Question on FB: “What happens when a young child dies? Does the Bible answer this question?”
Yes, the Holy Spirit responds concerning the eternal destiny of a child who dies before the age of accountability.
When a child dies not having attained an age of reason sufficient to differentiate good and evil, right and wrong, God’s will concerning the matter of obedience v. disobedience, there is no condemnation awaiting this child as our Lord has told us that where there is no Law, there is no sin.
14 For if those who live by the law are heirs, faith is useless and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law, there is no transgression. Romans 4
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned. 13 For sin was in the world before the law was given; but sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Romans 5
So then, God, in His mercy, does not hold the mentally ill, the child, culpable for disobedience as their lack of cognitive acuity and immaturity prevents them from fully understanding the consequences of their behavior; therefore, they are innocent before God because the Law is absent, impotent, as an arbiter of their free will relevant to the immature and cognitively impaired.
King David also confronted this question when his child died. King David made the following statement,
21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you got up and ate food.” 22 And he said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the Lord may be gracious to me, and the child may live.’ 23 But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I am going to him, but he will not return to me.” 2 Samuel 12
King David, a man after God’s own heart, knew that his child was secure in the presence of our Lord and that he would, one day, go to be with that child in God’s Kingdom. The Holy Spirit working through King David has revealed this truth for us and may we have peace in this knowledge when the innocent youth die among us?
Jesus also responds in this way…