The eternal fate of a deceased child has always been one of the more difficult issues to address in Christianity. The different answers are all very emotionally charged, especially for those who have lost a little one. There are also a lot of assumptions and misconceptions about what the Bible says regarding this issue. Healing Hereafter was written to look as objectively as possible at potential answers to these complex questions, earnestly seek whatever biblical commentary exists on the topic, and put it all together into some sensible, helpful closure. Although some may claim that the Bible does not speak much to the postmortem fate of the very young, we will find a lot more than you might expect. God does give us an answer, it is very fair, and it makes perfect sense. Chapter 8 explains how, so check out the whole thing if the summary below piques your interest!
The fate of those who die very young or in utero is our first illustration of God’s all-encompassing evangelism. We realize that God not only violates his justice, makes believing in Jesus obsolete, and holds a double standard if he sends people to Hell who haven’t heard Jesus’ message, he also does all three things if he sends people to Heaven who haven’t heard or accepted Jesus’ message. This contradicts the popular and emotionally-embraced notion that children will automatically go to Heaven when they die, so we explore everywhere in the Bible people turn to find arguments for it. We are surprised to learn that these arguments ignore the literary context, make unwarranted assumptions, are invalidated by the biblical context, are logically inconsistent, prove themselves wrong, specifically require hearing the gospel and expressing voluntary faith in Jesus, embrace universalism, make it possible for children to go from Heaven to Hell, or rationally justify killing anyone who hasn’t yet been exposed to the solution of Jesus! We conclude that whatever measure of comfort the automatic salvation of children appears to offer is nullified when we consider its troublesome consequences. But we also alleviate the emotional difficulty of letting it go by recognizing that there are no kids in Hell, only ageless spirits who are as
capable of making their own salvation decision as we are, and that therefore, all our children—alive or dead—are treated fairly by God.