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I've heard people say that this is true, but I don't see enough Biblical proof for it. What do you all think?


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Are those who die young always part of the elect?
Why would they be? Or perhaps one should ask, "What would qualify anybody to be part of the elect? What would there be in any fallen human being which would commend them or even be worthy of God's consideration?" <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Ponder.gif" alt="" />

I believe in "UNconditional Election"! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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I don't see any biblical support for that idea. SOME certainly are elect, but there is no idication that ALL are.


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I'm in complete agreement with you. I was making sure I wan't missing anything there. Like I said, I don't see enough Biblical proof to say all infants are elect. To say that all infants are elect is to base our theology on man's reasoning rather than on God's revelation. It's like they're saying God would be "unfair" to send children to hell.


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It's like they're saying God would be "unfair" to send children to hell.
Humanly speaking little babies appear so helpless and inocent but "there is none righteous, no, not one." (Rom. 3:10) "There is none who does good." (Psalm 14:3) "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23)


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Also, the following verses talk about how we are sinful from birth.

"The wicked are estranged from the womb; They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies." (Psalm 58:3)

"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,And in sin my mother conceived me." (Ps. 51:5)

It just shows how utterly sinful man is. Even in what many consider his most pure and innocent state, his nature is already fully corrupted by sin. I agree with the WCF that elect infants will go to heaven, but not all. For those who believe that all children who die before a certain age go to heaven, I think that if they followed the implications of their beliefs to the logical end, they may arrive at some strange ideas.

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King David seemed very confident that he would see his infant son in Heaven (2Sam 12:23).

However, I believe the best course of action for a Christian who loses a child is simply to lay them in the hands of a loving and righteous God, who does all things well, and say, "Thy will be done."

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grace2U said:
King David seemed very confident that he would see his infant son in Heaven (2Sam 12:23).
I'll grant you that this is probably the most popular way that this text has been interpreted. But it isn't necessarily the only possible one. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/flee.gif" alt="" /> It is just as feasible that the text is saying, that the child is dead and cannot return to life but he (David) will one day die and thus join him, i.e., he too will be put into the grave.

Regardless of which interpretation one chooses, what the text does not teach is the universal salvation of infants who die in infancy. Nor is there any warrant to make David the paradigm of all believers and his dead son as representative of every believer's child. Such interpretations are nothing more than "eisogesis"; a reading into the text of one's preconceived ideas.

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Well, I agree with Spurgeon in the matter.

"I rejoice to know that the souls of all infants, as soon as they die, speed their way to Paradise. Think what a multitude there is of them!"

Even an "elect" infant, or fetus that has been torn apart in their mother's womb has not had the opportunity to be preached the gospel. They have not had any time to understand. Who is anyone to say that every infant that has died, for whatever reason, has not been elected by God? No one can even say that only elect infants go to heaven. No one has ever seen evidence of such a thing.

Yes we are born in sin.. I am not even saying we aren't, but in the same way that you say that somehow, mysteriously, an "elect" infant goes to heaven.. no one can say that every baby born and unborn that dies is not elect.

God obviously, since He is sovereign, is in control of who lives, who dies, and when.. and who is elect.

(I edited this a bit.. to change some wording and add some stuff.)
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Even an "elect" infant, or fetus that has been torn apart in their mother's womb has not had the opportunity to be preached the gospel. They have not had any time to understand.
So, if I understand your reasoning here, it would be "unfair" on God's part to condemn a foetus to hell because there was no "chance" to hear the gospel and if there had been, this person might have made a decision for Christ and been saved? scratch1 Along the same line of thinking, are you saying that if a person hasn't had the time to understand, then it would be "unfair" on God's part to send them to hell?

Of course, you probably knew I was going to have to question these things, eh? grin Where in the Scripture does it say that everyone/anyone is owed an "opportunity" to hear the gospel and make a decision to believe on Christ? If this were true, then it must also be true that all who have never heard the gospel are saved? or perhaps Billy Graham is right and there will be a "second chance" after death for such as have not heard the gospel in this life? Same could be posited for the "understanding" qualification as well.

But what I read in Scripture is that ALL are conceived in sin, ALL are born spiritually dead, ALL have the guilt of Adam's transgression imputed to them, ALL our under the wrath of God and condemnation, ALL are void of any goodness, etc. And I also read that unless God in His mercy regenerates a person, there is no hope for them nor any justification to believe that they can or will be saved. So again, I ask you, what is there in an infant that would negate the corruption of nature, guilt and sentence of condemnation that would commend them to God? Can you point to even one single verse that would perhaps even hint that all infants are elect?

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No one can even say that only elect infants go to heaven. No one has ever seen evidence of such a thing.
And how would one "see evidence"? Have anyone seen evidence that anyone has gone to heaven? If an infant is elect, then no evidence is needed to say that they have gone to heaven, is there? Isn't God's infallible Word evidence enough? God's promise of salvation isn't restricted to one group of the elect and not another. Elect is elect . . .!

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but in the same way that you say that somehow, mysteriously, an "elect" infant goes to heaven.. no one can say that every baby born and unborn that dies is not elect.
I think you have me confused with someone else? I have never said anything like that, i.e., "mysteriously, an 'elect' infant goes to heaven". I certainly believe that elect infants go to heaven by virtue of not only their election but that their sins have been atoned for by Christ and that they are "mysteriously" united to Him by faith. As to the second part of your statement, I would refer you back to the paragraph above concerning the state of ALL of the human race at conception. What we can say is ALL are by nature "children of wrath". We can also say that a "remnant" of mankind is saved by grace. And we can say that the elect are those who believe upon Christ. Anything more is basicly wishful thinking; a hope that infants are included. And even this hope must be undeniably restricted to the infants of believers. Should God save any others, it is by grace. But whether He does has not been revealed in Scripture.


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Hi there <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Well, maybe you could teach me how to do the "quote" thing? I would much appreciate that.. sorry that is off topic!

I was not referring to you Pilgrim when I said 'you.' LOL.. just "you" in general.. as in those who hold this position. That's all I meant. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

I also didn't say anything about anyone being "owed" a chance at salvation. No one is owed a thing by almighty God. But He does tell us that in order for one to be saved, there must be repentance and belief. Faith. No infant has ever had that. Yes, ALL are born with a sinful nature. Even elect infants. Someone on this board did say that somehow, elect infants go to heaven. Everyone here agrees at least that much.. that elect infants go.

What I am saying is that I do NOT believe that God overlooks those who may not have had the chance to hear the gospel. I am saying that I believe that God knew those babies would die. In whatever way they died. They were going to die and that was that. The killers are responsible, but God is sovereign. He knew there would be no chance whatsoever for that infant to know Him, to be preached the gospel, to repent and believe.

Now, you all say that somehow God's election covers those elected infants who were also born in sin. I am saying, that I believe there is no reason to think that God did not elect every infant/fetus that ever came into existence. There is no proof, and you say so yourself. But I do say that Jesus Himself was very fond of the little children. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I cannot imagine that God, in His infinite mercy would send an infant to the fires of hell. He is merciful and loving. Enough to die for His people. I don't see any thing wrong with believing that He included all those babies.

I totally believe that all these children that die such a torturous death at the hands of horrible people.. that they feel the pain.. and are recieved into the comforting arms of a loving heavenly Father. And I believe that to be the case for any infant.

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If every infant is elected, why isn't every human saved?
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I totally believe that all these children that die such a torturous death at the hands of horrible people.. that they feel the pain.. and are recieved into the comforting arms of a loving heavenly Father. And I believe that to be the case for any infant.
Scripture please?

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Pilgrim said, "Anything more is basicly wishful thinking; a hope that infants are included. And even this hope must be undeniably restricted to the infants of believers. Should God save any others, it is by grace. But whether He does has not been revealed in Scripture."

I also agreed in my post that this is not proven in scripture. Of that no one denies.

Why isn't every human saved? Well maybe they would be if every single person who ever lived.... died in the womb or in infancy. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rofl.gif" alt="" />

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What we can say is ALL are by nature "children of wrath". We can also say that a "remnant" of mankind is saved by grace. And we can say that the elect are those who believe upon Christ. Anything more is basicly wishful thinking; a hope that infants are included. And even this hope must be undeniably restricted to the infants of believers. Should God save any others, it is by grace. But whether He does has not been revealed in Scripture.
I agree that we cannot know for sure what happens to babies when they die, but I would take the hopeful view that David's baby went to heaven and that this was the comfort David was given in his sorrow. That doesn't necessarily mean that every baby of David's would necessarily go to heaven because they were his children. There is strong evidence that neither Absolom nor Amnon were elect.
Why should this hope be limited to the children of believers?
God saves His elect from non-Christian families every day, doesn't He? And wouldn't it be all of grace no matter who it is that He elects?

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Susan said:

"There is strong evidence that neither Absolom nor Amnon were elect."

I agree Susan <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />.. I guess my point is that they were not babies when they died..

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But He does tell us that in order for one to be saved, there must be repentance and belief. Faith. No infant has ever had that.

Are you so sure? It seems that John the Baptist was regenerated even in the womb: When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened that the mother of my Lord would come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy" (Luke 1:41--44).


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Why isn't every human saved? Well maybe they would be if every single person who ever lived.... died in the womb or in infancy.
Wrong question! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> The right question is "Why is ANY person saved?"

Why do you have this idea that unborn infants and babies are somehow more deserving of salvation than an adult? You have said that you can't imagine God sending an infant/fetus to hell. Why is that? Are they somehow qualified where an adult isn't? Again, I ask you to show me from Scripture where any human being, aside from the Lord Christ, isn't born with: 1) an inherited corruption of nature (dead in sins), and 2) the imputed guilt of Adam's transgression, either of which is sufficient in itself to condemn one to eternal punishment?

This is something most every Arminian, Liberal, cultist, etc., claims; i.e., that until an overt sin is committed, the person is innocent and thus should that person die, they are saved. This is especially said of infants and the unborn. But the Scripture teaches that men are condemned to hell for two reasons: 1) because of who they are by nature, and 2) because of sins committed due to that nature. I don't see where infants or the unborn are exempt? Can you show me where this is mentioned in the Bible? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" />

You also said in a previous post, that infants can't/don't have faith. Oh really? How do you know this? Since repentance and faith are both fruits of regeneration, and regeneration is the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit as He wills which He works in all of God's elect, then why are the unborn and/or infants incapable of being regenerated, faith created and somehow expressed, perhaps by the reaching out of the soul. This would be no different than a cognizant adult, except that an adult has the physical ability to express what the soul does spiritually; e.g., make a vocal profession of faith.

So, I again affirm that I agree with the WCF statement on the salvation of "elect infants". They are certainly salvable, for is there anything too hard for God? That even one person is saved is incomprehensible when one realizes just how sinful a human being is from conception. And if only one person was ever saved, it would be by an infinite expression of mercy and grace.

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Well, all I will say is that I do NOT agree with you, or with the WCF in this matter. I have never said that anyone deserves salvation, or that infants are somehow MORE deserving of heaven. Somehow you can assert that an elect infant goes to heaven. Somehow, elect infants are saved by grace, through faith etc. How can you say without a doubt that God does not do this with every baby? So how do you know that any baby is in heaven?

The issue is NOT whether an infant is more deserving of salvation. I have never said that. But I don't know how you can say that only an elect infant as opposed to non elect infants go to heaven. How do you even know this?? You said yourself that there is no proof of any of this.

Another brought up John the baptist as proof of faith in the womb.. well that's great <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I believe it.. but did Mary walk through town, and "elect" children in the womb do the same? Did pregnant women start bending over in the street as Mary walked by because their babies were "leaping?" The bible does not say that.

I am not going to argue about this.. this is where I stand on the matter. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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But I don't know how you can say that only an elect infant as opposed to non elect infants go to heaven. How do you even know this??
I know this because it is one of the most perspicuous doctrines of Scripture and of the Reformed Faith; also known as "Unconditional Election". Only those who have been chosen by God to share in the salvation wrought by Christ are saved. There are only two groups of people in the world; those who are elected to salvation and those who have been predestined to eternal punishment. A remnant makes up the former and the vast majority of the race of mankind the other.

Since you deny that unborn infants and/or babies are not any more "deserving" than any other individual, to which I unreservedly agree, then God is certainly under no obligation to save any of them. They are deserving of eternal punishment only as is all of mankind. Since the Scriptures do speak of a few individuals who were regenerated in the womb, albeit they are the rare exception, it does show that unborn infants can be saved should they die before birth or as infants.

Only the elect receive salvation. It is impossible that a non-elect can be saved. For to be "non-elect" is synonymous with to be "reprobate", i.e., predestined to eternal punishment.

You are certainly free to believe what you want on this subject. But unfortunately, you don't have a biblical leg to stand on in its defense. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/sorry.gif" alt="" />

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How can you say without a doubt that God does not do this with every baby? So how do you know that any baby is in heaven?

In order; Because everybody elected to salvation is saved. Since we know not every human is saved, we can know that some people, infants included, are not of the elect. We don't know if any babies specifically are in heaven, just that scripture supports the idea of babies being elect.

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Another brought up John the baptist as proof of faith in the womb.. well that's great. I believe it.. but did Mary walk through town, and "elect" children in the womb do the same?

Would they have to for it to be true for John? No.


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Dear Michele,

Some time back this subject came up in another thread and I used Mark 10 to show Pilgrim (and others) the very strong Biblical indication that all of those who die in infancy are in all likelyhood 'elect'.

They were of course, thoroughly convinced and completely won over by my sound argument,<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Soapbox.gif" alt="" /> but they have apparently backslidden back to their old position.<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/drop.gif" alt="" />

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Another brought up John the baptist as proof of faith in the womb.. well that's great I believe it.. but did Mary walk through town, and "elect" children in the womb do the same? Did pregnant women start bending over in the street as Mary walked by because their babies were "leaping?" The bible does not say that.

The point of that example was to show that even in the womb, a child can be regenerated and have faith. It is not to say that every woman Mary walked by who was pregnant with an elect child had leaping babies.


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I just thought of something:

If all infants who die go to heaven, then let's go kill all the infants.

I found Pilgrim's answers to you in that thread to be the most logical ones. The issue relates somewhat to the whole "man on the island" scenario. If those who never hear the Gospel always go to Heaven, then let's destry all our Bible, all our gospel tracts, etc. and leave everybody in ignorance.

Not that it would change God's mind because He has elected those He whom has elected, according to His good pleasure and not our own desires.


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How are the elect infants who die justified and sanctified? I would say in the same way we are- justified by faith and sanctified as God conforms us to be like Christ.


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Michele,
My Mother lost four babies by miscarriage and she is an unbeliever. I do sympathize with Spurgeon's and your view on this. I also know that God hates abortion and the child sacrifices done in the OT days. God hasn't chosen to reveal these things to us for some reason. Whatever He chooses to do, I have every confidence that the Judge of the World will do right.

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Since we don't know, who are we to say that He doesn't save all infants? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" /> Personally, I can't, with a clear conscience, say that there are infants in hell. But I don't say that it isn't possible. But who are we to make God less merciful, or even seem that way? What if, to show how merciful He really is, He did so by taking those people in infancy to save them some kind of physical suffering here on earth or something?

Just thinking out loud...

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Pilgrim said:
or perhaps Billy Graham is right and there will be a "second chance" after death for such as have not heard the gospel in this life?

Did Billy Graham really say this??? I'm curious if you have a source you can point us to about this? Wow, if this is true, that really changes my perspective of Billy Graham.

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Janean,

I don't have one of the several sources handy where Billy Graham has said this. But it is well-known that this is his position. I'm sure there are people here who could supply you with a link to an online source, and/or a book, interview, article where he has affirmed this.


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Personally, I can't, with a clear conscience, say that there are infants in hell.
And again, the question must be asked, "WHY? Why is it you cannot or will not believe that there are infants in hell?" What is there about an infant which you "feel" qualifies it for heaven? Is there some "special dispensation" for infants which overrides Original Sin? Or, perhaps you don't accept the doctrine of Original Sin and hold that all humans are conceived and born into this world with a "tabula rasa" (blank slate) as to morals, i.e., they are innocent until they commit some overt sin? Would God be less merciful if He only saved one single individual from the entire race, and that a 90 year old man? Why is it more merciful to save an infant compared to an adult?

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sbc_and_reformed said:
I just thought of something:

If all infants who die go to heaven, then let's go kill all the infants.

I found Pilgrim's answers to you in that thread to be the most logical ones. The issue relates somewhat to the whole "man on the island" scenario. If those who never hear the Gospel always go to Heaven, then let's destry all our Bible, all our gospel tracts, etc. and leave everybody in ignorance.

Very good points. It seems one has to be consistent. If we're going to say all the babies are saved (this too has been my view actually), then what about the adult people who have never heard the gospel?? Michelle, what do you specifically say about these people?? And then too, it's not only infants, but what about the profoundly mentally retarded people out there that have been in this state since birth and then they grow up with adult bodies?? They are in the same exact spot as the "innocent" baby that can never have an opportunity for repenting because they don't even know they are alive.

I think another point is that we are looking at ourselves here in just the physical dimension. Yes it is very difficult for me to think a baby can go to hell - because as a mom I have loved (and still love - I have a 18 month old) my babies so much, they are just so cute, etc. But our babies (just like us) have just a physical shell on us here. And we have to kind of forget that part. There is our spirit and that's the part that lives forever.

This is a good thread and is making me think more. I guess I might have to throw out my belief about the baby thing because this has been my belief (like Michelle) that I thought all babies are covered under Christ's blood because they will never get a chance to hear and decide. But that just doesn't make sense because then if one is going to say that, then that means all the adults out there who never heard the gospel also are covered under the blood too.
That certainly doesn't make sense from what I know of Scripture (and I'm sure there are Christians out there who believe this).

My personal thought is that the babies go to heaven thing is something that sounds "nice" and that we hear preached. In fact I heard Tony Evans say this very thing a while ago. (actually I wonder about some of his theology, I'm not a Tony Evans "fan" - he just happens to be on WMBI that I listen to).

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My personal thought is that the babies go to heaven thing is something that sounds "nice" and that we hear preached.

I think this is exactly what happens! As human beings, we think that our "babies" are so sweet and innocent, but in God's eyes, they are sinners! We must remember;

Isaiah 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD."

Ezekiel 18:25 "Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?"

We are thinking emotionally when we think of babies as innocent, we are thinking "our way"!

In His Hands,

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In fact I heard Tony Evans say this very thing a while ago. (actually I wonder about some of his theology, I'm not a Tony Evans "fan" - he just happens to be on WMBI that I listen to)


Hereis a helpful thread on Tony Evans' idea of "election"

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Michele,

Since you're pretty convinced that all infants who die will go to heaven at what age then do you think they loose this privilege? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratch1.gif" alt="" />

I'm just wondering if you have any thoughts on that.


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"We are thinking emotionally when we think of babies as innocent, we are thinking "our way"!"

Amen to that.
There are some people that think so emotionally that they dismiss out right any teaching about God that doesn't fit in to the box that their own mind has created.

janean #12451 Sat Mar 13, 2004 3:48 PM
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Janean,
Here is the interview that was on The Hour of Power.
This is from the transcript of that conversation.
Dr. Schuller: Tell me, what is the future of Christianity?

Dr. Graham: I think there's the body of Christ, which comes from all the Christian groups around the world or outside the Christian groups. I think that everybody that loves Christ or knows Christ whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members of the body of Christ and I don't think that we're going to see a great, sweeping revival that will turn the whole world to Christ at any time.

In other words, what he's saying is that there are people in the body of Christ who never heard of Christ so we don't need to expect that they're all going to come to Christ they're going to come another way.

Further he says, God's purpose for this age is to call out a people for His name and that's what God is doing today. He's calling people out of the world for His name whether they come from the Muslim world or the Buddhist world or the Christian world or the non-believing world. they are members of the body of Christ because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don't have and they turn to the only light they have and I think they're saved and they're going to be with us in heaven.

Dr. Schuller responded: What I hear you saying is that it's possible for Jesus Christ to come into a human heart and soul and life even if they've been born in darkness and have never heard and never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you're saying?

Dr. Graham: Yes, it is because I believe that. I've met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations who've never seen a Bible or heard about a Bible have never heard of Jesus but they've believed in their hearts that there is a God and they've tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived.
[MY thought is that if Billy Graham met them, why didn't he share the gospel with them? rolleyes2

Dr. Schuller: This is fantastic! I'm so thrilled to hear you say that. There is a wideness in God's mercy!

Dr. Graham: here is. There certainly is.



I am not familiar with this site, but this is where I found that interview. I wasn't able to find the whole interview anywhere. Maybe someone else can.
http://www.christianarsenal.com/Apologetics/WhoisaChristian.htm

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This interview is interesting, but it seems to be a different thing than saying one has a second chance after death. The view Billy Graham is saying kind of makes sense to me because it is what I guess I've been believing all along with this predestination issue. But one thing what I struggle with - what doesn't makes sense to me - is that one can come to God without having known about Jesus. So then I think of Romans 1:19-20 which sounds like men have no excuse about God (even though they've never heard the gospel - never heard about the Bible,God, Jesus) so that has made me think that there is some "chance" for salvation for the person who has never heard of Jesus (like Billy G. just explained). And maybe I'm misinterpreting these verses here, but that's what I've kind of thought. And it may have originally even come from Billy Graham's teaching since he's so popular. Very interesting about Billy Graham. Seems like I've seen "negative" things somewhere about him searching around the "fundamentalist/conservative" sites and wondered if there was really something behind all of it or the "fundamentalists" are just making a big deal out of nothing - didn't ever really check it out. I would say a lot of people I know would agree with the BIlly Graham view- so do you see where I come from?? This is why your site interests me, because I've never really known clearly where I stand on this predestination/Calvinism issue.

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Janean,
compare Romans 10 with Billy Graham's words.
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v. 8 But what does it say? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart(that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

14 But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us? 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

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Janean: But one thing what I struggle with - what doesn't makes sense to me - is that one can come to God without having known about Jesus.
From this passage of Scripture, they can't because faith comes by hearing the gospel and believing it.
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So then I think of Romans 1:19-20 which sounds like men have no excuse about God (even though they've never heard the gospel - never heard about the Bible,God, Jesus) so that has made me think that there is some "chance" for salvation for the person who has never heard of Jesus (like Billy G. just explained).
Well there is enough evidence in creation to show that God exists and to convict men and women of their sin, but not enough light for salvation. For that we need special revelation. Since God is Sovereign, He has no problem gettting the gospel to His elect wherever they are so they can hear and believe. He also commands us to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
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Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
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Matthew 13 v.18 Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. [2] 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.

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Janean,

I have been searching and searching for where Spurgeon says that the profoundly retarded do go to heaven. I can't find it though. I wonder if whomever it was who posted a confession of faith.. the spurgeon "version" or "baptist" version will post it again here? I cannot find it.

However, it was very interesting to read what things Spurgeon did say about this. Things I have already said, and lo and behold, almost the same words by Spurgeon. Anyway, here is a quote by him in one of the series of sermons he preached when they began the church he preached at.

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Among the gross falsehoods which have been uttered against the Calvinists proper, is the wicked calumny that we hold the damnation of little infants. A baser lie was never uttered. There may have existed somewhere, in some corner of the earth, a miscreant who would dare to say that there were infants in hell, but I have never met with him, nor have I met with a man who ever saw such a person. We say, with regard to infants, Scripture saith but little, and, therefore, where Scripture is confessedly scant, it is for no man to determine dogmatically. But I think I speak for the entire body, or certainly with exceedingly few exceptions, and those unknown to me, when I say, we hold that all infants are elect of God and are therefore saved, and we look to this as being the means by which Christ shall see of the travail of his soul to a great degree, and we do sometimes hope that thus the multitude of the saved shall be made to exceed the multitude of the lost. Whatever views our friends may hold upon the point, they are not necessarily connected with Calvinistic doctrine. I believe that the Lord Jesus, who said, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven," doth daily and constantly receive into his loving arms those tender ones who are only shown, and then snatched away to heaven. Our hymns are no ill witness to our faith on this point, and one of them runs thus:


"Millions of infant souls compose
The family above."

"Toplady, one of the keenest of Calvinists, was of this number. "In my remarks," says he, "on Dr. Nowell, I testified my firm belief that the souls of all departed infants are with God in glory; that in the decree of predestination to life, God hath included all whom he decreed to take away in infancy, and that the decree of reprobation hath nothing to do with them." Nay, he proceeds farther, and asks, with reason, how the anti-Calvinistic system of conditional salvation and election, or good works foreseen, will suit with the salvation of infants? It is plain that Arminians and Pelagians must introduce a new principle of election; and in so far as the salvation of infants is concerned, become Calvinists. Is it not an argument in behalf of Calvinism, that its principle is uniform throughout, and that no change is needed on the ground on which man is saved, whether young or old? John Newton, of London, the friend of Cowper, noted for his Calvinism, holds that the children in heaven exceed its adult inhabitants in all their multitudinous array. Gill, a very champion of Calvinism, held the doctrine, that all dying in infancy are saved. An intelligent modern writer, (Dr. Russell, of Dundee,) also a Calvinist, maintains the same views; and when it is considered that nearly one-half of the human race die in early years, it is easy to see what a vast accession must be daily and hourly making to the blessed population of heaven."

So not all hold to infants/fetus' going to hell. Personally, I don't see how God could give us mothers those "claws" to protect our babies if He did not have the same sense of protection for them.

Also, to me, comparing an infant to an adult who has never heard the gospel is comparing apples to oranges. God ordained that an infant would die when they did. So comparing them is like saying "what if this, what if that" and that never goes anywhere. There was never any different path that an infant who has died had a chance at. It was decreed that they would die when they did. So an adult who has never heard the gospel has his own accountability before God.

To say, "let's go kill all the infants" does not even in any little miniscule way deserve any of my attention. What an absolutely awful thing to say. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/mad3.gif" alt="" />

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Here is another quote by Spurgeon. I hope I do it right.. I am only copying parts of this sermon, it would be too long to copy the whole thing, and it is already very long.

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II. This brings me now to note THE REASONS WHY WE THUS THINK INFANTS ARE SAVED.
First, we ground our conviction very much upon the goodness of the nature of God. We say that the opposite doctrine that some infants perish and are lost, is altogether repugnant to the idea which we have of Him whose name is love. If we had a God, whose name was Moloch, if God were an arbitrary tyrant, without benevolence or grace, we could suppose some infants being cast into hell; but our God, who heareth the young ravens when they cry, certainly will find no delight in the shrieks and cries of infants cast away from his presence. We read of him that he is so tender, that he careth for oxen, that he would not have the mouth of the ox muzzled, that treadeth out the corn. Nay, he careth for the bird upon the nest, and would not have the mother bird killed while sitting upon its nest with its little ones. He made ordinances and commands even for irrational creatures. He finds food for the most loathsome animal, nor does he neglect the worm any more than the angel, and shall we believe with such universal goodness as this, that he would cast away the infant soul I say it would he clear contrary to all that we have ever read or ever believed of Him, that our faith would stagger before a revelation which should display a fact so singularly exceptional to the tenor of his other deeds. We have learned humbly to submit our judgments to his will, and we dare not criticise or accuse the Lord of All; we believe him to be just, let him do as he may, and? Therefore, whatever he might reveal we would accept; but he never has, and I think he never will require of us so desperate a stretch of faith as to see goodness in the eternal misery of an infinite cast into hell. You remember when Jonah—petulant, quick-tempered Jonah—would have Nineveh perish God gave it as the reason why Nineveh should not be destroyed, that there were in it more than six score thousand infants,—persons, he said, who knew not their light hand tram their left. If he spared Nineveh that their mortal life might be spared, think you that their immortal souls shall be needlessly cast away! I only put it to your own reason. It is not a case where we need much argument. Would your God cast away an infant? If yours could, I am happy to say he is not the God that I adore.
Again, we think it would be inconsistent utterly with the known character of our Lord Jesus Christ. When his disciples put away the little children whom their anxious mothers brought to him, Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not for of such is the kingdom of heaven," by which he taught, as John Newton very properly says, that such as these made up a very great part of the kingdom of heaven. And when we consider that upon the best statistics it is calculated that more than one third of the human race die in infancy, and probably if we take into calculation those districts where infanticide prevails, as in heathen countries, such as China and the like, perhaps one half of the population of the world die before they reach adult years,—the saying of the Savior derives great force indeed," Of such is the kingdom of heaven." If some remind me that the kingdom of heaven means the dispensation of grace on earth, I answer, yes, it does, and it means the same dispensation in heaven too, for while part of the kingdom of heaven is on earth in the Church, since the Church is always one, that other part of the Church which is above is also the kingdom of heaven. We know this text is constantly used as a proof of baptism, but in the first place, Christ did not baptize them, for "Jesus Christ baptized not;" in the second place, his disciples did not baptize them, for they withstood their coming, and would have driven them away. Then if Jesus did not, and his disciple did not, who did,' It has no more to do with baptism than with circumcision. There is not the slightest allusion to baptism in the text, or in the context; and I can prove the circumcision of infants from it with quite as fair logic as others attempt to prove infant baptism. However, it does prove this, that infants compose a great part of the family of Christ, and that Jesus Christ is known to have had a love and amiableness towards the little ones. When they shouted in the temple, "Hosanna!" did he rebuke them? No; but rejoiced in their boyish shouts. "Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hath God ordained strength," and does not that text seem to say that in heaven there shall be "perfect praise" rendered to God by multitudes of cherubs who were here on earth—your little ones fondled in your bosom—and then suddenly snatched away to heaven. I could not believe it of Jesus, that he would say to little children, "Depart, ye accursed, into everlasting fire in hell!" I cannot conceive it possible of him as the loving and tender one, that when he shall sit to judge all nations, he should put the little ones on the left hand, and should banish them for ever from his presence. Could he address them, and say to them, "I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink, sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not? "How could they do it? And if the main reason of damnation lie in sins of omission like there which it was not possible for them to commit, for want of power to perform the duty how, then, shall he condemn and cast them away?
Furthermore, we think that the ways of grace, if we consider them, render it highly improbable, not to say impossible, that an infant soul should be destroyed. What saith Scripture? "Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." Such a thing as that could not be sail of an infant cast away. We know that God is so abundantly gracious that such expressions as the "unsearchable riches of Christ," "God who is rich in mercy," "A God full of compassion," "The exceeding riches of his grace," and the like are truly applicable without exaggeration or hyperbole. We know that he is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works, and that in grace he is able to do "exceeding abundantly above what we can ask or even think." The grace of God has sought out in the world the greatest sinners. It has not passed by the vilest of the vile. He who called himself the chief of sinners was a partaker of the love of Christ. All manner of sin and of blasphemy have been forgiven unto man. He has been able to save unto the uttermost them that come unto God by Christ, and dons it seem consistent with such grace as this that it should pass by the myriads upon myriads of little ones, who wear the image of the earthy Adam, and never stamp upon them the image of the heavenly? I cannot conceive such a thing. He that has tasted and felt, and handled the grace of God, will, I think, shrink instinctively from any other doctrine than this, that infants dying such, are most assuredly saved.

and

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There is another passage in Scripture which I think may be used. In the first chapter of Deuteronomy these ball been a threatening pronounced upon the children of Israel in the wilderness, that, with the exception of Caleb and Joshua, they should never see the promised land; nevertheless, it is added. "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." To you, fathers and mothers who fear not God, who live and die unbelieving, I would say, your unbelief cannot shut your children out of heaven and I bless God for that. While you cannot lay hold on that text which says "The promise is unto us and our children, even to as many as the Lord our God shall call," yet inasmuch as the sin of the generation in the wilderness did not shut the next generation out of Canaan but they did surely enter in, so the sin of unbelieving parents shall not necessarily be the ruin of their children, but they shall still, through God's sovereign grace and his overflowing mercy, be made partakers of the rest which he hath reserved for his people. Understand that this morning I have not made a distinction between the children of godly and ungodly parents. If they die in infancy, I do not mind who is father nor who their mother, they are saved; I do not even endorse the theory of a good Presbyterian minister who supposes that the children of godly parents will have a better place in heaven than those who happen to be sprung from ungodly ones. I do not believe in any such thing. I am not certain that there are any degrees in heaven at an; and even if there were, I am not clear that even that would prove our children to have any higher rights than others. All of them without exception, from whosoever loins they may have sprung, will, we believe, not by baptism, not by their parents' faith, but simply as we are all saved through the election of God, through the precious blood "Christ, through the regenerating influence of the Holy Spirit, attain to glory and Immortality, and wear the image of the heavenly as they have worn the image of the earthly.

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"But who are we to make God less merciful, or even seem that way? What if, to show how merciful He really is, He did so by taking those people in infancy to save them some kind of physical suffering here on earth or something?"

Hey Kalled2Preach. My name is Colby.

I, personally, am one who believes in the total depravity of man and unconditional election. I hold to original sin as it has been taught throughout the church age by men like Jeremiah, Paul, and Christ himself. I'm telling you this so you know exactly where I'm coming from.

The bible tells us that God is merciful, but he is also just. Original sin is a damnable offense against God, and Adam's sin has been imputed to us, because he was the represenative, or federal head of the human race. When Adam sinned, the entire human race sinned with him. That was the covenant that God made with Adam.

Does it seem odd that God would punish the human race for the transgression of one?

Not as odd as it would seem that God would save the church for the obedience of one.

We Christians have no obedience in and of ourselves:

When Adam sinned, he imputed to us a sinful nature. Adam's sin became ours. It IS our sin. Babies have this sin.

When Christ died for the elect, he imputed to us a righteous nature. It IS our righteousness. Christians have this righteousness.

Some babies who die in infancy are saved. (1 Corinthians 7:14.) Some are damned. (1 Corinthians 7:14.)

We need to understand this fact in order to live a righteous life, that it is not our righteousness, but Christ's. When we are born again, we are imputed righteousness not by our own merit, but by Christ's.

Your arguement is because God would send babies to hell, he is not merciful.

The Jehovah's Witnesses, unfortunately, would say that you are saying God is not merciful, because you believe he would send ANYONE to hell!

How foolish and absurd is such a thing! To say that an unloving God would send anyone to hell.

Unfortunately, your argument is along the same kind of logic: That because God sends an infant to hell, he is unloving or unmerciful.

I hope this has helped you out, and I pray for your studies in the scriptures, that you would reach truth that cannot be resisted. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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Hi Colby..welcome to the Highway <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bravo.gif" alt="" />

Again, to compare adults and infants who die in infancy is to compare apples to oranges.

In the same vein, Kalled, it is fruitless to wonder why God decreed for an infant to die. He did, and that's that.

The verse in 1 Cor. that the children are "not holy" does not bear on this either. If you say that, then you are saying that the unbelieving spouse is also heavenbound by virtue of the believing spouse. That's not true at all.

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MHeath said:
So an adult who has never heard the gospel has his own accountability before God.

Ok, I'm trying to figure out things. Can I ask you how you think this adult is accountable before God? Is it because he has a conscience and can think for himself ? And then the matter of choice comes into play?

Interesting that Spurgeon believed this. Although I have not read read any of this "deep" theology yet (if I ever get there) other than what you just posted.

Edited: Added the closing "quote" tag that was missing. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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Hiya Janean <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Well.. I have a strong tendancy to go off topic lol.. and I think this subject may be better handled in another thread,(it is a good question and deserves treatment) I have been mainly sticking to the death of infants/fetus'. But.. may I offer this?

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Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

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Michele,

It is truly unfortunate that the venerable Spurgeon succumbed to sentimentality and speculation instead of standing firm upon his Calvinism as he so often did on other matters of the faith. There is no denying that Spurgeon has a way with words and his rhetoric can sometimes obscure the fact that he erred, as is the case in his view of infant salvation.

What I find ironic is that there he was, unashamedly a Baptist, who would adamantly reject the doctrine of paedobaptism because of his firm belief that only those who professed Christ could be saved. And this belief unpretentiously rejected the possibility that an infant could be saved in opposition to that held by his paedobaptist brethren. But here, in complete contradiction to his Baptist distinctives and Calvinism itself, he states that all infants are elect. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/drop.gif" alt="" /> Even the greatest is not without error. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Again, you are free to believe what you want. But I am not as I am bound to believe, teach and preach only that which is taught in the Scriptures. And just in case the thought ever crossed your mind that perhaps if I had ever had children and had to deal with the death of one or more, that my position would doubtless be different. Rest assured, that I have experienced both and my view is stronger because of it. I am no stranger to the joy of being a father. And I am no stranger to the agony of grieving over the death of a child; and even worse.

In His Grace,


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Again, to compare adults and infants who die in infancy is to compare apples to oranges.
Michele,

This will be my last attempt to ask you to explain this view you have concerning the difference between infants and adults. You say one cannot compare adults and infants who die. So, I ask you again, what is the "difference"? Are not infants born with Original Sin?, i.e., have they not the guilt of Adam's transgression imputed to them and thus they are liable to judgment? And would you deny that at conception, the human soul/spirit is born with the corruption of nature which came from Adam and the punishment promised by God?

The very fact that infants die is testimony to their sinfulness, for the wages of sin is death. (Rom 6:23) Children, infants and even the unborn are sinners by nature and "children of wrath" and are in desperate need of regeneration, reconciliation and redemption in Christ. Or, do you believe that, Job 15:14-16; Psa 58:3; Rom 3:10ff do not apply to infants? And that children/infants are exempt to the truth of Romans 5:12-21?

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In the same vein, Kalled, it is fruitless to wonder why God decreed for an infant to die. He did, and that's that.
And God decreed the life and death of every single human being that ever was, is and ever shall be. But God does not unjustly impose death upon people!! Death comes upon all because all are sinners. Death is no respecter of persons. It should serve as a sober reminder that we all are in need of salvation... ALL. Disease, illness, mental retardation, deformities, . . . all of these things are the result of the Fall. And the fact is that we all deserve far worse than any of these things which we find on earth. The doctrine of Total Depravity is not surprisingly the one of the most hated, if not THE most hated doctrine of the Bible.

Before they were born, before they had done either good or evil, God discriminated between Jacob and Esau. One was to be saved and the other not. Not all infants who die are saved... it's the teaching of the Scripture. And neither the sermons of Spurgeon or your wishful thinking nor all the sentimentality of all the earth is going to change this truth nor God's prerogative to save whom He wills. "For, salvation is of the Lord!" (Jonah 2:9)

Romans 9:6-24 (ASV) "But [it is] not as though the word of God hath come to nought. For they are not all Israel, that are of Israel: neither, because they are Abraham's seed, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, it is not the children of the flesh that are children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for a seed. For this is a word of promise, According to this season will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. And not only so; but Rebecca also having conceived by one, [even] by our father Isaac-- for [the children] being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth, it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. Even as it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that hath mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, For this very purpose did I raise thee up, that I might show in thee my power, and that my name might be published abroad in all the earth. So then he hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will be hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he still find fault? For who withstandeth his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why didst thou make me thus? Or hath not the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which he afore prepared unto glory, [even] us, whom he also called, not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles?"


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It isn;t just Spurgeon who has believed in this idea. For some reason the idea has taken up residence at Southern Seminary in the minds of teachers like Dr. Mohler and Dr. Ron Nash. Dr. Nash vehemently argues that God is not obligated to save the "man on the island," and yet he has written a whole book on why all infants who die young are elect.


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And again, the question must be asked, "WHY? Why is it you cannot or will not believe that there are infants in hell?" What is there about an infant which you "feel" qualifies it for heaven? Is there some "special dispensation" for infants which overrides Original Sin? Or, perhaps you don't accept the doctrine of Original Sin and hold that all humans are conceived and born into this world with a "tabula rasa" (blank slate) as to morals, i.e., they are innocent until they commit some overt sin?

I don't think there is anything that qualifies an infant for heaven. I don't think anything overrides original sin. And I buy original sin. All of us are born sinful. But we are also all saved by grace. Every Christian is saved by the grace of God. I just tend to lean toward that those infants who die in infancy or in the womb are elect. It's grace that saves them. Just like us.

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Would God be less merciful if He only saved one single individual from the entire race, and that a 90 year old man? Why is it more merciful to save an infant compared to an adult?

GOd would be no less merciful if He only saved one person.

I don't really think it is more merciful to save an infant than an adult. I just think it shows God's grace in a special way. Maybe I am just giving in to being sentimental. I don't know. I just know that I can see both arguements, and I know that neither side really has the answer cuz God's not made it clear in Scripture. So all any of us are doing is speculating to the best of our knowledge of the Bible. Either way, we are trusting that God has the right answer (because He does). The verse was posted earlier that says that God's thoughts and ways are not our's. I trust that God will do His will in the deaths of those babies. If He wills all infants to hell, than praise His Name. If He wills only some infants to heaven, praise His Name. If He wills all infants to heaven, praise His Name. I choose to believe that all who die in infancy or the womb are elect, and that only by the grace of God.

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To say, "let's go kill all the infants" does not even in any little miniscule way deserve any of my attention. What an absolutely awful thing to say.

Is it worse to kill the unborn and infants knowing that they will most certainly be covered by the blood of Christ, or is it worse to allow them to mature to whatever point it is that they become responsible for their sins and risk the eternal damnation of hell?

If you really take it to heart that all who die before birth or in infancy are saved, it would be far more merciful to send them to eternal bliss with God by killing them than to allow them to fall under the condemnation of the law.

There is no biblical warrant for us to expect all unborn or infants dying to be saved. On the contrary, we know that all are born under the condemnation of the law because they are sinful by nature, even before they do anything.


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I don't really think it is more merciful to save an infant than an adult. I just think it shows God's grace in a special way.
If you believe it shows God's grace "in a special way", then of necessity you are confessing that the salvation of an unborn infant is more merciful than the salvation of a person who is born into this world. Otherwise, it wouldn't be "special"! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" />

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Maybe I am just giving in to being sentimental. . . . I choose to believe that all who die in infancy or the womb are elect, and that only by the grace of God.
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/yep.gif" alt="" /> I can agree that you are basing your belief on sheer sentimentality and a clear prejudice and not on Scriptural truth. The Bible IS NOT silent on the matter at all as you suppose. Malachi 1:3-5 is clear enough (cf. Rom 9:11-13) that salvation is based upon an unconditional election and that this election AND reprobation is before conception; in eternity. The history of Israel in both Old and New Testaments reveals that the vast majority of Jews perished in unbelief and that entire generations were subject to God's reprobation and temporal judgment, as can be seen from God's rejection of Esau (Edomites). You have to either hold that there were no unborn infants among the reprobate women who perished and who will ever live, or that infants are given some "special dispensation" which transcends God's decree of reprobation and which nullifies Original Sin. I suppose there may be some other reason dreamed up, but they all must fall within the scope of "reason" and not from biblical evidence.

I do agree, however, that the Judge of all the earth will do right. (Gen 18:25) Not one will be cast into hell who is not deserving of condemnation, which would mean every individual who has ever been conceived.

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averagefellar said:

In order; Because everybody elected to salvation is saved. Since we know not every human is saved, we can know that some people, infants included, are not of the elect. We don't know if any babies specifically are in heaven, just that scripture supports the idea of babies being elect.

Hi,

I would like to know why you try to make the logical conclusion that we can know that some children are not elect since not every person is saved. I'm not saying I disagree with you, but I don't think the conclusion follows from your premises. I found this interesting article that would seem to cast doubt on your conclusion (see page 148, it's not 148 pages long).

http://www.reformed.org/calvinism/boettner/infants_boettner.html

I do believe that all elect infants and only elect infants go to heaven based on Christ's substitutionary death for the elect. Although I tend to believe that not all infants are elect, I have not decided it conclusively in my mind (and may never come to a absolute conclusion). I think the above article makes some interesting observations on this issue. It seems that even in reformed circles the issue is not as cut and dried as it seems. As Boettner states, the WCF remains silent on who the "elect infants" are.

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Wes said:
Michele,

Since you're pretty convinced that all infants who die will go to heaven at what age then do you think they loose this privilege? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratch1.gif" alt="" />

I'm just wondering if you have any thoughts on that.

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Hi,

Even though I tend to believe that not all infants are elect, I do hold open the possibility that they are. But, the question you asked is one of the biggest problems I have when considering the possibility of all infants being elect. As we've seen in other parts of this thread, one is led to all kinds of strange ideas once you've opened this door (killing children, etc.). I mean for the sake of argument, what if it's 1 year old, or 2 years old. Why not 2 years old + 1 day? Is it different for each child? It's sort of a slippery slope.

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I have wondered on that question too. What age is one no longer an infant. There is nothing in the bible that tells us any certain age. I am not even going to estimate any age.. though there are many cultures that have their own ideas about when a boy becomes a man, or a girl becomes a woman. Either way, God knows.

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If the idea of an "age of accountability" is not in the Bible, then where does it come from?


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I thought I answered your question. If I didn't I'm sorry about that. I say that they are apples and oranges because God, while He did not impose death, He surely knew it.

I have never, nor did Spurgeon ever say that an infant was not born in sin.. or conceived in sin. No one has ever said that. What is put forth, is that they are elect. In response to another post you wrote, I don't think you understood what Spurgeon was saying. He was saying that if those who believe in infant baptism, believe that it is the baptism that gets the infant saved, that they are grossly mistaken. There is no power in the sprinkles of water that regenerates or saves any. Not even an adult believer.

What I don't understand is that if you believe that there are elect infants.. that somehow they are regenerated in the womb, saved in infance before they die, based on the election of God, then how is it such a stretch that all infants could be saved?

They are apples and oranges because we can 'what if" all we want. Esau did not die in infancy. Neither did Absolom. Any infant that has or will die, has or will die. It's not like we can sit and wonder why God allowed that, or what God has in mind, or what would have happened if they lived. It's what happened and will continue to happen.

But I think what Kalled was saying, about special grace.. I don't think he meant some grace different than ours, I think he meant it the same way anyone would. The same way you mean it when you say an elect infant goes to heaven. There has to be some special way in which an elect infant is saved.. I say the same for all infants who die. I don't see how that is such a stretch.

I also don't see how it is such sentimentalism/emotionalism. Isn't God kind to the ungrateful and evil? That it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance? Doesn't He say to love our enemies? Call it sentimental or emotional.. but that is bible. That is truth.

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If the idea of an "age of accountability" is not in the Bible, then where does it come from?

Well, it's a scientific fact that children develop in a certain way. When they are young, they absorb everything around them, and believe everything you say to them.. whether it's true or not. It's not til later.. around 8ISH.. it's different for all children.. but that's when they begin to reason things out. Gill says:

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This is from Gill's "of the Respective Duties of Parents and Children"
and to learn them from childhood to read and know the holy scriptures, according to their capacity; and by these to be "admonished" of sin, and of their duty, to fear God, and keep his commandments; which may be meant by the "admonition of the Lord"; and the proper opportunity should be taken to instil these things into their minds, when their minds begin to open, and they are inquisitive into the meaning of things; (see Deut. 6:20)



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Deut. 6:20 "When your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the Lord our God has commanded you?'

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If you really take it to heart that all who die before birth or in infancy are saved, it would be far more merciful to send them to eternal bliss with God by killing them than to allow them to fall under the condemnation of the law.

That sounds very muslim. Why don't we all have abortions rather than give God a godly offspring? (Malachi) Why don't we all marry unbelievers so that we can make them "holy?" None of that makes any sense! Killing, being unequally yoked on purpose is sin. That is plain.

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Michelle-


I guess I can't trully speak for the person who original brought this up earlier. I know the phrase sounds hard, but the "killing babies" point that was brought up is just said to make a theological point. Obviously we would never think for a second to do or accept such a real thought. And yes it sounds terrible, but I thought it was a good thought brought up for the purposes of this particular theological discussion. The point was brought up for theological thinking only. Don't know if this post helps or hurts the cause - hopefully it somehow helps <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />

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Pilgrim said:

And just in case the thought ever crossed your mind that perhaps if I had ever had children and had to deal with the death of one or more, that my position would doubtless be different. Rest assured, that I have experienced both and my view is stronger because of it. I am no stranger to the joy of being a father. And I am no stranger to the agony of grieving over the death of a child; and even worse.

Dear Pilgrim.. I don't know what could be 'worse' in your mind, but I will leave your secrets to you. I am so sorry to hear this news.. it really does greive me. For you and your wife. There is really nothing that anyone can say to take away or dull a pain such as you have experienced.. so I'm not going to say anything. I am assuming this was not a recent event.. but it still must be in your thoughts an awful lot. It was courageous of you to reveal such a sensitive thing.. and I sure hope this topic doesn't open any wounds.

For what it's worth, I believe your child is in heaven enjoying the Lord Jesus.. and will forever.

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Hi Janean,

I should have put that quote in the quote block.. Marie said it and i was speaking to her. I should have addressed it better.. sorry about that! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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I thought that was a good post, Janean. It was to bring up a theological point for people to consider. Again, as Pilgrim and others have asked, in saying God has to save all infants who die prematurely, aren't we in fact denying original and personal sin?


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That's OK, Michele.

Please see my response to Janean.


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Michele,

In regard to Spurgeon and my comment that I believe he is totally inconsistent at this point, I meant that for a Baptist, NO ONE can be saved unless they profess Christ and are then baptized. Baptists adamantly oppose infant baptism because they refuse to believe that an infant can be saved due to the fact that it can't make a profession of faith. But in the particular situation, Spurgeon and all who agree with him as Baptists, totally contradict this belief when they assert that an unborn infant or with many, even infants who are born and die young can be saved. They go so far as to say that ALL who die in infancy or unborn are elect and therefore saved. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" />

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What I don't understand is that if you believe that there are elect infants.. that somehow they are regenerated in the womb, saved in infance before they die, based on the election of God, then how is it such a stretch that all infants could be saved?
It is a "stretch" for the same illogical reason that if there are some individuals who are elect, then why not say that all are elect? Karl Barth did... as do all Universalists! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> Your "apples" are give special preference, a special dispensation, or whatever you would like to describe it, over the "oranges". And, for the very last time, there is NO biblical basis for this view whatsoever. . . NONE!!

What we DO know is that ALL are conceived in sin. ALL humans are born guilty before God. ALL are born with a depraved nature. ALL are under the wrath of God and subject to condemnation. We also know that out of the entire human race, there is only a "remnant" that is saved. So the Postmillennialists like Boettner, who are wont to read into such words as "victorious", etc. re: the kingdom, force this to mean quantity rather than quality. That is, the number of saved, according to them, MUST exceed those who are lost if Christ is to be the Victor. Now, to further this erroneous eisogesis, they make all infants who die in infancy elect and saved, and thus they have their larger number. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/igiveup.gif" alt="" />

It's no "stretch" to accept the biblical doctrine of Original Sin, Total Depravity and Unconditional Election and then to read that the vast majority of people on earth have perished in unbelief, knowing that God has elected some to eternal life and the majority to eternal punishment, and knowing that millions of unborn and infants have died (because they are sinners) and some are also elect and some are also reprobate. This is consist with the doctrines of grace and the overall teaching of Scripture. There is no need to dream up some "special grace" for babies, who are no less sinners and which are qualified for hell by virtue of their being part of Adam's race.

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I also don't see how it is such sentimentalism/emotionalism. Isn't God kind to the ungrateful and evil? That it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance? Doesn't He say to love our enemies? Call it sentimental or emotional.. but that is bible. That is truth.
No, that's not sentimentalism. That is a distortion of the biblical teaching concerning God's love. What you have done is to take God's general "benevolence" and twisted it so as to make it salvific. There is the general "love" of God, (Titus 3:4 cf. Greek: chrestotes=kindness, goodness; and philanthropia=benevolence) and there is the salvific, particular love for the elect (Jer 31:3; Jh 3:16; 10:14; Rom 5:8; Eph 1:4; 2:4; 2Tim 1:9). There is nothing in either God's benevolence toward all mankind nor in our responsibility to "love our neighbor" or "pray for our enemies" that lends itself to the salvation of infants.

So, it's all yours at this point. I'm done. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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I did see it Marie, and I will say again.. no one has ever said that God HAS to save anyone

I believe it is completely consistant with God's character to save infants who die. Not just some.

Once again, if God somehow, in some way, saves an infant that you call "elect" then I put it to you that I believe that He does that for every single infant... not adult.

God is just, God is soveriegn and good. everything he does is right. But He is alsomerciful.. His mercies are new every morning and He is also love. His grace is free.

(And about your post, I did think it an awful thing to say, and even think. I don't think it's a good argument. But I also didn't want Janean to think I was making such a strong statement to her while she is still so new.. or that I thought she made the original remark.)

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john writes:

Even though I tend to believe that not all infants are elect, I do hold open the possibility that they are. But, the question you asked is one of the biggest problems I have when considering the possibility of all infants being elect.
Are you suggesting that someone who is the elect of God can lose that status? If you hold open the possibility that all infants are elect then you must be suggesting that when they come to the age of reasoning things for themselves they can alter God's decree. Although this is the way some people think, this is not Calvinism.


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Pilgrim et. al.

I am also done. I made my last post to Marie. I have not been persuaded one iota in the other direction. In fact, quite the opposite. I am more than ever convinced of what i am saying. Maybe Gill put it best for ending this post on an amiable note?

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From Gill's "Of the Punishment of Sin" he writes:

As to the punishment of original sin on those who, it may be thought, not to have added to it any actual sin and transgression, as infants, dying in infancy, I shall be silent; at least, say little. Not that I doubt of the right of justice to punish that sin on Adam’s descendants, who have not actually sinned after the similitude of his transgression; since corporal death, a part of the punishment threatened, does pass upon them, and they are born with a want of original righteousness, a considerable branch of moral death; but if divine justice proceeds further, and inflicts eternal death, or everlasting punishment on them, I think it must be in a more mild and gentle manner than what is inflicted on those who have also been guilty of actual sins and transgressions; seeing, as there are degrees of punishment respecting them, as they are greater or lesser (Matthew 11:20-24) so there must be a difference of the punishment of original sin, separately considered; and of that attended with numerous actual transgressions. Many unguarded expressions have been dropped, concerning the punishment of such infants, as before mentioned, which are not at all to the credit of truth. Many conjectures have been made, and schemes formed, that are scarcely worth mentioning. Some have fancied that all such infants are lost; which seems to have something in it shocking, especially to parents. And others think they are all saved, through the electing grace of God, the redeeming blood of Christ, and the regeneration of the blessed Spirit; to which I am much rather inclined, than to the former: but think it best to leave it among the secret things that belong to God; who, we may be assured, cannot do an unjust thing, nor do any injury to any of his creatures: and who, as he is just in his nature, he is merciful in Christ.

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I know this was to John.. but I am tempted to write this post lol.

It is not ALL.. or EVERY SINGLE infant EVER born. It is those who DIE in infancy. I don't think God has no idea that one will die. He knows those who will die in infancy. He knows those who will not.

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I believe it is completely consistant with God's character to save infants who die. Not just some.

It's a wonder He elected anyone in the first place. Keep in mind that man by nature is inherently sinful and totally depraved. Why would it be a "problem" for God not to save every infant who dies prematurely?


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Michele,

I understand your selective reasoning. Unfortunately your warm fuzzy view of how God views infants is not consistant with Biblical teaching. As has been said by others, you have a right to hold whatever view you wish, but you have failed to prove your presupposition Scripturally.


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Then please show me where infants are not elect.

Not adults, or all of mankind..

but INFANTS go to hell.

We already agree that all of mankind is born in sin.

That all of mankind is born with depravity.

Specifically show me in scripture where an infant died and went to hell.

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Michele writes:

We already agree that all of mankind is born in sin.
That all of mankind is born with depravity.
Specifically show me in scripture where an infant died and went to hell.

I'm hearing what you say, and trying to understand your logic, however there seems to be a significant problem here. If you agree that ALL of mankind is born in sin and depraved then where does Scripture make an exception for infants? Aren't infants and adults both considered mankind?

Would you please give me your interpretation of what it means to be "elect?"


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Wes,

Since you answered my question with a question, I will do the same. I think we both have the same thing in mind concerning what "election" means. I will ask you then.. where do you see in the bible that any infant that has died, was not elect. I already know that God hated Esau from the womb. Esau did not die in infancy. Neither did Absolom.

Which infants that have died, that are recorded in the bible, have been elect, or not elect?

Do you know?

Anyone I have read so far (and keep reading) have said that these seem to be the "secret things of God" and that scripture is silent on it. So I am wondering if you have found something that confirms that any infant who has died in infancy is recorded as being in hell. Or that only elect INFANTS who die in infancy are in heaven.

I only know that there is the elect of God. They are the ones who go to heaven by the free grace of God.... by His own choosing before the foundation of the world.

We see John the baptist. He was obviously 'saved' in the womb. (Or regenerated, however you define it) So it is possible for God to do such a thing. Still, he did not die in infancy.

You say "only for those 'elect' infants."

I say that any infant who dies in infancy is elect.

I see that we are disagreeing, and we may just need to agree to disagree on this point. But if you can answer my questions, I will gladly check it out.

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That sounds very muslim. Why don't we all have abortions rather than give God a godly offspring?

If all unborn children or infants, dying, go to heaven, then we need not worry about raising godly offspring. We guarantee them an "in" by killing them, whereas we allow them the chance to go to hell if we don't.

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Why don't we all marry unbelievers so that we can make them "holy?" None of that makes any sense! Killing, being unequally yoked on purpose is sin. That is plain.

I don't see how marrying unbelievers ties into this; I'm simply pointing our where your logic leads.


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Michele writes:

Which infants that have died, that are recorded in the bible, have been elect, or not elect?

Unfortunately you're asking me to explain something that is a mystery which only God knows. We don't know who the elect are. We only know the things that He has revealed.

Since you haven't answered my first question to you but have moved on to the second one you are missing an important point. That is that infants and adults are part of mankind, not a seperate commodity. Thus they are included in what Scripture tells us about all mankind.

There is none righteous God says, no not one! He didn't say that there are none righteous except babies. Those are the thoughts of men, not of God! There is none righteous, and that includes children (despite what some may claim). Romans 5:12 says: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." It doesn't say "all except for children," it says all.

Some try and circumvent Scripture by saying, Child Salvation only lasts until they reach a certain age or accountability, and then their Salvation simply disappears? God's Word doesn't teach about vanishing Salvation at age 4, 7, or 12. God's Word says He is both the author (starter) and finisher of our faith! God's Word says he is always with us and will never leave us! God's word speaks of eternal life, not temporary life dependant on our age. God says no one can pluck them out of His hand. How can we then conclude something else?

John 10:28

"And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand."

Do we say, "that's not true what God says about them never perishing, and having eternal life?" Does never perish now change to, "Oops, they just might?" If all children were indeed under God's Salvation, then they would never perish and have everlasting life, and no one could pluck them out of God's hand. And that would mean every man woman and child in the world (we were all once children) are Saved, and will never perish.

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Michele writes:

I say that any infant who dies in infancy is elect.
We shouldn't assume what Scripture doesn't teach.


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I was pointing out the way I see your logic. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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Hi Wes,

No I am in no way suggesting that people can lose their status of salvation. Once saved always saved. I am also not suggesting that anyone can alter God's decree. But as Michele pointed out in her response, I hold open the possibility that God might have decreed and elected all infants who die to go to Heaven. I am not saying this is what I believe to be true, but I am saying that I think it could be a possibility that does not conflict with Calvinism. See the Boettner article I linked to in another part of this thread.

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Oh dear,

It's as though no one is reading my posts at all. I don't understand why no one sees that i have never said all babies. i have never said that. I don't know how many more times I can say it, or in what other way I can say it. God knows those who are His. He knows which babies will die and have died in infancy. I feel like a broken record.

You know, i was thinking today though, that Pilgrim said that God does not impose death. Well.. sure He does. He did with David's baby. He is not caught by suprise by the death of an infant. I just don't know how else to get anyone here to understand that I am not saying that EVERY CHILD is elect. I have never said that. If you all continue to put words in my mouth, or attribute to me that which I have never said, I will be convinced completely that you are not reading what I am saying. Just arguing from a position that you THINK I am taking.

I don't know why it is important that I explain my understanding of "elect" for this thread. It is the same as yours.

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To clarify a little more. I don't think I will ever come to a conclusion if all infants are elect or only some. Scripture seems to be silent on this point, which means maybe it is not for us to know.

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I hold open the possibility that God might have decreed and elected all infants who die to go to Heaven. I am not saying this is what I believe to be true, but I am saying that I think it could be a possibility that does not conflict with Calvinism. See the Boettner article I linked to in another part of this thread.
It is theoretically possible that God has decreed that all infants dying in infancy will be taken to heaven. But, then again, one could also postulate all kinds of things which might be included in God's decree. What is certain, is that what you hold open to possibility cannot be found in Scripture; not even a hint. Now, wouldn't it be even be more feasible to "hold open to possibility", that if such a thing was true, that God would have included this important truth in His written Word? It does mention the election of sinners by grace and even gives us a good reason to believe particular individuals were included in that election, e.g., Jacob vs. Esau, the Prophets, Apostles, et al. Surely, God knows the anguish and grief that parents experience when a child is lost. Since God is allegedly so merciful in that He has theoretically elected all infants who die infancy, then it seems only consistent with that mercy that He would also make this election of infants known so as to provide a sure hope and comfort to the parents. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

In regard to Boettner's article, although I find him great in 90% of his writings, I find him woefully lacking in his view concerning the salvation of infants who die in infancy for the very same reasons I oppose those who have voiced that view here; i.e., there is NO biblical support for it. And I mentioned elsewhere as well, he uses this to bolster his postmillennial presuppositions concerning the kingdom and Christ being "victorious", etc. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" />


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You know, i was thinking today though, that Pilgrim said that God does not impose death. Well.. sure He does. He did with David's baby. He is not caught by suprise by the death of an infant.
Clarification is needed here. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Ponder.gif" alt="" /> God does not bring/impose death upon someone who is "innocent", for death is one of the punishments which sinners experience and them only. Thus what I meant in my previous remark was that infants die, not because of some accident which catches God unawares. And it isn't that God simply "knows" who will die and when. God has foreordained ALL THINGS, including the death of all men, infants/children not excluded. God doesn't have to "impose" death upon an infant, because an infant is by nature under the sentence of death and condemnation already. God simply determines the time and circumstances of when that death shall occur. There is no such thing as an "untimely death". When IS the "proper" or "acceptable" time for a person to die? ANS: Never.. death is the enemy of mankind. It is the great revealer of men's souls, that they are all corrupt and at enmity with God.

BTW, some of us have read your messages and have not understood you to say that "all infants" are elect, but rather "all infants who die in infancy are elect". And you still have no biblical grounds upon which to base that wishful thinking, nor are your reasons logically sound. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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It is theoretically possible that God has decreed that all infants dying in infancy will be taken to heaven. But, then again, one could also postulate all kinds of things which might be included in God's decree. What is certain, is that what you hold open to possibility cannot be found in Scripture; not even a hint.

I agree that Scripture does not say that all infants are elect. But it also does not say that all infants are not elect (to my knowledge). It remains silent on the point. Therefore, I can only conclude that we don't know which infants are elect or not. It may be all or it may be very few. There are some things that we are not meant to know. If it is all, I can think of many good reasons why Scripture is silent on the issue. I am not "postulating" that all infants are elect or only some, I am saying I don't know, and that might very well be the correct answer to the question.

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Now, wouldn't it be even be more feasible to "hold open to possibility", that if such a thing was true, that God would have included this important truth in His written Word?

I see no reason why one would be led to this conclusion. There are many many things that are true that God did not see fit to include in His Word.

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Since God is allegedly so merciful in that He has theoretically elected all infants who die infancy, then it seems only consistent with that mercy that He would also make this election of infants known so as to provide a sure hope and comfort to the parents. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Again, I see no reason for this conclusion. Why would it be not be consistent with His mercy to not make this election known if it were true. Then, why doesn't God make 100% known all the elect: adults, children, and infants. Wouldn't it be nice to know 100% that your father or mother went to heaven. That would certainly be a great comfort and hope to their children.


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In regard to Boettner's article, although I find him great in 90% of his writings, I find him woefully lacking in his view concerning the salvation of infants who die in infancy for the very same reasons I oppose those who have voiced that view here; i.e., there is NO biblical support for it. And I mentioned elsewhere as well, he uses this to bolster his postmillennial presuppositions concerning the kingdom and Christ being "victorious", etc. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" />

I too disagree with postmillennialism. As I said before although maybe not clearly. I don't think it is possible to know exactly who the elect infants are. Maybe it's only some maybe it's all. I don't know exactly how Boetnner argues from all infants are elected to Postmillenialism, so I can't comment on that too much. Of course, it's easy to start with a true set of premises and arrive at a wrong conclusion by some other error on the way. I have already agreed with your ealier statements that there is no Scriptural support that all infants are part of the elect, so in arguing from that premise, Boettner was probably mistaken. But I also think that Scripture does not necessarily preclude the fact that all infants might be elect.

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I can't help but wonder if both sides are dealing with speculation.
What we know is only elect (infants and older) go to heaven when they die.
We also know that all come to salvation the same way (by grace through faith) and that includes babies.

Saying that all babies who die in infancy were/are elect is speculation and not based on Scripture.
However, as far as I can tell, saying that there are some babies who die in infancy who were/are not elect is also speculation and not based on Scripture.

Why can't we just leave this matter to God and stick with what God has revealed from His Word?

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Dear Pilgrim:

Thanks for the following bit of information:
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We also know that out of the entire human race, there is only a "remnant" that is saved. So the Postmillennialists like Boettner, who are wont to read into such words as "victorious", etc. re: the kingdom, force this to mean quantity rather than quality. That is, the number of saved, according to them, MUST exceed those who are lost if Christ is to be the Victor. Now, to further this erroneous eisogesis, they make all infants who die in infancy elect and saved, and thus they have their larger number.

Once again I have gained some insight into a position by reading a thread that is not specifically dealing with that subject, ie Postmillenialism. The quality/quantity issue is very revealing to me at least.

I also would point out that the very word "remnant" as you allude to above implies a lesser number in my mind, as does the scriptural reference to "few" vs "many" on the paths that lead to eternal life and destruction, respectively, and thus this tends to give credence to the idea that not all infants dying in infancy are elect.

Finally, I don't know the specific passage but as I was reading this thread I thought about the OT passage(s) wherein the Lord commanded David (I think) to smash the heads of the infants of the Ammonites (again I could easily be misstating here) against the rocks. If that is at all correct, it doesn't sound on the surface at least that God is pleased with these infants. I also think of verses that express displeasure at children for the sins of their parents as well as those that express God's delight in children because of the faithfulness of their parents.

Any thoughts on these ideas/passages would be appreciated as you have time.

In Him,

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I am all for the fact that God can not do an unjust thing.
However, I do not believe that God would be unjust if He allowed an infant who died in infancy go to hell.
I don't want to read too much into what people like you mean when they say "that God can not do an unjust thing".
But it sure seems like they are saying that God would be unjust if He allowed an infant to go to hell.

I don't think it is wrong to have the hope that an infant who dies in infancy is with the Lord, but I don't think we can know either way. In fact that is where my sentiments lie.

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Any thoughts on these ideas/passages would be appreciated as you have time.
Gerry,

I haven't anything to comment on the passage(s) you are eluding to, but it sure jogged my old brain enough to cause me to remember other similar passages, e.g., What about the days of Noah? Surely, there were infants and unborn existent when the flood waters came upon the earth and destroyed all of mankind except righteous Noah and his family. If there was an elect infant among them, I would have to conclude that it would have been spared and not destroyed with the ungodly. And then there is the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Surely there were infants and unborn at the time God brought fire and brimstone as judgment upon that region and those cities. We know from the conversation Abraham had with the Lord concerning the impending judgment that not one righteous individual was left to suffer God's catastrophic wrath that day; they were all spared. I find it near impossible to imagine that God's promise to Abraham was ingenuous and/or false. For, if there was an elect individual among the inhabitants of those places that was not spared, as was Lot and his family, then God lied and that righteous individual was judged and condemned with the reprobate that day. Add to these two examples, all the women and children who were slaughtered in Canaan by the Israelites, at the direct command of God as judgment upon them, for they were all evil. And of course, I would be remiss if I did not also mention the Second Commandment, which lends itself to the view that some infants are elected by grace and some are not.

Exodus 20:4-6 "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."


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Gerry

FYI, not all people who are Postmillennialists believe that all infants who die in infancy go to heaven.
In fact I know quite a few Reformed Baptists who are Postmillennialists that have argued against that position.

This seems to be an in house debate among Reformed Christians of various back grounds.

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john said:

I agree that Scripture does not say that all infants are elect. But it also does not say that all infants are not elect (to my knowledge). It remains silent on the point.

In opposition to my own post, the numerous passages in the OT concerning Israel entering the promised land and being instructed to destroy complete towns (men, women, and children) are strong evidence in my mind that all infants are not elect. Also, the plague of the firstborn in Egypt might be considered evidence of non-elect infants. Sorry, I know I'm advancing several different opinions, but I really am trying to come to the correct conclusion here.

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And you still have no biblical grounds upon which to base that wishful thinking, nor are your reasons logically sound.

Well, I am glad you understand my position. I am not an idiot, nor am I illogical. From my viewpoint, if the scripture is silent on the issue, than I am allowed to disagree with you. Scriptures that say that God had men, women and children killed, does not prove to me that they are thrown into hell. Neither does it prove that because Noah wasn't instructed to take infants away from their mothers before entering the flood... proof that they are in hell. That would be to say that the infants were righteous. I am not saying infants are righteous. Never have.

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Now, wouldn't it be even be more feasible to "hold open to possibility", that if such a thing was true, that God would have included this important truth in His written Word?

It wouldn't be such a stretch to think that maybe, just maybe, God did not include a hint of it, because people would be killing all their infants.

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Michele,

I haven't misunderstood your position! You wrote that you believe that all infants who die in infancy are elect. Right?

Well, since you believe this is true are you also convinced that the babies that were sacrificed to Molech the god of the Ammorites are elect?

Child sacrifice was common in ancient times, especially in the Phoenician colony of Carthage in North Africa. In ancient pagan cultures, children were sometimes sacrificed in times of great need as an expression of devotion to a god (2 King 3:27). Even some Israelites at times engaged in this detestable practice (Judges 11: 30-40; Psalm 106: 34-39; Jeremiah 7: 31).

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Michele writes:

I don't know why it is important that I explain my understanding of "elect" for this thread. It is the same as yours.
Because unless I ask for your definition I don't know if we're talking about the same thing. I don't know you and you don't know me so in an effort to understand you better I've simply asked.


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Well, since you believe this is true are you also convinced that the babies that were sacrificed to Molech the god of the Ammorites are elect?

yes

along with all those jewish children who were ripped in half and thrown into the river by Hitler's men. Yes.. that is what I believe.

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Michele,

As has been said by others, you have a right to hold whatever view you wish, but you have failed to prove your presupposition Scripturally. Now I'm sounding like a broken record. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


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You have not proven that they are NOT elect either.

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MHeath said:
It wouldn't be such a stretch to think that maybe, just maybe, God did not include a hint of it, because people would be killing all their infants.

With the amount of infanticide that went on in the pagan world before Christ and the amount of infantacide that continues even now after Christ I think Michelle we can safely say that it makes no difference to people.

Besides Michelle there is still the commandment that states "thou shalt not murder". Killing infants is still murder.

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Michele,

Unfortunately that's not totally true. Yes, we don't really know who are the elect of God. Only God does. However the body of Scripture that has been presented to you in this thread shows that infants aren't an exception to the rule as you suggest. They are sinners as a result of the original sin even though they have not practiced sin. Your argument that the children of unbelievers and believers alike are destined for heaven if they die in infancy is contrary to God's promises.

God has promised to be a God to believers and their children. (Genesis 17:7, Acts 2:39). To suggest that unbeliever's children have the same promise is heresy.


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I am not gonna debate the issue too much cuz I just wanted to throw out some thoughts that I had.

I can completely see your arguements. And they make perfect sense. I was actually throwing my thoughts out just because I was really having a hard time seeing how what I thought could be true. The thought process that only those infants who die in infancy are elect infants made sense...until this moment.

I've gone back and forth on this issue a lot, so I just don't know where I stand. Since the Bible is not clear on how God deals with infants, most of the time I leave it to Him. And I will continue to do so. And if the day comes where someone comes to me because their baby dies, I will trust that God will give me the words that will bring the person the most comfort at the time.

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And if the day comes where someone comes to me because their baby dies, I will trust that God will give me the words that will bring the person the most comfort at the time.
I think that this is the real issue here. What do we say to comfort a parent who has lost their child or their baby?
I think the "age of accountablity" teaching comes from this need to offer some comfort to grieving parents. Even the Canons of Dort seeks to offer comfort to the Christian parents of children who die in infancy.
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Article 17
Since we are to judge of the will of God from His Word, which testifies that the children of believers are holy, not by nature, but in virtue of the covenant of grace, in which they together with the parents are comprehended, godly parents ought not to doubt the election and salvation of their children whom it pleases God to call out of this life in their infancy (Gen. 17:7; Acts 2:39; I Cor. 7:14).
I've also thought of those things about God's judgement on the world in Noah's day and have to believe that if any babies were elect, they would have been rescued with Noah and his family. Every nation but Israel belonged to the Devil, and many even in Israel were lost. We pity babies in their helplessness and it is hard for us to really believe that they have in their hearts seeds of every kind of evil. I don't think anyone could read the OT accounts of child sacrifice without feeling horror, or think of all the millions of babies who die without hoping they will somehow have a chance for life. I know, too, that we are all born in sin and if God sent all of us to hell He would still be just. I know godly men and women do disagree about what happens to infants dying and no one will know this for sure until we enter into glory to see how many saints have been saved when they were small children or infants who died so young. What could a pastor say at a baby's graveside service without going beyond what is written?

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Sure, that's easy. Is everybody saved? Or does election to salvation mean mere salvability? If you are elected to salvation, can you fail to be saved? If every infant is elected unto salvation, why isn't every single one of us saved? Also, I'm not a WCF follower.
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I do believe that all elect infants and only elect infants go to heaven based on Christ's substitutionary death for the elect. Although I tend to believe that not all infants are elect, I have not decided it conclusively in my mind (and may never come to a absolute conclusion).
Precisely. Only the elect go to heaven. Not everybody goes to heaven. Not everybody is elect. It's that simple.

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Well, true. But you can't prove Jesus didn't drink coffee and toast marshmallows either.

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OK. I like Spurgeon, despite his Baptistness. However, you have been asked, repeatedly, to uphold your view scripturally. Spurgeon isn't scripture. I can quote some people who support me, but I look to scripture for truth. Now, where's your scripture?

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I think the CoD got it right.
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Article 17
Since we are to judge of the will of God from His Word, which testifies that the children of believers are holy, not by nature, but in virtue of the covenant of grace, in which they together with the parents are comprehended, godly parents ought not to doubt the election and salvation of their children whom it pleases God to call out of this life in their infancy (Gen. 17:7; Acts 2:39; I Cor. 7:14).
The last section clarifies it. "whom it pleases God to call out of this life in their infancy". This in no way necessitates a universalness, either to ALL infants, nor ALL infants of believers. It leaves it up to Gods calling.

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Hey Pilgrim, thanx for the interpretation, this issue has come up at my church and my pastor has always taken the view that this passage supports all infants being saved, he says though that this passage is the strongest proof of his view. I knew that couldn't be the meaning of what's being said, but I never quite thought it all out or looked it up. Thanx

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Yeah, Billy Graham has said that. I don't have the book here with me at school, but Kalled and I were running around the local christian bookstore a few weeks back and found a book comparing beliefs of certain groups and it mentions this belief is proposed by Billy Graham. I told it to my dad and my dad of all people responded something to the effect of 'Yeah, Billy Graham's got some liberal theology.'

Sorry you didn't know, but hey, that's what we're here for.

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As one who holds to the belief that only elect infants are saved, I appreciate your difficulties in this matter, since I too have had to work through the issue. I would not have used the particular passages you mentioned, but they are interesting points. It is most unfortunate that several of the leaders of the church propose the view that all infants are saved and that very few if any church leaders bother to oppose this idea, I say it is unfortunate b/c it means we have to think for ourselves. Speaking of thinking though, I am very fond of something I believe Luther is quoted as saying, "I cannot believe anything if I am not convinced of it by scripture and plain reason." the point being that we can argue from the Bible a great many things and be "biblical" but not be right or true b/c we do not bother to be certain our beliefs are logically consistent with our other beliefs. I'm not saying this is what you're doing, though I'm certain other persons on this thread have made inconsistent statements.


If God is about the task of saving someone from every tribe and nation and people and tongue then it also backs up that some will be saved b/c infants can be considered another group. Also, (this is where the logic comes in) if we call this doctrine UNconditional election, then the fact that all infants are elect or all infants are not elect would be in contradiction with this UNconditional Election, as I believe it was Susan said earlier, Salvation is all of grace, so that God alone gets the glory.

We must consider the implications of what we say before we give a position. I was disheartened to see over the summer that Al Molher of Southern Seminary made a statement that all infants go to heaven, then I checked John Piper's site and while Mr. Piper was a great deal more consciouss of the facts he also said that the salvation of some infants was a premature conclusion and he went on to quote another pastor to make his case for all infants being saved. I find this to be sad, and it got me a bit hot under the collar so I spent several weeks on the subject, wrote a 15+ page paper on the issue. I never bothered to send the paper due to being side tracked, but I cannot escape the conclusion that if nothing else Calvinism can only agree with the salvation of elect infants.

I hope something in this post is helpful. I encourage you in this and other studies.

-Brother Luke

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Thank you for the humor, as I said to John earlier, it's obvious we must reason out the beliefs we have and make certain that all our beliefs can logically coexist.

As for this disagreement between Wes and MHeath, I must agree with Wes on this issue. "all infants who die in infancy are elect". is a very specific case, but it still doesn't seem to jive with the doctrine of UNconditional election and what God says about the whole and all of mankind. It also doesn't match up with the just and wraithful and righteouss God who is unchanging and whom I know in Scripture. It's like those persons who say that Jesus was fond of kids so He's going to save them. Well, I'm sure that on earth Jesus was fond of other things but that doesn't mean they'll be in heaven.

I don't want MHeath to think though that I am insensitive to her position, this is a very sensitive issue and I'm certain that she has her reasons.


<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/ranton.gif" alt="" /> This may be off topic, and perhaps I'm misreading a few remarks, but as I understand it one of the two said something about agreeing to disagree, I think both did in fact say that.
Personally though, I'm disturbed by this idea that we have a right to believe whatever we want to. NO! We have a no right even to hell as sinners, but we are required to know and do the things of God and we must come to know what is true or we are believing something false and putting our faith in a lie and that is no better than idolatry. We must come to the right conclusion. If I were free to believe whatever I wanted or to disagree with anyone I wanted then I am Santa Clause and there will be Pope's in heaven and libertines too, FIE! It is necessary to have Faith and True Faith in Christ for faith comes from Christ and Faith must go to Christ or it is not true faith it is false. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rantoff.gif" alt="" />


Our beliefs must be grounded in the Bible first through last and then logic next and then perhaps on the great works of other Christians, but if we argue in any other order then we are not standing on a slippery slope but plunching to our deaths.

Thank you all for your time.

-Brother Luke

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Could you please post a link or information as to what thread this was in, I have just read Mark 10 over and I did not see any indication that all infants who die in infancy are saved. I would very much appreaciate your explaination of this view.

-Brother Luke

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We must come to the right conclusion.

I agree. But on an issue such as this, since we don't have enough information, even from Scripture (because people are interpreting the same passage multpile ways here at times) than we don't know the correct conclusion, so we do the best that we can.

Also, salvation doesn't hinge on what we think about whether infants are damned or not. If GOd wanted us to know exactly, He'd have exactly said. He did tell us exactly what we need to know, though. That some infants in Scripture were rgenerated in the womb and David had hope he'd see his again.

If we are truly trusting God for the answer to this delimma, than, when the time comes for us to counsel that mother who just lost her baby, God will give us the correct words and actions to help her deal.

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Brother Luke

Although I agree there is nothing in the Bible to conclude that all babies who die in infancy are elect and go to heaven. I do know that Mohler & Piper are in pretty good company in their belief. CH Spurgeon among others also believes that way.
I of course must bow to what I believe the Word of God says on the issue, but that in no way changes my respect of people like Mohler, Piper & Spurgeon.

Tom

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Tom,

I in no way want you or anyone else to misinterpret my post, I mentioned Piper and Mohler and my reaction to their views as an example of both my understanding of what's being said and what I feel about it. I also don't want to be accused of being closed minded, I've considered the issue and read what the opposition thinks and I still believe what I believe b/c I've studied Scripture, any other approach seems unwise at best.

I still respect Piper, and have gained a great deal more respect for Mohler in recent months, but I thank God that niether they nor any other man can add to the Bible. We must remember that it is Sola Scripture and that by God's Grace Alone.

Thanks for your reply.

-Brother Luke

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Dear Kalled,

You may have noticed the rant Graemlin in front of the paragraph in which I said this. I just felt like adding that rather random comment and you and I both know that it's not unusual for me to state things in strong terms which can sometimes be misconstrued. At the same time, this is a discussion board so I'm stirring up discussion, except that this is perhaps not the right thread anymore for that.

For what you like to call "Non-issues", I don't think they're usually the most important things, but he who is faithful in a little is faithful in much. If our theology is to be true to God then we must seek to make our beliefs coexist, not by ignoring the things we don't like, but by searching out those beliefs in scripture to see if what we've been taught is sound. The Gospel of John uses the word "Logos" in the first Chapter to describe Jesus, if I'm not mistaken, and that is the root for the word Logic, correct me if I'm wrong on that. Don't you think that God wants all our beliefs to line up with His scripture in a logical manner? The little things may be little by themselves but can have a big impact on how we interpret big things.

<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/coffee2.gif" alt="" /> Wake up you liberal John Wesley want to be and smell the doctrine, "I'm right, your wrong, that's all that matters."
(That's a joke between us everyone, don't take it seriously).
Oh, and everyone, this is a good represenative of Kalled in real life: <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bananas.gif" alt="" />
He does look and act like that all the time.

-Brother Luke

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BrimstonePreacha remarked:
The Gospel of John uses the word "Logos" in the first Chapter to describe Jesus, if I'm not mistaken,. . .
Brother Luke,

FYI, you are mistaken! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/evilgrin.gif" alt="" /> The "Logos" of God is the SON; the second person of the Trinity and not Jesus. For the "Logos" became flesh in v. 14, which was the incarnation of the Son in the person born of Mary, aka: Jesus of Nazareth. This is a common error but one which I am always wanting to correct as it is a fundamental element of the faith, i.e., God became flesh and dwelt among us. The divine person joined Himself with a human nature and thus the two natures dwelt in the one person of Jesus Christ.

If you make the "Logos" to be Jesus, then verse 14 would read, "And Jesus became Jesus . . ." <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/idea.gif" alt="" />

Food for thought? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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Brimstone,

Nice to meet you. You over at OCU also? I've seen Kalled squirm just like that.......HEHE!


God bless,

william

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Dear Pilgrim,

Thank you for your helpful post. This particular subject has never been talked about in any great length and I appreciate the food for thought. I think though that my point that God is logical and purposeful and that His revelation of Himself and His work fits that aspect of His character is still valid. I will continue to consider this, it opens that particular chapter to some more interesting thoughts that I've not necessarilly considered previously.

Thank You Pilgrim,

-Brother Luke

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HE DOES IT TO YOU TOO?!?

I too am pleased to read your post and hear your thoughts. I am not one of those "Mighty Oaks" but rather I'm at USI, a "Screaming Eagle" if you can believe that.

I've known Kalled for about 6 years+ now and we're pretty good friends, though he is far skinnier and more liberal than I am in most matters. I can't remember having met you in person, but perhaps we can all hang out sometime. Kalled and I enjoy discussing church and such over (energy) drinks or Jone's Soda's on the weekends. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/cheers2.gif" alt="" />

<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bow.gif" alt="" /> I appreciate the plight of knowing him, God bless you each and every time you step into class with him. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bravo.gif" alt="" />

Anyway, I need to be going, Private Message me sometime if you want to know anything he won't tell you.

-Brother Luke

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There's a book about this topic titled, "Safe in the Arms of God," and it's by John MacArthur. I have not read it, but I know several people who have who say it deals precisely and thoroughly with the objections raised and that it does so in a biblical way. It might be worth a try for those who are still wondering about this or who want to check into it further. Some have found it very convincing.

SBCalvinist

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