The destiny of infants and children who die before they become capable of understanding sin and the Gospel of Christ has always been a subject of much debate. This is because the Bible does not directly address the issue. The interpreter must make inferences from biblical texts regarding this issue.
There are four compelling reasons for believing that such little ones will be accepted into heaven at death: (1) Logic
It seems logical to conclude that if a person cannot do the one thing that God
requires for forgiveness, then God will not hold him accountable to do so. For
example, what mother would hold her 9 month old baby accountable for not using the
toilet? For a baby, or young child, or a mentally deficient person, to truly
believe on the Lord Jesus is just that impossible.
In light of God’s great concern for those too young to possess moral discernment
(Jonah 4:11), it seem reasonable that God would not reject them, but rather accept
them on the basis of Christ’s death for the sins of the whole world.
(2) Not Present At The Final Judgment
Those too young to possess moral discernment are not present at the Great White
Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11-15). According to this passage, all of the unsaved dead
are raised from the dead to be judged “according to their works.” This is why the
“books are opened.” However, the little ones under discussion have no works to be
judged, but all at this final judgment are judged “according to their works.” The
only people who are cast into the lake of fire are individuals who stand at this
judgment. Since these little ones are not present for this judgment, it seems that
they are safe in the arms of the Lord.
(3) David’s Confidence
In 2 Samuel 12:22,23, David made an insightful statement about his baby who had just
died. David said, “I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” David was
certain that he would be reunited with this child. And we know that David was
looking forward to entering the house of the Lord at death (Psalm 23:6).
We also need to realize that David was a prophet (Acts 2:30) and possessed prophetic
insight into the future. There is no reason why David’s hope for his child should
not also be our hope for a child that has passed on.
(4) Guarded By Angels
According to Matthew 18:10, these precious little ones have angels who are
positioned so close to the heavenly father, that they always see His face. This
suggests that these angels exercise a special authority to protect these little
ones. It is hard to believe that these little ones who are so protected by the
mighty angels could somehow be lost and condemned to Hell.
For these reasons I am compelled to believe that when infants, small children, and mentally deficient people, who are either too young to believe or are incapable of believing, die, that they are mercifully received into heaven, based on the all sufficient death of Christ on the cross.