Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Eternal Security

 

What About Eternal Security?

B. Hodge, Biblical Authority Ministries, March, 16, 2021

 

Introduction 

When you get saved—are you always saved or can you lose your salvation and have to regain it from time to time? Whole churches have been split on this since the Reformation and is still a hot button issue 500 years later.  

There are several passages of Scripture that discuss eternal security.  Here are a few: 

"You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. "I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me. "It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And I am God. "Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?" (Isaiah 43:10-13 NASB) 

"But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. "I and the Father are one." (John 10:26-30 NASB) 

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. (1 John 2:15-20 NASB) 

"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. "This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:37-40 NASB) 

Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him (1 John 3 NASB) 

The Doctrine of Eternal Security 

The doctrine of eternal security is essential for the Christian to better understand God’s grace. The Bible teaches that salvation is of God (Ephesians 2:8) not of us. Before we are saved, we are dead to sin. “And you were dead in your trespasses” (Ephesians 2:1). Some may want to claim that we were drowning in sin and we reached out our hand for God to save us, and He reached down and saved us. 

Actually, as the Scripture records, we were more rightly dead, not drowning, already lying on the bottom of the lake. He had to come down and resuscitate us—like Lazarus dead in the grave—only Christ could bring life back into him (John 11:14-45). 

 

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

 

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:1-9 NASB) 

Please note clearly, there is nothing we add to our salvation. God found us spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14) and dead in our transgressions. We were dead to sin and Christ made us alive. Because our salvation is entirely of God, we can do nothing to add to it or take away from it. Are we mightier than God? Absolutely not. 

Since God has “made us alive” there is nothing we can do to make ourselves spiritually dead, otherwise we control our salvation, not God.  If this were possible, we can add salvation and remove it when we want based on our thoughts and actions. 

Allow this illustration to help explain it: being born into a physical family mirrors being born into the family of God. The family you were born into will forever be your family. There is nothing you can do to exit that family. As long as you live you will have the genetic makeup of your parents.  You can move across the earth, deny them, you can even murder them, and they are still your family. You can do nothing in your power to erase the fact that you are part of that family. 

So it is in the family of God. Once you are born into the family of God, you have no power or ability to remove yourself from it. Why? Because you don’t have the power to do so in the same way you had no power to get into it (this is not to deny man’s responsibility though which is a different topic). It was the Holy Spirit prompting and convicting you (2 Thessalonians 2:13, John 16:7-8, Titus 3:3-5, 1 Corinthians 12:3). 

It is so important to understand this point because if one does not recognize that salvation is totally a gift from God and nothing of oneself, it reduces the concept of grace and there are implications. If salvation is of one’s doing, it is not a free gift. Therefore, if one can lose and gain it based on their thoughts and actions, it is a work, and that is not in accordance with the clear teaching of Scripture. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, see also Titus 3:5-7)

Therefore, believing that one can lose salvation can, but doesn’t always lead to a road of salvation by works. Though this doesn’t negate one’s salvation, so please do not confuse this issue. Further reading of Romans 8:38-39, Ephesians 1-2, 1 Corinthians 1:12-14, and Titus 3:3-7 would be of great help.

Answering objections 

Objection: What about Hebrew 10:26? 

For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. (Hebrews 10:26-27 NASB) 

This doesn’t say that those who are in Christ will lose their salvation but says that if they willfully sin after knowing not to, the Law’s sacrifices can’t help. God will still judge his peoples’ sins and all of us will give an account of our sins. This is the culmination in the context if we continue reading to Hebrews 10:30. This is also confirmed in Romans 14:12. Thank the Lord that Christ’s righteousness has been imputed to Christians. 

Objection: What about Hebrews 3:6-14? 

But Christ was faithful as a Son over His house — whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end. Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, 

"TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME, AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS, WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED Me BY TESTING Me, AND SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS. "THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION, AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART, AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS’; AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, ‘THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.’" 

Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end. (Hebrew 3:6-14 NASB) 

Note that those who turn away from the living God are unbelievers in verse 12. There is no reason to propose they believed prior to this. They may have tasted the heavenly blessing, but it was never theirs. If Christians follow after these sinful unbelievers, then they run the risk of being hardened or stagnant in their Christian faith, but not a loss of salvation. But Christians should recognize that these are sinful and want to turn from such things.     

Objection: What about Hebrew 6:4-6? 

And this we will do, if God permits. For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. (Hebrews 6:3-6 NASB) 

This is a passage where the writers of Hebrews draw a comparison with a more mature topic (Hebrew 6:1-2). And clearly this is referring to people who have been saved “enlightened”, “tasted the heavenly gift”, “partakers of the Holy Spirit” and so on. But the key is given in verse 3. Verse 3 indicates the following verses (4-6) are a hypothetical situation as indicated by “if God permits”.   

The point is simple, if one could lose their salvation, then they can never be saved again because Christ would have to die on the cross and put Him to open shame again for them, which will never happen.  So the hypothetical resolve concludes that one cannot lose their salvation and is consistent with other passages in the Bible. 

This has strong implications.  Consider if one does lose their salvation and fall away even in a minute manner of momentary doubt.  In keeping with such a philosophy, then that person would be lost forever with no possibility of salvation. This would mean that someone of the vilest and evilest of intentions would have a better possibility of entering into the kingdom of heaven than a person who has been trying and yet stumbled briefly in their faith. But the key in this passage is that this was a hypothetical to show that salvation really is eternal life, and not temporary life.     

Objection: What about Matthew 7:21 where it says “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven”? 

"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? "So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. "A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. "So then, you will know them by their fruits. "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. "Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ "And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ (Matthew 7:15-21 NASB) 

The context clears this up easily.  It is referring to false prophets who do not bear good fruit.  See Matthew 7:15.  So they were never saved it the first place.  

Objection: What about 1 Corinthians 9:24-27? 

I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. 

They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:23-27 NASB) 

Paul is pointing out a contrast between the race being run for the Gospel and a physical race by runners. With runners, they all run and yet only 1 receives a prize and it will be forgotten in time anyway (perishable). But in contrast, Christians run for an imperishable crown—and there is no uncertainty about it. This crown being eternal life and one can be certain of it as Paul says in verse 26.  

Also in contrast to a physical race, those running toward an imperishable crown all win, not just one. So Paul sets the example, that if you know what you are running for and know you will win, then run the race the race like you mean it, and that is what he is doing. So he disciplines himself to run race to win, not sitting around on his laurels and failing to try (i.e., be disqualified). And this discipline leads to his preaching.    

But take note of the phrase “when I have preached to others”, which immediately precedes becoming disqualified. So what would Paul be disqualified from? Is it the imperishable crown or the right to preach the Gospel? This is the crux of the issue. This phrase, “when I have preached to others” is placed perfectly to reveal that the disqualification in reference is to preaching, not to eternal life.  

And this makes sense of the context. If Paul is slack about running the disciplined race when preaching, then he would not be qualified to be their preacher. But he does it for the Gospel’s sake to be fellow partakers with those he is preaching to (verse 23).  

Objection: What about Luke 13:24? 

And someone said to Him, "Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?" And He said to them, "Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. "Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ "Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.’ "In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out. (Luke 13:23-28 NASB) 

In verse 24, it reveals that there will be many who seek the Lord but will not enter. But take note that seeking the Lord is not the requirement for salvation, whereas a saving belief in Jesus Christ is. For example the Bible says: 

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16  NASB) 

The Bible does not say: 

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever SEEKS Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16  NASB) 

The Bible says: 

And after he brought them out, he said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." (Acts 16:30–31 NASB) 

The Bible does not say: 

And after he brought them out, he said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

They said, "SEEK the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household." (Acts 16:30–31 NASB) 

So the people in Luke 13:24 were not saved in the first place, so they did not fall away from salvation, since they never had it.    

Final thoughts 

John makes a powerful statement when he wrote: 

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:13 NASB) 

How could anyone know they have eternal life if it could be snatched from them at any time? The fact is, if a person could lose their salvation at any moment, then they can’t know for sure that they have eternal life. If they could walk away at anytime, then this would presents a serious problem for John’s statement. For such a guarantee could not be decreed unless one stood firmly until the end of their life, without doubt; but John, speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit, said they could know well before the end of their life. 

When the Lord says eternal life, He means it; it is eternal, not to be taken away at any moment. So to reiterate Isaiah: "And I am God. "Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?"

 


Friday, March 12, 2021

Unborn Saved?

 

Can Unborn and Young Children Who Died Be Saved?

B. Hodge, Biblically Authority Ministries, March 12, 2021

  

Thank you for contacting the ministry. I want to give my personal views and I know others may disagree with me but my hope is to help give comfort to fellow Christians who ask about this serious topic. I am open to the possibility that I am wrong and ask forgiveness up front. Nevertheless, I ask that my fallible response not be a reflection of a perfect God and His Word. 

Who Are Sinners?  

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23 NKJV) 

Romans 5:12 also indicates that all have sinned because Adam sinned. Isaiah 48:8 (speaking of Israel and Judah) and Psalms 51:5 (speaking of David) alludes to the sinful nature of children even in the womb. The punishment for sin is death (Genesis 2:17, Romans 6:23). 

Why do I start here? There are some people who try to argue that the unborn (or even newly born children) are sinless or without sin—blameless and pure in the sight of God. Thus, they can be saved by having a form of righteousness and purity apart from Christ. I want to caution people from using this argument because there are significant theological problems with this view.  

Consider the implication of the unborn if they are not sinners. If the unborn have not sinned, then they cannot die because the punishment for sin is death. Sadly, they can die whether by miscarriage, abortion, still born, etc. God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18) so, as we (author and reader together) just read, all are sinners. I have four children in my house and from personal experience, I can attest from the moment they were born, they are definitely little sinners. 😊 

There is another theological problem if we assume that the unborn are not sinners. In Romans 5:6-8 and 1 Timothy 1:15 both indicate that Jesus came to save sinners, i.e., the ungodly. If the unborn are sinless, then Jesus didn’t die for them. This would pose a problem for the unborn then since no one comes to the Father except through Jesus (John 14:6).  If they were not sinners, they wouldn’t even have the possibility to go through Jesus so they wouldn’t make it to God the Father in Heaven.  

Another theological issue is in Hebrews 7:26 where Jesus is set apart from sinners as He is the only one blameless and pure. If there are others who are blameless and pure, then Jesus wouldn’t be set apart in that respect. 

In our hearts, we desperately want children to be blameless and pure but they inherit sin because we were all in Adam when he sinned. 

Let me explain this further. My life came from my parents and your life came from your parents. Where their life come from? It came from their parents…all the way back to Adam and Eve. When Adam sinned our life was wrapped up in Adam so his sin is also our sin. This is called original sin because it came from the original sin in the Garden of Eden. We are sinners by the nature of our life going back to Adam but we are also sinners by our own actions and choices. Hebrews 7 reveals: 

Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. (Hebrews 7:9-10 NKJV) 

Note that Abraham’s great grandson Levi was considered “still in the body” of his ancestor Abraham when Abe paid tithes to a priest called Melchizedek. Thus our life was indeed in Adam when he first sinned. The Son of God—Jesus Christ, being the Creator God Himself per John 1, Colossians 1 and Hebrews 1, was without sin (Hebrews 4:15) yet came in the likeness of sinful flesh (Romans 8:3) to save sinners. So to argue that children are without sin would be to negate that they have the possibility of salvation. 

Significance of the Sinless Christ 

Jesus, being sinless, meant that rightly, He shouldn’t have been able to die either. Recall that death is the punishment for sin. But Jesus should not have been able to die. So how is it that He was able to die on the cross? According to the Bible, Jesus became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) in order to die. 

Upon Christ’s death via the Roman crucifixion incited by the Jews (including the High Priest himself), the infinitely powerful Son also took the infinitely powerful punishment we deserve from the infinitely powerful Father. Christ’s spilt blood satisfied God’s wrath upon sin and makes salvation possible. 

Thus Christ’s righteousness can be imputed (or transferred) to us when we repent of our sin and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior (Romans 4:23-5:1) by believing in His death, burial, and resurrection (John 3:16-18, Romans 10:9). 

Salvation is a work of God and a free gift offered to sinners (Ephesians 2:8). So believers are seen as without blemish and pure and spotless as the perfect bride of Christ to enter into a perfect heaven (Revelation 21:27)  with a  perfect God for eternity. 

Jesus being the new federal head of humanity (Matthew 28:18, 1 Peter 5:11), unlike Adam (who led us into death through sin) cannot sin and therefore cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13); so for eternity we will never fall back into sin and death. This is why we can have eternal life enjoying God’s goodness forever (e.g., Daniel 12:2, Matthew 25:46). 

Are human babies “human”? 

It is hard to believe that people in our culture fail to understand this basic fact of life, but yes. human babies are human—even the unborn. They are people, albeit younger, but people nonetheless and we were all like this except Adam and Eve. Our respective grandparents were made with fully mature bodies and God supernaturally gave them life—this is not a problem because God is omnipotent (i.e., all-powerful). 

Some evolutionist have argued that babies are not yet human but going through evolutionary animal phases during embryonic development (called: “embryonic recapitulation”). Sadly many are deceived into believing this religious view as it is taught in most state schools. This religion is why some people try to justify abortion children. 

Even so, such a story is absurd as babies are unique persons from the moment of fertilization where a new child is made by the combining of the DNA from both mother and father. At no stage in the womb are baby humans going through animal phases—and this can be eye witnessed today through technology. 

Sadly, many Christians today try to mix their religion with the secular evolutionary religion. In doing so, some join with this idea of human babies are going through animal phases in the womb and they assume their baby can be aborted because it is just like an animal and not made in the image of an eternal God to have an eternal soul yet. 

Thus, they reason that the child in the womb isn’t eternal but more like an animal and so salvation isn’t necessary for discussion. Even so, murdering a child is simply that—murder and God will deal with those sins on judgment day if one doesn’t repent. God is merciful to those who humble themselves and admit and repent of their sin to Him.   

 

Don’t Be Rash 

For many years, I quickly assumed that the children that died early or were aborted were saved without much thought. I do want to encourage caution on this position though too. If this position is taken, then the conclusion could result that Christians should encourage abortions and the murder of the young particularly among non-believers, so that these children can be saved. Of course, this should never even be a thought of Christians who should be holding to the sanctity of life and the repeated biblical commands not to murder. 

But look at the converse. Consider the possibility that all the aborted, still-born, or miscarried children are lost for eternal damnation. Such a  sobering thought could dissuade even the most ardent evangelical from action knowing that nearly a billion children have been aborted the world over since I was born in the 1970s. Although one can see why Christians often stand up against abortion and the killing children. But let’s look at this issue in more detail before succumbing to such a rash conclusions one way or another.  

How Do We Know If Someone Is Saved? 

Jesus died for all (who receive Him—e.g., John 12:48) including those prior to and after His death on the cross and resurrection as indicated in Hebrew 2:9. The Old Testament people of God could not testify of Jesus in the flesh because He hadn’t come yet but they knew God and with Jesus being God, they were His when they placed their faith in God. 

The godly Old Testament persons looked forward to Christ’s finished work on the cross and His resurrection in the same way we look back to what Christ did. This is why the Greek word for “everyone” in Hebrews 2:9 indicates all people of all time – Old Testament, New Testament, those up to now, and those hereafter until Christ bodily returns.  

But determining who is saved and not can become a hairy situation sometimes – from a human perspective that is. Of course, God knows and He is the best judge anyway.   

If someone were to ask me if someone walking down the street was saved, that would be a very difficult task to ascertain, unless I could ask that person. And then see if they were producing the fruits a Christian should produce as a potential confirmation (e.g., Luke 6:43-44). 

Let’s face it, a non Christian can lie and say they are a Christian even when they have not received Christ as their Lord. Leading atheist Richard Dawkins often calls himself a “cultural Christian” or “cultural Anglican” (the Church of England).[1] He is by no means a follower of Christ. So seeing fruits are a good confirmation but even then it is still not absolute.  

When it comes to children—namely the unborn, seeing fruits and even asking is impossible from a human perspective. So in reality, it would be extremely difficult for me to say if anyone is saved or not. But that is really between God and that person, even the youngest of children. 

God Searches And Draws All People 

God says He searches all hearts for example when He is speaking to Solomon: 

"As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. (1 Chronicles 28:9 NKJV) 

This includes the heart of children – even in the womb. It is God that draws them to Himself.  Consider: 

"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:44 NKJV) 

Jesus affirmed that He draws all people to Himself: 

"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." (John 12:32 NKJV) 

The unborn are people and Jesus said He draws them. This means that God has drawn children  in the womb that is about to be aborted and a child that dies while very young, even after being born. For one to be saved though, God is the one who works in them and who of us can know who the Holy Spirit has saved in the womb and young children out of the womb? 

God, who knows the future, is aware if a child is about to be aborted, die early of disease, or other problem. Who are we to say that God has not already been working in the hearts of the unborn and the young children who have been born and will die soon. God has mercy on those on whom He wills to have mercy. 

Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.  (Romans 9:18 NKJV) 

I believe that children can be saved even though they are extremely young but they can only be saved through their faith in Jesus Christ (John 14:6). It would not be via any other means. 

If someone argues that a child is too young to be saved because they do not have sufficient understanding to properly ascertain a thorough comprehension of the salvific work of Christ unto saving believability then we must ask how young and how much understanding must one have? (See what I did there—did you have to read that sentence twice?!? 😊). Don’t forget that it is a child-like faith that is the type of faith for which we strive (Matthew 18:2-4)! 

What I’m getting at is that salvation is predicated on Christ’s work in one’s heart by the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3) unto saving faith—not the depth of knowledge that we learn about Christ and His Work. I am still learning daily about His awesomeness and am overwhelmingly dwarfed by the immensity of the wisdom in His Word. I feel like a child in the depth of what I want to know about God and His Word. Consider the fact that we are all very young little children to someone like Jared and Methuselah who lived 962 and 969 years old respectively. 

David 

Now consider Psalm 22:10:

I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother’s womb You have been My God. (Psalm 22:10 NKJV) 

The Bible teaches us that David, while in the womb, knew God and was His (Psalm 22:10).  Take note that this doesn’t negate that David was sinner prior to birth. 

Now the point I’m getting to is that there is a difference in being aware of sin and being a sinner. Even now, there are adults living that don’t realize they are sinners and are well beyond the state of awareness. Does this make them sinless? No. 

So with respect to the unborn, just because they are unaware that they are sinners, does this make them sinless? No. We are committing the logical fallacy of equivocation when we equate being sinless with salvation. There were elect angels (e.g., 1 Timothy 5:21) that did not sin and thus were not in need of salvation. The only way we can have salvation is to be in need of salvation (i.e., be in sin). Being sinful doesn’t negate salvation, but what it does do is give eligibility to be saved through Jesus Christ. If children weren't sinners, they couldn't be saved.     

But I believe children and the unborn have the possibility of salvation because the Bible says that the Lord was David’s God as early as the womb (Psalm 22:10). Psalm 22:9, just before this, indicates that God gives trust as well. Jeremiah was a similar case—God both knew and sanctified Jeremiah in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5). 

Therefore, there is the possibility that even extremely young children can be saved for their faith in the Lord Jesus – as far back as the womb as in the case of David and Jeremiah. Though we need to be careful about projecting this to all children in the womb. Because God has not revealed that all children in the womb are His. Judas wasn’t and he was in the womb once too. Consider these passages: 

Even a child is known by his deeds, Whether what he does is pure and right. (Proverbs 20:11 NKJV) 

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who begets a wise child will delight in him. (Proverbs 23:24 NKJV) 

Children can be known by their deeds and even have wisdom. It is the Lord that gives wisdom (Proverbs 2:6). So at early ages, the Lord is already working in children as well. Has He drawn them to salvation? That is between the Lord and the child.   

But a little more comfort presents itself. You may also recall the instance with David’s young child in 2 Samuel 12:15-22 indicating that even though the child died, David would again be with him.  This indicates that the child was still in the care of God and thus Jesus Christ and David was saved (Psalm 27:1). 

Judas 

Consider another instance. Judas. Satan entered him and he betrayed Christ (John 13:27). He committed suicide by hanging himself (Matthew 27:5) then later his body fell and was split open (Acts 1:18). But Jesus said of him: 

"The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born." (Matthew 26:24 NKJV) 

"The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born." (Mark 14:21 NKJV) 

It sounds as though the nature of a child dying prior to birth has a better outcome (i.e., still born or miscarriage) than dying in sin as Judas did. However, the word for “born” means “to beget” or to be fathered”. So the passage may be saying prior to Judas’s conception/fertilization from his father (i.e., when he was beget). Does this mean it would have been better for Judas to have remained in the his father’s loins rather than to have been made. Anything would be better than an eternal hell in which he now is.  

The Ten Commandments 

The Ten Commandments states something that has intrigued people down through the ages. In the Second Commandment, God writes: 

"You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (Exodus 20:4-6 NKJV) 

The last part of this discusses God’s judgment of iniquity down to the third and fourth generation of children to those who hate God. Consider this with regards to the children of those who hate God and have them aborted. The punishment for abortion is immediate in having your child taken away from you. 

But look also to the blessing. God shows mercy to a thousand generations of children of those who love God. David was a great example here. David did love the Lord. Although he sinned and had a child with Bathsheba in adultery and murdered Bathsheba’s husband, the child was taken from them regardless of David’s subsequent actions. David repented, he did love God even though he made mistakes. And he was comforted in knowing that the He would again see the child when he would die many years later.        

My Fallible Final Remarks 

The point in all this is that there is much to consider. But as a fallible humans on this side of heaven, it is difficult for me to put a perfect answer down on paper for this difficult subject. God simply didn’t reveal enough for me to be definitive. Although I must caveat, perhaps God did and I am just not able to have reasoned it yet. If so, the fault is mine alone. 

I also understand that people asking this question have often undergone loss and for that I’m sorry. It can be difficult. You may think that I don’t know how to deal with this loss but the fact is I do. My wife and I lost a child to a miscarriage many years ago and it is a painful reminder of a sin-cursed and broken world. It was unbelievably tough on us. It is all the more reason to turn our eyes to Christ who is the Great Healer. 

From this perspective, my advice is time and prayer are among the best things you can do. Search the Scripture and find comfort in Christ and remember that God knows all things and He knows best and He is a righteous judge—far better than you or me. With sincerity, take humble comfort in that.     

 

 

 

 

 



[1] For example see: Dawkins, the Cultural Christian? December 15, 2007,  https://answersingenesis.org/christianity/dawkins-the-cultural-christian/.

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