Will new-born babies who die before they are able to choose Christ be lost? Many people seem to have the idea that it depends on the parents. If the parents are saved, then the child will be saved. If the parents are lost, then the child will be lost. However, in light of the gospel, this does not make sense. Humanity is lost or saved on the basis what Adam and Christ has done. The word of God teaches us that all men became sinful and lost because of Adam's sin. However, the same word teaches us that salvation is available to all because of what Christ did. Of course, for a person to receive the gift of salvation in Christ, he must make a choice. He must choose to believe in the gift of God.
But what about a child who is too young to choose, whose mind is so undeveloped that he is incapable of making conscious and rational choices, and yet, who dies in such a state? What will the just God do in the case of such children? For those who believe it depends on our works it presents a problem. The best answer they can come up with is to say that it depends on whether or not the parents themselves are saved. Therefore, the parents become the saviours of the children instead of Christ. On some issues it is unwise to be dogmatic. However, when we examine the question in the light of the gospel, one option seems reasonable. Adam's sin killed all men. Jesus' righteousness has made salvation available to all men. Jesus' life overturned the consequences of Adam's life and this becomes a reality for all who will believe. In fact, the Bible states it thus:
Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (Rom 5:18)
If Adam killed all of us, including babies, but Jesus died for all of us, including babies, then on which side would we put a baby who is incapable of making a choice for himself? What is the just thing to do? Remember that the baby did not choose Christ (because he cannot) but neither did he choose to be born into this world. In both cases, he has no choice. But Christ died for him. Is the sin of Adam stronger than the righteousness of Christ? Is Adam's condemnation greater than the grace of God?
…. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (Rom 5:20)
I believe that when we understand the gospel properly, it is reasonable to believe that babies who cannot choose will be saved on the basis of what Christ has done for all men.
Of course, the question remains, what about the carnal nature? Will not those babies still have a carnal nature? Christ has made it legally possible for them to have life, but what about the fact that these babies have a carnal nature? Just as God gives a new life, a new nature to the person who believes, He is able to do the same for a baby. But does He have the right to do this? His sacrifice for all men certainly gives Him that right.