On Thursday, in the Ladies Bible study class on Heaven, a very interesting topic was introduced. What happens to babies that are born and die within a few days or at a year or two. Do they go to heaven?
Before I answer that, as I was listening to the video, I started thinking about all the babies and young children in the families of my ancestors that died early. I did a rough scan on the list of people who are in my Family Tree Maker program. I sorted by their birth dates, which also lists their death dates.
Here is just a list of the ones I found quickly scanning: [These would have been Uncles or Aunts, or Cousins, and even my brother and nephew, that I would have gotten to know or read about.]
“Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, 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.” (Deuteronomy 1:39 KJV) [God’s Mercy]
I have more like this, but I’ll just give those names:
- Artimus Hammond – 29 Jul 1801 – 3 Apr 1803 – less than 2 yrs old – 3rd Great Uncle
- Lydia H. Hammond – 1837 – 9 Aug 1837 – less than a year – No rel
- Jonathan 1 Pasco – 17 Aug 1791 – 21 Apr 1791 – 1 1/2 years – 4th Great Uncle
- Gideon Richmond – 1772-1772 – at birth? – 1st Cousin 5x
- Amasa Cady – 1751-1753 – 2 years – 5th Great Uncle
- Plus more, but you get the trend
“And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?” (Jonah 4:11 KJV) [God’s Mercy]
Here is where it gets interesting while you are tracing your ancestors. Many times, when a child died early, they reused that name or “recycled” the name. Here is an a quote from Genealogy.Com.
Up until this century, parents could usually count on one third of their children not surviving. If a child died, the name was often used again. If a baby died, the next child of the same sex would often be given the same name. When checking birth records, you should never stop when you find the name you are looking for. You should continue for a few more years, because the first child could have died and your ancestor could have been the second child in the family with that name. If an older child died, a younger one would often be named for him or her. If you see George in the 1850 census as a six year old and then in the 1860 census as an eight year old, it may mean the first one died shortly after the 1850 census was taken. [From https://www.genealogy.com/articles/research/35_donna.html%5D
Doesn’t that keep things interesting?
I have several of those in my ancestral lines also.
- Clarina Griswold 1 – 30 May 1731-9 Apr 1732
- Clarina Griswold 2 – 1 Mar 1733-11 Feb 1811 – 9th Great Aunts
- Elizabeth Morris 1 – 12 Feb 1684-19 Feb 1685
- Elizabeth Morris 2 – Feb 1686-17 March 1704 – 7th Great Aunts
- Joseph Turner 1 – 12 Jan 1647 – 15 Jan 1647
- Joseph Turner 2 – Jan 1649 – 13 Feb 1724 – Siblings of 6th Great Grandfather
Now that you have been introduced to many of my relatives, especially babies and young children, we return to the question. Will these babies be in heaven?
According to David Jeremiah, Revealing the Mysteries of Heaven, pg 123, he says this:
“Small children don’t have the ability to understand that an affirmative response to the Gospel is the condition for salvation. They don’t know what they must do to be saved (Acts 16:30-31)”…
“John MacArthur has written, ‘Little children have no reccord of unbelief or evil works, and therefore there is no basis for their deserving an eternity apart from God…They are graciously and soveriegnly saved by God as part of the atoning work of Jesus Christ.’ ”
“Before a child knows how to choose between good and evil, he or she is protected from judgment for sin by the blood of the Lord. If one cannot reasonably accept or reject the payment for sin made by Christ, that person is accepted by God. ‘In the Bible, infants, little children and others who cannot believe are neither told to believe or expected to do so.’ “
He goes on to quote the verses where because of David’s sin, the child by him and Bathsheba is allowed to die. Afterward, he said… “And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:22-23 KJV)
David expected to see that child in heaven one day. I also believe I’ll meet all of these little ones mentioned above: my brother, Jarry; Stanley Robert, my nephew; all of those mentioned above; and the little one that we lost through a miscarriage. [On page 124, he goes into quite a bit about miscarriages and abortions.] There is much more on this topic, but thought it would give encouragement and food for thought as we check out our family trees.
The question for those of us reading this is, do we know the Lord as our personal savior, and are we on our way to heaven? We do understand, and are accountable.