB And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”

What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.

 

We can make of them what we will to the best of our human understanding. The children of the believer ARE holy and God 'will have mercy on whomever [He] will have mercy'.

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Innerfire89

Supposing all children who die are saved, imagine what a paragon of virtues would be someone executing them, risking the most precious thing, his own salvation, to grant that of others; such love would be something amazing to see, even the angels would beg for his pardon! It would be rather coward and selfish not to follow that example.

Stupid, right. But then I cannot understand why someone would hate this consecuence while agreeing with the belief that causes it.

To show how dangerous and contrary to Scriptures such idea is. I'm genuinely surprised that my words are more shameful to you than the unscriptural, carnally minded teaching I was mocking.

I assume you have readed (and ejoyed doing so) Luther, so you know he wrote truth in astonishingly harsh ways, making my playful thought experiment pale in comparison. I don't think we should be as weak as to be offended by somehting like that.

Then I wonder again what are we arguing, since this I hold true too, that some infants are elect. As some adults are.

Oh... but that's a different thing altogether!

Where do you find support for such assumption? And then again, where do you set the limit between children and adult? Has it always been the same, even when people lived for centuries?

And, finally, how does such proposition (i.e. that all who die young are saved -presuming we all agree on when a child stops being a child) deny that logical follow-up that annoys you so much?

Please, do avoid labelling my words as scandalous again were you as kind as to reply, since that would add nothing to the discussion and distract from its goal.

It would be no different to kill an adult or an unborn infant on the basis of weither or not they are saved, that's not what makes murder wrong.

I'll ask again, if you are saved would it be ok to murder you?

You're not Luther. You're not putting your life in danger by exposing the false Gospel of theocratic tyrants.

Scripture seems to hint that there might be a special intercession for infants. This has been looked at already. Theres an obvious difference in child and adult since there's is distinction between adult and child.

For example: Mark 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

Here Jesus talks specifically about children.

There isn't an approximate age where child becomes adult nor does it make any difference. Living for centuries makes no difference either, people didn't have the mentality of an infant till they were 30 just because people lived longer.

 

​​​​​​​

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areader

It would be no different to kill an adult or an unborn infant on the basis of weither or not they are saved, that's not what makes murder wrong.

I'll ask again, if you are saved would it be ok to murder you?

I'ts very different indeed: while I believe to be saved and you, in charity, believe so too, I think we both agree netiher of us can know whether I am saved or not -we trust and pray so God wills it that way. However, what you claim is that we can positively know that individuals dead under a certain, but yet to be determined, age are doubtlessly saved. Since you hold that there can be no doubt about it, while we both agree we can doubt the fate of dead adults, it follows that the optimal outcome for a human is early decease in order to grant salvation. This is the third time I explain this, do we agree now that there is a difference?

You're not Luther.​​​​​​​

Of course, I just wanted to point out that, luckily, the register of Christian discussion is wide enough as to allow what I posted.

Scripture seems to hint that there might be a special intercession for infants. This has been looked at already.​​​​​​​

Did you read the passages quoted by @William ? Scripture strongly hints otherwise. I still haven't seen any biblical evidence supporting the salvation of every dead child, only the record of two particular cases, such as there are particular cases of redemption for dead adults -and I'm sure neither of us supports universalism.

Theres an obvious difference in child and adult since there's is distinction between adult and child.

For example: Mark 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

Here Jesus talks specifically about children.​​​​​​​

The word used is 'mikron', which AFAIK can be understood as 'litlle' in several ways: not only of age but, quite proper in the context of Mark 9, of littler power, worldly authority or wealth -a humble one. Earlier you referred to the

Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Honestly, I think only if you already hold this belief of necessary redemption of the young dead ones could you read it as an statement supporting it. If you contrast several translations (I cannot read Koine) you'll see He clearly means of those who are like children. Now, beware because using this as support for your claim could mean something dangerously akin to Pelagianism: that we are born sinless. What is to be understood here, methinks, must be in line with the sermon on the Mount of Olives: not to be innocent as children, since they're not, for everybody is under the curse, lusting against the Spirit and capable of nothing but evil -but to be as them in their careless trust and cheerful hope in the promise:Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? -As children, who trust their father to provide such things.

There isn't an approximate age where child becomes adult nor does it make any difference.​​​​​​​

Don't you think this posits an additional problem to this theory?

 

This will probably be my last reply in this thread, since I genuinely see no point in a dispute where one of the stances cannot provide sound biblical support.

I thank you, in particular, for your patience with me.

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Sue D.

To : areader -- you commented that you can't be sure of your own salvation -- that you trust and pray so that God wills it that way. WHY can't you be sure of your own salvation? Because God's Word says that we Can be.

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Just Mike

It apears that for some there is ONLY one way to believe, and any other belief could not possibly be true. Something is wrong here.

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Sue D.
It apears that for some there is ONLY one way to believe, and any other belief could not possibly be true. Something is wrong here.

 

 

 

What Is that one way to believe?

 

Jesus Christ says that "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father, but by Him." John 14:6.

 

 

In the Jewish religion -- a boy becomes a man at age 13. But that wouldn't mean that he doesn't have the ability to distinguish right from wrong until he's 13 ys. old. And that's what's necessary -- a baby up to early childhood can't tell right from wrong. A child --a person Needs to be able to recognize his own sin as such before he /she can repent of it.

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Innerfire89
I'ts very different indeed: while I believe to be saved and you, in charity, believe so too, I think we both agree netiher of us can know whether I am saved or not -we trust and pray so God wills it that way. However, what you claim is that we can positively know that individuals dead under a certain, but yet to be determined, age are doubtlessly saved. Since you hold that there can be no doubt about it, while we both agree we can doubt the fate of dead adults, it follows that the optimal outcome for a human is early decease in order to grant salvation. This is the third time I explain this, do we agree now that there is a difference?

 

Of course, I just wanted to point out that, luckily, the register of Christian discussion is wide enough as to allow what I posted.

 

Did you read the passages quoted by @William ? Scripture strongly hints otherwise. I still haven't seen any biblical evidence supporting the salvation of every dead child, only the record of two particular cases, such as there are particular cases of redemption for dead adults -and I'm sure neither of us supports universalism.

 

The word used is 'mikron', which AFAIK can be understood as 'litlle' in several ways: not only of age but, quite proper in the context of Mark 9, of littler power, worldly authority or wealth -a humble one. Earlier you referred to the

Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Honestly, I think only if you already hold this belief of necessary redemption of the young dead ones could you read it as an statement supporting it. If you contrast several translations (I cannot read Koine) you'll see He clearly means of those who are like children. Now, beware because using this as support for your claim could mean something dangerously akin to Pelagianism: that we are born sinless. What is to be understood here, methinks, must be in line with the sermon on the Mount of Olives: not to be innocent as children, since they're not, for everybody is under the curse, lusting against the Spirit and capable of nothing but evil -but to be as them in their careless trust and cheerful hope in the promise:Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? -As children, who trust their father to provide such things.

 

Don't you think this posits an additional problem to this theory?

 

This will probably be my last reply in this thread, since I genuinely see no point in a dispute where one of the stances cannot provide sound biblical support.

I thank you, in particular, for your patience with me.

 

You're side steping the question, the point is that murdering infants to send them heaven is an act of evil. You say we ought to support something that's one of the most heinous acts imaginable. Your comment was a slap in the face to the members here who believe as I do.

 

I don't know why someone would be so against the possibility that our loving and merciful God would provide attonment to infants who haven't even made a choice to willfully sin.

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