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March 20, 2021 2:00 am
Today's subject is a tender one. The death of infants and children is the greatest fear of any parent. Does the Bible speak clearly about what happens when they die? It certainly does and it also gives great comfort to many who suffer the horrible loss of a little one. In this series on Eternity we must consider this subject since it affects so many and will also help us understand the fate of those who, like children, have diminished capacities.
This teaching is from the series From the Edge of Eternity.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Baby dies, it goes to heaven.
The child hasn't reached the level of accountability greatest to stand or fall on his own choices to war for our file for or against God. I believe that special mercy is a baby deserve, because God's mercy after the death of her five-year-old daughter Steven Curtis Chapman of his wife had a chance to appear on Larry King live and talk about their experience.
V wasn't particularly his afterwards. He said that he was most struck by how the faith of the Chapmans provided them so much comfort and certainty in the face of such a tragedy. It was afraid. Larry said that he wished he could find.
Well today here in Québec was Skip weekend division Skip Heitzig talks about some of the reasons the Chapmans found so much comfort in their tragic and how we can all find that same comfort when we face times of devastation before we get started today. We want to let you in on this month special offer and connectwithskip.com. The aftermath of 2020 has left so many of us wrestling with questions about the future and wondering what's next here Skip I think that's a question by the way that people ask anytime there is a catastrophe any kind of catastrophic event causes people to ask the question, what's next.
There's a car accident that happens while what's next guy to be able to walk after this disease strikes someone. What's next my going to be sure, if somebody we love dies, we ask what's next. My going to be able to go on. We want to help you live with confidence no matter what the future holds by sending you a powerful collection of Easter weekend messages from skip. I think on the hope of the resurrection. Anything is possible if the one who said he's going to die and rise again, died and rose again. That means all of the promises Jesus ever made our possible and can come true. That's why it's called a living hope the morning that changed everything with skip. I think it's a DVD collection of six life-changing Easter messages and it's our thanks for your gift of $35 or more today to help connect more people to the living hope of Jesus Christ to get online securely visit connectwithskip.com/offer port call 800-922-1888 over your vital survival apps once again in Matthew chapter 19 as you find your place will join Skip Heitzig for the started to study one thing you realize you Scripture. You can't miss this God has a tender spot in his heart portal special spot. Special care for children. I think you see that all the way through the script. There's a great text in Ezekiel chapter 16 for God is likening Israel to a little child is what he says. I remember when you were born God says is a nation nobody Cutter naval court. Nobody washed you rub salt on you as was the custom, nobody put you in swaddling cloths, but they cast you out, and they abandon you in the field and then I found you and I said to you in your blood live and you live in you grew up, but as you grew up you turned away from me, you rejected me.
In fact, now you become idolatrous in your practices that God says this in Ezekiel chapter 16 verses 20 and 21. Listen to this. Moreover, you took your sons and your daughters whom you bore to me, says God stop there. You have them, but you bore them to me. God's claiming them and these you sacrifice to them, to be devoured. They were doing they were taking their little babies and placing them on, and idols arms called Molex and they would wait till that molten steel idol became red-hot and they would incinerate their babies as an offering to the God Malec so God says he sacrifice them to be devoured.
Were your acts of harlotry, a small matter that you have slain my children and offered them up by causing them to pass through the fire you hear those words, God is laying claim to those children and is not laying claim to the children of believing Jews. These were idolaters. He's not saying that they were his children because the parents were safe got Singer my children because they exist as children remind you bore them to me in their mind special tender care. I believe that verse 14 of Matthew. The verse were rating.
It also reveals child's special access to God. I think that that nowhere at no time will you see the grace of God exhibited more in a child's life, and at the time of death for Jesus says of such is the kingdom of heaven or as the NASB says the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these tone tell you, tone, tone, guard tell you tone in the Greek words belongs to those who are like children and it also includes children themselves, and until that child reaches the condition of the age of accountability where they can discern between right and wrong and make choices and are held responsible for those choices they have that special care, and access to God, we do see something I want to go back one chapter, chapter 18 of Matthew. Because you see where the thought begins chapter 18 verse one. At that time the disciples came to Jesus. These guys are really theologically inclined to ask a very heavy question who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Maybe they thought Jesus would say well Peter you are or John to get you.
Then Jesus called a little child to him and set him in the midst of them and said assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven's even an adult has succumbed to a place where they're willing, like a child to be absolutely and totally dependent upon God's grace, not their own works. You have to become like a little child, well children there's referred to in chapter 19 verse 14 children of that age. Little children or infants there at an age where they're incapable of exercising saving faith there at an age where they are incapable of rebelling against God. I think there are plenty of scriptures that indicate that if a child dies before that age, condition of accountability. They are in heaven with age as I can tell you yes and afterwards I'll say again, I don't know. I think it varies from child to child, but I want to show you some scriptures and even as write these down I'll show them to you. Deuteronomy chapter 1 verse 39. There's one verse on a pullout God says to the children of Israel.
Moreover, your little ones your children whom you say will be victims who today have no knowledge of good or evil.
They shall go in there to them I will give it that is give the land just looked out that phrase they have no knowledge of good and evil they have no clear true understanding of what is right and what is wrong what is evil and what is good. No sense of law at all.
No conscious rebellion against the law of God.
In fact, because their little kids there even know what the law of God is not even conscious of, let alone able to rebel against it. So they are therefore not responsible moral agents. There's no culpability as they don't know what's right. They don't know what's wrong twice and Jeremiah Jeremiah chapter 2 verse 34 in chapter 19 verse four.
God calls little children by this term innocence their innocence. He says of their parents who are sacrificing their children. You have filled this place with the blood of the innocents that you know what if God calls somebody in us, and guess what their innocence.
You can toss that turnaround lightly. Their innocence does that mean the children are not sinful.
No. Does that mean your children are not falling now and it's manifestly seen as the child grows up right every parents realization that everybody notices that bent toward evil that you want to teach child comes naturally.
It does mean that a child cannot discern God's law and they can't be held guilty for premeditated sin, because they don't have any premeditated volitional rebellion. Then there's Jonah chapter 4 verse 11.
Before we put it up on the screen. You know, the book of Jonah.
God took Jonah to Nineveh right. He said preach to the city amended their city repented and so God withheld his judgment and what a joy to do. He got really bummed out that I was count on you destroying all these people here. He hated the Ninevites solicit what God says Jonah chapter 4 verse 11. Should I not kidding. Nineveh, that great city in which are more than 120,000 persons who cannot discern between the right hand, and their left Jonah you want me to destroy the whole city that has 120,000 children in it. Kids would description the same description metaphorically Until the right from their left is Deuteronomy chapter 1, they don't know right from wrong, good and evil. Then there was Job. Job lost everything, including his children. Job got so low after losing his kids losing his health. Losing everything he owned. Chapter 3 hears his despair after this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day he was born submitted a parish in which I was born in the night in which it was said a male child is conceived, then down verse 11. Job says why did I not die at birth.
Why did I not perish when I came from the womb.
Why did the knees receive me or why did the brass that I should nurse for now I would have lain still and been quiet. That is if you would've been born a stillborn perinatal death. I would have been asleep. I would have been at rest before you say will all Job meant is that it be better off dead than alive and suffering.
He just meant not exist rest from existence. He did mean that Joe must've meant that to be at rest as a baby was to be in the presence of God. And here's why. Because it was the same Job says a few chapters later. I know that my Redeemer lives, and I know that I will resurrect and in my flesh I will see God. Right. That's what he believed.
So here he is stating that a child when he dies goes to be at rest with the Lord. Then there's first Kings chapter 14 and under sort of summing up a few but I want to want you to keep these write these down. Look them up. Use first Kings chapter 14 God pronounces judgment on the whole household of King Jeroboam because he was so wicked, God basically says, to make a clean sweep and every male of your entire household is to be destroyed. You can even bury them there to lie on the streets and the birds and dogs are going get them there will even have a proper burial. He says in verse 10 of first Kings 14. I will bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam I will cut off from Jeroboam. Every male in Israel. I will take away the remnant from the house of Jeroboam as one takes away rescues until it is all gone. That is, except for one little child God says in chapter 12 of verses 12 and 13 first Kings 14 when your feet enter the city, the child is a little child little toddler or infant shall die, and all Israel will mourn for him and bury him watch this for he is the one of Jeroboam who shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something good toward the Lord God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam. How could that be that something good was found inside that little child is not even old enough to discern for all the same reasons I do share with you. Even though this child is the son of an idolatrous father and an idolatrous family.
He never knowingly rebelled against God. He is in the same category of not knowing good from evil right hand from left hand innocent as a child when the most famous passages is second Samuel chapter 12 David had sin with Bathsheba. You know the story, Bathsheba is pregnant. David kills her previous husband marries her. It's all a simple episode. The child was born.
The child gets sick for one week. David Saxony prays oh God, save this child. The child dies in a week soon as a child was that David washes himself and eats food and his servants go. What's up with you. David this is strange behavior. It is a look I can do anything now.
He was alive, but I could at least pray that God would spare his life, but now it's too late, and this is how David comforted him self. He said I shall go to the child.
The child cannot return to me. David certainly believed and wrote about heaven on a few different occasions. The way David comforted himself as well. I guess I'm a die and go to the grave his way comforted himself.
His one day I will go to be with my child in God's presence. He can never return, so Jesus takes the little ones in his arms, lays his hands on them, prays for them and says the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these when the baby dies, it goes to heaven.
That child hasn't reached that level of accountability were asked to stand or fall on his own choices to or for our file for or against God. I believe that there is special mercy, not because a baby deserved because God is merciful. The kingdom of heaven belongs to children because children belong to God.
He claims that's for the whole idea of limbo erupted from. I was raised with the idea of limbo.
Your limbo was invented in the 13th century. Tell how long it took to figure that out. It was concocted because the Roman Catholic Church that we have a problem. We have a conundrum.
What we do what we say about babies who die before we can baptize them because they believe in baptismal regeneration are not saved lesser baptize.
We can't say they go to hell, they didn't do anything wrong. We can put them in purgatory because they were never bad enough so let's create limbo and they did till two years ago.
The sort of threw it out and so while it's possible the baby could go to heaven. It's not possible it's absolutely certain that when a child dies a child is in God's presence. Not only that look more carefully the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these, including children, but also such as these. I think that includes the mentally handicapped there at a level they haven't grown beyond infancy yet and that mental deficiency makes them incapable of faith or of rebellion, not just want you to think of this is because if you want to think of all of the miscarriages that we began with giving you the statistic. All of the prenatal neonatal perinatal death. If you are then to add to that the infant mortality rate that is very high-end impoverished nations around the world.
Think of it this way. It's possible. Many theologians believe that heaven will be more populated with children who went there a death than adults. It's an interesting thought in it to beautiful thought John Newton who wrote amazing Grace said the number of infants in heaven so greatly exceeds the aggregate of adult believers that comparatively speaking, the kingdom may be said to consist of little children then there's text like Revelation chapter 7 which picture pictures people from every nation, every tribe, every people standing before the throne of God will we know that there are some tribes and people were there are no on. There are no believers. Believers from every conceivable corner answer their children who die are graciously placed in God's presence. But we don't own our children doing we don't own the there entrusted to us there under your care and your training for 18 to 20 years. These days, 35, 40 years since they can get rid of them. But there just there your stewards of them, and God may decide at any time since he gave them or entrusted them to say I want them and I'll take care of them and I'll surround them with my special love and special mercy much more than you could ever provide an even Joe recognized after he lost all of his kids.
The Lord gives and the Lord what takes away and then he said, Blessed be the name of the Lord Charles Spurgeon 1861 preached a sermon to his church, the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, England, and among his words were these that I close with speaking about likening the death of a child to a fine rose being taken.
Suppose you're a gardener employed by another. It's not your garden, which are called upon to tended and you have your wages paid you. You have taken great care with a certain number of roses you train them up and there they are blooming in their beauty. You pride yourself upon them to come one morning into the garden, you find the best rose has been taken away. You are angry you go to your fellow servants and you charge them with having taken the rose they will declare that they had nothing at all to do with it. And then one says I saw the master walking here this morning. I think he took it is the gardener angry. Then know at once.
He says I am happy that my rose should've been so fair as to attract the attention of the master. It is his own. She had taken it, let him do what seems good to him. If God for bid that should ever happen to you and II pray it won't pray that your children grow up healthy and happy and wonderful as weak as we long for that. So we anticipate but if in God's sovereignty. That doesn't happen. Know that your child will be for ever cared for until you go to him or her.
I would say you can only go to him or her. If you go the same way they went by God's grace.
You have to go by God's grace.
You have to receive Christ as your Savior to get into the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. That's the incredible promise let's have a word of prayer. Heavenly father you are so merciful that you have found a way even though we have fallen short of your mark fallen short of the glory of God.
We fell short of that very moment we were conceived. Davidson we were born in sin, we have a fallen nature that must be dealt with.
Just so grateful and so thankful that buyer mercy you place children in that special category you whisk them off and gather them into heaven, and care for them eternally until we can rejoin them by coming the same way of your grace. Lord I pray for moms and dads some faces I see.
I know they've lost a son or a daughter reliving that pain, even in this message bring special comfort to these hearts and then Lord use us. Use us as implements of your mercy as tools who would spread your comfort because we run into people like this are there in our family we could offer great comfort in Jesus name, amen. It was tragic as the death of any child is the even greater tragedy would be to miss the opportunity to be reunited with her child because you've never had the desire to walk with Jesus. There will be so many tender and heartwarming reunions in heaven but without Christ.
Go Mr. don't let that happen to you.
Find out more about a personal relationship with Jesus. We can help with the website connectwithskip.com when you click on the new God tab. If you'd like a CD copy of today's message entitled Jesus friend of children just give us a call at 1-800-922-1888 would be happy to send you a copy on CD for just six dollars plus shipping. Again, the number 1-800-922-1884. Just go to connectwithskip.com Skip Heitzig will provide a sneak peak at who will likely meet in heaven. That's connect with Skip weekend division.
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