Can Children Go to Hell?
by Ted Jones
Evangelicals are divided in their opinion about the fate of infants who die.
Some, who believe in God's sovereign election of the "few," also believe that non-elect babies who die will spend eternity suffering in hell. John Calvin said, "there are babies a span long in hell."
Others consider this unfair, and assert that infants who die will spend eternity in heavenly bliss. This of course is true, but not because the child is innocent. It's true because the Scriptures teach that God intends to save everyone from everything that they need to be saved from.
A few years ago there was a story in a Montreal paper about an Ohio lady who drowned her baby in a bathtub. Her defense was that she loved the baby so much that she wanted to make sure that her child would not have to suffer forever in hell. After serving a sentence she remarried, had another child and drowned it for the same reason. She trusted that God would forgive her because her intention, though warped by false theology, was for the good of her children.
The jury decided that she was mentally ill, BUT WAS SHE? The simple pragmatic fact remains that if Arminianism is right, her two infants will spend eternity in heavenly bliss because she loved them so much that she insured, by killing them, that this will be so.
Apparently, many Christians believe that there is a magical split-second in time before which a child, if they die, will go to heaven, and after which, if they die will spend eternity suffering in hell. They call this the "age of accountability."
If I believed this nonsense I would take a gun into the largest maternity ward in Toronto and, before the police arrived, kill every infant who had just been born. This would cause an enormous amount of suffering to the parents, but this wouldn't matter much in the long run, because probably most of them (according to evangelical theology) are destined to suffer forever in hell anyway, so why not save their babies from the same fate?
Don't try to argue that what I would be doing would be wrong ("thou shalt not kill"). The fact remains that my act would, in fact insure the eternal salvation of the babies. If Arminianism is right, then infanticide would certainly be one of the most effective ways of "saving souls." Besides, God forgives murder, especially when it is done for such a noble, though misguided cause. Sure, they would lock me away in an institution, but I would spend my life revelling in the glow of the emotional high of knowing that I had, beyond any shadow of a doubt guaranteed the salvation of the babies that I had killed.
Folks, the actual truth about the matter is much more sane and blessed. The Scriptures teach that salvation is all of the Lord, and He will not fail to save every one of us according to His own timing. No one will be able to boast in His presence and say, "I have saved myself from eternal hell by exercising my faith in God's provision. God will get all of the glory for everyone's salvation.
The important issue never should be "what is right or what is wrong." The only really important issue is, "What is God going to do with the person who is wrong?" The Scriptures teach that God will fit every one of us into His master plan in a positive way, and He will use our temporary involvement with sin to teach us the lessons that He wants us to learn. As my Dad often says, "That's what makes Him God!"
Tentmaker's Other Sites: What the Hell Is Hell?