According to some interpretations of the bible, babies go to hell since they cannot sincerely and consciously accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.
I know that's probably not the case for most Christians, but are there any interpretations of the bible that would suggest this?
Happy Riches, Have a genuine relationship with Lord Jesus Christ. Not merely academic.
There are four views that are common among people who claim to be Christians concerning the salvation of infants and whether they go to Heaven.
One view is that only children who were elected before the foundation of the world are saved and go to Heaven.
Another view is only baptized children are saved and go to Heaven.
A third view is that only those children who are born to believing parents are saved and go to Heaven.
A fourth view is that all infants and children under the age of twelve are saved and go to Heaven.
Only The Preordained Elect Go To Heaven
The idea that only those children who were elected before the foundation of the world are saved is based upon a philosophical view that is not biblical. This is the false belief that people are not saved by faith but by grace alone and do not possess freewill to choose right from wrong.
This false teaching that many people adhere to rejects the fact that we are to seek God; we are saved by faith as Abraham was saved by faith; and we can lose our salvation that we possessed while we were believing; it also allows for other erroneous ideas such as only some infants can be saved.
Essentially, the view that only those who were predetermined to be saved before the foundation of the world as infants or children are to be saved is not supported by the Bible. For this view accuses God of evil in that God sends infants into eternal punishment just to delight in their torture. This is contrary to the nature of God and attributes the Everlasting Creator who is righteous, loving and merciful to be evil. Only the Devil or his servants would come up with such an accusation against the Lord God.
Only The Baptized Go To Heaven
Only the baptized children go to Heaven. This view is based upon the following texts from the Gospel of Mark and the First Epistle to the Corinthians
“He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:16).
For the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is consecrated through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is they are holy. (1 Corinthians 7:14)
Only The Children Of Believers Go To Heaven
The view that children only go to Heaven who are born to believing parents, or if one parent is a believer, is based on the text above quoted from First Corinthians. Baptism is not a prerequisite. The idea that parents are unable to baptize their children and they are cast into Hell because of what their parents did not do is contrary to the Bible. For the Bible teaches that each person will be held accountable for his own sin. That each person is accountable for his or her own sin, even though expressed in the masculine, is very clear in the Bible. Many people think that they were chosen before the foundation of the world and therefore are not accountable for their own sin. However, this is contrary to what the Bible states.
“The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor shall the children be put to death for the fathers; every man shall be put to death for his own sin.(Deuteronomy 24:16; 2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chronicles 25:4; Jeremiah 31:30; 1 Samuel 2:25; Exodus 32:33).
All Those Under Twelve Go To Heaven
The fourth view that all children are considered innocent until they reach the age of twelve is not exactly biblical. It is based upon a common belief that children are considered innocent until they reach the age of twelve and are therefore considered to be responsible for their own actions. This view is based on the fact that the age of twelve Jesus went to the temple and identified with His Father and indicated that He understood that He had to give an account to our Heavenly Father, rather than man. The account in Luke states:
And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the company they went a day’s journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; 4 and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when they saw him they were astonished;and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. (Luke 3:22-51)
While we see Jesus keeps the fifth commandment, indicating that He is walking in the promises of God, and understood to Whom He was accountable, this does not necessarily mean that every other child possesses the knowledge that the Son of God did at His age, when in human form.
What does the Bible say in respect to a particular age as being the age of accountability? Nothing.
Who The Bible Says Go To Heaven
The Bible states that a person can be saved, walk away from being saved, and then repent and secure salvation again (Ezekiel 18). But can a child do this, let alone an infant?
The Bible states:
The soul who sins, he shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be on him. (Ez. 18:20)
Just because death has passed down to all men, and all men sin, this does not mean that the sins of the parents necessarily pass down on to the children, even though all children are born into sin because sin reigns on this Earth, and therefore all things are subject to death.
Nevertheless, every child sins when coveting something that belongs to someone
else, bears false witness, takes something without permission and disobeys a
parent. From that point on, once one of those commandments has been broken, the
child is guilty of having committed sin. What this means, even though we are conceived in sin, and we are born into sin, we are not guilty of sin until we actually commit sin.
But is a child accountable even though guilty of having committed sinful acts? A child may be judged guilty of having broken the law, but not be accountable because the child did not realize that the action was unlawful. There is a difference between being guilty of having done something and guilty of being accountable for having knowingly disregarded a prohibition.
Our spirits are untainted by sin, until we are guilty of having sinned. As spiritual beings made in the image of God, like Cain we are not guilty of sin until we have actually sinned (Genesis 4:7), regardless of the fact our souls are passed down through our parents, as are our physical characteristics. What this means is children are innocent of sin until they consciously, knowingly, sin.
A precocious child may knowingly commit wrong at the age of three. Yet the child will not be conscious that this is a sin against anyone. The child will just know that what is being done is wrong or naughty. A child could be fourteen years of age and not be conscious that the action performed is a sin. However, once children become aware that what they are doing is not what they would like to experience having been done to themselves, but continue to do it, then this becomes accountable sin. Sin is accountable when a person consciously knows what is being done is something that the person would not like reciprocated, regardless of age.
Jesus said that we are to do unto others what we would have done unto ourselves (Luke 6:31). Conversely, if we do unto others that which we would not like done unto ourselves, then we have broken the royal law of love (James 2:8).
However, the Apostle Paul said the knowledge of sin comes with the Law, that is, the Ten Commandments (Romans 3:20; 7:7). This means that for a person to sin and be accountable, one of the Ten Commandments need to be broken willfully. This does not mean that a person needs to know the Ten Commandments, but that a person willfully breaks what the Ten Commandments deem as necessary to keep if we are to possess eternal life.
For a child to willfully break any of the Ten Commandments, then that child will have been deemed to have sinned. And since we are all going to be judged by that standard and the life that Jesus of Nazareth lived, we cannot say for sure at what age a person is guilty of sin. What we know is that Jesus did not sin before He was twelve and indicated his willingness to keep the Commandments at the age of twelve. In addition, we know each one is to be held accountable for his or her own sin. But no child is going to hell because they were not chosen before the foundation of the world as those false teachers preach.
However, we do know the Bible states:
“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)
In summary, God overlooks our ignorance until we consciously commit acts deemed a violation of the Ten Commandments. If we do not know the Ten Commandments, but we are aware that we would definitely judge someone else who committed an act against us as guilty of sinning against us, and we did the same act, we are accountable for our own guilt. Naturally, this requirement for guilt precludes babies from being accountable, but also ought to preclude children under the age of six and probably the majority of children under the age of twelve. In which case, to answer the question, all babies that die would have a place in Heaven, but there are some interpretations that suggest babies go to Hell, which appear to be doctrines of the Devil designed to encourage people to accuse God of evil.