Infant salvation is a question specifically asked regarding the eternal destiny of those who die in infancy. Scripture is not explicit on this issue, hence arguments are based on general theological principles and inference from Scripture.
Reformed theology has generally maintained the salvation of those who die in infancy; yet they have done so without compromising the doctrines of original sin, the atonement, and/or justification as has been the case in many arguments. The Reformed perspective is confirmed by B. B. Warfield in his excellent essay on the doctrine of infant salvation. Therein he states,
- Today few Calvinists can be found who do not hold . . . that all who die in infancy are the children of God and enter at once into His glory -- not because original sin alone is not deserving of eternal punishment, nor because they are less guilty than others, nor because they die in infancy, but simply because God in His infinite love has chosen them in Christ before the foundation of the world.
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Passages cited in support of infant salvation
- "[David] answered, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.' 23 But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me." (2 Sam. 12:22-23, NIV)
- "Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."" (Matt. 19:14, NIV). See also Mark 10:14, Luke 18:16.
- Some theologians have contended that Revelation 7:9 also supports this view, "How can there be in heaven a countless number of people from every nation, tribe, people and language (Rev. 7:9, NIV)? Surely not every tribe of people around the world has adult believers. Is it not possible, therefore, that a number of tribes will be represented by children who die in infancy?" (Swindoll, 2003).
- ↑ Benjamin B. Warfield, Studies in Theology, Banner of Truth, p. 438.