The Baptist Pillar © Brandon Bible Baptist Church 1992-Present www.baptistpillar.com
"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
Dr. Ron Tottingham, PhD, Lit.D.
Available in tract form. Contact the Editor.
There is a great controversy which has become a bedrock of some religions. When discussed from the Scriptures, it is actually a clear issue.
On the one side of this issue, there are those who hold the tradition that infants are not going to heaven. Therefore, they somehow must be "secured" and the means used is generally "infant baptism" (sprinkling), sometimes called "baptismal regeneration." Many who hold to this tradition choose "godparents" and this is the event where one commonly finds the term "christening," where the Christian name (first name) is added to one's given name (last name).
On the other side, there are those who hold that babies are safe and held by God until an "age of accountability" is reached. These believe the Scripture's position, which is: all saved persons must exercise, in repentance, their own personal faith and trust in Jesus Christ as the only Saviour, to receive salvation; that "godparents" absolutely cannot speak for anyone concerning one's soul.
What does the Bible teach concerning this issue? II Samuel 12:23, "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. This is a common passage quoted in answering this question. It states in part "...can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." There is no question that David is, stating that his child had gone to heaven when he died.
“Upon what basis does one believe this?” we would ask.
The answer to this is found in Romans 5:13, "For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law." What is imputation of sin? Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" and Romans 5:12 adds, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…" Since spiritual death is the product of sin, and all are born in sin, the answer to that rests in the truth God teaches about children prior to their being old enough to perceive personal responsibility toward God.
Romans 4:15 says, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" Where there is no perception yet of God's law there is no responsibility for obedience, or no accountability from God to obey yet. God does not impute transgression (penalty) until an age of perception comes. Up until a child gains the maturity to understand their personal responsibility, God does not hold them accountable, or impute transgression.
Romans 7:7 says, "What shall we say then? is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." And until Paul was old enough to perceive, or grasp (by understanding his own personal responsibility unto) God's law, its penalty of death was not imputed unto him. But, Romans 7:9 states that, "For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, (perception thereof) sin revived, and I died." Therefore when a person gains sufficient maturity to understand their personal responsibility to the law of God, God then begins to hold them accountable to its penalty.
Biblically speaking, infants are automatically safe in the arms of God when they die. Each individual is safe until they reach an age whereupon they have a personal responsibility toward God. From that moment they are held accountable to repent of sin and receive Jesus Christ into their hearts (not life). Ephesians 3:17, "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith:" as personal Saviour.
Are you 100% sure that you have been born again? If you are reading this you have passed the age of "accountability" and MUST be Born Again to enter into eternal life, or heaven. John 3:3 says, "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Verse 5 says, "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." And Verse 7, "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."
One does this by acknowledging that he was born a sinner by nature before God and by believing that Jesus Christ is the ONLY Saviour for the saving of our souls (Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12) Then you must personally receive Him into your heart for Him to forgive you of your sin.
God's salvation is instant, eternal and recognizable. You'll know IN YOUR SPIRIT that the burden is gone when it is surely taken away by true faith in Jesus Christ. You may not be able to adequately express what happened in your heart, but you WILL KNOW something spiritual happened with your sin between you and God.
All you need to do to be born again is:
A) To turn to Jesus Christ and let Him open your heart. Acts 16:14 says, "And a certain woman named Lydia,... whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul."
B) Look to God in true repentance of sin. Acts 3:19 says, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out…" Repentance is a combination of Godly sorrow. II Corinthians 7:10 says, "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of but the sorrow of the world worketh death." and spiritual loathing. Ezekiel 36:31 & 32 says, "Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations... be ashamed and confounded for your own ways…"
C) Receive Jesus Christ into your heart, fully unconditionally as personal Saviour. John 1:12 says, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God..." and Ephesians 3:17, "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith..."
It will be like a new door opens in your spirit, a new hunger will instantly result toward the living God. You'll have an instant hunger for knowledge of the old-fashioned King James Version's good readings, and a desire to associate with genuine believers in a Bible-believing fundamentally and doctrinally sound church. (Unaffiliated Baptist churches tend to behold the most accurate position in doctrines) It is the most exciting event of one’s entire life—being Born Again! Have you yet been Born Again? If you would follow this instruction, you could be. I urge you to do so if you have not—today!
Romans 10:9-13 says, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation, For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."