What Happens to Babies When They Die?

As a pastor “What happens to babies when they die?” is the toughest question I get, mainly because it usually comes from a place of very personal pain. Mark Driscoll gives a great and Biblical sound answer to this question. Here’s a clip. You can read the rest here.

I recently preached on the sixth commandment: “You shall not murder” (Exod. 20:13).

In the original language, the command is two simple words: “no murder.” Since the first word is not really debated, I spent an entire hour on the second word:murder. After dealing with issues such as capital punishment and just war, the second half of the sermon focused on the issue of abortion.

It was an intense sermon.

God woke me up at 4:30 a.m. to spend a few hours in prayer, preparing my heart. As I preached, I felt like I was running against a stiff headwind for an hour. I was so fatigued after one sermon that I called it a day. We replayed the sermon on video for the rest of the services, and I went home wiping tears from my eyes and listening to the sound of women and men weeping in our church. My soul just needed to get home to kiss my kids, hold their hands, hear their laughter, and go for a walk with them. Their presence is a healing gift of God’s grace.

The issue of abortion, along with miscarriage and the death of a baby, raises an important biblical question that pastors frequently receive, “Where do dead babies go?”

For me, this issue is deeply personal. We are blessed to have five healthy kids. But Grace also suffered a miscarriage years ago, and it’s a loss we mourn to this day. For some reason, I have a hunch it would have been a son.

The eternal fate of unborn children and infants is a mystery that has always haunted the church. There are three choices available as answers:

1. All babies are elect and thus immediately translated into heaven, awaiting Jesus’ return and the finishing of his work of cosmic redemption.

2. God chooses some babies for heaven and the rest are left to spend eternity in hell.

3. All babies are reprobate and thus immediately translated into hell upon death, awaiting the final eternal judgment for their sin nature inherited from Adam.
 

I’ve never encountered a Christian theologian who holds to answer #3, which leaves answer #1 (universal infant salvation) and answer #2 (infant salvation). These are the two options that have been debated throughout Christian history.

If you serve at a church how to you help parents who have just lost a baby?

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