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					                                      INFANT SALVATION

   Is there such a thing as Infant Salvation? What does the Bible say about this topic? Why
should we be concerned about it? Two reasons: God forbid, that an infant or child dies we
can know ahead of time what the Bible says; also, to see what the Scriptures say about the
„age of accountability.‟ This topic was precipitated by our upcoming V.B.S., and Dr. Ed
Bedore‟s article in the B.B.I. Bulletin by the same title.

   The Bible does not extensively cover this topic of what happens to infants & children
who die, perhaps for good reason, but there are some conclusions we can draw from what it
does say.
   I believe babies who do not survive in this life are not lost, but saved, or maybe a better
term is kept SAFE. The main reason for the lack of biblical information about this subject is
that the Bible is the written Words of God dealing with sinful man, man‟s free will, and
God‟s offer of redemption. Though infants and children are born with a sin nature that is
passed to them through their biological parents from Adam (Rom.5:12), THEY are not
morally responsible for their sin until they are old enough to understand their plight or
condition. We sometimes call this the age of accountability (though that term is NOT in the
Scriptures). There are several factors that should lead us to believe that infants/children are
kept SAFE in the hand of God until they reach that age.

Goodness of God
      God‟s greatest attribute is that of His love and goodness. He is perfect in His holiness
and all that He does is right[eous] (Psa.145:17). He can never do anything that is not right or
unfair, so that it is difficult to believe that God could hold anyone responsible for their sin
nature when they are not old enough to comprehend that THEY ARE SINNERS. This
would also include anyone who does not have the mental capability of understanding his or
her moral dilemma.

Conscience of Man
    After the fall of mankind in the garden of Eden God put within mankind a Conscience
with which to tell the difference between right and wrong (Gen.3:7). Unfortunately, the
Conscience of man was quickly overridden by his sinful nature (Gen.4:8), so that the Law
was given of God so that Israel would have a system of rules (laws) whereby man could live
peaceable with one another. Though Gentiles were not strictly under the Mosaic Law
almost all Gentile nations adopted a system of laws to protect its citizens (Rom.2:14,15).
Babies are conceived by sinful parents (Psa.51:5), and therefore are born with a sin nature,
but the Conscience is not activated or fully developed until later, as well as the capacity to
comprehend the breaking of societal laws.

Age of Accountability
   When does this begin? It depends. The Bible does not state a specific age, but it does
refer to it in a general way. Moses stated…

“Moreover your little ones…and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil,
 they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it” (Deut.1:39).
The Israelite children were not held accountable for the sins of their fathers who did not
trust God to enter into the Promised Land. The prophet Isaiah…

“For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land thou abhorrest shall be
                                forsaken of both her kings” (Isa.7:16).

This prophecy stated that in a period of a few years (it doesn‟t say how many) the kings of
Syria & Judah would be removed from power.

The Teaching of Jesus
     It is clear that during His earthly ministry Jesus was not holding Jewish children
accountable for sin…

“And they brought unto him also infants…Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid
                them not: for of such is the kingdom of God…” (Lk.18:15,16).

The Example of David’s Two Sons
      Absalom was killed in an attempt to overthrow his father‟s (King David) throne, which
caused David inconsolable grief. Why? Absalom, because of the life he had led with no
evidence of repentance & faith (like his father), appeared spiritually lost (2Sam.18:33; 19:1-8).
When David‟s illegitimate son born as a result of his affair with Bathsheba became gravely
ill, David again mourned exceedingly (2Sam.12:13-18), but after the child died, he quickly
recovered and was at peace (2Sam.12:19-23). The rebellious son who was lost David knew
he would not see again, but he knew he would see the infant son again in the next life!

The Gospel Message Today
     God‟s free gift of salvation is today offered to those who KNOW they have sinned
(Rom.3:23), and BELIEVE Jesus is the Savior (Rom.10:9). We believe that those who are
not mentally able to understand these requirements will be automatically covered by the
blood of Christ who died for ALL (1Tim.1:15; 2:4), and kept eternally SAFE.

Why Worry?
      Since no one knows the „age of accountability‟ we should not fret over it, instead get
busy and begin teaching the „gospel of the grace of God‟ to our children at the earliest
possible age. Then, when they are able to understand, it will be 2 nd nature for them to
believe & accept it. Why do we provide a week of V.B.S. for children each summer? It is an
opportunity to reach out to the children of our community to begin that salvation process…

     “Train up a child in the way he should go [trusting in the gospel of the cross for
           salvation]: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov.22:6).


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