I had a stillborn girl. Will she go to heaven?

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By BibleAsk Team


I’m deeply sorry for your loss. Addressing such a sensitive and profound question requires empathy, compassion, and a thoughtful exploration of theological perspectives. The question of whether a stillborn child goes to heaven is one that has been pondered by theologians and believers for centuries, and it’s important to approach it with humility and reverence. The Bible offers insights and principles that can help guide our understanding and provide comfort in times of grief.

The Nature of God’s Character and Justice

    Central to the question of a stillborn child’s destination is the character of God. The Bible affirms that God is loving, compassionate, and just. Psalm 145:9 (NKJV) declares, “The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” This verse assures us that God’s goodness extends to all of His creation, including infants and unborn children.

    1. God’s Love and Compassion: Throughout Scripture, God’s love and compassion are emphasized, particularly towards the vulnerable and marginalized. Jesus Himself welcomed children and declared, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14, NKJV). This statement underscores God’s special care and concern for children, including those who have passed away before birth.

    2. God’s Justice and Fairness: While Scripture assures us of God’s love and mercy, it also affirms His justice and fairness. Psalm 89:14 (NKJV) proclaims, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; mercy and truth go before Your face.” God’s judgments are always righteous and fair, taking into account the circumstances and condition of each individual.

    The Doctrine of Original Sin and Infant Salvation

      One theological perspective that addresses the question of a stillborn child’s destination is the doctrine of original sin and infant salvation. According to this view, all human beings are born with a sinful nature inherited from Adam (Romans 5:12, NKJV). However, God’s grace extends even to infants who are unable to comprehend or consciously choose salvation.

      1. God’s Grace and Provision: Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV) teaches that salvation is by grace through faith, not by works. For infants who are incapable of exercising faith or understanding the Gospel, theologians argue that God’s grace covers them, extending salvation through the atoning work of Christ.

      2. David’s Response to the Death of His Child: A biblical example often cited in discussions about the fate of stillborn children is the story of King David and Bathsheba’s child in 2 Samuel 12:15-23. Despite David’s fasting and prayers for the child’s healing, the child ultimately dies. David’s response to the child’s death provides insight into his understanding of God’s mercy. He expresses confidence that he will see the child again, stating, “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23, NKJV). While this verse doesn’t explicitly address the child’s destination, it suggests David’s hope in a future reunion with his deceased child.

      Jeremiah’s Hopeful Prophecy

      Many Christians believe that babies that die will be resurrected at the end of time and will go to heaven on the basis of Jeremiah’s prophecy in the Old Testament about an event that took place in the New Testament which was recorded in Matthew 2:16-18. This event tells of King Herod who ordered the slaying of all the male babies in Bethlehem that were two years old or younger to get rid of the coming Messiah.

      In Jeremiah’s prophecy, the saints that lost their children have the hope of reuniting with their precious children. The prophet wrote: “Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says the LORD, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope in your future, says the LORD, that your children shall come back to their own border” (Jeremiah 31:16, 17).

      Primarily, the Phrase “your children shall come back to their own border” points to the return of the exiles from captivity. But secondarily, it points to that time when the final restoration will be permanent, the time of the “restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21) at the second coming of Christ. The promise found in Jeremiah 31:16-17, may well give assurance to any modern Rachel in Israel, that if she is faithful to the Lord, her babies who have been claimed by death will be restored to her by the great Life-giver on the Resurrection Day.

      The Sovereignty and Mercy of God

        Ultimately, the question of a stillborn child’s destination rests in the sovereign hands of God. Deuteronomy 32:4 (NKJV) assures us, “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.” We trust in God’s perfect wisdom, justice, and mercy, knowing that He will do what is right and fair.

        1. Trusting in God’s Sovereignty: As believers, we find comfort in surrendering to God’s sovereignty, trusting that He knows what is best for each individual soul. While we may not fully understand His ways, we cling to the promise of Romans 8:28 (NKJV): “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

        2. Finding Comfort in God’s Presence: In times of grief and loss, we find solace in the presence of God, who promises to be near to the brokenhearted and to comfort those who mourn (Psalm 34:18, NKJV). Through prayer, Scripture, and the support of fellow believers, we draw strength and hope as we navigate the complexities of life and death.

        Conclusion

          In conclusion, the question of whether a stillborn child goes to heaven is one that elicits deep emotions and theological reflection. The Bible offers reassurance of God’s love, compassion, and justice. We trust in His sovereignty and mercy, finding comfort in His promises and presence. As we journey through the valley of grief, we cling to the hope of a future reunion with our loved ones in the presence of our loving Heavenly Father.

          In His service,
          BibleAsk Team

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