Hi, I am a Christian but i just have one question that I am really not sure of. I was wondering about aborted babies and little children who do not really know right from wrong or are too young to understand about Christ. Also, mentally ill people who can't make a decision for Christ on their own.
What happens to them? I'm sure that God will bring them into heaven but please clarify this for me. Do they surely go to heaven or what? I would appreciate it if you help me. Thanks.
My response is in Green:
I can give you my best guess, but to be honest the Bible does not directly answer that question. I think we can get a lot of information from what the Bible does tell us, but to make a doctrinal stand is hard.
Let me start by saying that God tells us who He is. He tells us that he does not take pleasure in the death of anyone. He tells us that He loves everyone. He tells us that He is just, fair, and merciful. Since we know all that about God, it is hard to believe that He would sentence anyone to hell if they had no choice in the matter. Now let me show you a couple of other passages which I think might help.
(Ezekiel 18:4 NIV) For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son--both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.
Notice last part of that statement: The soul who sins is the one who will die. Now a baby cannot sin, nor can a person who is so mentally ill that they can't understand right from wrong. Now think back to the Garden of Eden. What was Adam and Eve's sin? It was disobedience, but how? They ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As soon as they ate they realized their sin. My point is that only a person who understands right and wrong (good and evil) understands sin. Even man's law takes into account the ability of the person who committed a crime to know right from wrong. Technically the reason a person who is not able to know right from wrong is not convicted is because they did not commit a crime. See you have to understand right from wrong in order to commit a crime, otherwise it was not truly a crime. It was wrong and it would have been a crime if the person had known right from wrong, but since they didn't it wasn't. If man can understand that then why would God be different?
Again let me stress that I am making assumptions. God has the right to do whatever He pleases. If He wants to sentence unborn babies and mentally ill people to hell, it is His right as Creator, however, I don't believe that is who He has shown us in His word that He is. I hope I am making my point without being too confusing.
One other passage of Scripture might help. As you will remember King David committed adultery with Bathsheba and she had a baby. God confronted David with that sin and told him that the baby would die. David fasted and prayed in hopes that God would change His mind and allow the child to live. That did not happen, the baby died. The interesting part is what happens next. Let me quote:
(2 Samuel 12:23 NIV) But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.
Many people (including me) take that statement as hope that children go to heaven. David knew where he was going when he died, so to say that he would go to the child would be the same thing as saying the child is in heaven. Again we are making some assumptions, but I think we can back them up with good solid theological grounds.
Jesus made a statement that some people think means that no one who has not accepted Christ (even if they are not capable) will make it to heaven. Here it is: (John 14:6 NIV) Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
At first look, I will admit that is what this appears to say, but we have to dig deeper and we have to remember God's character as He has shown it to us in His word. We know that He is just, merciful and loving. Those attibutes would say that He would not judge someone for something that was out of their control, but what about what Jesus said?
Look at this passage: (Mark 15:38 NIV) The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. This curtain was what separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. The ark of the covenant was in the Holy of Holies. The ark which had the mercy seat and where God dealt (symbolically) among the Israelites. Only the High Priest could enter into the Holy of Holies and he could do it only once a year. He had to have a rope tied around his ankle so that if he went in and had any unconfessed sin and God killed him, others could pull him out.
This begins to show us the significance of the curtain being torn from top to bottom. It was torn by God, it was torn because of Jesus' death (His sacrifice for our sins). His death opened the way for all of us to come to the Father. (Hebrews 4:15-16 NIV)  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. We can approach the throne of grace only because Jesus died for us.
Now my point to all of this is that if an aborted child is allowed into heaven that child is only there because of what Jesus did on the cross. So as Jesus said, no one comes to the Father except through Him. There is no other way.
I hope that helps. I wish there was a passage that came right out and said but there is none.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)
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