By Nelly Favis Villafuerte
There are many questions bothering many people (Christians and non-Christians alike) about the Holy Bible. One interesting question that continues to perplex many of us is this: What happens to babies, infants, and toddlers after they die? Do they go to heaven or hell? What about the still-born, aborted fetuses, unborn fetus, miscarried babies, mentally retarded or handicapped, or those with serious mental diseases who die before the age of accountability and, therefore, have had no chance of hearing or are incapable of understanding the gospel. In the spiritual realm, the age of accountability is the age when a person can clearly comprehend that they need a Savior because they too are sinners.
The answer to the above-mentioned interesting question that continues to perplex many of us depends on the answer to this question: Do the babies and infants above-mentioned have eternal soul while they are yet in the womb? One view is that the answer to this question is yes. I subscribe to this view, because like others, I believe that at the very moment of conception, the infant (fetus) in the womb already possesses a soul. The basis? Jeremiah 1:5 which says: “Before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee…. (See also Matthew 19:14; Matthew 18:3-4; Mark 9:37; Mark 10:15; and Deuteronomy 1:39.)
In the Book of Genesis, there are Biblical verses that indicate that all living beings reproduce after their kind (see Genesis 1:3, 69, 11, 14, 20, 24). Since human beings have both body and soul, the infant in the womb likewise possesses both body and soul. And the moment an infant in the womb is aborted, his soul (or spirit) departs from the body and goes directly to heaven. Likewise, like others, I believe that if an infant in the womb is miscarried, his soul departs from the body and goes directly to heaven. This theory on infant salvation applies too with all those with mental incapacities. An astounding implication of this theory on infant salvation is the stark reality that staggering billions of babies are going to heaven considering the voluminous rates of miscarriages, still-born deaths, and infant mortalities that have taken place since the ancient times up to the present time.
Remember the story in the Old Testament when King David and Bathsheba’s 7-day-old infant child died? King David said: “But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:23) From this Biblical verse, we see King David’s faith that one day he would be reunited with his son. This verse also shows that children who die are taken to Heaven. David’s words give comfort and assurance to parents similarly situated that they will see their infant children in Heaven. This Biblical verse also supports the view that there are no infants or little children in hell. The infant children go to heaven due to the special dispensation of the grace of our Lord God because they have not reached the age of accountability.
Again, if we reconcile Luke 1:41 with 2 Samuel 12:23 – “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.” – we can say that at the time of conception the fetus has already an eternal soul. Yes, 2 Samuel 12:23 is the Biblical basis of the belief of Christians that at the time of conception, the fetus has already an eternal soul. Conception is generally understood to be the time when the egg and the sperm unite.
This column continues to give out copies of the Holy Bible for free to those who cannot afford to buy their own copies. If interested, please send your letter-request to Ms. Nelly Favis Villafuerte, 5233 Fahrenheit St., Palanan, Makati City. Kindly mention if it is the Tagalog, English, Cebuano, or Ilocano Bible that is preferred.
Be joyful and forgiving! ( may be sent to Ms. Villafuerte’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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