By Jim Robinette

Little 3-year-old Ricky was playing in the yard with his big sister. His blond hair reflected the light of that warm August morning’s sun and was ruffled by the sea breeze which flowed softly off Santa Barbara’s beaches. This was another usual day of play and discovery for Ricky who was a vivacious and out-going little guy.
Suddenly, out of nowhere it seemed, a drunk driver’s car came crashing into the yard. And all so quickly and finally the car struck and killed little Ricky.
An unspeakable pain and grief came explosively over Kappy, Ricky’s mom, when she was told shortly after this incredible event that her son had been killed in such a horrendous way. Kappy found it difficult to understand or really believe that Ricky had died in the following soul-numbing days as she coped with Ricky’s burial, the shock her daughter experienced and would experience for many years into the future and the thousand details that now intolerably had to be dealt with because Ricky’s life had been violently seized from him and her.
Kappy and I were not Christians when Ricky died but years later learned about Jesus and His love for us and we trusted Him to save us because of His favor towards us which we did not deserve. As Christians we had come to believe in the reality of eternal life and death, heaven and hell. We began to ask ourselves then: Where is Ricky?
We longed to know if the Christian Church had a definite and clear understanding of the destiny of children like Ricky who departed this world while very young. This led us to learn that many, many unborn, infants, and young children die in our modern times. Research enabled us to see that well over 40 million abortions have been committed in America since 1973 when abortion on demand was legalized and that yearly almost half as many babies are killed by abortion as are live-born. We learned that in the developing world more than 11 million kids die each year and that many die before the age of 5. Because of war, famine, natural disaster, disease (AIDS claims many millions of kids yearly) a countless number depart this world in infancy and childhood.
God’s Spirit led us to inquire, “Does God save uncomprehending infants and children from damnation, eternal death?”
We want to share with you things we’ve learned about God’s treatment of “babes”, those who die in infancy and early childhood. We’ll use this word “babes” to refer to the unborn, infants, and very young children in the remainder of this piece. Our hope is that in reading this tract you may acquire a saving knowledge and therefore true comfort about God’s nature and about His gracious treatment of babes.
In the study of the Bible, God’s word, and in our examination of the thoughts of gifted Christian leaders we’ve learned some fascinating things.
We learned that the Bible tells us that all men, including babes, are born with a sinful nature. Psalm 51:5 says: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” This verse means that children are sinners. Sin is a violation of God’s law and God’s law is summarized in God’s requirement that man love God and his fellow man with all his
being. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:30,31.
Though babes may or may not have committed actual sins (for instance, a babe in the womb cannot lie for he can’t yet speak) they are conceived with a sinful nature which has been passed on to all men from the first man Adam who sinned. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—” Romans 5:12.
The babe, like all men, must be forgiven of his guilt as a sinner (a result of his sinful nature) by a new spiritual birth which brings cleansing from guilt’s stain and forgiveness of the guilt itself. Jesus says in John 3:5, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Jesus says we must be born again, that is, we must experience a spiritual birth or the bestowing of spiritual life from God to inherit (receive) the kingdom of God. The babe’s need, as is everyone’s, is to receive this spiritual life from God. This receiving of  spiritual life results in forgiveness of all sins—actual sins, thought sins, spoken sins, heart sins and the sin of a fallen nature.
Blessedly for us, God gives this spiritual life to all men who receive it by believing that  Jesus Christ is God’s salvation, that He is God in bodily form (God became a Man! A perfect man without Adam’s sinful nature!) “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;” Colossians 2:9. Jesus, who is God and man lived a sinless life on behalf of sinners, died on the cross as a substitute for sinners who believe in Him to bear their sinful guilt—He died in the place of sinners! And because He is God in human flesh and was absolutely sinless in His own life He raised Himself to life from the dead after three days—“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19.
Death could not hold Jesus because God is just. Jesus was sinless and therefore could not receive a permanent death sentence—“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23. A sinless man cannot justly die.
God’s word tells us that over 500 people at once saw Jesus Christ raised up (resurrected) from the dead—“After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once,” 1 Corinthians 15:6, and that His disciples saw Him ascend into heaven, “Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” Acts 1:9, where He now lives with His God and Father and our God and Father. And because Jesus has done all this to save men from death’s judgements we have great hope that Jesus saves helpless babes from their sin’s guilt and takes them to be with Him in God’s paradise at the moment of their deaths.
God used the tragic occurrences of Ricky’s death to teach Kappy about His love that saves the soul, of His love for her—“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. Kappy learned that in Jesus she would find all of her needs met, even the need to accept Ricky’s violent and senseless death and truly forgive the driver who killed Ricky. Ultimately she found the meaning of life, little Ricky’s and hers, in Christ Jesus the Son of God and Son of Man. Kappy saw her sins for the evil they are, confessed them to God as the evil they are and turned from them to live in a way that pleases God. She trusted Jesus and repented of her sins and came to love God, as He always wanted her to!
Some of you who are reading this piece have lost babes and some of you have aborted your children. May God lead you, dear ones, to find forgiveness in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. There, where Jesus was crucified     taking the place of sinners, my wife and you too will find love, peace, righteousness, grace and the knowledge of God that makes a broken  sinner whole. Look  by  faith to the Lord  Jesus Christ to save you from the tragedy of your babe’s death and from the reality of your own  sin and death. Trust Christ and repent of your sins, believing that He died on the cross as your holy sacrifice, that He was buried, and that three days later He arose from the dead, and you will find Christ’s life and victory over death and you will live and never die— “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” John 11:26.
Because Jesus is the loving, kind and compassionate Savior we have great hope that Jesus gave Ricky spiritual life through the spiritual birth prior to Ricky’s death. We believe and hope that Ricky was born again and that he was cleansed of all his sin’s guilt because Jesus gave Him the gift of eternal life!
We also learned from the Bible that David had hope that he would see his dead son again—“But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”        2 Samuel 2:23. David’s resignation to his child’s death is evident in this verse. David was a righteous and godly man in spite of a great lapse into sin which resulted in adultery, murder, and the death of the babe conceived in wickedness. David had a knowledge of God and His nature and so was resigned to God’s judgements. It may be that David’s peaceful resignation was based on a hope that his child was  regenerated (born spiritually) before his death. “I shall go to him” may mean that David hoped to see his child again in God’s presence as David knew himself to be a child of God and would be with God upon his departure from this world.
In Matthew’s gospel Christ  sets a babe in the midst of the disciples and tells them: “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (18:4). Christ likens those who enter the kingdom of heaven to the babe. Christ tells us here that a childlike humility is a characteristic of people who have trusted Him. He warns of the sin of causing His little ones to stumble by enticements to sin and He tells us not to despise humble believers like this babe.
He tells us that He came to save these little ones and that the Father has willed that not one will perish.
In Luke 1:11-17 the angel of the Lord tells Zacharias that Elizabeth will bear a son and that he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb. This means that John was regenerated (spiritually born) while yet in his mother’s womb and prior to his physical birth.
Also, Jesus says in Matthew 19:14—“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” C. H. Spurgeon, a Christian pastor, comments about this verse: “Jesus tells us that children are admitted into the kingdom; nay, not only that some few are here and there admitted into it, but of such is the kingdom of God. I am not inclined to get away from the plain sense of that expression, nor to merely suggest that He merely means that the kingdom consists of those who are like children. It is clear that He intended such children, as those who were before Him, babes and young children,‘of such is the kingdom of God’.

“Gentle Jesus, meek and mild,
Look on me, a little child!
Pity my simplicity;
Suffer me to come to Thee.”

John Calvin, a Christian teacher wrote: “Truly, Christ was sanctified” (set apart to God) “from earliest infancy in order that He might sanctify in Himself His elect” (chosen ones) “from every age without distinction. If we have in Christ the most perfect example of all the graces which God bestows upon His children, in this respect also He will be for us a proof that age of infancy is not utterly averse to sanctification.”
George Whitefield was a great Christian preacher who in the 1700’s said: “What an awful proof are the sufferings, that children come into a world with a corruption that renders them liable to God’s wrath and damnation; but the blood, the precious blood of Jesus Christ, it is to be hoped, cleanses them from guilt and filth of  sin.  So that any of you who have got children dead in infancy, O may you improve what I shall say by and by from the next, and pray endeavor to go to that place where I hope you will see your children making a blessed constellation in the firmament of heaven: in this respect all go to the same place, some at beginning of life, some at middle, and some at decline, and happy, happy they who go to bed soonest if their souls are saved.”
Pastor John MacArthur offers helpful comment here—“The kingdom of heaven is the sphere of God’s rule in Christ through gracious salvation. For those who have reached the age when personal saving faith can be exercised, the kingdom is entered only by a divinely illuminated understanding of what it means to trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The implication of such as these is that for those, who because of young age or mental deficiency, are incapable of exercising saving faith, God grants them in the event of death entrance into the kingdom by the sovereign operations of His grace. When children die before they reach the age of decision, they go into the presence of Jesus Christ, because they are under the special protection of the sovereign King.”

We must mention now that abortion or  intentional murder of the unborn is a sin that God forgives. But He gives us stark warning in 1 John 3:15 that the unrepentant murderer is lost—“Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”

If you have taken part in this sin, repent and find His sufficient grace and forgiveness of sins. Christ receives everyone who truly believes and repents. Remember that the murderer David was forgiven, but the murderess Athaliah who sought the babe Joash’s life never repented and so she was lost.

In light of Christ’s love and sacrifice of Himself for sinners, come to Christ trusting Him  in repentance that He will save you from your sins, dear one. And you shall be saved.
The Bible tells us about God’s nature— He is a helper to the helpless. “But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, To repay it by your hand. The helpless commits himself to You.” Psalm 10:14. God is merciful to the afflicted. “So that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him; For He hears the cry of the afflicted.” Job 34:28.  God is compassionate. “So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm.” Joel 2:13. God is just. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.

Pastor Ichabod Spencer from the 1800’s relates the story of a Christian woman whose babe had died and of her hope of the babe’s salvation.

 The Lost Child—not lost, but gone before  

‘Twas a gem fit for love,—’twas the gift of her God,
But no thanks did the gift e’er excite;
Death snatched it away—she sunk under the rod!
All her world was a chaos of night!
Then there whispered a voice from the land of the blest,
Oh my mother, my mother! on high
I wait to receive thee to this land of sweet rest
Oh, my mother, prepare thee to die.
I’m not in the dark coffin—Christ spread his arms around me,
I  awoke ‘mid this light and this love,
Where the bright beams of heaven spread their glory around me;
For I died to allure thee above.
She heard it; she felt that attraction of heaven,—
It was peace: she can now kiss the rod;
She flew to her Christ—she’s a sinner forgiven,—
They shall all meet in the bosom of God.”

Praise the Lord!!!