Do children who die before the age of accountability have guaranteed entrance to heaven?

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Many believe that young children who pass away will go to heaven on the basis of a prophecy that foretold what happened in Matthew 2:16-18. In this passage, Herod ordered the slaying of all the male babies who were two years old and younger in Bethlehem in the hope of getting rid of the coming Messiah. Jeremiah the prophet foretold this tragic event saying: “Refrain thy voice from weeping, … they [the slain children] shall come again from the land of the enemy…Thy children shall come again to their own border” (Jeremiah 31:16, 17).

This passage refers to that time when restoration will be permanent, the time of the “restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21) at the second coming of Christ. The promises found in Jeremiah 31:16- 17 may well give affirmation to any believing mother that if she is faithful to the Lord, her children who have been taken by death will be restored to her by God at the Resurrection Day.

The Bible teaches that children before the age of accountability (which may range from 8-12) are sanctified by their believing parents: “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy” (1 Corinthians 7:14).

But parents need to dedicate their children to the Lord and raise them in His path. The seeds they sow will have eternal consequences in the lives of their children. When they grow and are able to make their own decisions, they will be judged according to their own choices.

Jesus certainly made clear His love of children for He said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14; also Mark 10:14; Luke 18:16). God has a purpose for each one of them. And we can fully trust our children to His infinite love because He gave His life to save them (John 3:16).

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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