Understandably, people who lose a child want assurance that their little one is safe in the arms of God. The Bible is not explicit about what happens to those who are too young to make a proclamation of faith. However, the Lord’s mercy upon them becomes clear as we study His Word.
Over the years, many people have created unbiblical explanations for what happens to children who die. There are those who argue that salvation is available to some but not to others, which is scripturally untrue (John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9). Also unsupportable is the more complicated theory that God uses His foreknowledge to determine whether a child who dies will enter heaven or hell. The idea is that He rescues those who He knows would have grown up and been saved, but He rejects the rest. What terrible uncertainty that would mean for family members left behind.
God doesn’t keep people guessing. What His Word teaches is that during the early years of life, a child does not know how to choose good from evil (Deut. 1:39; Isa. 7:16) and therefore isn’t held responsible for his moral conduct. Accordingly, when a little one departs from life, the Lord is waiting with open arms. This theology makes biblical sense, given the Father’s character, desires, and plan.
Until a child is mature enough to decide about whether to serve the Lord, he or she is safe from divine judgment. Our just and loving God does not punish children for being too young to grasp their need of a Savior. Believers join their departed little ones in heaven (2 Samuel 12:23).
Bible in One Year: Isaiah 19-22