You may be wondering why I believe that babies who are lost to miscarriage are "populating paradise". I am aware that there are some who do not hold my view on this subject, but there are many respected theologians who do. I have been reading about and studying this topic since 2001, the year of my first miscarriage. It is of interest to me because I so desperately want to know what God has to say about the fate of my babies that He created. So, I'm going to attempt to show you why I believe in infant salvation by giving you a summary of different passages from scripture and quotes from some sound, Bible-believing theologians.
- Human life begins at conception, therefore, the baby that is miscarried has an eternal soul that must be either eternally punished or eternally redeemed by God after physical death. Perhaps the most often used scripture to support this truth is Psalm 139:13-16, "For You formed my inward parts: You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them." R.C. Sproul notes, “Scripture does assume a continuity of life from before the time of birth to after the time of birth. The same language and the same personal pronouns are used indiscriminately for both stages.”
- Every human soul is sinful in it's nature. It must be saved through the blood of Jesus Christ. Salvation of infants does not come from their innocence. In Psalm 51:5, David writes, "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me." David knew that he had a sin nature even from conception. Charles Spurgeon states, "We believe it is not because of any natural innocence. They enter heaven by the very same way that we do; they are recipients in the name of Christ. 'Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid' and I do not think nor dream that there is a different foundation for the infant than that which is laid for the adult." This verse actually supports the first point as well. If David was not a person at conception, how could he possess the sinful nature of a human being?
- In Romans 1:20, all are without excuse because they have the ability to reason. "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made,so that people are without excuse."
Infants have no ability to reason or understand God's power and divine nature, therefore they actually have an excuse. Matt Perman, a writer for DesiringGod states, "if a person did not have access to the revelation of God's glory - did not have the natural capacity to see it and understand it, then Paul implies they would have an excuse at the judgment."
- God, in the past, has chosen in His sovereignty to save babies within their mother's womb. For example, David, John the Baptist, Jeremiah and Samuel were set apart from the womb. These men went on to persevere in their faith and salvation. This is evidence that God has chosen in the past to elect and save infants before they would have the ability to choose Him on their own. Luke 1:15b states, "he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb" speaking of John the Baptist. It is not beyond God's realm of sovereignty to save an infant apart from it's own will.
- King David, after the death of his infant son, was assured of the fact that he would see his son in heaven again. In 2 Samuel 12:23 David cries out, "But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.” If David, who surely had good theology, could be so sure of seeing his infant son again in heaven, so can we. John MacArthur states in his book Safe in the Arms of God, "David knew that at his death he would be going into the near presence of the Lord, and he also knew that this was the eternal home for his baby." (pg. 95)
- The children of Israel were allowed into the promised land, while their sinful parents were not. This was because of their inability to discern good from evil. Deuteronomy 1:39 states, "And as for your little ones, who you said would become a prey, and your children, who today have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there. And to them I will give it, and they shall possess it." Dr. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary asserts about this passage, "We believe that this passage bears directly on the issue of infant salvation, and that the accomplished work of Christ has removed the stain of original sin from those who die in infancy. Knowing neither good nor evil, these young children are incapable of committing sins in the body – are not yet moral agents – and die secure in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ."
- In Ezekiel 16, the people were offering their infants as a sacrifice to the god Moloch, and God calls them "my children". "Prince of Preachers" Charles Spurgeon feels this to be enough to assume that "We may, therefore, believe concerning all those who have fallen asleep in these early days of life, that Jesus said of them, 'These are my children.'"
- Jesus himself tells us that the kingdom of Heaven is made up of little ones in the gospels of Matthew and Mark. He suffers the little children to come unto Him and says that "such is the kingdom of heaven." John Newton very properly says, that such as these made up a very great part of the kingdom of heaven. Spurgeon points out in his sermon on the salvation of those who die in infancy that "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'".
- Scripture is very clear that in heaven there will be people from every "tribe and tongue and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9). There are many people groups or ethnicities that have never heard the gospel, or perhaps a people group that no longer exists that had never heard the gospel. Just how will those ethnicities be represented in heaven? John MacArthur believes that this will occur because of the redemption of their little ones who were lost. (Safe In the Arms of God, pg. 41)
- Job, the most righteous man on earth at his time, felt that to be a stillborn baby would be better than to have been born. He says, "Then I would have been at rest" (Job 3:13) along with others who had been formerly oppressed. John MacArthur states, "The stillborn child lives with the formerly weary and the formerly captive and the formerly oppressed. Job certainly wasn't describing hell . . .Job described the life of the stillborn in the hereafter as a life of rest that is free from wickedness." (Safe In the Arms of God, pg. 54)
I hope these passages (along with others that you might find on your own) as well as the commentary of great theologians help you to understand what Scripture has to say about the destination of our little ones that we lose to miscarriage. It is never enough to just "believe in your heart" that God saves those who die in infancy. We must go to Scripture, search it and find out what God really has to say about this subject, as we would for anything else in our lives. Our feelings and our thoughts are ever-shifting, much like grains of sand. God's Word stands the test of time. It is our rock in times of great distress and pain. My prayer is that knowing these passages will bring you much comfort as you hope in the truth of God's word.